Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Our Return Trip from Minnesota

Okay, okay, this will be our last MN post. We left Rohnda's house at around 12:45 to drop off two of her kids for a playdate before we headed to the airport. After a potty stop (for me :p) we got to the airport a little over an hour before departure time. Rachel slept for about an hour in the car, and I was torn whether or not to let her. My hope was to have an extra seat and she would sleep the whole plane ride. She was exhausted though and there was no way to keep her awake!

I got my HUGE suitcase checked in and again was not hassled for it being too heavy (yay!) We got through the security checkpoint with no problems. My kids are such pros with putting their little backpacks in a bin along with their shoes. They bravely walk through the metal detector heading toward the scary looking person on the other side. It is so nice that they can get on their own shoes too. Huge help for me!

We had about a half an hour before our flight was boarding and found a play area for the kids to get out some energy before the 3 1/2 hour flight. I was hoping to feed the kids before we took off at 3:30 because we would be in the air during dinner time, but there was only a sit down restaurant which we didn't have time for. Luckily I had a backpack full of snacks.

We boarded a full flight yet again and had the middle and aisle seat to share for the 3 of us. I think the under two year old lap infant was not based on a child the size of Rachel. For those of you that don't know her, she is gigantic, an enormous 23 month old. She is off the charts tall. Anyway, the three of us squished into our seats and settled in for the flight.

The return flight home was not nearly as easy as the flight to MN. Rachel was a bit out of control due to being tired and Bennett was less than tolerant of her because he too was tired. Thankfully the lady sitting next to the window was very kind to Bennett as he was tying her arms to the armrest and rapid firing questions at her. I fed them snacks for over an hour which did occupy their time, but eventually they didn't want anymore. Bennett and I played a game of UNO (which he won) and then boredom set in. They didn't want to read books or color or do any of the things I had packed for them to do. It was a long 2 hours! I was very happy when we landed in Seattle and was shocked when the pilot announced it was 90 degrees outside! It just doesn't get that hot there, and I knew that it must be ridiculously hot further east where we live.

Our luggage arrived, and I somehow managed to get it off the carousel by myself (man, is chivalry dead, or what?!) We waited for our shuttle back to the hotel where we left our car, and I contemplated spending another night there and driving the 3 hours back home in the morning. We had an early 5 am wakeup that morning, and I was so tired! When we finally got to our car, I just wanted to get home and decided to power through (with the help of Starbucks!) It was 5:30 when we got on the freeway and were met by bumper to bumper traffic. It took us about 15-20 minutes to get onto our freeway, but we just swept over to the carpool lane and cruised past the creeping traffic.

We had four more stops before finally heading home, Trader Joes , Starbucks, dinner and gas. I found the Trader Joes before I could find dinner, so I cruelly made my children wait even longer to eat. After stocking up at TJ's, I tried to find somewhere to feed my kids (I got the Spicy California Rolls at TJ's). We were in a town I had never been to before and there were so many trees that you couldn't see what was behind them. It was like a town was built in a forest. Very cool unless you are trying to find somewhere to eat. Of course all I could find was McDonalds, and I had to convince Bennett that he could eat the chicken nuggets even though they have wheat in them. He was upset, but ate them anyway. After all of our stops, we finally got on the road at about 7:30 pm. Rachel fell asleep immediately after she finished eating, but Bennett didn't. He spent the whole ride thrashing around, trying to get comfortable. He is in a booster seat now which isn't nearly as comfortable for sleeping as the carseat. I think he finally fell asleep about 45 minutes from home. We somehow made it. I didn't even need to stop for a bathroom break which is a miracle unto itself. We got home at about 10:15 pm. A very long homecoming, but the trip to MN was so much fun that it made it all worth it!

Thank you again, Monroys for such wonderful time!