Wow! Traveling with not just 1 but 2 littles sure gives packing a whole new dimension. I'm not sure how moms with 4, 5, 6 kids do it, but hats off to you!
We decided to fly out of the Dallas/Fort Worth airport so Day 1 involved a bit of driving. Thank goodness my littles are great car travelers. Watching Grace filled with anticipation over our trip was the best. She was E-X-C-I-T-E-D to say the least. This is one way to keep a curious little one from wandering off... Growing restless, but humoring Mama for one quick picture before going out to dinner. Ssssshhh, don't tell hotel management, but HOTELS = JUMPING ON THE BED for our family :) It's the one time I let the little pumpkin jump to her heart's desire so when I mention "trip" and "hotel" to Grace she has an even bigger reason to be excited! Let's GO already! Day 2
We got up at 4am and were out the door by 4:45. Little did we know what was to come...Yes, we missed our flight :( Even though we got there right at 5am for our 6am flight, there was only 1 ticketing agent for AirTran and over 40 of us in line. Wait, there was also a ticketing agent for First Class but although she had 0 passengers to check in, she didn't help any of us (can you sense I'm still bitter?). When it was finally our turn, the agent weighed our bags and told me one of mine was 53lbs, exactly 3 lbs over the limit. No big deal, right? WRONG! Those 3 little pounds cost me $50 bucks! "You don't have time to redistribute if you want to make your flight," he told me, so I forked over $95, $15 per bag (standard) and $50 for the weight penalty. It gets better.
As he was about to tag our luggage, the label machine ran out of paper and off he went to fetch more, then couldn't figure out how to make it work so 15 minutes later we're finally ready to go through security. It's now 5:45am. We turn the corner and see a LOOOOOOOOOOOONG line of people. We figure they're waiting to check in. Nope, they're waiting to go through security. Only 1 line for 4 airlines. One line with over 100 passengers in it. It's not looking good.
The kind business lady behind me told me that sometimes when she travels with her kids and there's a long line, she goes to the security guard and asks if she can perhaps go through the security check point reserved for pilots and flight attendants and they usually say Yes. I hate this kind of stuff, but off I go to beg the security guard if he'll let us do that so we don't miss our flight. No sooner have I gotten the words out about having 2 little ones with me that he matter-of-fact tells me in the flatest tone, "Reschedule your flight."
We figure we might as well go ahead and go through security and reschedule on the other side since our bags are already on their way to MN. And in a low moment I then decide since they are being oh, so nice, I'm going to be oh, so nice too and take my sweet time taking off my shoes, the kids shoes and basically unpacking all 100 carry-ons for the x-ray machine to scan. Yea, a little passive agressive move - not so proud of it now - but that ticketing agent KNEW when he checked us in that there was absolutely no way we were going to make our flight...and I DID have time to redistribute those 3lbs. to save $50 bucks! OK, I'm over it now :) We finally get through security, go to reschedule our flights (which means we missed our connecting flight in Milwaukee too) and are re-routed to Atlanta with minutes to spare, but with a much longer layover that puts us in Minneapolis 3 hrs. later than originally planned. 3 hrs = no big deal. 3 hrs with 2 restless little kids = NO FUN!
Luckily, the littles were WONDERFUL on the plane. Baby Hudson spent most of his time like this: And Grace had fun checking out the clouds and trees ("broccolis" she called them), and playing with her chalk mat
(tutorial coming soon!) A couple of movies later (THANK YOU Mr. DVD Inventor!) we landed in Minneapolis!!! And although by now I had a full-blown case of laryngitis and no voice, the crazy flight mishaps were all worthwhile just to see my dear friend Angel in person (2 camera happy girls = papparazi like adventures :) and watch our littles play and giggle like they had known each other all their lives. More on our trip to the Zoo, Mall of America, and glorious time spent with THE sweetest family and BEST HOSTESS ever coming soon but for now check out Angel's Chicken & Wild Rice Soup. It is seriuosly THE.BEST.SOUP.EVER. She even topped it off by making this wonderful peanut butter pie for dessert. Told you she was an amazing hostess :)