Monday, January 19, 2009

The Best Way to Travel

Having family far away, makes us always traveling for hours on end. Normally that traveling is done in our car but Santa sent us some airplane tickets this last Dec. to go to WA to visit our family there.

Every time I am in the car traveling around 875 miles to WA, I am always thinking how much better it would be to just fly on an airplane and be there much quicker, it would be less time for the girls to fight and it would be an exciting adventure.

In Dec. we did the whole flying thing, and I am not really convinced it is better than driving. Imagine... a mama pushing a stroller with a baby in it, a toddler on her shoulders, 3 little girls clinging to their mother half crying and totally whining, 13 pieces of luggage which included 4 car seats all in a crowded airport with lines longer than one would ever hope for. That mama was me with all my little girlies and our stuff in the Portland airport while Robert was returning our rental car.

Remember that with the whole 9-11 thing security measures are increased, once you check into the air lines, before they would take your bags and tag them and then put them on their little conveyor belt behind them and you walked away. Now, you have to take these bags to the X-ray machine and then they keep them from there. The lady from the airline counter asks, "Are you flying alone?" I am dumb founded thinking does it look like I am alone, and come to think of it, I don't think I am ever alone. (Just last night I had a little 2 yr old ask where I was going, I told her the bathroom, she told me she would come too and watch.) Alone is something I won't be for some time I am sure. Luckily when we flew out of SLC we had Robert's parents with us, so they carried the luggage and car seats from the ticket counter to the x-ray place. They also helped hold some of the little kids and what not.

Then of course once you go through security, everyone has to take off their shoes, put them in a bin to go through their machines along with all bags, coats, blankets, and the stroller as well. What a mess.

Our flight out of SLC wasn't so bad. We had Robert's parents that helped so much. We had to park our car in long term parking, which we didn't want to have all the kids and our 13 pieces of luggage ride the shuttle bus to the airport. Rob dropped the kids and I, and Robert's parents and their bags off at the curb side. The kids and I went inside, we had to check in at the counter since we had an infant riding with us on our lap, we had to have a special ticket. So going, most of everything went okay. The girls rode nicely, Amber had some ear problems when we were getting ready to land and wanted some medicine. Emily said her ears were clogged too, but she was much better about it.

Here is Lindsey sitting next to Grandma. Lindsey got the window seat of course.

This is Lauren sitting next to Robert on the plane, again having a nice window seat.
Emily holding Samantha on her lap, the only two kids that didn't get a window seat.

Here is Amber loving her seat to herself and of course another window seat. With Robert's parents most of the kids got window seats. Which they loved.

