Oh. My. Goodness.
Seriously, I have just endured the most ridiculous 20 hours of my life. Ah!!
It all started on Thursday, at 3 pm, when Matt & Owen & I set out for the Charlotte airport to travel to Colorado for Matt’s sister’s wedding. We chat on the way to the airport about how excited we are to get out there and see Matt’s family and how we can’t believe that little Emily is all grown up and getting married and how we’re so glad we will be at his parents’ house by 8:30 that evening.
Things go just fine at the airport, from check-in to security to waiting at the gate… but perhaps I should take it as a sign of trouble coming when just before we’re called to board, Owen pukes all down the front of my shirt.
Oh well, no biggie – I’m a mom. I’m supposed to smell a little bit like vomit, right?
So I attempt to wash the puke off my shirt in the bathroom and we board the plane. Owen is in good spirits, as are we. Matt & I are grateful that we just have one connection in Denver and then we’ll be flying into Colorado Springs where we’ll meet up with his parents.
While waiting on the tarmac, the captain comes over the intercom and explains that we will be making a stop in Omaha, Nebraska to refuel the plane.
Um, I’m sorry, what? Refuel the plane? Uh, aren’t we currently parked at an airport? Do they not have fuel at this airport? Okay, I hear you explaining something about the heat and blah blah blah blah why do we have to stop in Nebraska for fuel??
Oh and what else is that you are saying? Everyone will still make their connections in Denver… I’m sorry, what? Except the connection to Colorado Springs? Oh, right. Gotcha.
Matt & I raise our eyebrows, wondering how late the next flight to the Springs will be. We don’t get too concerned though, because Owen is in great spirits and really, what’s one little hiccup in our plan, right?
Our spirits are crushed with this announcement from our friend, Mr. Captain:
“Well, folks. It’s just not a good day to fly.”
As if that is not discouraging (and obvious) enough, it is followed by, “It looks like there are seventeen planes in front of us in line to take off. It should be our turn in approximately one hour.”
Finally, an hour later, we are in flight. Matt & I decide to just laugh at the incredulity of the whole situation. Will we ever get to Denver, let alone Colorado Springs!? It is the flight that will never end.
About an hour into our flight, our friendly pilot greets us over the intercom once again. Pardon me, Captain, why are you telling me that we are flying over Indiana? Oh, I see, because we’re having a minor mechanical issue? Oh, good, thank you for reassuring me that it is minor. Oh, but they want us to land so you can fix it immediately? I see. Oh, land in Chicago? Right…
So, we land in Chicago. And what’s this? Our captain again? Hello, again, trusty Captain. Ah, we’re not getting off the plane because they can just fix the minor mechanical issue while we wait comfortably in the cabin? And you are not holding us hostage and we are free to de-plane but if we want to go to Denver we’d better stay on the plane and wait? Fantastic! Let me just explain that to my seven. month. old. baby.
Thankfully, Owen was actually quite a trooper, and he didn’t seem to mind at all that we were sitting in a hot, claustrophobic cabin with a line a mile long for the toilet. He was seriously my inspiration. I mean really – if he wasn’t fussing, then I had no reason to! And praise the Lord, they were able to refuel while we were in Chicago! No stopping in Omaha!
After about two more hours, we finally land in Denver… and then follow the mass of angry flyers to the Customer Service counter to find out how in the world we are supposed to get to our final destination! Flying that night is not an option (it is after 10 pm local time – let’s not forget that means after midnight to us and our infant – and there are no more flights going out)… so, we spend the night in Denver, courtesy of hotel and meal vouchers from the airline. Woo hoo!
Matt and I get to chow on free McDonald’s, and Owen gets to enjoy his first stay in a hotel!
At 6 am we catch the shuttle back to the Denver airport, and after the usual pre-flight rituals, finally board our plane to Colorado Springs. Ah, we are in the home-stretch! The complications are behind us!
As we taxi to the runway, we hear from our new captain – at this point I’m wanting to just plug my ears every time that blasted intercom turns on – and we are informed that the visibility in the Springs is not promising. And what’s that? The alternate airport to the Springs is Denver? You mean where we are right now? So we may just be turning around and coming back here? Well isn’t that a treat! I really don’t feel like I got enough time here, seeing as I spent the night here last night and all.
So, we begin our descent into the Springs, I’m looking out my window and I can see the runway beneath us, probably about 10 feet below. Awesome – we made it!
My head practically hits the back of my seat as the pilot pulls up and away from the runway. What!? Oh, I see, the visibility was okay until you got ten. feet. off. the. ground. Then suddenly it warranted basically taking back off and circling the airport. Right.
Oh hello, Mr. Captain. You again. Yes, I understand that we only have enough fuel to circle and try to land one more time. And that’s our last chance. And if we don’t make it then we’ll be flying back to Denver.
So we circle. And we descend. And we pray that the Lord will part the clouds and let us land this freaking plane.
HALLELUJAH!! We landed. And our luggage arrived with us. And Matt’s parents were there to greet us as we walked out of the airport! And THAT was the longest
post trip ever.