Sunday, June 13, 2010

Vacation Lessons

Hi All!

I've been totally MIA recently because of a super-de-duper busy May/June.

Since May 27, we've had two weddings (I was in one of them), a rehearsal dinner, our first family vacay, Ben's first (and second) flight, our first garage sale and a totally awesome robot-themed 2nd birthday party.

Phew! I am tired just typing all of it.

I have lots to share, so, my goal is to do it in chronological order.

First topic: how we almost didn't make it to Florida. (yikes!)

Admission: I am a planner.
Reality: Sometimes, things don't go as planned.

This was the case with our trip from Columbus to Fort Lauderdale. Despite my page-long itinerary (which was updated and sent daily via e-mail the week before vacation) we still woke up late, the cab still arrived nearly 10 mins late AND we arrived at the airport JUST IN TIME to check baggage.

Then, we were charged extra for our checked bag because it was too big. So, the bag that we fly with EVERY vacation, that we've never had a problem with, that weighed LESS than 50 pounds, cost us $65! To fly a HUMAN to Fort Lauderdale cost only about $75. Needless to say, Brian was NOT happy.

After forking over the credit card we all got in line for security. ("We all" is me, Brian, Ben, my sister, my mom and my dad. We were quite an entourage.) Just as I'm thinking to myself: This stinks. I'm not even going to have time to get my traditional airport Starbucks.... Brian (still fuming from the bag fee) realizes the you-know-what of a ticket agent didn't print his boarding pass. So he heads back to the moves-like-molasses line to get his boarding pass as we tackle the security screening.

As we approach our gate (sans Brian, mind you) passengers are boarding. Yikes! Then.... my phone rings.

It's Brian.

And he says he's not getting on the plane.

But, he says I should get on anyway.

Wait. What?

Panic begins to set in...I tell him I'm not leaving without him. He tells me that missing my flight would be stupid because clearly there's a glitch with his ticket, but if I purposely miss my flight, we're going to have to pay an arm and a leg to get to Florida.

We still don't know why, but the airline was telling him that he owed the airline $400 for his ticket. (How you can book a ticket and still owe money is beyond me, but that is what they told him.)

He spent TWO hours on the phone with Priceline and Air Tran and by the time we landed in Atlanta, he'd been re-booked on another airline arriving in Fort Lauderdale at 7 p.m.

While he was on the phone with customer service, we were in the air. With a two-year-old lap child. Who was NOT happy with sitting on the runway. The time between boarding and taking off seemed like an ETERNITY. Ben was not happy... and my well-thought-out book bag full of goodies that had been carefully, individually wrapped by my mom turned into a book bag full of missiles.

I think my most uttered phrase that day was "I'm sorry." And it was nearly always spoken right before we took off. But once we took off and we powered up the portable DVD player, Ben was fine. My little sister was a savior on these flights because she was able to entertain Ben, fish things out of carry on bags and just generally make me smile. If you're traveling with lap child, you should try and get my sister to fly with you. She's great.

My aunt and her friend met us in Fort Lauderdale -- coolers full of food -- and helped up find and get comfy our Miami condo/home for the week.

... and about 5 hours later (about 14 hours after we woke up), my dad and I went BACK to Fort Lauderdale to get Brian.

When all was said and done, it took about 16 hours to get the entire family to our vacation destination. We were tired -- but we all slept GREAT that night.

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