March 21, 2007

Home is Where the Airport Isn't.

I'm finally home.

I got on a plane Monday afternoon but didn't step foot on Oklahoma soil until Tuesday afternoon. My flight was delayed from Reno and after a very condescending US Airways employee assured my mom and I that my connection in Pheonix would be fine, I limped onto the plane juggling a two year old, a carseat, a monster backpack, and an umbrella stroller. The flight went smooth, but I was worried about missing my connection in Phoenix. Chris was on the phone with US Airways the entire time I was in the air- trying to do all he could to make sure Ezra and I were on the connection flight. He arranged to have a car waiting at my gate when I got off the plane in Phoenix to whisk me away to my connection gate- which was very far away. We finally got to the gate and the plane I was meant to be on was sitting outside the huge window, but the door was closed and there were NO US Airways employees anywhere to be found. I watched helplessly as my plane eventually taxied onto the runway without me- fighting back tears and feeling completely alone.

8 more people rushed up to the gate after me and watched their plane leave without them, too. We made our way over to the customer service area and they tried to call back the plane. The lady then changed her mind and said she couldn't call back the plane because it was operated by another airline. (?!?!?!) Supposedly, the pilot knew that all of our connections were only minutes late, but decided to take off anyways. It was his call. Not only did he take off without 10 of his passengers, he took off early. I was at the gate 15 minutes before he was meant to take off, and they had already shut the door.

The 'customer service' people told us all that there were no more flights for the night and that we wouldn't be able to get on another plane until the following day. They shoved a meal voucher and a hotel voucher in my face and told me to arrange for my own shuttle. I felt crushed. Shakingly, I tried to manuever my way through the huge airport- Ezra still strapped into his carseat, me trying to carry him this way, an umbrella stroller hanging off of my wrist, tears running down my face. I just wanted to go home. See a friendly face. No one offered to help me. The man at the counter asked if I wanted my bags, and then chuckled while saying, "Oh, you probably couldn't carry them, could you? I'll send them to your final destination for you." I felt like punching him in the face but didn't have a hand free to do so.

I caught a shuttle to a Days Inn, where US Airways assured me there would be room service so that I could feed myself and my son before he went to bed. When I arrived, there was no room service. I called the resturaunt downstairs and tried to explain my situation, but the lady was so rude to me that I hung up and punched a pillow. Then I called the front desk- practically BEGGING for food because Ezra and I were hungry and there was a very long wait at the resturaunt downstairs and I couldn't go wait for an hour with a toddler who's bedtime was already an hour past. She was just as rude to me, so I slammed the phone down on her as well before I said something awful.

I called Chris and he tried to calm me down, and then he called the front desk himself. He talked to a man named George and before I knew it, George was knocking on my door- holding a menu in one hand and telling me that he was going to take care of us and make sure we got everything we needed. I burst into tears again and gratefully ordered some food while thanking him over and over again. He brought the food up really quickly, and Ezra and I ate and fell asleep around 10:30. We heart George.

We woke up at 5:00AM the next morning and had to catch a shuttle to the airport. I was told to get there EARLY because the lines at the Security Checkpoint get ridiculously long in the mornings at the Phoenix Airport. We caught the 5:30 shuttle and I clumsily made it through security- coming close to but ultimately avoiding a complete mental breakdown. Yay me! We had over 2 hours to kill once we got through the stressful part, so we wandered around the airport and ate Cinnabon and I got a yummy Starbucks. I had figured out a way to strap the carseat onto my already HEAVY backpack, leaving my hands free to push Ezra in his stroller. Besides a couple of sore and raw shoulders, this worked out wonderfully.

We caught our plane at 9:00 without any difficulty. We left a little bit late again because there was someone stuck on our plane waiting for a wheelchair so that they could get off. The man at the counter said the waiting time for available wheelchairs was ONE HOUR. I hate airports.

The flight back to OKC was uneventful, except that Ezra now has the most insane and angry diaper rash I've ever seen due to so much sitting around in soiled diapers. The antibiotics he's on make him a virtual watery-poo factory. I only had a few diapers in my backpack and wasn't prepared for an overnight stay. So, now he's miserable and uncomfortable and I blame US Air. When we finally landed, Chris was there at the gate waiting for me with a sign that said "My Hero". I love this man.

