Sunday, March 4, 2012

{ traveling with a toddler : the arriving flight }

our little family recently took a trip to costa rica, where i am originally from.
i decided to write a couple of posts about the subject of traveling with a toddler.
somewhat hoping that it helps other moms and dads attempting to do the same,
but mostly as a way to analyze the entire experience.

for the whole sha-bang!, click here.

though my heart was sad to leave my extended family behind, i was so ready to come back home. 
the day had finally arrived. my bags were packed strategically to have everything i would need for tackling the flight back home solo, without a husband, but with my active 17-month-old.
so my nerves were going nuts. 

i sat down to write my husband an email telling him we were heading for the airport.
"see you in a few hours" i was going to write
instead i forwarded him an email i had received just minutes before 
and typed a very large and capital lettered

the email informed me that my flight would be delayed for 3 hours
and the best part was that
they were asking me to still arrive at the gate on time for the original time

so i would have to arrive at the gate on time for a 12:41pm flight
when, really, everyone knew we wouldn' be leaving until 3:25 at the earliest.

now i know what you're thinking,
"well, if there was a chance that they could get the plane to work earlier, 
you wouldn't want to miss the flight. would you?"

i thought the same thing 
so i decided to follow the directions in the email and get to the airport at 10am.

that's where i found out that the plane that was supposed to take me TO newark
was still IN newark.
it had taken off on time but had to return due to technical difficulties

in any case, there was no turning back. i was already at the airport. 
my dad had already left the drop off curb 
and i didn't have a cell phone to ask him to come back to get me.

this delay would end up being the largest contributor to my miserable experience of the day.
i'm glad it's over.

first, my suitcase had 12 lbs of excess weight for which i would have been charged $200.
so i was told to take 10 lbs out and put it in my carry-ons.

not like i was carrying one already large carry-on, a "diaper" bag, 
a stroller, a camera bag, and a 28 lbs baby. 

whatever. just suck it up. i told myself.

i got through security quickly and easily. 
except that a guy came running after me to hand me my green card that i had left on the counter.
that would have been a disaster.
welcome to america. oh wait, never mind. you have to go back.
thank you thank you thank you, i said to him.

then off we went to the gate. 
without a working elevator.
a guy had to carry my stroller and massive bags down for me.
i would say damn you, costa rican aiport.
but i love my country so i wont say that.

then we hung out for 4 hours.
met some very nice staten islanders 
and an old lady who wouldn't mind her own business 
until i made sure that she understood her input wasn't welcome.

at 2 pm our gate was changed. 
two of the very nice nice staten islanders had to carry all my crap back UP the stairs.
oh, you silly costa rican airport. you underestimate the need for elevators.

you meet some very nice people at the airport when you're alone with a baby.
people who willingly watch your belongings while you go to the bathroom 
even though security announcements tell them not to do so 
but because they see the dire need in your eyes to pee and change a stinkin' diaper.
and others who put your things in the overhead compartment 
because you clearly only have the strength to carry your child.

and still others who watch your carry-on bags while you run back out to the front of the plane 
because you left your passports in the stroller that was just thrown into the area under the plane.
yeah, i did that. 

i started thinking of them as my guardian angels.

jake didn't throw up during this ride. 
but he was uncomfortable during take off and landing. 
he couldn't sleep (the kid needs to be laying down in silence to do so)
so after his bedtime at 8pm, he started losing it. 
crying and crying.

at 8pm the pilot also announced that we were running low on fuel 
so it was possible that we'd have to stop at another airport on the way to newark to refuel. 

that's when i started to cry.

an hour later, he said that wouldn't be necessary. 
i think god heard my prayers. 

in the end, i'm home. so that's all that matters now. 
but these two flying experiences will not be forgotten. 
ever. ever. ever. 

i'm thankful for electric plugs on planes 
and baby einstein videos
because that's the only way we got through the 6 hour ride.

yes, on top of it, it took an extra hour. 
i guess the pilot was in no hurry whatsoever. 

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