...and we're home.
|Tired Lila starts the day traveling.|
Yesterday was filled with copious amounts of small mercies and miracles.
As you can imagine, international, early-morning air travel with a pair of 2.5 and 4-year-old children can be... slightly... stressful.
"I want to spend an entire day packing, then wake up at 3:30 a.m. and get my sleeping children out of bed so that we can be at the airport by 4:30 a.m. so that we can then take two planes across the country," said no one.
But, we've been doing this since they were born and well, they're accustomed to it.
It's usually chaos and filled with tears, but this past trip was our BEST.EVER.
When we arrived to the Detroit airport at the ungodly hour of 4:30 a.m. we find that the inside American Airlines counter is flooded with none-too-happy-to-be-waiting travelers. We immediately change our direction and decide to do curbside check in with the
That's not at all what I said, but it's how I felt.
So obviously I didn't want to deal with that woman...
...and as miracles would have it, we didn't have to!
Just as we got to the front of the curbside check-in line with our four 50 lb. suitcases a new curbside employee, a much more chipper one that appeared to be quiet helpful, popped up like whack-a-mole and said, "May I help you?"
She then proceeded to really help us. At one point, something was sketchy with Vivi's ticket (she has two last names) and she said we'd need to go in and check in... In that horrid line... we told her we were worried about missing our plane (!) could she please help us? ($$$) ...and she went inside and dealt with the issues... came out 10 minutes later... boarding passes in hand.
INCREDIBLE. That curbside angel saved us at least an hour and a potentially missed flight.
That $40 tip was worth it.
The security line at the Detroit airport was ridiculously long on a Tuesday morning at 5:00 a.m.
Just moments before we got in line, I said out loud to Craig, "Yeah, this might be the last time we bring the 'ole double umbrella stroller, you know?"
Then, again, out of NO WHERE a mystery employee popped up like an whack-a-mole/angel and said, "Please go in that line (the first class/priority access line) because you have a stroller."
Time saved: at least 40 minutes.
The girls went through the security line like PROS. No crying about having to put Petal the bunny through the x-ray machine. No crying because they were forced to walk through the metal detector.
We were able to handle the situation confidently and quietly: Craig put the computers in the separate bins and organized our shoes and extras, collapsed the stroller and put the other carry-ons on the conveyor belt. I handled everything coming out of the other side while the wee ones waited and Craig walked through the, "We-see-everything-on-your-body-scanner."
Security experience: AMAZING.
By the time we made it through security, our flight was already boarding and we were essentially the last people on the flight. They closed the doors shortly after we got on the plane even though they had a few "runners" trying to make the plane, so said the flight attendant.
We could have easily been those poor runners who got up at 3:30 a.m. ONLY to miss our flights. But we made it.
Both children, Lila Ross and Vivienne Kate, SLEPT for nearly the ENTIRE first flight.
I don't believe I need to explain why that's a miracle.
Lila did not throw a fit about McDonald's not serving hamburgers at 9 in the morning when we had our layover in Dallas. Instead, she and her sister enjoyed their cheese and egg biscuits (don't judge me) and NO ONE COMPLAINED!
The second flight wasn't as easy. The girls and I sat in a row of 3 with Craig up a row. Still, NO ONE CRIED. On either flight.
|Happy little goofball|
Midway through the second flight Craig was getting our paperwork together and realized that we couldn't find our little Mexicans' returning-get-back-in-the-country paperwork. Oops. We were somewhat concerned about this... Fines? Eek.
We get to the airport in Cabo and enter the immigration area and immediately bypass the non-Mexican-national line since we have immigrado status (ooohhhhh) and because our girls carry Mexican passports. Wah-who.
No line. Again. Miracle.
And, when we encounter the immigration person he immediately hands us two blank travel visas for the girls.The exact thing we LOST.
I immediately, quick-fill them out and we get through the immigration line easy-peasy.
At baggage claim we always have to find one of the airport porters to help us with our collection of huge suitcases because we simply cannot wheel that much stuff and push a stroller. Each time, never fails, we're two minutes too late and have to wait.
Not this time.
It was like the man was waiting for us. All bags. On his little cart thing. In less than 5 minutes.
When returning from the States to Mexico the preference is that one doesn't have to open all of one's bags in customs. It's a hassle and our bags are stuffed to the gills with stuff.
I aways feel anxiety when I hand over the customs form to the Customs Guard and then press "The Button."
This is the button that indicates your pilfering potential.
Green = Go ahead! No one has to pilfer through your baggage!
Red = Stop! There will be pilfering and you won't get home for FOREVER because they will find something that you didn't claim and you will have to give your firstborn to them in trade.
Um, we got GREEN.
The ride home. We snagged a cab in literally one minute and were all loaded into a white suburban in less than 5 minutes.
Could this day been any easier?
Vivi gets motion sickness.
We learned that on this trip.
Well, she made it all the way through a car ride to the airport at 4:00 a.m., through one flight, a sky-link train-like ride, another flight and alllllmost....the whole way home.
Just as we were pulling into our neighborhood Vivi threw up. I immediately grabbed her and here's the miracle part:
After our first flight, we were exiting the plane when a little boy in first class asked Lila, "Do you want this blanket?" Lila, never one to turn down free stuff, said, "Yes!" And she walked away with a brand-new, plastic-wrapped first-class blanket. Well, she wanted me to carry it, but I wouldn't. I tried to convince her to leave it on our second flight, but she wouldn't do it. "No, I'm taking it with me."
So, when Vivi started throwing up - what was sitting on Lila's lap? THE FIRST-CLASS BLANKET!
So, when Vivi started vomiting, I proceeded to use the first-class blanket as a sort of vomit net and thankfully Vivi continued to throw up on me and in the blanket and NOT in the car.
So, this miracle? That Vivi didn't throw up until we were almost home. That we had the first-class vomit blanket. AND, that Vivi didn't throw up all over the upholstery of the cab.
|Lila with the first-class blanket on the plane.|
When the suburban/cab stopped moving I immediately opened the cab door and nearly JUMPED out. I had vomit ALL down my shirt (yep, of course I did), in my bra and down my pants. I put Vivi down in the middle of the street/driveway... in front about a handful of landscaping men who were absolutely grossed out by the sight of both of us. I threw away the first-class blanket in the trash and stripped my crying baby's shirt off of her and ran her into the house with Lila trailing behind me carrying my purse.
I left Craig outside with 4 suitcases, 1 roller-carry-on, my GIGANTIC Vera Bradley tote bag and a double stroller to carry up 11 huge steps to our house.
Enter: the landscaping guys.
The all helped Craig carry everything up in one trip.
And there's the final miracle of the day.
Literally, throughout the day kindness and miracles abounded.
Looks like I've got some paying it forward to do.
And, it's so, so, so good to be home.