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12:31 p.m. - August 08, 2006
Don't Cry Over Spilt Milk, Except on The Belt
After a long few days, we’re back. And we’re all tired. We rolled into the house after midnight last night, and of course we didn’t all go right to bed. I didn’t get to sleep until 3:00 or so, and just slept in a bit.

Of course, Kristin decided that 8:30 was the latest that SHE wanted to sleep. Confound it!

I am not used to Indiana humidity yet, at all. When I got onto the jetway from the plane last night I felt like I was going to explode it was so freakin’ humid. Yeesh.

And, I proved another axiom of life. The pocket you put your keys in is the exact pocket that you can’t reach because you are carrying something (a baby, for instance) in that hand.

Anyway, thank you all for all of your thoughts and prayers and wishes. It was as good of a trip as it could be for what the purpose of the trip was. The girls were well behaved and handled it all quite well, even with a three hour time change. Kristin especially was as patient as a 13-month old could be.

But the trip out there…well…there’s always an adventure, isn’t there?

We had to get up at o’dark thirty as our plane left around 8:30. That meant a 5:30 wakeup call for the troops, and everything packed and ready to go the night before.

Liz went to bed at a decent hour, and I followed. But at about 2:30 in the morning I was jostled awake. Liz could not sleep, not a wink, and was up for good. I totally understand what was going on in her head, but I really needed some shuteye as I was the driver / chauffer / main childcare parent / rock for the trip.

She went about to clean the entire house, painted her toenails to Star Trek and got everything uber organized. She then made sure my buttinski was out of bed at the proper time, and organized our movement into the car. But she had NO sleep. None.

On the way, we stopped so we could get some drinks. I got Katie a bottle of milk that she requested. She drank about half of it and Liz drank about a half of a bottle of Diet Coke.

For the trip, we packed as light as we could, but still, there was a lot. We had two suitcases, a pack and play crib for Kristin to sleep in, two car seats, Katie’s backpack, a diaper bag, and a carry-on for both Liz and I for incidentals, books, etc. So we needed to get to the skycap and have them mess with everything, then I would go park the car in my favorite lot – which is a lot where it’s a short walk to the terminal.

When we got to the airport, I saw that the skycap station at Northwest was jam packed. Liz and the girls would have to stand in a long line, so I unloaded the small suitcase and the pack and play and some of the small stuff and said I would take the rest back with me.

So I parked the car. I noticed the Diet Coke and the milk, and thought they’d be good for Liz and Katie to have while we wait. I put the lids on, and put them into my carry-on bag. That bag also had my cell phone, my iPod, chargers for both, two books (one large hardcover on baseball and a paperback on the Kings of England and the UK), and four magazines that I did not read, but saved for the trip, as I knew we’d have at least 4 ½ hours of plane time.

I schlepped the big suitcase and my carryon back to the line. Liz was about four from the top, and I was relieved to get that part over and get the luggage checked. Then, Liz said,

“Did you have any trouble getting the car seats out of the car??”

The car seats! EGAD!

Knowing that I had a sleep deprived, grieving wife, and my two children near me, along with about thirty perfect strangers, I did not say what went through my head, but suffice to say there were about 20 words strung together that are not suitable for family entertainment. I said I would run back to the car and get them.

I got Katie’s booster seat out easily, but Kristin’s car seat was a pain. We tether them to the back seat as Honda thoughtfully put hooks in the car to do so, but the glass was curved at just the right angle that I had to fight with it for five minutes to get the seat out of the back of the car.

I hustled back to the skycap, and then I realized that I didn’t wear a belt with my shorts. I was wearing a relatively new pair of shorts, and because I was sweating and schlepping they became a bit looser and I all of a sudden felt like I was wearing low riders. So a couple of times I had to stop and yank up my pants.

When I got back to the skycap, all was well. We were checked in and the skycap knew we had one more thing to check, so the tag was waiting for us. Soon, we were on our way to the security checkpoint. I was carrying the diaper bag, my bag and Kristin’s car seat, as she was going to sit in the plane on that.

In my carry-on bag, which was more of a briefcase, I had all of my metal in there, so I felt that I could just put the car seat, the diaper bag, and my bag on the belt and not have to empty pockets or anything. I also put the boarding passes for the Memphis to Phoenix leg in my bag.

The car seat, though, wouldn’t fit on the belt, so they had to hand check it and swab it for explosives. I put the diaper bag on, and then I put my bag on the belt.

Remember the milk? Remember when I said I put the top on the milk?

Well, the top wasn’t there anymore.

And well, let’s just say the security guards don’t like it when you spill something on the conveyor belt.

I had to stand there while it took about five minutes to clean up all of the milk that spilled on the belt. Passengers behind me were a bit miffed, and well, I was too. Mo-ron, Smed. Mo-ron.

I hustled to the gate with the family and then sat down and looked in the bag.

Magazines? Ruined. I had to buy replacement copies for all of them.

Books? The paperback was OK, but the hardback’s pages all stuck together. Fortunately, I was able to unstick them as it was just the edges, but this was a 600 page book or so. Mmmm…delicious tedium!

Ipod? Working, but the display had a milky film on it. Same with the cell phone.

Boarding passes? Ruined. I had to go have the agent at the gate print new ones.

Northwest, despite their reputation, did a great job with our luggage and our seat assignments, and they were always courteous and polite to everyone. Katie even got to go up to the cockpit once and look at the fancy dials and gizmos.

However, despite that start, the rest of the journey to Phoenix went pretty well that day, except for one thing.

When we got there, I set out to get Kristin some milk, and at the convenience store I also got some beer for the room. When I was carrying the beer to the hotel (I was carrying it by the proper handle), the 12-pack broke. I gathered up the beers and dashed up to the room. When I put the beer away, I noticed just 11, so I went out on a mission to find the wayward beer. It was still in the parking lot, untouched, thankfully.

Of course, Liz summed it up best when I got back into the room.

“You’re having an awful lot of trouble with beverages today!”


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