As Mommy B eluded to in this week's comic, we had yet another interesting trip back to the homeland. She took Alli with her on Tuesday morning and spent the week with Grandma C in Findlay. I then flew up on Friday afternoon to spend the night with a friend from college. The plan was to meet up in Columbus on Saturday for a wedding, then all fly home together on Sunday. There were no impending hurricanes on the east coast to threaten our travel plans, so we figured things would go off without a hitch. We thought wrong.
On Friday, I woke up with my first-ever migraine headache. I'm talking feel-like-you-just-got-a frontal-lobe-concussion-from-a-middle-linebacker type of headache. I'd never experienced one of these before, so I took some Advil and hoped it would get better. 4 hours later, it hadn't. So I grabbed some Tylenol and headed to the airport. I then got to spend the next five hours on two airplanes with my temples throbbing and a general feeling of nausea. Awesome. When I landed in Columbus, I called my sister for advice since she gets them all the time. She said take some Excedrin and chug a medium Gatorade as fast as you can. No problem - I used to be an athlete, after all.
I don't know how much medication I pumped into my system that day, but nothing helped. I basically spent the rest of the evening being a lame friend and going to bed early. When I woke up on Saturday, the headache had subsided somewhat, but it hurt to move my eyes. It literally felt like my ocular nerves were being pulled out of the back of my head each time I moved my eyes to the right or left. That doesn't sound normal, does it? But I downed three more Excedrin and toughed it out. A barbacoa burrito bowl from Chipotle helped too...
Mommy B and I reunited that afternoon and I got to see Alli for the first time since Tuesday morning. Grandma C was nice enough to watch Alli for the evening while Mommy B and I went to the wedding. It was good to get out a little bit and see some of the guys I ran track with back in college. Still not feeling up to par, we came home somewhat early so we could enjoy some "peaceful sleep". In other words, Alli was across the hall with Grandma C for the evening and morning so we got to sleep in a little bit. It didn't help that it sounded like the cleaning crew decided to service the room directly above us at 7:30am - but that's sleeping in for us these days.
We packed everything up and headed to the airport around noon to grab some lunch and get through security for our 2:55pm flight to Washington D.C. That's when things went to hell. We checked in and grabbed some lunch, and everything was scheduled to be on time. We boarded the plane on time, and proceeded to sit. And we sat. And sat... with a 10-month old child who just wants to crawl on everything. Apparently we had to give a flight attendant a ride to D.C., so we were waiting for her to board. When she finally did, the captain informed us that they discovered a fuel leak below the plane and needed to check it out. So we continued to sit. After about an hour or more of going nowhere, he came back over the loudspeaker and informed us that they couldn't fly this plane and needed to get us off for repairs - in hopes of getting another plane to take us to D.C.
They informed us that they would have an update on our D.C. flight at 5:30pm. We already missed our connecting flight, so Mommy B went to the counter and got things switched. She was able to get us on a flight to Philadelphia at 6pm, then to Charleston. So again, we waited around the terminal with an infant who desperately needed a nap but couldn't take one with all the stimulation around. As 6pm drew near, they informed us that our plane to Philly was running behind - but they were going to turn it over quickly to get us out as fast as possible. We boarded our Philly flight at 6:15pm - and sat. Apparently they forgot to refuel this plane while everyone got off. This wouldn't be much of an issue except for the fact that it decided to begin monsooning over the airport. I'm talking pouring rain, thunder, lightning, giant frogs... real wrath-of-God type stuff.
I learned something that afternoon - much like your community pool, an airport shuts down and waits 15 minutes after the latest lightning strike before reopening. Well, this wasn't a Carolina storm that blows in and out of town in 20 minutes. There we sat, with no fuel and the rain barely letting up. As the rain poured, the minutes ticked by and Alli grew even more restless. After about an hour, they came over the loudspeaker and began listing off all the connecting flights that were going to be missed: Chicago, New York, Atlanta, Charleston. But of course.
So off we went - off our second plane and back up the ramp. Mommy B was about 2 seconds from going postal on the lady behind the counter, but they managed to get us on another flight to Charlotte that was boarding right then. This would get us into Charlotte at 9:30pm and our connecting flight was to leave at 10:30pm. We literally turned right around, went back down the ramp an onto the plane right next to the one we were just on. Only this plane actually had fuel and was ready to go as soon as the rain let up. Luckily it did, and we took off only 30 minutes late. There's only so much you can entertain a kid with before they get bored on an airplane. I think Alli might have gained about 2 pounds that day just from us feeding her in an attempt to keep her quite and not from climbing on everything.
After getting on (and off) 3 different planes and spending almost 9 hours at the airport, we were finally on our way. I figured worst-case scenario was that we could stay with Mama G and Papa Rob in Charlotte if we had to. At least we weren't stuck in D.C. or Philly. The other good news was that Alli finally fell asleep on the flight... as we began our decent. Awesome. I was hoping that I could toss her on my shoulder and we could get her home without her knowing the difference. Wrong again, Dad.
She woke up at about 10pm as we were walking through the Charlotte terminal, and she was none too thrilled. We boarded the plane and she proceeded to fill her diaper with enough pee to leak out through her p.j.'s and onto Mommy B's lap. It actually looked like Mommy B was the one who had the accident. Needless to say, I was volentold to take her to the bathroom and change her. I did, but it didn't stop her screaming. We had become those people. You know, the ones everyone hates and wishes wasn't on their airplane? The couple who thought it was a good idea to try and fly with their infant? Yeah, that was us. We tried giving Alli a bottle to calm her down, but she wasn't having it. She just wanted her Pooh bear and her bed. I haven't felt that helpless in a long time...
Thank the lord though, she tuckered out after about 10-15 minutes of screaming and actually fell asleep on Mommy B (wet pants and all) before we even took off. I never thought I'd say this again - but there they were, mother and daughter glued together by another bodily fluid as we were trying to get home. Just like our last trip, I've never held my wife in higher regard than I did for that whole flight. She wore her urine-soaked pants and her sleeping daughter on her shoulder like a badge of honor. I'm not sure if she saw it that way, but I was actually a little jealous. Other parents will understand.
We finally landed in Charleston at 11:30pm. We actually met up with our friends who were watching Scarlett for us (one of them was on our flight), and the entire family headed home. By about 1am, Alli was in her bed sleeping soundly and the rest of us were able to begin winding down. I worked from home on Monday, and Mommy B cancelled her shift to pick up later in the week.
What a day it had been. I'm not sure why we thought things were going to go smoothly, as our past experiences with airlines haven't been all that stellar. Maybe it's the destination instead, since we drove last time. Either way, I'm glad our family and friends are coming down here for Alli's upcoming birthday.