Friday, January 02, 2009

flying solo yet not solo

I know some of you already got the scoop on my trip with the girls, but for those of you whom didn't here it goes...

The morning of November 18 we left our house here in Jalostotitlan with two bags packed as much as one can pack two bags and with a diaper bag of baby supplies. Travelling is not a fun process and adding two small children to it is not fun.

At the time Bella was about 23 months and Emily was 8 months. You can now understand why I was dreading flying without Jorge to the US.

Because I am not Supermom and because they don't allow two babies per lap, I had a seat for myself (with Emily on my lap) and one for Bella. The way to the US we had two flights to tackle. The first flight was just under 2 hours and was in a plane with three seats across (one on one side and two on the other). That was the first thing of greatness. The three of us could share two seats with out worrying about little feet kicking any unsuspecting neighbors. The girls were pretty good throughout the flight except for the descending. When that air pressure changes in the cabin all bets are off. The SCREAMING starts and doesn't stop for about 5 to 10 minutes.

The second flight was even better because the airline changed my seat assignment and we had three, count them, three whole seats to ourselves. That was GREAT! I had enough room to change a poopie diaper. I am sure my neighbors loved that. Descending was the same, screaming girls. Both were on my lap laying their heads on me and thankfully for the flight attendant she didn't ask me to buckle Bella in. You know, safety and all, they want you to only have the "lap child" on your lap. After the 10 minutes of screaming stopped all was great. We were in the US and were within a 5 minute walk of having someone else carry Emily.

Now, I thought things went pretty smoothly during the trip over and was wishing the same for the return flight. I guess the genie had already granted my three wishes.

The flight on December 22 I was to catch in Indy was delayed because of the weather up north. It was scheduled to leave at 3:05 pm but left at 4:46 pm instead. The airline staff told me it would be a close call but I would have enough time to catch my connecting flight in Houston. That flight was scheduled to leave at 6:25 pm and it did...without me. I was running down the airport (a lady from my first flight running with me carrying Emily) and it was 6:37 pm.

Still in shock from missing the only Continental flight to Aguascalientes, I stood in line to reschedule my flight. At this point I am totally exhausted and my arm feels like breaking off from holding Emily. I only have a couple diapers left and one bottle for Emily. I was told there were no flights available until the next day. I am surprised I didn't scream like the girls were earlier.

The airline offered to put me up in a hotel and gave me food vouchers. Both were greatly appreciated and momentarily gave me a little relief. I was told were to go to catch the shuttle to the hotel. I went there (Houston's Bush International airport is HUGE!) and waited while struggling to get change out of my pocket book to make a phone call while holding Emily, the diaper bag and fighting with Bella to stay standing and stop crying.

After making the calls I went back outside to ask about the shuttle. A guy on the airport staff called the hotel and the hotel wanted me to go to a different terminal to wait for the shuttle. Now I have to trek across this HUGE airport (using an underground tram at one point) and wait AGAIN for the shuttle. By now my arm is about to give out and Bella has really had it. She is refusing to walk and crying like someone has stabbed her with a knife. I have no other choice than to continue dragging her. Poor girl (and poor me).

I approach an airport staff member for the second time asking her to recall the hotel. Just as I did the shuttle shows up. THANK GOD! Now I am on the shuttle hoping that this hotel has a mini store so I can buy diapers and other needed items. Let's just say my luck was gone by this time.

The hotel was a dump! They have nothing, no store, no food, no good customer service. After settling in the room and wondering how the night is going to be with a 9 month old and a king sized bed I call to the front desk offering to pay someone to go and buy diapers for me. The guy at the front desk tells me he would but he can't leave his post. But, he says I can come ask the shuttle bus driver.

Bella is sleeping in bed and Emily has fallen asleep on my shoulder so I walk down with my wallet with Emily. The shuttle bus driver motions for me to get in but I motion back for him to roll down the window. I reminded him I have another little girl in the room. He told me that the gas station is right down the street and would only take a minute. I pray that Bella remains asleep and hop in the van.

He was right, no more than 20 seconds and we were at the gas station. There was ONE pack of 10 diapers left. They were mine! I bought some milk and bananas as well. I offered to buy the driver something but he refused. All of 3 minutes later we were back at the hotel. I hurried upstairs to hear silence. Bella never woke up.

We made it through the night and got to the airport to wait out our wait. There were 2 more planes in our future. The first to Mexico City and then to Aguascalientes. We made both flights and finally saw our dear daddy and husband at 5:35 pm on December 23. Since Continental had to rebook me with Aero Mexico I had to wait at the airport until the Continental flight got there at 8:37 pm with my bags. The airline told me that my bags would be on that flight.

We waited around and no bags came. When was something going to go right. My bags ended up coming in the next day in two different flights. When they had all three bags they sent them in a taxi to us. We leave about 1 hour and 15 minutes from the airport. So, around 10 pm on Christmas Eve my bags showed up.

That is my crazy story of travelling with the girls by myself. You can now see why I don't look forward to the next trip. Of course they will be older but still a handful.

1 comment:

Tara from Me and the Mexican said...

Wow! Major kudos on handling all those twist and turns.