Well, we’re here. I can’t even believe that I’m typing these words. We are propped up on pillows in our hotel beds, watching Max and Ruby on our tiny portable DVD player because we can’t find the remote and the channels are weird anyway. The baby is asleep in the bathroom (seriously, Andrea, you’re my hero. How did I survive before you started giving me advice?) because we all woke up at three this morning. And by ‘we all’ of course, I mean Nick and the kids woke up and ate breakfast while I lay under the covers and shouted things like ‘be quiet!’ and ‘the next person who makes a sound, I’m gonna sew your mouth shut!’ Have I ever mentioned I’m not a morning person?
So, the flights. Oooohhh, the flights. My plan to distract myself with Disney World worked perfectly, and I didn’t start having breakdowns until Monday night. Grandpa Kenny got me thru that first one, and Nick handled the three or four on Tuesday, but all in all, I’m very proud of myself! And when three thirty Wednesday morning rolled around and it was time to get going, I just went. I’d spent all that time worrying about how I was going to do it, and it turns out, I just put one foot in front of the other and eventually landed here in Guam. Weird.
You shoulda seen the looks we got at the airport. It was four thirty in the morning, and the Orlando airport was PACKED. Good thing Nick never listens to me about airport crap- I wanted to get there an hour later! We DEFINITELY would have missed the flight. So it’s four thirty and the airport is packed, and we schlep thru the door with NINE bags to check, two strollers, three carseats, and eight carryons. Ohh, did we get some dirty looks. But you know what? We paid for our tickets, same as everyone else. Well, the Navy did, but no one knew that. As far as those nasty-lookers were concerned, we were just a regular family who shelled out their hard earned money for some plane tickets for a Disney Vacay. It’s not our fault that there’s five of us (okay, it sort of is) but it’s really not our fault that the airport lady doesn’t speak English or know how to use the computer. So next time you’re shooting dirty looks at people in the airport- it’s probably not that the family set out to destroy your flight. Seriously.
Anyway. The first leg, Orlando to Houston, could not have been more perfect. Nick and the boys sat on one side, and me and Ava sat on the other and waited for a stranger to take the empty seat by the window. Poor sucker But it ended up being a twelve year old girl who was flying alone for the first time! How PERFECT right? She was little, so she barely took up any space at all, and she totally kept Ava entertained for the ENTIRE flight. Flawless.
The next panic attack set in as soon as we got off the plane in Houston. We had a two and a half hour layover and that was just too much time to think, you know? But once again, we just kept going, and eventually we were getting on the plane. The big daddy. The screens on the seat said ‘distance to destination 6345 miles.’ Or something close, I know it was in the six thousands. It also said ‘time to destionation 13.5 hours.’ Ooooh buddy, I really lost it then. But the plane was huge (although that DID NOT translate into bigger seats or more leg room like I’d kinda hoped it would) and all the seats had little OnDemand screens on them. Nick and the big kids sat on the window side, and I sat with the baby in the middle three, with a silent Asain man who was very kind when Warren threw all his stuff at him, but who never uttered one word the entire flight.
All our planning for the flight was sort of a waste. The big kids watched TV and slept, pretty much the entire way. There were a few whinning and crying episodes, but nothing major. Not only was this trip not as bad as I’d worried it would be, it just wasn’t bad like AT ALL. The baby was fussy and obviously got sick of sitting there, but he slept a lot, and ate a lot, and was really just not that bad. During the flight, I was writing this post up in my mind and I had all kinds of clever things to say, but now that I’m here, I can’t remember any of it. I was shocked when I looked at the countdown screen and saw every hour that ticked by. It just wasn’t bad. What else can I say?
The flight from Tokyo to Guam SUCKED the big one. We knew it would. I mean, who wants to get BACK on a plane after a fourteen hour flight? Then it took FOREVER to take off, and then Ava got all frustruated when she talked to everyone around us and no one understood her. I tried to tell her that they speak a different language, like some of the people on Dora. She wasn’t having it. Poor kid.
But we finally landed, and after literally the longest part of the trip (getting our friggin bags!) we made it out and the wives from the boat were there to meet us! Hooray for built in friends! The only one I really recognized and will probably remember was Mindy, just because I’m always talking with her on FB and I knew what she looked like. She had a huge bag of snacks and drinks (good thing since we had to eat at three in the morning!) and she and the other ladies just took over while I stood there in disbelief that we were actually here. I don’t remember putting my kids in her car or anything motherly like that, so I’m assuming they took care of that too. My poor kids must think I’m retarded or something. Or at least a zombie.
Did I mention how awesome my kids are? They were SO GOOD on that flight!!! I mean, amazing. Good listeners (yes, my kids!) good eaters, helpful with the baby and their crazy mother…I’m just so grateful. They don’t seem scarred for life (yet) and they’re not even mad that I wanted to throw things at them when they woke up too early.
So that’s my story. There’s no free wifi here (what?!?!) so I’m typing this on Word until I get to a real computer. Nick is taking pictures of this little slice of paradise as we speak, and one day I’ll post those too. We’re waiting for Brandi and Harley to show up, then me and Brandi and the kids are gonna lay out at the AMAZING water park here at this hotel with the kids while Harley takes Nick to check in and talk to housing. I’m not going to think about the fact that the housing guy is an a-hole who doesn’t want to give us a house, or the fact that the off base house we were looking at renting is no longer on the market. I’m just gonna turn off the computer and roll under the covers while my baby sleeps in the bathroom and the kids melt their brains with even more TV.
Thanks again for the idea Dre!!! And Mindy…I was probably completely incoherent last night, but I’m so grateful that you were there with all your friends. I seriously would have just sat down and cried if you hadn’t been. We’d probably still be there, with me wandering around the airport aimlessly while all the kids cried about being hungry. Thanks again.