I have come to the conclusion that crazy things are bound to happen when I am involved. I guess I wasn't thinking when I thought that this flight could go without incidence. I have to write it down so I never forget the details of our crazy traveling experience.
We woke up between 3-3:30 am Monday morning. We were all excited and ready to see Grandma and Papa. David and Annabelle were pumped about the plane ride and their new toys and snacks. I was super excited to see my parents and spend the Christmas season with them. Little did we know that later on that day we would make air traffic history--seriously.
We got to the airport, went through security and boarded our flight all without trouble. The 4 hour flight began and all three kids cooperated. They were all well behaved and happy. I was thinking--wow, this really isn't that bad. We only have one more flight left and it is a short one. Before I know we'll be walking on the snowy grounds of Michigan--hahahaha---NOT!
We landed in Minneapolis and I let the kids play in the play area for a little while. We went to the next gate and boarded the plane. David and Elijah were sleeping before the plane took off and Annabelle was fighting sleep--aka crying. After about 20 minutes of her crying she fell asleep. I looked at all three of my sleeping children and thought--great, we will be in Michigan in about another 20 minutes and this will all be over. I no sooner thought that and the pilot gets on the speaker informing us that the check engine light has come on and we will be returning to Minneapolis. All my hopes and dreams came crashing down. We were already half way there and now we had to turn around.
We got back to Minneapolis and began to deplane. That is when I noticed that Annabelle was covered--I mean covered--in poop. Apparently when I thought she was crying because she was tired she was crying because she had to poop. I thought she kept saying "back hurt" because she wanted out of her car seat but now I realize she must have been saying "butt hurt" because she needed a potty--yup, another mother of the year award goes to me. This is when my "angels" appeared. A young guy--without being asked--simply unloaded my car seat and got the stroller ready for me. Another lady, who was traveling with her 3 year old son (coincidence--I think not), scooped up Elijah and David and brought them to the terminal. I, on the jet way, proceeded to clean poop off Annabelle, myself and the bjorn. It was everywhere. I had no extra clothes. She was wearing a t-shirt, pull-up, socks and shoes and I smelled like poop. We had 15 minutes before we had to re board so I tried to recompose myself and think that it couldn't get any worse--joke on me!
We boarded the next plane and sat there for about a half hour when the pilot came on and informed us that they were having "mechanical issues". He then told us that it was the "lavatory". We all promised to hold it for the hour flight but that was not an option. We had to sit on the runway another 45 minutes until they fixed the issue. I was so thankful for that mom and 3 year old little boy. David and that boy quickly became best friends and played the whole time--oblivious to the fact that we weren't flying. We finally took off and made it to a little airport in Iron Mountain.
Everyone got off the plane except for me and the kiddies. We were suppose to continue on for a ten minute flight to Escanaba--our final destination--but apparently while we were in the air from Minneapolis our flight was cancelled--the one we were on. The pilot was furious saying over and over that the FAA is going to be all over this because no one knew that we were actually flying. Wow--we were flying a flight that had been cancelled and no one knew we were in the air. He then said that this has probably only happened 10 times in air traffic history--a cancelled flight flying anyway. Since we were "cancelled" we couldn't fly to Escanaba. I had to sit on the plane for another 1.5 hours while they decided if they were just going to fly us to Escanaba or get a taxi. We weren't allowed off the plane because of some TSA regulations. They kept going back and forth between the two options while Daivd and Annabelle ran up and down the aisle of the plane.
At this point--I nearly lost it. I thought I was going to start crying right then and there but I managed to hold it together. They concluded that we were now going to take a taxi to Escanaba--a one hour drive. We got off the plane--in the 8 degree weather--and went inside the airport. We sat for almost an hour and then the taxi came. We drove to Escanaba only to find out that our luggage was in Detroit--not sure why it was there. I wanted to cry--I mean really cry.
The whole day had gone by and my kids had not had a single meal. They ate all the snacks that I had packed which I am so thankful that I packed so many. After we all sat down in the airport I looked at David and Annabelle and could not believe how good they were all day long. They were so compliant--way more than normal--and well-behaved. Annabelle had a couple of moments when I thought she was at her breaking point but she managed to get it back together. David was super helpful--pick up this, get that, sit here, hold this. Not once did he complain. Then there was Elijah--oblivious to all that had just happened and smiling. He didn't fuss all day. Every time someone looked at him he gave them his big grin. If the kids had been wild and unruly I am not sure that I could have made it without a nervous break down.
A 6 hour day took nearly 20 hours but we made it and for that I am thankful! We had prayed that the flight would be safe and that the kids would be well-behaved and God answered both of our prayers. Maybe all the chaos was the Lord's way of teaching me a few lessons and strengthening my faith. Now i can look back and say, it really wasn't that bad. :-)