Monday, April 27, 2009

Hallo aus Deutschland!!!

Hello everyone from Germany! We made it here safely and are slowly adjusting to the time difference. Brian was great to schedule local things this weekend for us to enjoy so that if we needed sleep time, we could enjoy it. But more on what we did later...

I thought you guys would enjoy our plane ride story. Keep in mind that through it all, Brian and I handled it with ease. I was actually surprised that I was surprised that so many things would go wrong...cuz I was anticipating this plane ride being pretty bad. But then I got over it and assumed it would go relatively well. Haha. Boy were we in for a ride.

All in all, the things I initially thought were going to go wrong...didn't. Spencer was amazing! The minute we got on the first flight (after he pooped up his back of course), he fell asleep. He only slept for 30 minutes but didn't even cry because he slept when he was supposed to be drinking a bottle to pop his ears. And the rest of the first flight (we had a layover in Dallas, Texas) he just played and hung out. It was great.

Then the long flight to Germany he was great too! He slept a lot (without the use of Benadryl....hahaha, I guess all my preparations weren't needed) and watched a lot of YoGabba! Thanks Scott!

So, you ready for the stories?

The Ticket Counter Fiasco

We showed up at the Tucson airport with plenty of time to spare. We were at ease since everything had gone so well that morning. We had loaded the car the night before, set out our clothes to wear and got up at 6:00 a.m. to head out and get breakfast. We arrive at the ticket counter to check our bags in and the "oh-so-nice" ticket counter agent asked her first bad news question of the day..."Where's your addendum to your passport, Ms. Villa?"


Then she repeats, a little more bothered this time, accentuating a few words for then extra dramatic affect to go along with her flaming red/orange hair and tan leathery skin... "Where's your addendum to your passport, Ms. Villa?"

"An addendum for what?"

Sigh from ticket agent and an eye roll.

"The names don't match on your ticket to your passport. You can't fly on this plane and therefore you will miss your connecting flight to Germany."

"No, no one even told us we needed to have one."

Shoulder shrug and raised eyebrow from ticket agent.

Then very belittlingly holds up my ticket and my passport..."Do you see here? This one says Villa, and this one says Pethel. You'll never travel overseas."

(Ya, I get that. It's obvious...But what obviously isn't obvious to her is that she is wasting time standing there telling me the problem rather than using that time to fix it. We had plenty of time. She just stood there staring at us like we were supposed to just walk away and give up that easily. I was starting to get irritated. But as long as Brian kept his cool, I was too.)

It kept going back and forth until I finally stated the obvious! "Can't you just change my ticket into the name that matches the passport?"

Another sigh from ticket agent. "It'll take me a long time." Looks at clock. "I don't know if there's time." Bigger sigh. "HOLD on...."

She starts banging away at the computer. Then says, "You have a lap child? Well, he can't go. You don't have a ticket for him."

(Brian) "The ticket agent who booked our tickets never said we needed one. He's only 10 months old. He's a lap child."

This time we got a stare...Are you sensing a common feeling from her...she so doesn't want to be dealing with us right now. And instead of explaining why we needed a ticket, she just goes on and on about "why would you think you could go overseas without paying for an extra body? There's no way you're gonna make your flight."

(Are you serious? Just thinking of it again gets me so riled up. But at the time I was trying so hard to keep my cool. I really wasn't living in reality to realize the seriousness of the situation but was slowly starting to realize the gravity if she didn't help us.)

Brian was holding his composure, but he was starting to get pretty mad at this lady. She was just wasting time complaining when she could have just gotten right to it and started and probably could have finished in time. I totally expected him to lose his cool. Then he shocked me when, instead of pulling out "Jack" (my shortened name for Brian's alter ego, short for "Jack A*#"), Brian pulled out his charm and just said to me, "Christy this nice woman is going to help us get on the plane cuz I know she can do it. I don't care what fees we have to pay to have our baby go on with us. Can you go wait over there by the security so that the minute we get clearance we can get on? Now, Ms. ________ (insert her name here... I can't remember what it was), do you think you can quickly get our paperwork through?"

And sure enough, after I went and waited by security, I saw him rounding the corner ready to go.

