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    And Back Again

    January 7, 2008 by Brandy Vencel

    It seems we cannot travel without ending up with some sort of dramatic story about missed flights. This time, we were smart and got a nonstop from LAX to Nashville, even though it meant a long drive before the flight. We find it is easier, all small children considered, for something to go wrong on a drive than on a flight.

    The flight to Nashville was surprisingly smooth considering that the infant had gotten food poisoning and been throwing up for three days before we left. We also discovered the toddler had an ear infection {or ache…something ear-ish} on the plane. We found out due to the constant crying.

    Yes, this was smooth.

    I wasn’t much of a fan of traveling before we had kids, and now I prefer to avoid it whenever possible {a drive to Pismo beach does not count when I say this}.

    The journey home was not smooth. Not even close. In fact, it smacks so much of if-anything-could-go-wrong-then-it-did that it is humorous.

    We left my mother-in-law’s home outside Nashville at approximately 4pm {2pm California time}. When we got to the airport, our flight was delayed 40 minutes because it had left LA late. Once we had boarded the plane and settled in with three kids, five bags, one baby sling, and one large car seat, we were told there was a mechanical problem they were trying to fix and they were going to have to turn the power off.

    After being without lights for 2 or 3 minutes, we were told that the repair didn’t work.

    About 30 minutes after that, we were told that we were going to be unboarding the plane soon, but not until an agent arranged an alternative for all of us. About 30 minutes after THAT, we were told that we would have a delayed departure, meaning our flight was not cancelled, but would be leaving at 7am in the morning.

    Our one consolation was a night at the Marriott. Of course, we didn’t get there until 11pm {seven hours into our “trip”}.

    In the morning, everything went much better, though we had to also carry the Christmas Box, which was large and cumbersome, not to mention too heavy for anyone but Si to carry. We now have a joke saying, “I hate that box!” because it caused so many problems.

    The flight went well and we got to Los Angeles in a little under 4.5 hours. But then we had to figure out how to get to our car with the Dreaded Box. Si decided to take A. {who was the most likely to cry if left on the curbside by noisy buses, especially after being rudely awakened by her parents at 2am California time} and a couple things on the various buses to the lot and then drive the Suburban back to pick up E., Q. and me with all of the other stuff. An hour later, he shows up with A. on foot.

    We had both forgotten that I had the car keys.

    So he set off again, and this time I didn’t see him for another 45 minutes. If you are wondering, the trip to our vehicle required not one but two bus rides. I estimate that this means Si and A. took six bus rides total, but I never asked to be sure.

    The drive home was fine. We got to our house around 3:30pm because we stopped to get some lunch for the Starving Children. So how is that? Just under 26 hours of travel.

    I must say that my in-laws saved us. I had no idea what we would do for breakfast foods for our allergic babies, and they drove the half-hour-each-way to the airport Marriott with a huge bag of leftover goat’s milk and gluten-free cereal and toast, and plenty of food for Si and I and Baby Q. as well. What a lifesaver!

    Actually being in Nashville was wonderful. I always like to be there. It is so pretty, and it is a little bit colder than here, which makes it feel even more like the holidays to me. Our children even saw falling snow for the first time, which was a special treat. And getting a chance to catch up with Si’s family {his mom and step-dad and Si’s 18-year-old brother, plus Si’s twin brother drove up from Florida with his wife and my only niece, 4-month old Baby S.} is so worth all the pain.

    But if there was a way to arrive at a destination without the journey, I think I would take it.

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  • Reply Brandy January 8, 2008 at 4:23 am

    Teleportation…nice! 🙂

    I seriously keep doing the math to remind myself that it is simply impractical to drive to TN and back for the holidays. I wish we were close enough to drive.

    Kris: let us know when you know. We hope so, too!

  • Reply Kristie January 8, 2008 at 1:42 am

    Wow! I thought WE had rough travel this holiday season. This just feeds my intense desire to move closer to family. I hope I hope I hope I hope I hope…..

  • Reply Kimbrah January 8, 2008 at 1:37 am

    Welcome Back!

    I’m all for teleportation myself. 🙂


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