Date: June 30th, 2010
A 28 hour day consisting of:
14 hours flying time,
7 hour layover,
4 hours driving time,
3 hours of customs, baggage, & other miscellaneous things,
4 children under the age of 7,
& one exhausted momma
I still can't believe I actually survived the day. We woke up SO early, got ready & finished the final packing, then drove 2 1/2 hours to the Frankfurt airport. (Might I add that we had to fill up on gas on the economy which cost us $120.00. . . I'm SO happy to be in the good ole' US of A where gas is affordable.) Trek took us as far as he could go & then waited patiently behind as we went through security. Everything went well until we hit the passport kiosk. They seriously almost made us miss our plane because we didn't have a Germany stamp in our passport. They wanted to know why. I told them that Germany has never stamped our passports. Seriously. . . we've flown to the states once for Christmas & they didn't stamp them. We've been all over Europe & the only place that has EVER stamped them was England. Well, he figured out we were military & he told me I couldn't fly to the states without ID cards for the kids. STUPID. The military doesn't issue cards for the kids until they are 10. Well, we found back & forth (IN GERMAN) almost making us late for our flight. He took me to another dude that spoke English & that guy apologized & called the guy giving me a hard time an idiot. =0)
So we RAN to our plane & made it just as it was boarding. We were all in one row. . . me & the little ones next to the window, & Cadence & Lorien in the middle section across from us. I about died when I looked around. No TV's, No movies, NOTHING for my kids to do. Ugh. Luckily I had thought in advance & planned for this situation just in case. Inside the kids' backpacks were 10 new toys/books/etc. labeled with numbers. Each hour & a half they got to take the next toy out & play with it. For their first toys, the older girls got new barbies & Taya got a baby doll. They loved them.
They played for about an hour while we got snacks & drinks. Then they fed us a fabulous lunch. The kids got kids meals so they were happy & my meal was pretty good too. After that I was a sneaky mommy & gave each of the kids a small dose of Benedryl. (I know. . . bad mom. . . I just wanted the flight to go quickly for them too.) Well, it kicked in about 45 minutes later & I was cracking up watching all 4 of them falling asleep at the exact same time.
I was on top of the world. I had managed to put 4 kids to sleep without any trouble at all. Hooray for me! But right in the middle of my celebration (aka 15 minutes later), Bladen woke up happy & HYPER! OH NO YOU DON'T! I couldn't believe it. He was WIDE AWAKE! But here's the kicker. . . all 4 kids woke up within a half hour of falling asleep, & they stayed awake for the entire flight. Yup. . . talk about a LONG flight. They at least had their "toys." And the stewardess gave Cadence a "Sorry" game to play so she was happy. But I was SUPER glad when we landed at LAX.
So, we landed, went through customs in the front of the line (nobody wanted to sit & listen to kids cry, so they let us go first), & got our baggage. A nice little family saw all of us & very nicely helped me load up my baggage cart. Their teenage son helped me out into LAX with my stuff (4 carseats, a double stroller, a huge suitcase, 3 backpacks, a purse, & a large carryon bag). Opa, Oma, & Tarrish SHOULD be waiting for me. . . or NOT! I looked around & couldn't see them anywhere. I started to panic. After about 15 minutes of wandering around, I made my way to a pay phone & tried to call dad. Nobody answered on his cell, so I called Tarrish. (By the way, that dumb pay phone charged me $7 for the call to dad & $8 for the call to Tarrish. . . stupid pay phones!) They were in the wrong terminal. The mom of the family helping me let me borrow her cell phone so I ran outside & started running towards the other end of the airport & then Tarrish got outside & started running in my direction. After about 10 minutes we finally met up. THANK HEAVENS. I was terrified. Once we were all together I felt good & safe again. We made our way to the Delta terminal & then we sat down for In-n-Out Burger & snacks. Bladen ate HALF an In-n-Out Burger. SERIOUSLY!
It was SO nice visiting with Oma & Auntie Tarrish. Opa ended up having to go to work at the last minute, so he wasn't able to join us. . . but we had a blast.
Oma & Tarrish had all sorts of fun snacks & presents for the girls. Bladen got a cute Dr. Suess character stuffed animal. He loved that thing.
Then, after 6 hours, I went back through security & got on our next flight to UT. That plane was delayed & the kids were really getting tired at this point. Taya & Bladen screamed the entire 2 hour flight. I felt SO bad for the people sitting around us. Cadence made a friend with the woman sitting next to her. She was the sweetest woman. She played Sorry with her & bought her ice cream. Cadence loved having an "adult" friend. By the time we made it to Salt Lake & to my parents, I seriously wanted to die! The world was spinning & I felt like I had some sort of vertigo. We had been awake for 28 hours & it was finally hitting me. We drove the hour & a half to my brother's house (I had to meet my nephew for the first time, of course), & then home. You'd think I'd sleep like a baby, but no, Bladen got up at 4 am wanting to play. And so the jet-lag begins. But boy are we glad to be in the good ole' US of A again. HOORAY!!