Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Let the summer adventures begin: Washington, 5 weeks!!!

Well, we're here! Jeremiah and I left yesterday (Tuesday) to join Jeremy in Bremerton, Washington, for the next five weeks. We had quite a day of traveling. Here's our story:

My amazing friend Karen came to pick us up at 4:30am to take us to the airport, where we would fly out at 6:30am. Because of the new, ridiculous baggage charge, I didn't want to have to check any bags, or items, so I decided to just pack a HUGE backpack (to carry on) with all of our clothes, a portable DVD player to keep Jeremiah occupied, and a few very small toys. I called Delta ahead of time, and they told me that I would be able to take my stroller, carseat, and pack n play all the way through the airport, and that I could check it at the gate (where they put it under the plane for you during the trip, and then have it waiting at the next gate for you when you get off the plane). So that's what I did! I took all of my junk through the airport with me. (See the picture below.) I carried my huge backpack on my back. I used the stroller as a "cart" and put the seat all the way down so that I could push my pack n play and carseat in it. Of course, there was no room for Jeremiah in the stroller, so I carried him in my Snugli (baby backpack) on the front of my body. I was so sore by the end of the day!

I was able to get through the long security check line and to the gate with about 15 minutes to spare. We loaded the plane....and waited....and waited...and waited...they had to "check" something, so we were almost 20 minutes late leaving. By the time we left, I was sort of freaking out because I knew that I only had 30 minutes from the time this plane landed until the my next plane left (at JFK Airport in New York). So of course, you can probably guess what happened next, right?! Right as my first plane was landing at 8:30am in New York, my next plane was leaving for Seattle, so we missed it. :( I was so frustrated because the flight attendant told me that they would probably hold the plane, since there were nine other people (besides us) coming from our flight to the plane headed for Seattle. But she was wrong. They left without us. Oh well! God had other plans!

By the grace of God (and a miracle, says my dad, who travels all the time), I was able to get on another plane, which could get me to Minneapolis, where I could take another plane to get me to Seattle. So I had two hours to take Jeremiah (and all of our stuff!) on a shuttle bus, over to another terminal, where this time, I would be flying through Northwest. So this gave us time to take a bathroom break, do a diaper change, get some snacks, have Jeremiah walk around, etc. (I'm sure you're wondering how Jeremiah did through all three flights. Well he slept most of the time on our flights, since he wasn't feeling well/running a low grade fever from teething. I'm assuming all of the tylenol/motrin that I was giving him for the teething, coupled with the lulling hum of the plane, probably made for some good sleep.)

Everything was going so I was checking in at the Northwest counter, the rude Northwest lady said, "Why on earth did Delta let you check a pack n play and carseat at the gate?! We don't allow that here! Give me your carseat and pack n play, and you'll get 'em back when you land in Seattle! I'll still let you check the stroller at the gate, though." In my mind, I was thinking, "Oh, how nice of you, crazy Northwest lady." So we left JFK-New York at 11:30am, headed for Minneapolis. God blessed me big time, because there was a seat open next to me, so I didn't feel like we were in anyone's way, and we could kind of spread out too. Again, Jeremiah slept most of the 3 hour flight.

We got to Minneapolis in just enough time for me to walk the 15 minutes to the next gate (this time, with a much lighter load at least, since we didn't have the carseat and pack n play), as they were loading the next plane. I was thinking, "Oh, thank you, God! Just enough time!" And then...(yes, there's even more!)....

As they were checking my ticket at the gate, they said they could not accept it. What?!!! When the crazy Northwest lady back in New York gave me the ticket, it had the information for both flights (New York to Minneapolis, Minneapolis to Seattle). She told me the ticket would be used for both flights, so I just believed her. Well she was wrong! I DID need two seperate tickets (just like I thought)! This time, the Northwest attendant, was a "sort of" nice gentleman, and he only rolled his eyes a couple of times, when he had to check the computer, call his supervisor, print out another ticket, etc. for me and another lady who was also in my same situation.

