January 2, 2009

Chicago Trip, Part I

Have you ever started a travel adventure so excited, you can't hardly wait... only to wish you were curled up in your own bed with a warm blanket, a good book, and a big glass of wine? Well, that explains exactly how I felt on the day we were scheduled to fly into Chicago.

Things went without a hitch for the first part of the day. Sassy went off to preschool, and Tyler and I scrambled to pack our last minute items and get the house in order before we left (yeah... right). We knew the weather in Chicago was questionable. There had been delays at O'Hare all morning and we kept checking our flight status. When it came time to head to the airport, we picked up Lynzee (our ride) and picked up the girls from preschool. We planned a very quick lunch, but sure enough, I received a text message that our flight had been delayed 70 minutes, so we made a pit stop at Red Robin for some juicy burgers.

When we arrived at the airport, the AA line was insane!!! I ran in to check the status of our flight before we unloaded the contents of our life... I mean suitcases... onto the curb. The information booth guy told me that I would have to wait in line to speak to an AA agent to get updated flight information. Thanks, info booth guy...

By the time we got inside, checked our luggage, and made it through security with 2 kids, 2 car seats, a stroller, 3 carry-ons, and a purse, I was ready for a nap. Why hasn't someone thought of a security "vat" that you can just enter, as a whole family unit, and never have to disrobe, de-shoe, disassemble baby gear, etc. I mean, really... the process is a nightmare in itself. We trekked down to our gate (which, coincidentally, always seems to be the very last gate in the terminal, regardless of flight or airport, day or time) and got settled in.

Mind you, I purposely planned our flight during nap time in hopes the the kiddos would sleep like little angels in-flight. Well, my little angels were growing little stumps for horns due to our 70 minute delay. And, our 70 minute delay turned into a 5+ hour delay. The girls did both end up falling asleep in their respective car seats (YEAH). However, the airport's best offering for food was a stale "Great" American Bagel (BOO).

Oh, and did I mention that Little A had one of her famous blow-out diaper fiascoes? After a quick bath in the airport sink and a disposal of one more cute outfit into the trash (far better than the alternative), we had really had it!

After a very long wait, numerous ground holds in Chicago, and being told it was time to board several times only to be told otherwise **just** after we had managed to pack up every little thing strewn about the gate entrance in a panicked frenzy and pack our gear under each arm in feeble attempts to move in a forward direction like blithering idiots, we arrived at O'Hare at 10 pm. Fun times, I tell you.

Of course, we had to arrive prior to 6 o'clock to obtain our rental car, so we missed that boat by several hours. We ended up hailing a limo, which was better in the long run, because we were exhausted and the roads were a tumultuous mess of ice and snow. Thanks, limo-driver-man, for getting us home in one piece. We appreciate it. And, that concluded day one of our awesome trip home!

Little A and Daddy "all-smiles" during our airport delay!

Sassy fast asleep in her car-seat, among our junk that was everywhere!

Tyler showing off the bitter Chicago cold by "seeing his breath"

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