Saturday, July 18, 2009

The Longest 12 Hours of My Life...

Yes, I'm dramatic.
This is, however, a true statement.

The flight back to the states was
the longest 12+ hours of my life.

Here we are on the bus ride to the airport.
Look at us.
Carefree. Happy. Smiling.

Little did we know what was to come...

We get to the check-in counter, and I request one of the bassinet seats.
The gal made a call, and we found out that they were all taken.

Hmmm...this is the point where I had an inkling of how the flight MIGHT go.
We were then asked if we wanted window/middle or middle/aisle.
Well, I tried to not be too sarcastic. I asked if there was a row where we would have an empty seat by us. The Korean Air agent informed me that it was a full flight.
Always wanted to have a lap baby on a 12+ hour FULL flight. Fun times.
I said we would need the aisle please. If you put us in the window seat, whoever the poor person is in the aisle will want to physically harm us.

As we walked away, Daddy said,
"well what about the poor person trapped in the window seat?"
What about them?? Poor sucker person.

We said our goodbye to Daddy, and headed through security (my least favorite part of traveling with children by myself!). They didn't even make me break the stroller down. I heard a chorus of Hallelujah. It was wonderful. It didn't last.

We do the normal get drinks, go potty, and organize carry ons.
We wait until they are boarding passengers and head to the line.
Korean Air is a lovely way to fly. They zoomed us to the front of the line.
Why do they do that? Why?
Let's get the kids on as early as we can. That way, they can go CRAZY before the plane even takes off. But hey, that's just me.

We get there & our travel companion is already seated.
He did a great job of not flinching too much when he saw us!
The American couple in front of us actually looked fearful.
The person right in front of me was an older Korean gentleman.
I thought that was a pretty good situation.

We started off okay. I have to say, Abby did a marvelous job. She got whiny a few times, but overall, she was great. She watched movies, colored, and played.
Bekah was the wild card. I knew this before we even got on the plane.
She's at the age where sitting isn't her favorite thing to do.
She's a mover. And a shaker.

Here's what went wrong:

Abby would not sit in the seat by herself while I went to change Beks or go potty.
Abby did not want to use the bathroom on the plane because it smelled funny.
And the toilet flushed too loudly.
3 in an airplane bathroom=nightmare.
Beks wanted to walk. And walk. Our flight was frighteningly full.
This was quite precarious. When Beks & I walked, Abby walked with us.
The girls did not sleep at all until the last 2 hours of the flight.
Beks slept for about 1 hour 20 minutes. Total.
I tried to watch Confessions of a Shopaholic...why? I will now have to rent it to see the end. Or maybe I'll wait for the return trip with Daddy?
I could not eat. Snack? Yes. Eat a meal, no.
There was no room under the seats in front of us. This meant I had to use overhead storage. I can't stand overhead storage. Hate it. Especially when I have a lap baby. Fun stuff to try and get something out with Beks. The only time I got in it was to get our passports out for the paperwork.
The majority of gifts I wrapped to have Abby open were in the backpack
in overhead storage.
Abby couldn't hear on her headphones.
Beks wouldn't let me wear mine. She also wouldn't wear any herself.
The guy in front of us was irritated by us. He reclined his seat back all the way onto our laps. Beks was then able to touch the TV screen on the back of the seat. And kick the seat. Even when I stood her up, she would smack her head into his seat back. I'm not sure how he thought it would work to recline his seat with a lap baby right behind him. Dirty look count=8. :)
The last 52 minutes of the flight, Beks was inconsolable. Thankfully, Abby was sleeping & I could walk a little with Bekah to keep her from screaming by the same people.
They seated us directly across from the row of bassinet seats. That's just cruel. What was even worse was overhearing the dad closest to me mutter, "will this ever end?" Their baby slept about 75% of the time & there were 2 of them. Don't be such a wimp.
No pictures. Camera was (you guessed it) in the overhead storage!

If I seem negative, I don't mean to.
I am happy we came back. We're having a great time!
I feel blessed to have the resources needed to come back and see our family.
Everyone has enjoyed seeing the girls...the great grandmas have been taking full advantage of the visit. We had an unbelievably fun time in Chicago. That's what it's all about.
I'm just guessing it's a lot like childbirth. I won't remember how bad it was in a few months.
I just want to remember. I want to be able to remember the fun little stories to tell the girls when they are complaining about something their kids are doing someday. The memories.

The trip here was not pleasant. It had its pleasant moments and kind people, but I don't look forward to traveling with a child Bek's age by myself again for that long. Guess what? Next year, she'll be older and I'm hopeful it will make a difference.

When we arrived in Chicago, things went pretty smoothly.
The little beagle dog sniffing for illegal plants/food pulled his officer over to our bag.
I'm a dog person, but COME ON. It was one of my reusable shopping bags.
The gal asked me if I was carrying any fruit or other contraband. that banana loaded? Nope. She asked if I had ever had fruit or veggies in that bag. Yes--it's a grocery bag, but I said that we had lots of food in the bag, but not the illegal kind. That got us sent through the special line.

After customs, we headed out to the sunshine & the good old USA!

Here's my shirt after the adventure.
Beks & I looked like we had been wearing the same clothes for days!

One last thing...step away from the baggage carousel.

I wish 20/20 or Dateline would do a show on people by these things.
How does it make sense for everyone to line up as close as they can to the carousel?
Why doesn't everyone stand back and when you see your bag, walk up to get it?
We could all see then. We wouldn't have to whack someone (accidentally!) with a bag.
I literally had to push my way up to the front and almost missed my bag...of course the woman I smacked in the shin probably wished I would have missed it.

Am I the only one who is annoyed by this??

I am now done with my Public Service Announcement.

Bloggy love from the states!


Anna said...

That is just brutal, my friend. I'm also not convinced the memory will fade any too quickly. Especially since you still have to make it back. Not that I'm trying to remind you.

Amanda Evans said...

Oh my goodness! I loved reading that post. You are so funny, and we have WAY too many things in common (travel experiences wise). Hahahah!

Lauren said...

I feel your pain! Our flight was scarily similar!

Anonymous said...

Sorry, that anonymous is me! Danicka ;0 )

Anonymous said...

The shirt pic threw me into fits of laughter! I'm sorry, but that's just funny ;0 ) Hopefully your trip back will be better.