Once we got to the airport, we had a car reserved, so Robert's parents stayed with me and the girls, and Robert went to get our car so he could pick us up. Again, we didn't want to have the 5 girls, and 13 pieces on the shuttle bus to get the car. That in itself seemed to be a joke. Robert got there to get the car, and there was some problems, he didn't have the right card that he reserved it with, he had switched cards the night before so I had his card and he had mine. The manager suggested to have a shuttle to come pick me and the kids up, and Robert was like no! Not to mention I had been sick all morning. I get car sick sometimes, and I think that was it, it started in the car and then ended up in the plane too. I just kept feeling like I was going to throw up. I had a yogurt at the airport, and that seemed to just make it worse. Finally they drove Robert back to the airport to get his credit card. He finished all the paper work for the car and then came back and got us. Robert's parents stayed with me and the kids the whole time.
Our stay in Washington was great! I got to go see my one of my best friend and her super cute twin babies! (Seeing them brought back so many fun memories and yet also the long hours of no sleep of when I had my twins.) I got to also see ALL of my brothers and sisters, which sometimes I am not able to see them all when I go to visit. I would have liked to spend more time with sisters, but it was still great!
When it was time for us to come back to SLC, we got to the airport a little earlier then needed figuring that to check in and return our rental car, all that would take some time. Robert dropped me off and our 5 girls, and our our luggage. Robert gets two of those smart carts or whatever they are called that you get for a few bucks at the airport to put luggage on. Of course there is only one of me, and I have a stroller already to push, then I have 2 carts FULL of bags and car seats. I try to get the girls to push one, Emily does but the twins are too concerned about being left behind or something so they cry as they push and keep whining and telling me they don't want to push it. "Can't you just push it Mom?" I am so tired and just want to get to the line and then everything will be just fine. Only to find that the line goes past one other airline counter possibly two other ones. I finally get to the end of the line, and then some airport lady comes and says, "We need to move the line over here, so everyone just remember who you are behind..." I slowly move over trying to sooth and talk nicely to my crying and whining girls, while I move a stroller and a cart full of bags and now I am also pulling a little suit case on wheels since Lindsey has decided it was too much for her to do and hold on to the back of my shirt. Of course anyone smart or in a hurry that is behind me in line, jump ahead of me, I am now about 6 people behind. I am not really caring, we made it to the new line and that was accomplishment in itself. Then some nice lady (a totally angel for me really) looked back and saw me, she was the lady that was directly ahead of me before. She yelled back to me, you were behind me. I kind of sarcastically made some sort of comment on I guess no one else knew that or they wouldn't have jumped ahead of me. I really wasn't going to push the issue. The angel sent to me, came back grabbed one of my carts and pushed it up to where she was and said, "no you where here." Then she told the people behind her they needed to make room for me and my stuff. I really wasn't going to worry about it. But man, she was totally heaven sent. I told her thank you, thank you, thank you..... over and over again through the line as she pushed my cart the whole rest of the way. I saw her a few other times in the air port past security and told her again thank you or I would wave and smile to her again. She just told me, "I didn't have anything else to do."
This is when the airline counter lady asked, "Are you traveling alone?" I am thinking HELLO?? She was asking I guess because my bags where tagged and needed to go to x-ray, so she was trying to figure out how to accomplish that. Right about that time Robert showed up. Phew! He carried the bags as I continued to check out. The lady in Portland wasn't nearly as nice and helpful as the lady in Salt Lake. The lady in Portland seemed more annoyed at me than anything.
As if the whole checking in wasn't bad enough. Our flight was late to arrive so we could leave, then because of the snow in SLC, we had to circle while they plowed the runways before we could land adding some extra time on the flight. Samantha was so tired, she wouldn't go to sleep and she just kept crying. The nice thing is Samantha normally just lays down in her bed and goes to bed. We don't give her a bottle to make her go to sleep or rock her or anything like that. She has a really hard time sleeping in my arms or my lap. Robert and I kept passing Samantha back and forth while she cried. While we were circling I finally put a blanked on the floor and layed her on it. She fell fast asleep until I had to pick her up when we were getting ready to land. Amber fell asleep shortly after we took off.

This is the girls and Robert riding the little people movers while we waited for our plane to come in.

Then due to the snow and freezing weather, it took us like 3 hours to get home once we got all the car seats in the car and all the girls and luggage loaded. Funny thing is that there was a package of wipes in the car, I was needing to changed Samantha before we drove home, and I knew there was some wipes in the car. Although they were frozen like a brick. I then had to go dig in the back of the car for the diaper bag for some nice soft wipes. Oh, it was good to be home--FiNaLlY!!
With all the being said, I am still not sure what is better, flying or driving? I before thought that flying would be best, but this whole flying experience has made me think again about it. One thing when we drive, we have our own car and our car seats are in tact. When we fly, we have to bring our car seats along, or rent ones. You can rent them for like $12 a day, which isn't too bad for a day or two, but for a week? When we drive, I also bring all my diapers and formula or snacks that we might want because we have the room. I packed those same things when we flew, which I shouldn't have since it took up more room. I could have maybe not packed 1 or 2 bags due to that. Financially, driving is normally cheaper, but I always thought I would prefer to fly. Maybe I might reconsider that now.... after our travels this last December.


Karla said...

I am not sure why it didn't take my paragraphs, it just shoved everything into one huge one. Sorry, makes it hard to read.

Karen Brothersen said...

That first paragraph made me dizzy. YOU ARE WONDER-WOMAN!

The Jones :) said...

You are truly stay "calm" and get through all that. Good for you...and I'm glad you ALL made it home safe and sound! I miss you and miss hearing your stories and your laugh. We should plan something to get together sometime!?!?!