Monday, July 14, 2008

Yes, we're here...

Hey everyone! Thanks for all of your well wishes and prayers. We are in fact home and adjusting. I was going to do a post that just said

Jet Lag Sucks!!!

But, by now, I think I owe you a bit more information...

We left on time to catch the bus to the airport. We arrived in plenty of time to check in, have breakfast, and say our goodbyes. Yeah....best laid plans....

I handed over our passports to check in for our flight. The very nice lady says, "I can't find your daughter in our system." I kindly told her to check again. :o) She asked for my paper ticket. Well, I don't have one of those. You see, I DID have one, but I changed our flight. We were supposed to come home in May, I switched it to July. I was told I no longer needed a paper ticket because they had updated their system and everything was electronic. It was almost a year since I originally booked the flight, so this is highly possible. Airport lady must not have gotten this memo. She gets her manager who again kindly explains to me that my precious baby girl is not in their system. Um, yeah, I get it, but I need to get on this plane, I bought a round trip ticket, and your system is not my problem (well, apparently it is...). I asked to call the 1-800 number to talk to one of their representatives. They dialed the number. I wait the 8 min it takes to talk to a real live human, who listens to my problem and then tells me he has to transfer me to someone else. After another wait, I get Caroline. Caroline sounds sympathetic and puts me on hold...for at least 5 min. She comes back and says, yeah, you do need a paper ticket. There is a location 3 hours away (I kid you not)...I stopped her there to explain that I am IN the airport and need to GET ON THIS PLANE!!! She didn't realize I was actually AT the ticket counter. She tells me to hold on again and she will try to get a ticket number for me. I am on hold at least 5 min again, and by this time we have been at the counter for almost an hour. The manager and my husband were getting very nervous. They want us to purchase another infant ticket. How much? $450!!! Are you kidding me?!?! You want me to spend $450 for a ticket I already bought for my infant to not even have a seat?!? I was livid and perhaps making a bit of a scene. My level headed husband says, "I'm buying the ticket." me...."NO!!! I'm not spending that kind of money.....blah, blah, blah...!!!" still waiting for Caroline....Patrick turns over the credit card. You better believe Northwest will be getting a call from me!!!! And that money better be back in my account or....or.....okay, let's take a deep breath and move on...

All this drama left us little time to be emotional. We had quick kisses and goodbyes, and Adeline and I were off (with our ungodly amount of carry on baggage) to race to catch our flight. This was not the start I planned. Don't worry, the story gets better from here. We made it to the plane in plenty of time. Adeline had too much fun pointing out EVERY airplane she saw out the window. It was very cute. We flew to Tokyo...empty seat beside us...perfect place for Adeline to play. Quick layover, then the LONG flight...Tokyo to Detroit. This is where I KNEW people were praying for us. I had a window seat and AGAIN, there was an empty seat beside us. Praise the Lord!!! I knew there was an empty seat there the day before when I reserved my seat, but I was trying not to get my hopes up that it would still be there. It was!!! Before I go further, I just have to tell you about the guy beside us who had the aisle seat. Oh my, I so wish I had taken a picture....he was probably in his late 60's. He had this HUGE briefcase filled with pills (which he took every few hours), business cards, about 50 cards that looked like credit cards, and various other flight related things (oh, just wait).... He said "hi" but not much else. He had that "Oh shoot, why did I have to get the seat beside the lady with the kid?" look, and proceeded to put in his earplugs and start on his crossword puzzle. There was no eye contact again for a very long time. Adeline was standing on the floor playing on the empty seat between us, sometimes reaching for things on the floor. Since my astute mom radar sensed that he was not fond of little people, I tried to keep Adeline away. I apologized when she would bump his leg or reach for his shoelace. He said it way okay but in that "I have to be polite" way not in the "she's cute, and one, and is probably not going to sit completely still and be quiet for an entire 13 hours and so I will cut you some slack" way. I got the message. Can I tell you how AMAZINGLY well Adeline did. She cried very few times and for such a short time, I don't even think grumpy crossword puzzle man could even complain. She slept on the floor between us for about an hour and a half. Then her little head popped up and she wanted to play again. I knew she was sleepy. They brought dinner which was one of the things I was concerned about. I was going to let her continue playing, but I was afraid she would reach for something on aisle guy's tray, and we all know that would not have ended well. Adeline was sitting in zombie mode on my lap, and (clearly as a direct result of your prayers) stayed there through my entire dinner without begging for food or trying to reach for ANYTHING!!! Chalk one up for the mommy...

