Friday, July 21, 2017

Getting Home

We're sitting in the Denver airport trying to get home. We had an initial layover of three hours, but as we were arriving, there was a storm rolling in. Lots of flights have been delayed and ours was one. We had some dinner, we walked up and down the escalators and moving sidewalks, I read The Magician's Nephew.  We were ready to head to our gate and discovered we had another two hours.


Kent suggested I try and find a ball or something that would entertain the kids in an active way, and I was able to find a small squooshy soccer ball. We've been camped out in a large open area above the concourse, so we were able to kick the ball around, running back and forth and burning off some boredom. A cute family with two young boys, three and one, are sitting by us, and they've played ball with us.

But here we sit. Nothing we can do about it but pout, so we're making the best of it. We'll likely get home around midnight.

Here's the rest of the story, posted two days later, on Sunday.  At 8:30, forty minutes before our flight was rescheduled to leave, we went down to the gate to wait.  No one was at the counter, there was no plane, and it didn't look at all promising.  I said as much to Kent and a man sitting next to me said, "Oh, they've delayed the flight again.  It's now scheduled to leave at 12:15am."

12:15AM!!!!!  Ridiculous.  There was no way I wanted to try and entertain the children for another three hours and then get home in the wee hours of the morning.  Kent said, "There's nothing for it," and headed back to our open, above concourse spot.  I went to stand in the customer service line.  I thought I might try and get another flight in the morning and figure out if there was someplace we could stay overnight, or see if there was another option.  I didn't know, but I stood in a long line of people hoping the all the same things.

After I had been there for about 15 minutes, a woman came out to make an announcement about what Frontier was doing to deal with the delays.  We would receive a food voucher if our flight was delayed more than two hours, a $200 travel credit if it was cancelled, and they would try and get some of us on flights in the morning.  I asked about the Salt Lake flight and if it would, truly, be leaving eventually.  The more I stood there and thought about it, the more I realized that it would be more complicated to try and find someplace to stay and then get us all there than it would be to just wait it out if a flight was really going to take off.  The woman went to check.

A short time later she returned and motioned all of the Salt Lake passengers aside and asked us to stand in a line.  Fortunately, although I wasn't the first person in line, I was the first Salt Lake passenger in the line, so I got to in front.  Everyone else was to line up behind me.  She told us our flight had been cancelled, that she would try and get people on flights the next day, but she did have places for about ten people on a flight leaving shortly.  She said all luggage would be sent to a carousel for pick up so that if people needed to stay somewhere else, they would have their bags.  She would make accommodations for anyone with a medical condition that required them to travel, then just take us in line.  An unaccompanied minor was given first priority, then a man traveling because of a death in the family, and then us, because I was first in line.

I called Kent from the desk and said, "You need to get down here right now.  They are putting us on a flight that leaves soon.  Come immediately."  He didn't realize that I meant everyone, so he started down, leaving the children, but he handed the phone to Brandt who said, "Mom?"  I repeated that they needed to come immediately, and apparently I threw him into a panic.  He yelled to Kent and they began scooping up stuff they had gotten out of their bags.  They ran down the concourse to me, and unbeknownst to Kent, Brandt, anxious about the sudden turn of events, threw up twice on route.  Then they arrived next to me, I turned to say, "We've got stand-by seats on a flight," when Brandt said, "I'm going to throw up," and did, right in front of the customer service counter next to the long line of unhappy travelers trying to make last minutes arrangements.

I leaned across the counter and suggested someone call janitorial services.  I tried to keep people from walking through the puke, and when we heard what gate the flight was leaving from, sent Kent and the children down the concourse to catch the flight.  Brandt pointed out to Kent the other two spots where he had thrown up, but Kent just hurried them off.  I stayed only long enough to get the tickets, then dashed away leaving a mess behind for someone else to clean up.

We did make the flight.  I don't know exactly when it was supposed to take off, but I know it was delayed because a man sitting a near me complained to the stewardess that it was taking too long.  She tried to explain about the cancelled flight and trying to get more passengers aboard, and I realized I should have thanked him because I was really glad we got on.  The plane left at 11:00pm.  We had been at the airport seven hours.  We could have driven home quicker, if you consider that once we got to Salt Lake we still had to drive him from the airport another 45 minutes.  But I was glad we got the flight.  I didn't want to have to find a hotel, ground transportation from and back to the airport, and then hope for a flight the next day.  The children climbed into bed at 1:40am and Kent and I followed immediately.

We have had one additional complication.  Our luggage didn't make it home with us.  Because we were standby, our bags did not get on our flight.  When I asked what would happen to them, the woman at customer service told me they would be put on a flight in the morning and we could collect them at the airport.  Thing is, the baggage claim offices at both Denver and Salt Lake are not open on Saturday and Sunday, so I've no way of checking to see if they arrived until Monday morning.  Fingers crossed, we'll be reunited with our bags, and none the worse for a wearing return trip.

Friday, July 14, 2017

Family Swim

Uncle Charles is in town and we thought it would be fun to swim at the Cutler's again.  I actually had put it on the calendar a couple of monts ago, but we did that deliberately knowing he was suppose to come this week.  We ordered Chinese for dinner, then swam and swam and swam and swam.  It was great fun, of course.

Train splash!

I asked Tysen to take a picture of me because I'm never in any,
but then Christopher felt bad for me being all alone.

Lyla wouldn't look at the camera when I wanted to take a picture of her alone,
but she did look when taking a picture with me.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Swimming with Brick and Cora

We've been swimming and swimming and swimming and swimming and swimming.  All summer long!  And while we've done some swimming alone, we've done quite a lot of swimming with Mikayla and her little people.  We all like to swim!

Brandt and Blythe did a day camp at the rec center, and the last day, Friday, they swam.  It took Brick and Cora over to the pool the same day and we swam while the big kids swam, too.  We had a good time.  Both Cora and Brick like to be in the shallow water playing.  Cora hated the idea of slides, but Brick went over and over.  I was even able to take him once down the big slide.  He wanted to go again, but I couldn't leave Cora alone (obviously!), and Blythe was playing with a friend so I didn't want to force her to stay with Cora.  But we all had a great time.

And here are a couple of other times we have been together.  I like small, browned swimming companions.