We have been on the ground in Houston for a little over 24 hours already, but our adventures to get here started at 4 a.m. yesterday (actually 2:50 a.m. for me, thanks to Truman) and what a wild ride it turned out to be to make it to the Lone Star State!
As many of you know, we are down here this week for my brother’s wedding and we are so excited to be able to visit them for the first time since he moved her several years ago (like before Linky, I think). And as many of you also know, traveling with little Littles is no small undertaking so Ben and I have been planning this out for months and I spent the last two days prior to leaving organizing, washing, and packing. Fortunately my parents agreed to fly with us so we could have a 1:1 kid to grownup ratio which was super helpful, but I think even they will tell you that yesterday morning turned out to be a bit more of Whoa! than any of us anticipated.
B and I have only flown once since having kids and that was out of Omaha, so leaving from Grand Island yesterday, we really didn’t know what to expect. Everyone told us, NBD, the airport is so small, it takes no time at all to get through and ready for flights, but apparently even Central NE is feeling the TSA crunch because at shortly after 5 a.m. on a Tuesday, we ran into a complete bottleneck of airport security line waiting.
Thank goodness the kids were riding high on excitement; they did just fine (OK, as fine as could be expected which means answering the same question of “When is it going to be our turn?!” 1,000x). The grownups, who are a little better at telling time and counting just how many people and minutes stood between us and the metal detectors, however, were having more trouble keeping blood pressure levels down as we waited! I mean, our plane could only hold 37 people – how could it take 45+ plus minutes for us near the end of the line, to get through?!
Yes, I realize 45 mins. is actually nothing compared to major airports, but it cut us so close to departure time, which turned out to be a joke anyway because unlike a major airport, they actually waited until everyone got through security and on the plane which meant our first flight left the ground close to 30 minutes late which means you can probably guess where this story is going.
First, however, let me stray to a side story about clouds. I love clouds. Like, addicted to watching the prairie sky, love clouds. But if you put clouds between me and cruising altitude and/or the ground? In those cases, I no longer love clouds!
And, unfortunately, we had some serious ones to get through on our way up in NE and then more on our way down in Dallas. The ascent was the worst. As in, we were bouncing around so much, I was eyes closed, taking deep breaths so as to not freak out the nursing baby in my lap or the 2yo in the seat next to me, but awkward fear giggles still burst out of my mouth more than once when we hit particularly intense pockets of air. So, so not fun! But ultimately fine because nothing was wrong with the plane and eventually we got through it so we could enjoy the “ocean” of clouds from above. And the best, best part? None of the kids freaked out or urped! Those are huge traveling with Littles WINS!
Tangent done. Back to arrival in Dallas:
Thanks to TSA and clouds, we obviously landed late in DFW. And since dear husband picked flights that left only 50 minutes between connections, the grownups were again in panic mode about time well before we hit the ground.
Although we got off the plane quickly, we still had to wait for our stroller and carry-on that had been placed in the belly of the plane (that was OK – gave everyone a chance to use the restroom and me to find out the number of our next gate) and by the time we started chugging through the terminal, we were in T-minus-10-minutes-or-less from making our next flight.
Again, the children were troopers. Well, the children that were with me, anyway.
See, we totally did the family strung out Home Alone running through the airport thing, with my mom and I leading the way with HD and RL, and my poor dad (who does not run) carrying (carrying!) the baby and Ben pushing the stroller with a pissed-off Lincoln who was screaming “Me not baby!!!” and trying to bail the entire sprint! You guys. I can’t even make this stuff up!
But the Bigs were awesome. They had their back packs on and were RUNNING their little legs off looking for Gate B-13 which turned out to be hella far away from B-39.
At one point, in the middle of some long and steamy, seemingly temporary hallway, Mom and I almost called it. It seemed next to impossible that we would make it, much less our luggage, and there are tons of flights from Dallas to Houston, so again, NBD, right?! But the kids kept up moving (and all the other boys were still somewhere behind us), so we kept moving, too.
And wouldn’t you know it?! We totally made it! We were literally the last people to rush up to the gate counter and we had to wait anxiously for 2 minutes for everyone else to catch up (Gma had run back to help Gpa with Baby), but they got there and we got on the plane! I can only imagine what all the other passengers thought when they saw us, sweaty and flustered and with four small children, boarding that aircraft! But by golly, we did it, and 37 minutes later, we were in Houston and shockingly, so were our suitcases! That almost surprised me more than us making the flight.
But here we are, deep in the heart (nope, the belly!) of Texas, settling in to our accommodations and getting some nice family time and some fun activities (so far power yoga for Mama with future-sister-in-law last night and a morning trip with the grandparents to the zoo, today). More adventures await, no doubt!