We spent Christmas in Florida. The trip was great. We visited with family. The sun was shining.
But…. we are having some trouble getting home…
Our flight was scheduled for departure at 11:00 this morning. Because DH is ADHD, it is imperative that everyone in direct relation to him be in route to any airport at least 3 hours before flight departure time. You just never know if you are going to run into traffic, have trouble getting through security or end up in a long line.
Because of DH’s
delicate insane condition, we (his wife and 4 children) were at the airport and uncomfortably settled on the floor of the terminal of our departure gate by 9am. Making us 2 hours early for our 11:00 flight, by the way. Also, making DH a very happy man.
It wasn’t until 10:55 that we were made aware that there was a problem with our plane. It was a mechanical problem and a part would be coming from Atlanta for the repair. I won’t bore you with the details of that debacle, because they have since decided to forgo the repair and just call in a new plane.
This brings me to life in an International Airport with 4 children. It’s been a while since I traveled by plane with all my children alone and has never been a boring feat – this trip is shaping up to be quite the adventure.
The trip to Florida was a gift. DH’s family lives in the sunshine state. For Christmas this year they flew us all down for a visit. I’ve decided that this is the best present I’ve ever gotten and I don’t ever want anything else. Florida for Christmas is about as good as it gets….. unless you happen to live in Florida or Texas or somewhere warm in sunny. Then I suppose you may like to see some snow…
Speaking of Christmas in Florida. 2 Funny questions were asked this week while visiting the land of sunscreen and palm trees.
Question #1: Do people in Florida celebrate Christmas?
Who on earth would ask this? LOL But it did indeed happen.
Question #2: Do you have different Christmas Songs in Florida?
Again – who are these people? So funny! I suppose it’s a bit odd for someone who has never even seen snow (like my nephew) to sing along to a Christmas song that requests a “white Christmas” or says “please have snow and mistletoe.”
Alas, I’ve decided;
- Palmtrees make the cutest Christmas trees.
- Bathing Suits and Rosey Cheeks are the perfect Christmas attire.
- And I hate airports.
Airport Problem #1: Planes
It all started with a mechanical problem.
A new part was to be flown in on another plant from Atlanta to fix our plane. The part would be here at 12:30. The plane would be fixed by 3:45. We would be home by 5:45.
Then that plan was cancelled.
There is a new plan that involved a new plane that doesn’t have mechanical problems or parts needed or repairs imminent.
The new plane will be here….. eventually. There are no promises or firm times but a new plane is coming and they hope to have us boarding around 5:00.
We aren’t departing until 5:00?
A few thoughts about 5:00….
Our plane is (supposed to) leave at 5:00.
I have been up since 5:00.
I could have rented a car and driven back to Kentucky by 5:00
I may not be sane by 5:00.
Airport Problem #2: Food (or lack of)
Would you like to know what the airline has been feeding me during this airplane crisis? Partially hydrogenated granola bars. Baskets of chips, snacks and processed garbage. Chick-fil-A, frozen yogurt and bottled water. I’ve decided the most nutritious thing I’ve eaten today is water.
Am I eating the junk? Of course. I have decided that it’s justified. When one is involuntarily sentenced to 8+ hours sitting in an airline terminal, that person is allowed to eat anything and everything she wants. Yes, I know this causes cancer – may I please have another? Yes, I know this is the reason for heart disease – can I add a side of diabetes?
Airport Problem #3: The Monorail is not a Ride
When my children were small and I had time to kill at the airport we would jump on the monorail and ride it in circles for fun. This was waaaaaaaaay before the days of full body scans, random bag checks and banned liquids. The world was a different place back then. The monorail was the best ride at the airport theme park and one of the biggest perks- it was free. Entertainment for hours for nothing.
Things have changed regarding monorail rides here at the Orlando International Airport. Apparently it has a lot to do with the “International” part. There are strict rules. There are guards, officers and stern looking people stationed every 6 feet. And there are no more monorail rides. If you get on the tram you had better be (1) either leaving the airport or (2) heading to a flight. No one is just taking joyrides anymore….
I made the mistake of trying to take my kids for a “ride” on the terminal tram….. laws have changed dramatically…
One can not even step into the monorail segment of the airport unless one intends to get on the stupid train. I walked 18 inches into the train hallway to ask one of the 2000 security people if we could take a quick ride since our flight had been delayed until spring. They looked at me and said that I would most definitely be going on a ride. Once one steps into the monorail area – one must ride the monorail. No you can’t change your mind. No you can’t turn around. No you can’t walk 18 inches backwards. Once you step into the train hall you are committed. You will be headed for baggage claim in 30 seconds and nothing can stop the spiral of events.
I had no idea I had just entered this fate and trust me, there is no talking anyone into letting you take 2 steps backwards and forgetting the whole thing.
So, off we went onto the monorail to the other end of the Orlando.
Once we made it to baggage claim I asked another one of the 2000 guards if we could simply get back on the monorail…. there had been an extreme misunderstanding and I just wanted to get back to my gate (where, by the way I had left 2 of my children).
Um. No. I had to take the 2 children I had in tow and go through the entire International Airport Check-in process again… From the beginning.
We had to get back in line for security.
We had to once again strip strip down to the necessary clothing.
We had to once again remove our shoes.
We unpacked our carry-ons.
We went through the body scans a second time.
Additionally, we were also met with some lines of questioning as to why we were going through security AGAIN. These people had already checked us once today – why weren’t we in our terminal like good little travelers?
As if this wasn’t traumatic enough….
They decided to ask my 10 year to prove that I was his mom. Are you kidding me?
It’s a good thing I carry around ID’s for all of my children, because if it were up to the 10 year old to prove that I am his mom I think I would be short one child right now.
Once we made it though security, scanning, ID checks and Mommy proof we reloaded the monorail (for the 3rd time) and made it back to the gate. When I was reunited with my other 2 (teenage) children I hugged hugged them like I hadn’t seen them in a month. They had no idea that I had just taken an involuntary ride to the other end of the earth, had to undress and almost lost a child.
Next year I think I’ll drive.