Monday, July 11, 2005


I'm not actually supposed to be home today. We were scheduled to arrive in Seattle Thursday, but sometime in the dark hours of the second night on the train from hell Amtrak, I began to fantasize about flying home, directly home, do-not-pass-go, from Orlando, rather than returning via train to Houston for an additional three days before flying home.

That dream came true . . . and as it turned out that my husband and three boys didn't have to ride the train back either, thanks to Hurricane Dennis. The train was canceled and they flew out of Orlando today, too, a few hours after Babygirl and me. But they'll be in Texas for a few more days. So now, I am hiding out here at home, not telling a soul I've returned, though perhaps the neighbors will realize it when they see the front yard foot-high dandelions have been mown down.

This morning in Orlando, at about 3:00 a.m., Babygirl woke and whispered to me off and on for two hours, at which point, she slept again while I wearily began my day with a shower at 5:15 a.m. We left the room at almost 6:00 a.m. I scooped Babygirl from the bed and carried her downstairs, still in her pajamas. My husband helped me rolll my large bag downstairs to the check-in counter, where the three stooges Continental employees informed me that they could only check my bag through to Houston, not Seattle. They suggested I pick up the bag in Houston and recheck it, or take it along on the shuttle and check it at the curb.

In a moment of complete idiocy, I let them ticket the bag to Houston, thinking I'd pick it up at baggage claim and then recheck it to Seattle. While in the air, I realized the folly of this plan--my layover was less than one hour. An extremely helpful Continental employee in Orlando, Judy S., went above and beyond the call of duty and fixed the mistake the remote check-in location guys made and hand-ticketed my bag to Seattle and then paged me to let me know what she'd done. God bless Judy S.

We caught the shuttle to the airport at 6:25 a.m. for our 9:50 a.m. flight. When we arrived in Houston, we had about an hour, so I set about looking for food for Babygirl. A man directed us down a hallway to a Wendy's, so off we went, Babygirl and I, me tottering along on blistered feet, her snug in her stroller, urging me, "Faster! Faster!" I settled her bag containing chicken nuggets and fries in her lap and hurried back down the hallway with thirty minutes before take-off.

As I rushed along, I hit a bump, a little ramp, and Babygirl's food tumbled from her lap and skittered across the airport floor. Instantly, I grabbed her now-empty food bag and collected the chicken nuggets. To my credit, I did not attempt to salvage the french fries, but I plopped that bag of nuggets back in her lap, invoking the Five Second Rule (food on the floor less than five seconds is perfectly fine to eat). I held my head high, did not look around so as to avoid the horrified looks of fellow passengers.

I fed my child food that had spilled on the public walkway at an airport. I'm just waiting for the Child Protective Services people to show up.

Both flights went extremely well. Babygirl paged through the Continental catalog she found in the pocket in front of her seat. She spent a great deal of time carefully turning the pages and studying the superfluous items for sale, no bargains in those pages! We survived a total of six hours in the air, in large part thanks to Spongebob Squarepants on our portable DVD player.

Now, Babygirl sleeps in her own crib, though she tried to weasel her way into my bed.

I've unpacked, washed and dried a load of laundry, mowed the lawn (I use that word, "lawn", loosely), and yawned a lot. No one knows I'm home, so I have a couple of days to recover from the exhaustion that is traveling with children, before picking up my life where I left off.

I need a vacation.


Blogger Catharine said...


Oh... oh... shhhh... sorry... I just got all carried away and stuff....

Think the neighbors heard? (wince)

Sorry... I'll just let myself out.....

(Welcome home.)


10:56 PM  
Blogger Julana said...

Welcome back, Mel!
You've been missed.

6:41 AM  
Blogger Angi said...

Go take a nap, you deserve it!

Oh, glad you are back. :)

6:45 AM  
Blogger Beth said...

welcome home! unfortunately, it's common to need a vacation after returning from a vacation! hope you get the rest you need.

7:05 AM  
Blogger Stephanie said...

Welcome home!! Now get to bed, missy!! You DO need a vacation.

As for the chicken nugget story -- GOOD FOR YOU!!! Who says the five second rule is only good at home and at the mall.

oops... did I say "at the mall" I meant "in the hall" uh-huh... that's what I meant...

7:07 AM  
Blogger Eyes said...

Welcome home. Do you feel rejuvenated :)?

7:40 AM  
Blogger tab said...

see, sometimes dreams do come true and good things do happen.

Welcome home.

11:12 AM  
Blogger Tina said...

I think that you will feel better if you do nothing but sit at your computer, and catch us all up on your adventures.....:)

1:26 PM  
Blogger M3 (Mary-Mia) said...

Welcome back!!!! Yay!!! There's no place like home, that's for sure. I don't care if you're staying at a 5 star hotel, they still haven't figured out how to make a bed as comfy as your one at home.

By the way, don't think I didn't notice that little gloat about already unpacking and doing laundry. Uh huh. Noooooo, I'm not intimidated by that. Heh heh. I *could* do that too if I wanted to (or, well, if I wasn't so damn lazy). ;-)

4:41 PM  

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