Xoe & Xanthe on the first flight waiting for mom to be searched and seizured...
Christy as a Wanted Criminal
Yup, that's right. We got all the way through security with no glitches. I had prepared myself for how hard it is to get through with kids, a baby and 4 laptops. I fully expected the search of the bag for my liquids (for Spencer's bottles) and sending the stroller through. We walked all the way to the other end of the terminal (cuz of course they're always the last gate at the furthest end...I prepared myself for that too) and got to the gate just as they were starting to board. There was already a line going onto the plane when the ticket agent had us cut in because we had kids. We get all the way up to the electronic scanner and she scans all our tickets in. Then some sort of beeping goes off on the computer. She looks back at it and makes a confused face. Needless to say, every agent there, including the manager had no idea why it was flagging me.
I was so embarrassed cuz the line of people I'm sure were so bugged at me and just wanted to get on the plane. No one knew what to do so they sent Brian, the baby and both girls onto the plane and had me stand aside. The American Airlines ticket manager was so nice and was embarrassed because she had to walk me all the way back to security. They were going to make me do the whole security thing again! I was, at this point, trying to hold my composure but was starting to get pretty mad. I told them very nicely that they had already sent me through security and I was going to miss my flight. The manager said that she wasn't going to let that happen, yet couldnt' get an answer from the 4 security guys standing there looking at my boarding pass wondering why I had been flagged.
They finally let me go back to the gate with the ticket manager and right when I was about to go on, one of the security guys comes running after us again saying that HIS manager now wanted to talk to me and make sure I wasn't a threat. SERIOUSLY! Are you kidding me! I was standing there for a good 30 minutes. By this time they had shut the doors to the plane and I was not happy! "My kids, 10 months old baby and husband are on that plane!" Again, the airline people assured me they wouldn't take off without me.
And at the same time the security people were shrugging their shoulders wondering why it was taking so long for the security manager to call to the National Security Administration to clear me. They kept telling me that all of them had never seen this before. But I'm sure at the same time they were watching me to analyze what type of person I was. Therefore, I was making all the small talk they wanted me to make, talking about kids, laughing about how I'm ruining their on-flight stats (cuz my sister who worked for Delta told me all about it) and how everyone on the plane was going to boo me when I walked on.
Eventually, they let me go on the plane, no one booed me, and I went to sat down. THEN I had someone running after me down the plane to check all our passports. They had to take them all back with her up to ticket counter and then would be back. I was so embarrassed. We were 30 minutes late taking off, and Brian handed me Spencer who had just pooped up his back and was VERY stinky. Luckily we were sitting in the back of the plane cuz there was no way I was going to hold up the plane again to go into the bathroom to change him. Yup. I'm a mean mother. I made him sit in it for the hour and a half through the plane flight. At least I took the plane's blanket and wrapped him in it so it didn't stink and didn't leak all over me. :)
Negative 10 minutes to make our changeover
So, I hadn't really looked at our itinerary information to see how much time we had until our connection boarded for Germany. But as we were flying to Dallas, I started looking at the next flight times and figured out that with the time change, and the delay, we were going to be getting in 5 minutes before our other plane started boarding. That still didn't give us enough time to taxi in, wait for everyone to get their luggage and get off the plane. I still had to change spencer and we weren't going to have enough time to grab something to eat. Crap. That's all I could say in my head and just sat back. Brian just said, "Our boarding gate is only 5 gates away." Cool, I thought. No prob...
Until we got there and realized that those 5 gates were like 2 miles from each other. I booked it into the bathroom next to the gate, Brian stalled the plane and the girls just followed along. And OF COURSE while changing Spencer's diaper, I run out of wet wipes and his extra clothes were in the other bag. I was running to the gate with a big fat baby in only a diaper (Can you say Baby Huey?), and a blanket wrapped around him. All I could think while dodging people was "Don't mess with this beyotch right now. I have a plane to catch."
From there on out, it was smooth sailing. The girls LOVED the plane cuz they each had their own movie screen with a bunch of TV shows and movies to pick from, as well as video games to play. They loved the dinner and breakfast we got, and loved that each seat had it's own pillow and blanket. Doesn't take a lot to please, huh? They kept saying, "This is AWESOME......"
BUT we made it here safe and sound. Here are some pictures from our adventures on our way overseas. Enjoy!


amber buhrley said...

Couple of things...Laughed so hard at the picture of spencer sleeping and eating his blanket! Second, I can relate both with the the ticket agent and the traveler! Do you feel for me? Let me just tell you even though you were frustrated I have had the same thing happen to me except the lady was alone with 2 kids, no infant ticket, no return ticket and cant do that if you dont have a visa. So, she missed her flight and the next flight wasnt for another 2 days and would cost her $900.00. She was pissed and I felt bad but what do you do? Also, the whole running to the plane, security poopy kid, etc....I can totally attest to how crappy it is. So all those times I flew home and to see you make me an even better person now huh?!

stacy said...

better you than me...i would have hurt sombody and it wouldn't have been pretty. :) glad you are there safe. i hope you have a great time.

Nan said...

I am laughing as I am looking at Spencer sleeping. At first, I was like "he can't breath with that on his face", then I realized he is eating it! that's so great... your post stressed me out but I clapped at the end. Good job! You did it!

Randi said...

I laughed out loud so hard that I almost woke up Brenna. I have totally been there with the diaper situation. You remember when I only took 1 diaper with me the first time out with her. When she pooped that one I tried to wrap a maxi pad to her butt. Good job handling ALL of your situations. I would have ripped someone's head off.

Heather said...

i like the girls bangs...did nan cut them! Theyre cute! glad you guys made it!

Christy said...

Amber, yes. Every time I fly I think of you and how you did it all by yourself. I think that is what's going to get me through flying home on my own. If you could do it, then I better be able to. And at least you felt bad about that lady. This ticket agent was bugged at US and was so unwilling to give us information to what was happening. She was just tacky and rude. I can't imagine you being that way.

Christy said...

Randi, yes I remember that and still laugh when we talk about it. Heather, Nan cut their bangs when she came out. Cute huh? Didn't even make the connection though that I think it has something to do with Hannah Montana's new bangs. The girls won't admit it though. Or maybe it's cuz of Auntie Heather's cute bangs. They had it all set in their mind and I'm glad they both did it otherwise it would really set them apart, huh?