After dinner, they turn off the lights for sleep mode. Aisle guy gets out his eye mask, face mask (yes, people, he wore a mask over his mouth), blow up neck pillow, remember he had the earplugs in already, and blanket. He is dead to the world. Adeline is playing and then there is that oh so familiar not so fresh smell that means we need to get out of our seat. I don't want to disturb or perturb aisle guy, so I debate for some time how this scene should play out. I stand and look around for someone who may help. I lift Adeline, and one of the men across the aisle holds her while I climb over the seat. I get smiles and cheers from all around. I give Adeline a COMPLETE change (we went through 3 outfits during our journey), and then we walked around the plane for a while. I went past our seat and aisle guy woke up and started to stand. I explained that we were going to walk around for a bit and I just wanted to drop off the diaper bag. Adeline is pulling my hand, and I am fumbling to reach over aisle guy to place the bag in the seat. I feel something wet on my foot, but I don't really process what is happening. About 10 seconds later, it occurs to me that I may have just spilled wine all over the guy who already doesn't like kids and clearly does not want to be disturbed. I decided it would be a LONG time before we went back to our seats. He went back to sleep, and we climbed over him again. I put Adeline to sleep, and she slept for the rest of the flight!!! I mean like 6 hours!!! I watched a movie, was able to get some sleep, and work on my needlepoint chair covers. When he woke, I apologized to aisle guy and offered to buy him a new drink. He was very kind and assured me that it was fine. By the way, I think the drink landed on the floor, not on his lap...shew!!! He took his time getting off the plane, which was fine with me since we had a 3 1/2 hour layover. When he finally got his bags, he held up the aisle for a ridiculous length of time while he put away all of his flight accoutrements, all the while getting dirty looks from the people stuck in the aisle behind him. He gave me a smile and a nod and headed on his way. The flight attendant catches my eye, rolls her eyes, and says, "He was kind of in his own world, huh." Yes, yes he was...

While waiting for our last flight, I spread out some toys and let Adeline have some fun. Another couple arrived with two kids, and then another family with two more kids. We had a regular playgroup going on in the middle of the airport! It was great! It made the time go so much faster. The last flight was only an hour, and Adeline again slept through most of it. My parents were beside themselves with excitement to see Adeline, and she didn't disappoint. Her cuteness factor was registering very high.

Jet lag has been a struggle, but more on that another day....

22 comments:

Mari said...

I'm so glad to hear from you. I was wondering how everything went. Yeah for Adeline! She's a trooper. I loved the aisle guy story!

Dave and Jenni said...

Yay! So glad you're back and that everything went as smoothly as possible - I was praying for you. Hope you all get some rest!

Short Stop said...

SO glad you're back. Ugh...the ticket. I lost my ticket on our way back from Turkey, and had to pay $50 to get a new one. UGH.....($50 in college = $450 now??)

Adeline...what a trooper indeed. I'm so glad she slept for you, and that your mom and dad are now enjoying that baby girl!

Welcome home! :)

Musicaljean said...

Welcome to Lancaster County!!!! What a story! It reminded me very much of my flight to Sweden with Destiny when she was 1 1/2. I was never lucky enough to get empty seats next to me though. My all-time accomplishment on that trip was going to the toilet in a tiny, little airplane restroom with Destiny asleep on my shoulder! Hope I get to see you one of these days!

jj said...