We finally got on our last plane of the day, at 2:15pm Minneapolis time (3:15 VA time). Again, God blessed us! He is so good! This plane was a much bigger plane than the other two, and we were seated toward the middle doors, where there was TONS of leg room. The 82-year-old woman on my left was so kind (and talkative, which made the four-hour flight zoom by!), and through talking to her, I found out that she was from a small town in Michigan, just minutes away from my grandparents' cottage on Crystal Lake. How cool! Of course, she reminded me A LOT of my grandparents, since she is their age. The man on my right was from Eau Claire, Wisconsin! What a small world! That's not only where I went to college, but also where Jeremy grew up! Cool! Through talking to him, I found out that he is an attorney and knows a family that I used to babysit for! He told us all about his three kids, one of which is Jeremiah's age. When Jeremiah started to get fussy, he offered to walk him around, play with him, etc. How nice! A much needed little "break" for me!

We arrived at around 4:00pm, Seattle time (7:00pm VA time). Jeremiah did an incredible job, seeing as how we started the whole process at 4:00am! As we landed and were getting off the plane, I met a couple, who have twins the same age as Jeremiah (12 days older). So they gave me their information and invited me to join them on a play date or two in the near future. Wow! I'm also looking forward to hanging out with one of my friend's sisters, who lives near here, and has a one year old. I also may get to hook up with Val, a friend from college, who now lives in Seattle with her fiance! We also are going to attend a church in Seattle, which is lead by one of Jeremy's former, childhood pastors. So many fun things to look forward to already!

We were so excited to see Jeremy!!! He was shocked at the weight of my backpack. Mamas are strong! Thankfully our carseat and pack n play did end up making it to the baggage claim, as promised by the crazy Northwest lady (from the JFK-New York airport). We ate dinner together, ran a few errands, drove the 45-minutes back to the hotel (we took the non-ferry route), and headed to bed early. We were exhausted! What a day!

Today, after Jeremy went to work, we spent the morning exploring the area around our hotel, and downtown Bremerton. Right now, the shipyard is paying for us to stay at Hampton Inn and Suites. We have reservations for a condo in Silverdate (15 minutes north), which has an indoor and outdoor pool, that we are looking forward to using. But the people who were staying there before us (also a shipyard transfer), got their trip extended, so the condo isn't available yet. Hopefully we'll be able to check into the condo in about two weeks. I honestly don't mind being in the hotel right now. It's a really nice hotel, with a small pool. It's located right next to the ferry station/bus station, which makes for easy transportation to anywhere we want to go. There's a beautiful courtyard right out from our patio, which leads to a walkway down by a sailboat marina, tour ship, restaurants, etc. Jeremy was issued a rental car, which he shares with one other person, but doesn't need it right now, because we are right down the street from the shipyard. When we were out exploring today, we found a little mini mart and consignment store where I bought Jeremiah some cheap toys. Jeremiah is just waking up from his nap, and soon we will head to the library to check out some books. We are having a great time so far! Bremerton is beautiful, and surrounded by gorgeous snow-capped mountains. It is very hilly which makes for a nice power walk! I'll try to get a nice walk in every day!! It's a bit chillier than what I'm used to in VA, with temperatures in the 70s. Since I have so much time on my hands, I hope to post on this blog every day, if I can! So keep checking!!


Kristen said...

Wow, what a long day! Glad you made it safe and sound and with all your stuff. Must be great to be back with Jeremy!
I had a crazy trip by myself once from cali to PA with Aidan and baby Syd...same thing connection missed because first flight delayed and then they lost my stroller...crazy fun airlines!

The Schaper Scene said...

As many times as I have flown back to Arizona (heavy backpack, carseat, stroller, baby, etc...luckily no pack n play)..I have never had any problems with my connecting flights. Thank goodness! I am exhausted just from *reading* your post. It already sounds like you are having so much fun there. Can't wait to keep up with you via your blog this summer.

~Lisa said...

What a crazy long beginning to your adventure! I'm amazed at how well Jeremiah did! AWESOME! Have fun exploring...

Megan Riesenberg said...

How fun for you and the boys! I look forward to hearing all about it! I also hope to see you this August! Pray that things work out and that we are able to make it! :) I would love to finally meet Jeremiah!