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Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Chirpy and Grumpy (Barely) Make Their Flight

We usually do our annual trip to Georgia at Christmas with extra trips occasionally for weddings and such. But this year, knowing that we'd have two "infants in arms," we decided to save ourselves the headache of travelling with the holiday rush and make a trip out in the Fall instead.

We booked a super early flight, leaving at 7:45 AM. I wanted to get there in time to have dinner with friends and I wanted to have plenty of time to get through the airport on the ATL end and pick up our rental car and everything. 

From our house we can get to the airport in 15 minutes with no traffic, and we needed to leave our car in the airport parking lot so we decided to shoot for leaving the house at 5:30. We felt that this would give us plenty of time to park the car and make it to our gate in time to board at 7:15. And it probably would have if we had actually left the house at 5:30. 

For whatever completely idiotic reason (probably because parenting and lack of sleep has melted our brains), we set our alarms for 5 AM. As if half an hour was enough time to accomplish the following:
1. mom shower/brush teeth/dress/blow dry
2. dad brush teeth/dress
3. dress both babies and change diapers
4. give Henry a bottle
5. make coffee
6. cook breakfast of bacon and eggs because otherwise the bacon would go bad
7. eat bacon and eggs for breakfast
8. clean up from breakfast 
9. pack last minute items 
10. check the apartment to make sure important things are unplugged/turned off
11. load the car
12. put babies in car seats

Half an hour. Guess how long it actually took us. An hour and a half. 

So we leave the house a full hour later than planned. Give or take a few minutes. We pull into SFO and we're looking for signs for long-term parking. We see no such signs. Then it hits me like a palm to a forehead: long term parking is off a different exit!

Back on the freeway we go, and I'm going, "Um, ok, it's been a long time... but I'm pretty sure we need this exit... off this freeway... no... no, yeah... go that way!" And James is very dubious and doubtful about my directions, but somehow I convince him to follow them and we did, in fact, make it to the correct lot. At 6:45. So we now have half an hour 'til our expected boarding time. Half an hour to accomplish the following:
1. Lug our stuff and babies to the shuttle stop
2. Lug our stuff and babies onto a shuttle bus
3. Ride the bus to the terminal
4. Wait in line for check in
5. Check our bag and car seats
6. Get through security - this is the big one. Airport security can take for. ev. er. 
7. Walk to our gate - which thankfully at SFO is not far. 

At this point, I was no longer Chirpy. I was feeling nauseated at the idea of missing our flight and having to fly standby with these babes. To make matters worse, there were no luggage cart thingies in the long-term parking lot because you can't roll those luggage cart thingies onto the shuttle. So, Thank God I bought these awesome car seat covers that come with shoulder straps. We each slung a car seat over a shoulder and James dragged the suitcase while I pushed the stroller. Henry was in the Ergo carrier strapped to me. Sure enough we made it onto the bus, to the terminal, checked in, and then arrived at the long, depressing security line. If I'd developed any hope of catching the flight, the sight of that line squashed it. 

James came to the rescue. He told the TSA agent manning the entrance to the line our sob story about having 15 minutes till departure (that was an exaggeration), and having "all these babies." Luckily, she took pity on us (though I think she rolled her eyes a little) and let us cut to the front of the line! We stumbled through the security checks and managed to roll up to the gate while the herd of passengers was still boarding. Then, we cut the line again (I felt like kind of a jerk, but James insisted that the babies ensured us line-cutting privileges) and boarded. 


The flight itself went pretty well. Henry's first airplane trip! Wish I could say the same about our return trip, but that is another story for another post.

Baby Henry on his first flight! He is just about to turn 3 months old. 

There were no changing tables on this plane, so I had to change Henry's diaper in my lap!

We learned when booking this flight that you can't have two "infants in arms" in the same group of seats because there is always only one extra oxygen mask. So James and I sat across the aisle from each other and each of us held a baby. I don't have pictures of Calvin on this flight! It was hard to take pictures at all with our arms full of babies, but luckily we got these precious few of Henry on his first flight. And really, we were lucky to make the flight at all!

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