We arrived at the airport at the time instructed. There were no issues with forgotten items etc so it was in the bus and drive straight there. We were met by Jennifer and Kevin, good friends and seasoned travellers. I am not sure how I would have managed without them. Kevin handled the luggage and Jennifer was on paperwork detail. By the time I had made sure everything and everyone going was out of the bus she had had everything processed including boarding passes with corresponding pass ports. I know nothing about flying so these tasks managed by others was a life saver. I have to say my anxiety grew the closer we got to the air port. I was terrified we would not be let on the plane for some infraction or other but in the end there were no problems at all. In reality I should have known immediately that we were for sure getting on a plane as Malia was going ballistic. She was yelling at everyone, assuming her rude attitude that she is prone to. The previous day she was great up until we had to go home. Go figure. Her screaming started at the airline desk and carried on for at least an hour...through customs, security etc. She was over stimulated and the more people tried to help out by asking her if she was going to Disneyland the more she escalated. Fun times.
We were so fortunate that our airline afforded us two helpers at first that then grew to four to escort us through the airport, customs and security. They were all amazing. They pushed luggage carts that had kids attached to them. They were chatty, pleasant and couldn't have been more helpful. We really were lucky.
I always dread customs. I think it is possible having done a number of ground border crossings that the customs officers must be as disliked as dentists if not more. These guys were great. There was no arrogance, there was a little chit chat and tickety boo we were through. Security was way more fun (this is where you would hear sarcasm). One guy was great and said if the kids could not do their own shoes then they did not have to remove them. That I guess was his rule only as it had to be clarified with each child that went through. In the end it would have been faster if I had just taken off their shoes as when they didn't they got the wand and a pat down etc which all took way more time. They had both kids get out of their wheelchairs so they could check them out etc. What do they do with folks, I wonder that can't get out of their chair for any length of time?
So that was that. After we got through security we had a bit of a wait and a drink. While we were waiting a man came up to me while I was at the vending machine getting cokes for the kids and instead of saying something like he was going to report me regarding the fact that I was giving them cokes at at ten o'clock in the morning, he said that he and his wife were on the same flight as we were and if I needed any help they would be there for me. Wasn't that nice?! At the risk of dissing my own country I am going to hazard a guess that those folks are Amercian. The reason I say that is because Americans have a tendency to put themselves out there more. The majority of times we have traveled to the States we have had someone anonymously pay for our supper or hand us what cash they could afford to give no matter what my protests were. We definitely have folks nice to us at home but there really is something different about Americans and I mean that in a good way...
On the plane we got. We were pre pre boarded and by that I mean they put us on the plane before they put the passengers on that are pre boarded. That would seem great but because there are so many of us and the space is tight...holy cow is it cramped in airplanes! If a plane goes down by golly there sure is a lot of people in a small cramped space that are gone in a hurry! I digress. So as I tried to firm up who was sitting with whom and install H's carseat and get rid of the carry on luggage all the other folks were piling on. We all got settled and soon after we took off.
The kids short of two of them have flown before. I knew how my older kids would do or at least I assumed I knew how things would go and it did. Malia did amazing but H was not happy. He cried for most of the flight if he was not being held. His cry is fairly quiet so I'm not sure if anyone noted he was unhappy. Donovan who has flown at least four times was t.e.r.r.i.f.i.e.d. He was sitting in between Alyssia and Colleen hanging onto them for dear life telling them to stop the plane or words to that effect. He settled and all was well. The flight was uneventful. Malia was fed bushels of chips to keep her happy and up until landing we were ok. The pain in her ears from the pressure change was too much for her so she became hysterical again, pretty much yelling how her ears and head hurt and she needed to leave etc. Again she stabilized and we got off the plane. The good news was about the flight is that were sitting next to a screaming baby. WHy is that good news you might think. It was because the screaming was not coming from one of my kids and when it eventually did the parents had a lot more patience for it even though she is not a baby.
|fake smile trying to indicate all is well even though in his mind we narrowly escaped plummeting out of the sky to a firey death.|
|super Sue our wonderful helper.|
We managed LAX, caught our shuttle to Anaheim and we now look forward to days of fun fun fun.