San Francisco 49ers v Carolina Panthers

Flying Is For the Birds

So I promised the story of our flight home. If you read Chris’ blog, you’ve already heard it, but here it is… Hannah style:

We walked into the Little Rock airport and entered… THE TWILIGHT ZONE! OK, not quite, but it was the most congested, disorganized, chaotic ticketing area I’ve ever dealt with. There were massive lines and not enough room for all the people. We did self check-in, where you entered yourself into the computer and then the attendants basically yelled your name until they found you to place the baggage claim stickers on your stuff. We had to beg them to notate infant in arms on our tickets. They didn’t seem to think we’d need it, but I’ve had enough security agents check it on my ticket in the past, that I wasn’t going to go without it.

Next we had to drag our luggage over to the security scanners. Now, I remember this being common when I flew in the months following 9/11, but most airports have abandoned this cluttered system for something much more civilized. But in Little Rock, they still have it in place. I felt really secure when the guard yelled out to the crowd waiting to deliver their luggage to him, “if your bags are unlocked, you can just leave them!” So we piled our luggage on top of the already built up mounds of baggage that they had yet to deal with. I’m not paranoid or anything, but anyone could come along and shove anything into a random bag… makes you wonder about the “security” of their security system.

We were already feeling like frazzled cattle being herded around, but the actual security lines definitely were the icing on the cake. In most airports, security is an orderly and dignified (besides the fact that you have to practically undress) process. But Little Rock was sticking to the cattle mentality, with a security guard shouting (yes, shouting) directions about what needed to go in little plastic bags, and threatening that if we didn’t do it right, he’d make us go back to the end of the line and do it all over again, complete with listening to his speech again. Once he was done shouting at each group and felt they were properly educated he’d release them to go through the actual security check point. The metal detector felt gentle after that treatment!

With all this chaos, we felt tired before we even started flying. We finally boarded our plane to Memphis and settled in for the flight. But such ease was not to be. We had started to taxi out when the pilot cut the engines and informed us he had bad news. There was a weather situation in Memphis and our “wheels up” time was an hour and a half. When you are flying by yourself you say, “That stinks, hope my next flight is also held up by the weather, I’ll just read my book.” But when you have a 4 year old and a 1 1/2 year old, you think, “My life is over.” Thankfully they let us deplane briefly so the kids got to stretch their legs, but when we re-boarded, it still took us another half hour to get in the air.

We finally arrived in Memphis and sure enough, our next flight had also been delayed by the weather, so we assumed everything would return to normal. We boarded that plane and sat for awhile and then the Captain got on the speakers and said he had bad news… due to lack of a ground crew, our flight was canceled!

Chris was the first person in line with the gate agent, trying to make new reservations. They told him that they couldn’t get all of us on the same flight until Friday (this was Wednesday)! He assured them that wouldn’t work so they offered to fly us into Cleveland. We took it and Pastor was so nice as to drive the 2 hours to Cleveland and get us.

So we should have gotten home at 5 PM on Wednesday and instead we got home at 1 AM Thursday. But we were just glad to get home.

Of course they lost our luggage. It was supposed to appear in Pittsburgh the next day, but for some reason they sent half of it to Atlanta. This had us a little worried, since they talked about “if” it showed up from Atlanta, they would get it to us. They finally brought it to us late Thursday night. Thank You, Jesus!

Nothing like a grueling day of flying to end your vacation with.

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San Francisco 49ers v Carolina Panthers

It’s cold in Wisconsin!

Family is forever, but it’s a good thing vacations only last for a week. We’ve been visiting my family in WI for the past week and my son has been terrorizing their house. I’m sure my parents are glad that they have their home back to normal.We had a great trip! It was Leah’s first airplane ride, but it was something like Isaiah’s ninth time. He’s a pro! Leah slept the whole way there. Isaiah wiggled a lot, but we made it.

Of course, Wisconsin was freezing. We thought we’d be all tough, since it’s only been two years since we’d lived there, but I guess we’ve gotten used to our nice California weather. We were so cold! I actually bought gloves! The upside of the cold is that it snowed while we were there! Isaiah got to go outside and play in the snow a little and he thought that was great.

Isaiah loved being at his Grandpa and Grandma’s house. Aunt Emmy played with him and Grandma helped him build tunnels for his trains, but his favorite part was Grandpa. With Isaiah, Gran and Grandma and even Mommy are nice, but Daddy and Papa and Grandpa are the best! He really likes the men in his life. Before we left he said he wanted to take Grandpa home.

My mom made all my favorite meals and we went to all my favorite restaurants, so I probably gained a bajillion pounds. Food is never as good as you remember it. And, because every day I had one of my favorites, it kind of took away the impact. A favorite once in a while is a treat, but a favorite everyday makes them all not as special. But it was still fun… because I love food!!!

We visited our favorite WI Mexican restaurant. Of course it isn’t as authentic as the amazing taquerias we have out here in Cali, but everyone who works there is Mexican, which is an important criteria in our minds! One of the ladies that works there remembered us and couldn’t believe how much weight Chris has lost. She made her husband come out and see Chris, because he wanted to lose weight but didn’t believe in diet plans. Chris is such a walking Weight Watchers advertisement!

Everywhere we went, people didn’t recognize Chris. They’d say hi to me and then look around a little and realize Chris was with me and then they would figure out who he was. The funniest was when we stopped by the Wal-Mart where Chris had been personnel manager. His old boss walked right past him and even greeted him in a generic way, thinking he was a customer. Chris’ old assistant was with us and she had to stop the boss and make him look at Chris again before he realized who he was.

It was fun to see family and friends that we haven’t seen in a couple years. Isaiah went to a Children’s Museum. And we got to shop at Buckle. Buckle is our current favorite store and we don’t have one very close to us. It’s kind of sad that we live in California and we go to Wisconsin to shop!

I had a cold when we left for WI and I still have it! Isaiah caught it half way through the trip and now Leah has it too. Leah is the saddest, because she has this little baby girl cough that would melt your heart. She was feeling really yucky yesterday and she slept a lot to try to get over it. She started smiling again last night, so I think she’s feeling a little better.

Chester is glad to be home. Poor guy, he’s been staying at the puppy hotel. He’s nice and skinny again, because he doesn’t get people scraps at the puppy hotel. He was pretty excited when he came home, but now he’s happy to go to sleep on our couch.

Isaiah is starting to tell us when he has to go potty (thank the Lord!). Today he even went in the bathroom and went potty all by himself, of his own free will. There is hope in sight! My son will not be 14 and still wearing diapers!

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