We are here.....in Washington D.C. The kids and I flew across the country on Tuesday. Josiah, Elisha, and Isaiah have flown before when we came out for my brother's wedding, but they remember little. Josiah was around 2 yrs. 9mo. old and actually does remember that he had lunch on the plane. That was his best memory - he liked the little snack boxes that they gave (these days you are lucky if you get a pack of pretzels). He remembers that he had yogurt and a banana and that he didn't eat anything else in there. Elisha was 22 months and remembered that they had little tables (the little pull down trays).....and presents. I gave the kids each a backpack last time with little, tiny wrapped gifts so that they had something fun to do. They got to unwrap a little thing every hour. Nothing big - things like a sucker, a little tiny baby doll, crayons and a note pad. It made things go more quickly for them (and me!). Isaiah was 6 months old and, of course, remembers nothing - he didn't get a backpack!
This trip was fun for them; they were great and loved flying. They took turns sitting in the coveted window seat and got many compliments on their very good behavior. The flight attendants on both flights made a point to come over and tell me how well behaved and polite they were. One came over and told me that all the flight attendants were so impressed and talking about it and wanted to know my secret. I was so dumbfounded that I missed a great opportunity to tell them that God gives grace for every day. Not that I expected them to misbehave, but I guess I didn't realize it was that out of the ordinary behavior. Even the passengers around us commented to me as they got off the plane. I am sure that it was a relief for them. When they got to their seats and saw my entire "basketball team" sitting there, they probably thought "oh, great!! I get the daycare area!" and were expecting a long and miserable day.
We started off our very LONG day by driving to Spokane, WA. Flights out of our little Kalispell airport are about $250 more per person than they are out of Spokane. Brad drove us all over (4 1/2 hours over) and we left him at security which was NO fun. Dad is way more fun than mom and would have made the day much more exciting. We were awaiting our first plane, wondering why the plane wasn't there yet and why the airline staff wasn't at the gate when we were supposed to be boarding. It was then that we realized there is a time difference between MT and WA....we were an EXTRA hour early. We arrived at the airport just before noon and our flight left at 2:19. Well, we THOUGHT we arrived at 12. It was really 11. So....we had a long wait. We found a corner and I read aloud (trying to finish Cyrus the Persian) and then we finally got to board.
We stopped in Denver and played on the moving sidewalks for a while (nice time waster) then got some pretzels - the big, soft kind that they dip in butter and then roll in cinnamon sugar - wow. I got a coffee at Seattle's Best (thinking of you, Peggy Sue) which I desperately needed and which the indifferent girl at the counter, with no customer service skills, severely messed up (no extra shot, AND wrong size). Can you tell I was just a bit upset? Don't mess with my coffee or you just may get unattractive representation on my blog!!!
We finally boarded for Baltimore (we flew into Baltimore, MD, but my folks live in Alexandria, VA). Here's the part that got a little tricky. Micah and Elias both fell asleep about 45 minutes before we landed. We arrived at 12:26am!!! argh. That's only 10:26 MT time, but still (and we still had an hour drive to get to my parents' house)! They wouldn't wake up. We tried and tried. Elias looked awake, but was still asleep freaking out and trying to claw through the airplane window. Micah was dead to the world. Their stuff was everywhere. Everyone else was off the plane, thankfully, or they would have retracted their former comments. One flight attendant carried Micah off for me (also a mother of 5 grown kids, praise God) while Isaiah crawled around on the floor gathering anything that might be left. I carried Elias and the rest of the gang carried the stuff. I am so thankful for helpful flight attendants. They were all so nice, even with it being so late and them, no doubt, wanting to be off the plane and on their way home.
So, the day was pretty eventful for all, but mostly in a good way. I was hoping to get some reading done on the plane, but did not even so much as crack a book. Duh - travelling alone with 5 kids - reading? What was I thinking?