Wednesday, August 06, 2008

My little traveler

Mmmkay, I know I said I wouldn't be posting on vacation (and I probably won't be posting too much over the next week), but booger's napping and I HAD to tell you about what a circus yesterday was!

I awoke yesterday at 4 a.m. to check the status of our 6:10 a.m. flight. Initially, the Web had it reading as "delayed," but not by how much. Thinking it might only be an hour or so, I still starting getting everything ready and loading the car. Before I woke the baby, though, I checked it again. The flight now read "delayed - 3 hours and 30 minutes." Eeek! Needless to say, I let Clay sleep. Quickly realizing that a delay of this magnitude would affect our ability to make our connecting flight, I started searching for the next flight from Houston to Portland. (We had originally carefully arranged things - and paid $150 more than the cheapest ticket - to purchase a ticket with the shortest total travel time. Beause toddlers, as you probably know, are not patient little people.)

With the delay, we'd be ariving in Houston at about 11 a.m., way too late to make our connecting flight (which, miraculously, left Houston on time at 9 a.m.). Sooo, when was the next flight for Portland leaving for Houston? FOUR P.M. I kid you not. Due to some storm activity off the coast of Texas, tons of flights out of Houston were cancelled or delayed. Those that were leaving were FULL. So, sitting there at about 6 a.m., I had to make a choice: 1.) Chuck the whole trip and try again later. 2.) Summon my courage and have the agent book us on the 4 p.m. flight.

Being a woman of either immense chutzpah or extreme stupidity, I chose the latter. We arrived at the Jackson airport at about 8:30 a.m. for the now 9:45 a.m. flight. They confirmed that the phone agent had, indeed, re-booked me for the 4 p.m. out of Houston. Security was a breeze. It looked for a minute as though our flight out of Jackson would be delayed again (or even cancelled), but in the end, we boarded and took off at 9:45 a.m.

This flight was fairly uneventful. I had to hold booger the whole time due to turbulence (even though there was an extra seat next to me), and he didn't love that. But we managed, and he fell asleep shortly before we touched down. He continued to sleep for about an hour in the Houston airport. (Thank God I gate-checked the stroller. He was quite cozy in there.) I took the opportunity to have a nice, protein-packed lunch, as I had no idea if I'd eat again that day. By the time I finished, he was starting to wake up, so I put him in the restaurant high-chair (which I mercifully remembered to have brought over earlier) and fed him.

Then, we proceeded to our gate, where I re-confirmed we were on the 4 p.m. flight and confirmed that, so far, it was still going out. (If this flight had been delayed, I'd already resolved to grab a cab and get a hotel for the night in Houston. There's only so much a little 13-month-old can take.) Oh, and I must take a moment to mention that Continental Airlines put an angel at gate C32 on Aug. 5. When Debbie saw that I was traveling with little man, she re-assigned my seat so that we had three seats in a row all to ourselves. This helped immensely during the flight. She also had a fabulous attitude. I am writing a letter to Continental about how wonderful she was.

For the next few hours, I put Clay's little toddler harness on, and, man, we walked ALL OVER Concourse C. We inspected the shops. We listened to our voices echo under the domed ceiling. We made friends with other travelers. We played with other babies in the concourse. I wore that child OUT. And the kid was good. Not alot of fussing. No fits. Just a bunch of curiosity about everything going on and a really surprising flash of outgoing personality. (Which, considering how shy the kid is, I am still finding difficult to comprehend.) I mean, the dude made FRIENDS.

By the time we finally boarded at 3:45 p.m., I was sure that he'd either conk out on the plane or throw some serious tantrums. To my absolute shock, he kid amused himself happily for about 3 1/2 hours with me, with the few toys we brought, with the cute little boy sitting behind us, and with the absolutely saintly older gentleman across the aisle from us, who must have played peek-a-boo with him for so long that his arms ached.

During the last half hour of the flight, his little head finally dropped onto my shoulder, but he perked back up in the baggage claim and was awake for the whole ride from the airport to Grace's apartment. I gave him a quick bath and put him to bed (where he fussed for maybe 15 minutes before passing out from sheer exhaustion) while she went and picked us up some Pad Thai.

May I simply say a prayer of thankfulness? This little guy continues to blow my mind. Today, we've mainly futzed around the apartment and adjusted to the new schedule. (I got some heavenly cuddle time with him this morning in the bed! Usually, he wakes up and he's raring to go. This morning, though, he allowed me to snuggle with him for nearly 30 minutes before deciding to check out the apartment.)

He's napping now, and when he wakes up, it's off to the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry! Let's hope that, though enjoyable, it's WAY less of an adventure than yesterday.


Sandi said...

Wow ... what a great kid! Most toddlers would be holy hell to travel with. Glad you made it to Portland all right, even if delayed, and that all went well. You do need to write a letter to Continental ... good customer service is a rare thing!

HEATHER said...

So glad the travel went well!
Have a fun trip!

SLM Mom said...

Glad things went as well as they could. Did you do all this by yourself or was your husband with you?

Nicole Bradshaw said...

I handled the flights (both there and back) on my own. Hubs was traveling on business during each week, though he did meet up with us in Portland over the weekend.