"Miracles are not contrary to nature, but only contrary to what we know about nature." ~St. Augustine

Monday, May 7, 2012

Spring Break Part III - The Journey Home

If you read Part I and Part II, you now know that we had a great time on our vacation.  It was a wild ride there, but a wonderful week full of sun and good memories.  Then there was the travel day back home...yes, that was full of memories.  Good ones?  Not so much.  But at least I can look back as I am writing this and laugh about it now.  I actually cried at the time.

The last day of vacation I always get a little sad.  I think that is normal.  I also like to start packing things up and organizing things the night before we are going to leave, even if we are not leaving until 11:00 the next morning. (shocker)  However, our last night there we actually had a few too many margaritas, and I swear Gerardo was telling the bartender to make them extra strong because we had been drinking these all week long and never got even tipsy.  Well, not so on this night.  I should preface this by saying that my family had all 3 of the boys so for the first time on the vacation I got a little crazy.  I was running around with my friend making movies on her new Ipad.  We even played quarters (yes, with margaritas) for about 15 minutes until we figured out that we would end up on the floor if we continued.  I will spare you the rest of the details, but just know...I didn't get packed that night.  However, Gerardo got a very generous tip!

So the next morning my mom came over and helped me pack.  Packing up all of our stuff actually took a long time.  We also had to put the bedroom back together again and move all the furniture back in place.  It really took us all morning.  We had to get our 2 big suitcases packed up quickly because my sweet friends were going to take those back for us - which is even nicer than them bringing them because now they have to go through customs on the way home and it is a pain with a lot of luggage.  Thank you Jenn and Scott!

Then it was time for us to head out.  We decided to take a private taxi rather than deal with the stress of a shuttle with all of our kids and luggage.  Comically, this is where things turned bad.  Both Parker and Ryder decided to cry the whole 45 minute drive to the airport.  They were just as sad to leave Mexico as I was I guess.

We got to the airport and we told the driver we were flying United.  (sucky airline by the way)  So he dropped us off at Terminal One.  Let me explain a bit about the Cabo Airport.  There are 2 terminals, 2 very separate buildings about a half a mile apart.  And there is no nice breeze way that connects them.  You literally have to go back down to the main road and hike along that and to get to the other one.  So, you want to be dropped off at the right terminal, and we always have been.  It is never a problem...until this year.  So we are running late as it is because our cab driver took some crazy route.  We get dropped off, all the luggage unloaded, kids strapped in the stroller, Brady's harness clipped on and we go into the airport to the United line.  We are greeted by a big sign that say something like "If you are flying into California you need to go to the United counter in Terminal 2."   WHAT????  Are you kidding me?  Surely this is a joke.  It is so unbelievable that I go ask an agent.  Yes, we are in the wrong terminal.  Ok, don't panic.  But now, I am stressing.  My wonderful husband says that we can walk over there.  Again, WHAT???  Sure honey, we are going to walk almost a mile along the shoulder of a busy road in the 90 degree sun with all 3 kids and 4 carry on pieces of luggage.  Nope.  This is where I draw the line.  We go back out and I am about to cry already.  A sweet shuttle driver says he will drive us over there just for a tip.  Done!  I give him $5 and he gets us over to the other terminal.

I don't know if all airports in Mexico are like this, but this airport is always crazy!  It is hot - no air conditioning - and the lines are always enormous!  Always.  So we get there and my heart sinks because yes, the lines are crazy and we are so late.  But then a sweet little miracle happens.  We see a new friend that we had met on this trip and she and her daughters wave us up to their spot in line right at the front.  They had already told the people around them that they were holding a spot for us, so no one was mad.   (we saw them in the lobby and they knew we were on their same return flight)  Not only did they save us a spot but Carrie (the mom) took the car seat that I had been carrying on my back and her 4th grade twin daughters took Brady and Parker.  Aaaahhh...I can see light at the end of the tunnel.

I am at the counter now trying to get my boarding passes and surprise, we are having troubles!  I get boarding passes for all 4 of us who need seats, but for some reason they are having trouble printing one for Ryder who ironically doesn't even need a seat!  No joke, I was at the counter for a good 25 minutes and they still didn't get one printed.  They basically did a hand written one so we could get through security and they said they would meet us at the gate with his real one.   Only in Mexico can you get through security with a hand written boarding pass.   hmmmm...

So we got up to the gates and now we only have about 15 minutes before boarding - cutting it way to close for my comfort.  We need to try to get Parker and Ryder to drink their bottles.  And I should say that right about now in "real" life all 3 of the boys would have been napping for at least an hour.  So, they are getting extremely tired.  In fact, Parker fell asleep for a minute trying to drink his bottle.  I also went to the bathroom to change Ryder and see that they have no changing tables anywhere so I had to change him on the floor in the airport.

