Wednesday, July 23, 2008


If anyone ever asks you if you would be willing to fly to the opposite corner of the country with a 1 and 3 year old... STANDBY ... starting with a red eye flight...from Seattle (yes, that's a five-hour drive from us) ...RUN AWAY! Did I mention there were 2 connections each direction? Well, that's what we did over the weekend. Jealous, right? Now here's the whole story: Joe's dad (a man with big ambitions and good intentions) wanted to fly us to North Carolina to surprise his mom at her 50th birthday party. I think that he had the idea kind of late in the planning stages and so by that point the airline tickets would have been outrageous so instead he pulled some strings with a friend who works for American Airlines to have us fly standby. In all fairness, I agreed to the crazy plan (I'd never flown standby before and didn't really know what I was agreeing to). Why he had us leave from Seattle instead of Spokane, I'm still not sure, but that's what we did. So, the trip started when I left the house on Thursday at 3:00 with the boys, picked up Joe on the South Hill and then kept going to Seattle.

These were taken shortly after we left for Seattle at the beginning of the
trip...they had no idea what was in store for them!

The boys in Seattle, watching as the first flight the we were supposed to be on, was leaving...without us!

The flight we were hoping to get on was at 9:45 going to New York (JFK). From there we were supposed to make a connection to North Carolina (RDU). There weren't seats for us on the first flight. Ouch. We ended up taking a flight at 11:30 to Boston. In the morning we got a connection from Boston to JFK at 8:00 EST. In JFK we didn't make the 12:30 connection to RDU (it was full) and it didn't look good for the 5:00 or 9:00 flights either. So, it was starting to look like we were stuck in New York. Joe talked to our airline friend and she suggested some other airports that were within a couple hours from Raleigh. So, we ended up getting on a 2:30 connection to Richmond, VA. That was good. At least we were getting closer to our destination. Keep in mind that my this time we'd been travelling for close to 24 hours straight with no sleep (at least for me, the boys all got at least some sleep on the red-eye from Seattle). We were stuck in the plane, waiting for our turn to take off for an hour at JFK, the whole flight was only supposed to be 55 minutes. We finally got to Richmond just before 5:00 and waited about an hour there for our ride. THEN we had a two-hour drive ahead of us to actually get to Raleigh, plus we were starving and had to stop for dinner, plus our bags were at a different airport than us. They made in on the flight to RDU, even though we didn't. After all was said and done, we got to the hotel at about 11:00 PM, I'd be up for 40 hours and travelling for about 32 hours straight. Miserable doesn't even start to describe how I felt! The worst part was that we would spend Saturday with his family and then have to turn around and do the whole trip again on Sunday! It turns out, though, that it looked better for us to take flights on Monday and the trip coming home was much less traumatic, not what I would call fun, but managable. We flew from Raleigh to New York to San Diego to Seattle and then drove home. No missed flights and no red-eyes. The boys were troopers through the whole thing, I was amazed and how well they did with it all.

The two days that we got to spend with Joe's family were great, except that I felt somewhat like a zombie the whole time because of lack of sleep. Sam and Andrew ate up the attention from Grandma and all the other new "audience members". It made me wish, once again, that there was a way that we could live close to both sets of grandparents, but I don't really see that ever happening! They took us on a tour around their family's old neighborhood and that was fun to hear stories and go see things that were part of Joe's childhood. The birthday party was a success, except for the food, but that's a whole other story that I probably won't get into! Pearl was a little mad that Phillip had put us through the whole standby ordeal and felt horrible for it, even though it was in no way her fault or responsibilty. Overall, there were enough good things to offset the bad and I'd say (now that it's in the past) that any time that boys get to spend with their grandparents is worth some sacrifice. But I'm never doing that again!


Kristin said...

oh chari! this is hilarious! but SO not! it reminds me of flying to get to ryan in nc with both kids and missing flights/changing flight times etc. at least i didn't have to turn around and go back! what a fun memory though. i hope pearl was surprised. i can still hear her on sam's birthday asking where her "sammy" was! it was classic!

Valerie said...

hmm, you could have stayed home and come to girls night at Red Robin with us.

But what you did sounds like fun that not-at-all sort of way.

Matt, Rachel, and Madden said...

Wow, I'm impressed that you survived. I'm about to jump on a 7 hour flight with Madden. I'm hoping it goes smoothly, that's what fruit snacks are for!

Melanie said...

Oh...what an ordeal. I think I would have gone CRAZY and taken my whole family with me. You must be a better woman than I. I'm glad you are back and that everyone is in one piece.
I sure hope your boys slept in on Tuesday!

Amy said...

Chari I have been gone forever it seems like I am glad you got to go the the birthday party to bad you had to stay up for 40 hours. What a trooper you are. So I think my toe might be ready for some running I am going to try and go tomorrow. Can't wait to talk to you.