Adventures in Family Travel

Last week, my wife’s grandmother passed away. She had a return of lung cancer that ultimately took her life. Thursday, we headed out to the airport with our 3 boys (ages 7, 3, and 1) to catch a flight to Kansas City. Now, let me just say that I don’t typically travel well. The thought of trying to corral 3 kids on a plane filled with people already angry at the airline industry didn’t sound pleasant. I actually tried to talk my wife into the 10 hour drive the day of the flight in order to avoid the chaos I was positive was going to ensue. But off we went to the airport with four pack mules worth of luggage and a bag filled with snacks, juice, and benedryl.

As we approached the airport we were thrilled to see that remote parking, express parking, and everything else was full with the exception of terminal parking, which amounts to a wonderfully fair rate of $17 a day for them to not watch your car for you. As we unloaded to start the trip I tried to think happy thoughts. Our first adventure happened as the 3 year old proceeded to fall down a flight of 5 concrete steps in the parking garage. He promptly popped up and said, “I Ok!!” He brushed himself off and away we went, still surprised at the sight of our son taking concrete to the chest and walking it off. I couldn’t but feel a little bit of daddy’s little linebacker pride. I almost thought about testing him against a Mazda as we crossed in the crosswalk. I didn’t think my wife would go for it though. That and I would have felt bad for the Mazda, and we couldn’t really afford the insurance rate hike.

We made it into the terminal, checked in, checked our bags, visited the chiropractor for an adjustment after carrying all of that to the terminal, and headed to security. It was there that we discovered that our flight’s gate had been changed to an entirely different terminal. God bless American Airlines. What wonderful people they are to support us in our travel adventures. Anyway, the security person was nothing but nice as he instructed my wife that our infant son had to remove his shoes so they could be sent through the x-ray. Then he proceeded to dismantle our children’s carry-on to make sure the portable DVD player in there was not a WMD in disguise. Because white middle-class families are the new Al Qaeda way.

From there we headed to the Skylink tram, which was actually a lot like a kiddie ride at Six Flags, and the parking is cheaper. Looks like we know where we are taking the kids this summer! Off we went to Terminal C to catch our flight at its new gate. Thankfully, the nice lady who entered the elevator before didn’t feel like riding with children so she closed the doors and took off before we could get there. Thankfully, one of those nice little food courts was just in front of our new gate so we headed in to appease the kids with McDonald’s. The seating was basically a free for all. As I played out the battle of wits with the other consumers to attain the ultimate prize of a table for 5, my wife got the kids squared away with “happy” meals. Although, our 3 year old was anything but happy when he saw that the toy was from Speed Racer and not American Idol, which was on display. His screaming hit new levels on the decibel chart and the only thought I had was Thank God for Benedryl. I took his speed racer car to the counter to work out a trade with the 15 year old shift manager and managed to be hooked up with a Kung Fu Panda toy. Suddenly, all was well with the happy meal.

more to come…


~ by bchatcher on June 9, 2008.

One Response to “Adventures in Family Travel”

  1. yup, that’s our parenting motto. “A little benadryl goes a long way.” I’ll be praying for peace for y’all, both with the displacement and with all the stuff that comes with a family loss.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: