The Vacation Chronicles: We’re Back….

Oh boy. Where do I even begin? Lets see, when we spoke last I was holding an empty Starbucks cup in my hand while my five-year old peed in it as we drove down the interstate to the Chicago O’Hare airport. Memories… (He filled up a grande, by the way. And we managed not to spill!)

As if I thought the two-hour drive to the airport was adventure enough, boy I was wrong. The fun just kept coming. And by fun, I mean standing in not one, not two, but three lines to check in. I think it may have been a social experiment to see just how much one mom traveling alone with three kids could take. By the time we made it to the front of the third line, our flight was supposed to already be boarding. We hadn’t even made it through security yet. And, somehow, my kids had to pee. Again. Minutes ticked away as I watched the time, fearing we’d miss our flight. But, we made it through security without my nine-year old being flagged again. Now, it was time to rush, no, run, to our gate. And, as it always seems to happen, as we screeched to a halt in front of the gate, they announced it  was delayed. It was only a 20 minute delay, but this had me worried about our connecting flight. On the way to Chicago, we were scheduled to have just over an hour layover in Seattle. We literally sprinted to make our connection. At one point, I pushed the baby in the stroller, had my five-year old on my back (while he made pre-vomit gagging noises) and booked it, as fast as I could, across the many, many concourses. I think we were in Concourse Z. I’m not kidding. So, now, fearing the same tight time schedule, I worried with 20 minutes less time to catch our connecting flight, they’d already be boarding in Seattle when our wheels hit the ground.

The flight from Chicago to Seattle was relatively uneventful. Thank you Lord! The baby screamed for a while, despite the half dose of Benadryl I begrudgingly gave him. A kind woman sitting next to us gave him a bag of grapes, which he promptly wolfed down. Is it just me, or do your kids act like they’ve never been fed before in their lives, when a stranger offers them food?

As we landed in Seattle, the flight attendant told those of us flying on to Anchorage to see the gate attendant. My children and I rushed off the plane and were met by an airline employee who led us, and a handful of other people, back down onto the runway. We loaded in a van. My five-year old asks in his stage whisper “Mom, is he going to drive us to Alaska?” The van drives us not to the Last Frontier, but to a plane in an opposite concourse. We never would have made it on foot.

My children had grandiose plans of playing video games on the plane, ordering food and other general mischief. But, their little eyes were closed before we could even take off. And no, there was no Benadryl involved. We landed in Anchorage and took our time getting off the plane. We stumbled off the Red Eye and down to baggage. Our bags were there in seconds. Again, thank you Lord! We met our ride and began the long drive home.

Our dog met us at the door. She was happy to see us, but even happier for a potty break. As I walked into the house and looked around, I made the vow to myself: the same promise I make every time I go out of state. Next time, next time I will clean my house before I leave!

The next morning, my kids, still stuck on Eastern time, woke by 5:30. I made a bee line to the coffee pot. And, of all days, it didn’t work. This morning, it’s still not working. I’ve done the maintenance. In fine print, it says I have to wait four hours. Four hours…. Ugh.

Even without coffee, it’s good to be home.

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