Friday, November 4, 2011

Traveling internationally...or at least to the airport.

     As anyone with children would know, traveling anywhere with children can be a daunting task.  Now add twins and border crossing to that recipe and one can only expect disasters!

     My husband is from Edmonton, Alb. Canada.  His family still lives there, we do not.  Infact, it is a 3 day drive for us to get there.  Last week my husband received a call that we needed to get up there for a family emergency.  All 5 of us.  Plane tickets were purchased, and we were supposed to be flying out in 24 hours.

     Now anyone who knows me, knows that I tend to overpack for everything! It took me a week to get everything ready for our family vacation in September.  Trying to pack in less then a day was panic inducing for me to say the least, plus I had to work that night too!  So fast forward...

     All 5 of us are in the car and heading to the airport.  We were flying out of O'Hare, which is a 4 hour drive for us. The first hour was great, the boys slept, Sara slept, all was good.  Then Preston decided he was done riding in the car.  He cryed the rest of the way to the airport despite our best efforts; dvd's and even candy (don't judge me), with a few 10 minute breaks to catch his breath.  Our next obstacle once arriving was to get all 5 of us, 2 carseats and an entire trunkfull of luggage safely to the terminal.  Needless to say this 4 hour flight was looking really great to me.

     We rode the O'Hare transit to the the terminal.  Alex and Preston both thought this was amazing, "Just like Thomas" they said.  Finally a break from crying. We arrived at the baggage claim and check-in, handed over our online ticket reservations and passports for all except the boys.  We stood there waiting for half an hour while airport employees whispered to themselves then we were finally informed that our little guys needed passports to fly to Edmonton. 

     "Jen", you say, "you should have known that everyone needs a passport to fly across the border.  That's old news."  Well, we didn't.  We've crossed the border by car with birth certificates, so we naturally assumed that was all that is needed to fly.  In fact, the United Airlines employee even read to me the law, which does NOT say passports are required.  They tried their best to convince the border to let us through, it was an emergency afterall.  Well, needless to say, by this time my cortisol levels were through the roof, and I couldn't hold it back any longer.  So I am standing there sobbing, my husband is on the phone with his family explaining the situation, my daughter is in la-la land (a regular teenager hotspot) and Alex and Preston are tired, whiny and rolling around on the floor.  Final verdict:  The kids and I were not going to Canada, my husband was going alone.  Not cool.

     So now, Sara, the boys and I have to haul ourselves and all the luggage back to the car alone.  I had the boys in their monkey harnesses, but they were tired and didn't want to walk anymore.  They weren't crying (thank God), but their ability to listen to anything was gone.  We get back on the packed transit train.  There, an older woman looks at me and my kids and says outloud, "Oh look they're just like a couple of ponies."  Are you freaking kidding me?!  Believe me when I say that it was against every shred of my soul not to let that woman have it for implying that I was treating my kids like animals.  Given the circumstance though, I wasn't going to rip a stranger in Chicago, while I was alone with 3 kids, a new one.  So I bit my tongue, which was probably the hardest part of the entire day.  Finally though, we made it safely back to our car, and 4 hours later, home.

     Now, whenever your having a bad day with your kids, you can think back to my airport fiasco and relax.  It could be worse.  And remember, get your kids a passport!!

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