Oh my. Near tears just thinking of the drama.

Kara said...

Oh my goodness. So glad you made it home safe and sound, albeit adventurous, but safe and sound. Don't you love it when you get to sit by someone on a plane that you can totally tell they are not going to think kindly of your adorable child grasping at them bumping into them periodically throughout the flight. I ALWAYS seemed to get stuck by business guys in suits when I would fly alone with Little Girl. Not fun. I'm so glad you are home. Get some rest. Let the family help with Adeline so you can see all your fingers in front of your face again! Great to hear from you.

Jen said...

So glad to hear your flight went so smoothly... you're right, all those prayers were heard! I'm so glad you're only a few minutes away instead of half a world away - I can't wait to see you soon!

John and Amanda said...

I'm so glad you provided all the details for us! I was very curious how it all played out. What a shame about the whole ticket thing. That stinks! Hey, I saw you in the bus as you were leaving Osan... I was heading there to do the DMZ tour and saw Patrick in the window and you and Adeline beside him... :(

Glad to hear it all went well! Can't wait to hear more!

krista said...

WOW...glad you made it! What a memory made, huh?

Hope the jet-delagging is as painless as possible. Can't wait to see you!

Monica said...

Welcome home! Thanks for sharing your entertaining story, one you'll never forget I'm sure. Adeline was great, what a little trooper. Good luck as you get settled and count down the days until your hubby comes home.

greg&shara said...

WOW! Your story was really funny! I can imagine it, and see it all playing out!
I can't believe the ticket situation, so NOT right!
Glad you're home safe, you will be missed!

Just Mom said...

You are more brave than I am, that's for sure. The thought of traveling with my son, without hubby, scares me.

Welcome back!

Gotta GROW with it said...

oh dear. you ARE a brave woman. the ticket problem, the race to the plane, the "aisle guy", the poopies, the spilled wine. YOU MADE IT! such a fun (only for me, i'm sure) post to read. sounds like it was quite the ordeal but so thankful it is over for you.

and that adeline...what a wonder child!

i did one of those crazy flights from portland to oklahoma city. a 20 month old who kept screaming I WANT AUNTIE and a 2 month old in my arms. up in bulkhead, next to what easily sounds like the wife of your "aisle guy". my trip was only a mere 4 hours or so. sometimes we mom's just gotta do what we gotta do and i am sure proud of you!

Mary@notbefore7 said...

Welcome back girl! That went fairly smoothly, huh? Good stuff! HOpe you get the $450 worked out...UGH UGH! But it is $450 well spent if it is all done now.

Enjoy being stateside...of course, no more korean-english phrases :)

Krazy Fam said...

Welcome back to US soil!!!! May you never have to do that flight again!!! It is a real stinker. :(

Janelle said...

You are a pro at this mommy thing. If you can handle that day with an active toddler, you should have 15 more.

Hate that you had to spend more money. I hope they compensate you somehow.

Enjoy this new season. I hope your transition is smooth.

Earen said...

I'm so glad you're back home safe & sound! What an ordeal it sounds like you had & you better get your money back for that ticket! But, sounds like the Lord allowed your journey to go as smoothly as possible. Welcome home!

TeamBolina said...

Yay for A and yay for you! You survived. :) On to the next adventure!

keenbliss said...

Oh the joys of travel. We also had one of those, "please don't get your kids' germs on me" types next to us. Luckily for us, it was pretty obvious she spoke no English, so no one felt the need for small talk! Makes me oh so excited for the treck we're about to make again in three days. Yippie. More jet lag. I'm so excited... can't you just feel my excitment? At least we have a seat for e this time!

Kristen said...

Welcome home! I am so glad things went smoothly after the ticket incident. Adeline- what a girl!

Johanna said...

Bless your hearts! Glad you are home safe. Airports are maddening!!

Alana said...

So glad you are home safe. And seriously, I am worn out just reading about your flight adventure!