Ezra fell asleep on the way home and after we got him into his bed he slept all afternoon without making a peep. The house was immaculate and Chris had painted the hallway and glazed the living room while I was gone. It looks AMAZING. He had a tray of food waiting for me and some chilled pink lemonade as well. He had set up the entire bathroom for a 'Luxury Bath Experience' (complete with a Bathtime mix on the iPod and a foot rub), and let's just say the bedroom was quite saucy with candles and flower petals and presents and chocolate and champagne everywhere I looked. Rowr! We lounged around all afternoon and got reaquainted (mmmm...) and talked for hours and I felt the stress of the whole traveling/being away from home/sick baby experience melting away by the second. A day that started out horribly turned into one of the most enjoyable days of my life. He made me my favorite food for dinner (yummy Chicken Wonton Salad) and we talked for hours and sipped champagne in bed after he put Ezra down for the night.

All I know is that this amazing and refreshing time with my hubby has singlehandedly made these difficult past three weeks completely worth it. I love you, Hunky Monkey.

The Luxury Bath Experience.


The little things...

Pieces of California.

It's good to be home.


sister said...

so are you ever going to share any of chris' not so perfect husband moments with us? Cause its hard to believe he is this way ALL THE TIME! Just kidding, he's my brother and I'm sure every moment is sweeter than the next!! Love you guys, miss you tons, but so glad you are home!!!!

R-becca said...

I love your husband and am so glad you are home. Good grief...has it seriously been twenty days since this all began! What a could write a great article about it.

Britt said...

I'm so glad you're home safe and sound (even though you're a few more states away now).

I can't believe everything you've been through! Bless your heart! I was in tears reading about your airport experience. I'm sooo sorry you had to go through such an ordeal!!! I'm so happy Chris gave you a wonderful welcome home. What a great husband!

You must post pics of the newly painted walls! You MUST!!

hope and jojos mom said...

your experience was like the movie "pure luck" so sorry to hear - it makes me tired just reading about your time in the airport. cant wait to see you! call me when you feel up to getting out of the house oooorrrr we will just come over - whatever you want! love ya cant wait to catch up!

L.A. Daddy said...

You poor thing. I really hate to travel any more. I used to enjoy it but not any more. It's just such a pain. Especially with kids.

Oh, and thank your hubby for me. He's making us lazy, pitiful slobs look even worse...

Glad your home safe.

Anna Joy Photography said...

Good Lord! This post (and the posts for like the last 3 weeks) make me feel like my measly little problems are, well, measly little problems. You are so courageous! I want to be you when I grow up. Please teach classes.

Misguided Mommy said...

So i wrote you this really cute comment yesterday and it vanished. Anyway i gave you a to do list.

Emerys to do list

1. Get husband to write how to book.

2. Get husband to call my husband and give him a step by step on how to be as superb as yours.

3. Realize i'm extra hormonal so your pictures are making me all sobby and envious (insert pregnancy hormones here)

4. Relax lots more because you deserve it!!!!!

oakie joel said...

yeah, you get the hero of the week award... so glad you're back. let's all hang out soon!!

Anonymous said...

Ok. Once again, your husband is so amazing I find myself crying at the beautiful love of you two people that I've never even met. Such a sweet man! Welcome home. (thank goodness Cameron Ingalls heart's you or I would never get to follow your adventures!)
~meghan beck

Anonymous said...

Newly addicted to your blog, reading it from the beginning. After this entry I have to say, it solidifies the fact that I hate you. hahaha I mean that in the most JEALOUS-you-are-so-lucky-way. Not meant to be mean at all. If my guy did that for me, I would immediately accuse him of cheating on me or something. You are so blessed!!! (With more than just Chris, obv.) I identify with almost everything out of your mouth, except I am 22 and not really sure if I want to have kids and blah blah. You give me hope!!! I also like to see such a young, beautiful, adjusted girl being into Jesus because its not normal in my area and I am made fun of.

Melyni in PA

The Buetzow's said...

if anything, you can sooooo write a book about "how to travel with kids"... you have more than enough qualification. i have to fly a lot with my little boy and its always an interesting time. wish we could be on the same flight together sometime! they need to have mommy-airlines, you know? like jetblue for moms and their kiddos.

so, i've been loving taking a little time each day to catch up on all of your archives. its better than tv or any book i could be reading. :-) thank you!

The Buetzow's said...

oh, and from the pictures you posted, your husband sounds like he'd be a great bed and breakfast owner. (our favorite one happens to be in slo). you guys could go buy an old place, fix it up with all that beautiful painting and glazing business, and make it romance-ville for couples who need get-a-ways from their kiddos and crazy lives. i would definitely come- especially to have my favorite magazine waiting for me, tied with a pretty bow.