There once was a tale of a people just trying to survive with their families in a poor town. This evil man comes into town and steals money from the townspeople claiming they owe more and more! The people wait and wait for a hero to show up when finally, their hero comes and steals their money back for them.  
This evil man, of course, represents the Airline Industry. 

I live in a city where there is a huge music festival at the same time as Spring Break. My family lives in a completely different state 1800 miles away. I like my family. My family likes my baby. I want to see them. The airline industry, however, has decided that to fly from us to them should cost more than it did to bring her into the world. 

So, we decided to drive. The 1800 miles. With an infant. 

“Well…you won’t get a lot of time with us if you drive. You really should try to find flights,” says multiple members of our family. 

“But you don’t understand,” I try desperately to explain. “The airline industry has decided to monopolize Spring Break! It costs my mortgage to fly home.”

“Well,” our family sighs, “you do what you think is best..” followed by a heavier sigh.

They raise fair points. Fine, we’ll fly. Here’s the thing. In order to fly at a somewhat affordable price, we must drive three hours to another airport. No big deal. She was great in the car. Smooth ride.

We get to the airport. I hate the airport.

“Yes, we’d like to check our bag.”

The attendant has a surly grin on her face. It seemed like she had just gotten into a fight with her superior and she was looking for an excuse to exert some dominance.

“Mmmhmmm, and are you checking your stroller?”

“We think we can check it at the gate.”

She chortled. For real. A real chortle.

“Well, let’s just weigh it, then.” She places the stroller on the scale. She smiles with real glee as she says, “Ooooh, I’m so sorry. It’s actually 23 pounds. You’ll have to check it.”

My husband wraps the stroller in its bag as I rock the babe in her car seat. I hand the lady my credit card and ID. Look, I’ve got a weird name. I love my name, but it’s strange. When I tell you what happens next, I’m using a fake name, but it will include the same amount of weirdness.

“Who is Marion Veronica Smith?”

“That’s me.”

She smiled again. And then laughed. Again. “No, no. Your ID says your last name is O’Reilly.”

“Yes,” I said through gritted teeth, “Smith is my maiden name. If you look at my ID, it says ‘Marion Veronica Smith O’Reilly’. My credit card says, ;Marion Veronica Smith’. How many IDs could I have stollen with three of the four same names?”

“Mmmmmmmmmmmmmm……” she says as she stares at the two cards, weighing them as if she’s Montesquieu figuring out the checks and balances system.

“Look, I have a school ID with my maiden name. Would you like it?”

“Yes…” I hand it to her. She accepts it. But I still I hate her.

We continue the line through security. We are loaded with crap, the biggest crap of all being my daughter. Just kidding. I love her. Long story short, everyone was super nice in the security line, although it did take us forever. Then, we got up to the gate. My daughter was incredible the entire time. Another passenger said, “Just so you know, you can go first. They’ll say, ‘Anyone with small children can board.’ That’ll give you time to get situated.” Thanks other mom, you’re amazing.

They did not call for small children. We had to go with the other plebeians as we were lugging around a 13 pound angel who, while adorable and mostly well-behaved, wants to just sit and sleep. I mean, at what point is it even worth having a child if we can’t get on the plane first?

We get on the flight. She cries a bit, we feed her, she’s amazing. The plane begins to land. She cries a bit, we feed her, she’s amazing. We get off of the flight fairly happy.

They sent all of our carry-ons to bag check. We wait. We wait and wait and wait. We wait one hour. She’s still well behaved. Mom is cranky. I’m mature. I handle it.

We go to the rent-a car location. We wait. We wait and wait and wait. She poops. She poops and poops and poops. Like, imagine an entire flock of birds decided your car was target practice. My daughter was the flock of birds and her outfit and my husband was your car.

We finally get the rental car and load up the car seat, which we brought. I forgot the clip for the car seat. After many a curse words from my heathen mouth and many a kind word from my husband, he figured out that the car seat has an alternate way to hook to the seat. He’s amazing. I love him and I hate the car seat.

After my daughter screaming in the car for ten minutes, my husband avoiding cars to get back to her and give her the pacifier, and us figuring out the alien city, we arrive at our first stop at 3:30 am. Our flight landed at 11:30 pm. The airport is 35 minutes from our destination. To be fair, the time did jump ahead one hour, but saying that just makes the whole situation less dramatic.

So, thus far, our trip (which has only just begun) took 14 hours to get to our destination. Driving without stops is 13 hours. We’re driving a lot anyway. I want to drive from now on. I hate when my husband is right. Even so, he’s my Robin Hood.

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