Tuesday, June 14, 2011
Day 8 - Departure Day
Departure Day Plan: Get up early, go have breakfast, get to airport early, check in and make a few calls before flight, eat lunch and board in a leisurely fashion. Get ready to read a long post on how that did NOT happen.
We woke up early, got the kids up and moving & left the hotel. We then headed towards the airport figuring we would find a place to eat close to it and we needed a post office to mail one last thing that we realized probably would not be good in our luggage. We called my sister who was at work and asked her to map quest a post office in Seattle because our GPS was not working right...again. She gives us the address to one and we head there. It takes 20 - 25 minutes to get to it. It is a block from our hotel... we could have asked the front desk where the closest one was and walked there faster and easier. Of course. Bill was driving but he hops out to go mail this car stereo we are lugging around and since it is downtown Seattle there is not parking right there so I do the other half of the Chinese fire drill & run around to the drivers side and hope in our ginormous excursion XL we have and spend the next 20 minutes or so circling the block. It was fun. When Bill first got in to the post office it was empty so he figured it would be quick ... ah but the fates had other plans for us just like all the other days. When he completed all his paperwork and looked up there was about 30people in the post office. So what could have been a quick walk and easy process ends up costing us about an hour.
We head back towards the airport again and need to get gas. We take an exit and there is not a single car in sight. Fill up on gas and I run in to the store to get some chips or something because we are starving, I see no McDonald's and it is clear that we are not going to eat before the airport now. Go to pull out of the parking lot and it is like someone opened a flood gate and there are cars everywhere. We are stuck waiting to pull out for 10 minutes.
Finally get to the airport. Take the wrong lane to get to the car rental return area and have to circle out and then back in. Pull in and are trying to quickly unload all our luggage and the kids. Guy tries to overcharge us (by a lot) for the rental car for gas. We had JUST filled it up. Fix that and head to the elevators. We each have a luggage cart full & Greydon is pushing Benjamin in the stroller. Get to the elevator bank and 2 of the 6 elevators are open. A huge group of obnoxious kids runs past us and hops in one and it closes. An older couple is getting into the other and they offer it up which was super nice but we would not fit with them so we say, "go ahead another one will be opening." And they close. And 10 minutes goes by and nothing. No elevators are opening at all. A line is forming behind us. 5 more minutes go by and still nothing. 5 more minutes and "ding" ONE elevator opens and in it is a guy with a huge dog kennel and luggage cart. 5 more minutes nothing. Then the same elevator with dog guy opens and closes. By this time everyone behind us in line has left for the stairs that can take the stairs. 25 minutes AFTER we try to get on an elevator finally opens and we rush on. After we board the other 5 elevators open at the same time EMPTY. Bill and I just look at each other.
Head to ticketing. Try to self check in and it doesn't work. Go wait in line for about 30 min to get checked in. Head for security & that takes forever. Of course they do additional screening on us. We are trying to hurry and get to our gate. We arrived at the airport at 11am... our plane leaves at 2:30pm. By the time we get through security and get to our gate it is about 2:00pm. While Bill checks us in at the gate I wait in line with all boys to get something to eat at a snack counter (all we have had to eat so far is some convenience store chips and who knows when they are feeding us on the plane). I get hot dogs for the boys a hamburger and chicken sandwich for us. Run over to Bill and he tells me we have to board now. I had no time to even call anyone. We board, one of the last people on and they close the doors right after. Barely made our flight.
Flight departs and Bill and I finally feel like we can kinda relax. We made it & got Finely gone. An hour into the flight someone collapses on the plane. Now let me say that the person is fine and I am very happy that they are fine...but my first initial thought was selfish and I was thinking, "really, seriously something else is happening to us? if this flight has to be re-routed to another airport and we miss our connecting flight I am going to be so pissed!" Yes I realize how cold and selfish that was but I could not take anything else happening. Not one more thing.
The flight went pretty well. I was really proud of the boys and how good they all did. Our flight was about 10 hrs I think. I don't really remember the exact amount and by the time we landed in Amsterdam we had been up for over 24hrs so all I could focus on was putting one foot in front of the other and taking care of the boys while not falling asleep.
This concludes today's story I will finish tomorrow. To recap we had another crazy day, almost missed our flight, drove around in circles (again) in Seattle and flew 4847 miles.