Everyone is boarding and we are still waiting for that agent to bring us our boarding pass.  He shows up, takes our passports and leaves.  That makes me a little nervous.  Then he comes back with them and a boarding pass for little man.  However, now I see Brady's, which was in his passport, is missing.  The agent swears he didn't lose it, but I see the panic in his eyes.  So he leaves again to try to go find it.  Now everyone is boarded and we are still waiting.  This is my nightmare.  I HATE being the last person on a plane.  Everyone always stares at you like "oh this is why were are delayed" and then there is never any room in the carry on compartments.  But at this point I am just hoping the plane doesn't leave without us.  Finally they printed a new one and rushed us out the door.  Let me explain one more thing about the Cabo airport.  You don't go in a nice short little tunnel to the entrance of the plane.  You go down a ramp out onto the tarmac and you have to walk to your plane outside.  Of course our plane is the farthest one away.  So we hurry along.  Now comes the challenge.  We have to give them the stroller and then get up the stairs to the plane.  I have Ryder on my chest, Brady can walk, Jimmy has Parker but we still have all of our carry-ons to get up the stairs which is difficult when you are carrying kids.  Then we do what feels like the walk of shame.  I put on a phony smile and we make our way to our seats, which someone has already sat in because they thought it was empty.  So he has to move himself and all of his stuff to his real seat.  Sorry sir, but we need to sit together unless you would like to care for one of my kids.
I am going to try to shorten this up by saying the flight was crazy.  Neither of the big boys slept and Ryder only slept for maybe a total of 30 minutes.  We got to San Francisco and what was supposed to be a 4-hour layover turned into a 5 1/2 layover.  Brady had a huge blow out in his diaper and I had no extra pants for him so he was running around in just a diaper until our sweet new friend, Carrie, fashioned him a pair of pants out of a sweatshirt!  Yes, you heard me right.  You will have to look at the picture to believe me!  Her and her family were amazing!   Seriously, we could not have made it without them.  At any given time Carrie was holding something of ours (Parker, Ryder or the carseat), one of her sweet girls was keeping Brady entertained, and her mom was walking with Ryder and singing to him.  I love these people!

Poor little Parker looks like a zombie here.

This layover felt like it would never end.  At one point there was talk of canceling our flight because we didn't have an airplane!  I think it was about 9:30 when we finally boarded the plane.  Please keep in mind, none of my kids have slept.  They usually take a good 2-3 hour nap and then are in bed by 7:00!  It is currently 9:30...you get the picture, right?  Let's just say the last leg of the flight was the worst.

We finally landed in Portland and I was so excited to be back in a good airport!  We said goodbye to our wonderful friends and headed out to try to find our ride home.  Don't stop reading here...this is where it gets even more eventful!

Our nanny was supposed to get our Honda Pilot (with the 3 car seats in it) and meet us at the airport.  Her husband was going to follow so that she could go home with him because our car can only fit 2 adults with the 3 kids.  This was a much cheaper option that paying for parking for 7 nights.  And I was even happier that we went this route because it was so late and I would have  hated to have to take a shuttle out to long-term parking at this point.  But wait...I see her pull up in her little Kia.  I frantically look around for the Pilot.  Surely it must be somewhere.  Surely her husband has it...surely.  Nope.  Apparently she left the dome light on in in when she took us to the airport and the battery was obviously dead a week later.  So she pulls up in her little Kia.  She was wise enough to grab the car seats out of our car, but they don't fit well at all in hers.  (and I am a car seat safety fanatic).   So that is what I am stressing about.  But then we realize, there will be no room for all of us in there.  She sweetly says that she will ride in the back, the small hatchback.  Seriously, I would never make her curl up back there, there isn't even room for our luggage back there!

I start running through the baggage claim area looking for our new friends in hopes they could help us with transportation.  I can't find them anywhere.  Then I get a call from Jimmy, "get out here, Ryder is throwing up!"  I had put the boys in the car seats because they were crying and I had hoped that they would fall asleep while we tried to figure this out.  Well, Ryder was crying so hard that he projectile vomited all over the seat, the window and himself.  Lovely.  The other 2 boys are also screaming.  They are all so over-tired it is not even funny.  Poor little bunnies.

Then another little miracle happens.  Jimmy sees the family of one of his students.  This is a student who we both know because she went through my school before heading on to Jimmy's high school.  He also coaches her in track and the family is so nice.  So he awkwardly asks them if they can take him and our luggage home.  Yes, of course they will!!

As we are pulling out of the airport, all 3 boys are still crying so hard I am sure there is going to be another throw up.  I tell Gen "just drive!"  I am out of my seat leaning over holding their hands trying to comfort them.  It is about 1:00 AM.  Finally after about 5 minutes of driving they are all asleep.  We get home about 45 minutes later and unfortunately we have to wake them up again to get inside, change their diaper, get jammies on and into their cribs.  More crying.  We finally get them to bed and they are asleep by about 1:45 AM.

Phew!  I have never been so glad to be home.

This trip home was definitely crazy and hard.  But luckily we had great people helping us again.  We are truly blessed. Would I do this all again after so much craziness??

Look at these faces.  You tell me.
Parker looks so relaxed here, he actually looks like a typical kiddo!

Why, YES, I would!


  1. Laughing/crying - so happy you all made it home and LOVE how much help is always available, (really, to all of us), all the time, if we just reach out for it. Thank you so much for sharing your family life, and all your feelings about it, with us. Can't wait to read next year's adventure! You and Jimmy are brave, brave parents. Marie's mom

  2. I have to say that I am very happy that you are willing to take the trip again! GO MARCY!! You guys had luck on your side on that trip home. I am glad you had such a nice time and got home safe and sound. Your trip is the exact reason why we didn't fly to Florida and probably won't until the boys are older!


Thank you for stopping by and reading. I love your comments!