Catch up with the story!
Part one: Vacations Give the Loveliest Headaches
Part two: Some Vacations Don’t Need an Airport
The flight was delayed a total of almost two hours, which basically took away the cushion of time we were going to have for our layover in Seattle and no one was really smiling when we finally, FINALLY, took off from Denver. I was ready to just sit back and read a book, but I was reminded over and over and over again that sitting and reading wasn’t really an option for me with my very talky nine year old and his very full backpack of “travel stuff.”
Toys, coloring books, and tablet apps were just waiting to be unpacked and he wanted to enjoy them all and in very quick succession. Just when we settled in with one item he was ready to move on to the next. But I couldn’t really be too frustrated because he was handling the entire flying situation better than I was and he had discovered the perfect way to keep his mind off of the sprint that we were going to have to make once we got to SeaTac. It was the beginning of family vacation bonding time.
The soda and the salty snacks appeared but I put them away for later because it was now time to break out my yummy strawberry salad. It had taken a lot of effort not to eat it back in Denver, but I was successful and was now about to have my moment. I felt a momentary triumph over the other passengers knowing that I was about to have a better gastric experience than they were when I realized that I forgot to grab some utensils. You’ve got to be freaking kidding me! The crew didn’t have any to share (they were all packed inside of the snack boxes you can purchase) so it was time to basically get animal.
Piece by piece, bit by bit, my little family handled that salad with our own little hands. Did I care that I hadn’t washed my hands since I had last visited the ladies room at DIA? I did not. (But…note to future self: pack some damn hand sanitizer next time!) Did I care that I managed to get more salad dressing on my boobs than in my mouth? Well, kinda–I still had a long way to travel–but it was a relatively small matter in the grand scheme of my day and I got over it quickly. The salad was even more delicious than I ever gave it visual credit for and when it was all gone I was truly relaxed and on vacation. Ahhhhh.
Thankfully time flew by (wink, wink) and we were in Seattle before I knew it. My fear of missing the connecting flight had been lessened quite significantly by knowing (through the diligent work of the hubby that can’t NOT talk to other people) that there were fifteen others that had to rush to the same plane. They couldn’t take off with that many people missing, could they? I chose to think that the answer was no. Luckily we had been seated toward the front of the plane and it took hardly any time getting off and running through SeaTac.
By this time the three of us were wild with the need to visit the restroom but we were on a quest and relief would just have to wait until we sprinted (okay, walked kind of quicker than usual) down into the bowels (man, I had to go bad) of the airport and to the train I was going to have to take to the next concourse. Bursting (torture, I tell you!) out of the doors and back up the escalators into the light we made it to our gate with minutes to spare. Now able to go about my business I was very happy again. And there was an added bonus–hula music to pee by! Yes, I AM on vacation!
Apparently we had missed a hula performance and although I was kind of bummed that I didn’t get to see it, I was hyper aware of the fact that I was only six short hours from the real deal. I vaguely noticed a huge sheet cake near the boarding line and the palm tree balloons taped to various pole and didn’t put too much thought on why they were even there. I became distracted by the fact that it was time for us to board and they were going to give me a lei! It was a toy lei you could pick up in any dollar store, but I thought it was a cool touch.
To be honest I just thought that this is what airlines did for people that spent all their money on a Hawaiian vacation. My son tugged on to my arm to show me a sign showing how happy the airline was to now be providing flights to Kona and I acknowledged him (I know I did because he wouldn’t stop telling me about it later) and then promptly forgot ever having seeing it. My brain had one setting: Get me on that plane!
This plane was so much bigger than the last one and I was ready to collapse and sleep my way to paradise. The boy wasn’t as gung ho to grab all of the items out of his backpack this time and I was actually gifted with a mommy reprieve. We didn’t have a chance to grab any dinner between planes and I was starting to feel really hungry, but, alas, just more salty snacks to be had. We passed on the food and settled in for the trip.
Can I just say that I think it is one of the best things in the world when the airline wants to give you stuff. I am used to the 1/4 can of soda and the small packages of peanuts and pretzels, but I really love it when I get a pillow or a blanket, and then they come by with earbuds so I can listen to music. I felt so happy having all of those things and then (Yipee!) I was going to be able to watch a movie. For free (but not really).
What new release was it going to be? What was going to keep me from getting my beauty sleep? What was it? Elf. (Crickets.) Hmmm. Do I even like Elf? Have I ever seen Elf? No? Then, yay!!! I get to to watch Elf for free on my way to Hawaii! I laughed, I cried (but not really) and I am pretty sure that I was the only one watching. I was completely and utterly in my happy place!
© DRB 2016
Part 4: Getting Lei’d While on Vacation