In the spirit of Gilligan’s Island:
Just sit right back and you’ll hear a tale,
A tale of a fateful trip…
Six passengers took flight that day
For a 24-hour tour,
A 24-hour tour.
You can hear the original song here.
We got up Wednesday at 4am, with the intent of going from South Dakota to Shanghai for a 3-year stint with my husband’s job. I have no photo because you don’t want to see what we all looked like at 4am.
Wednesday 6:30am Central Time.
Sioux Falls to Denver.
Flight 1 of 3.
The kids were quite excited. Chaya claimed the seat next to Ama (the kids’ “grandma” term for my stepmom Tammy), and Asher chose to sit by me. Abigail kept looking out the window to see the land, the sky, and the clouds.
I breathed a sigh of relief that we got all of our checked bags taken care of, and got everyone and everything through security and onto the plane. I was thankful that we wouldn’t have to go through that process again.
Wednesday 10:30am Mountain Time.
Denver to Los Angeles.
Flight 2 of 3.
Asher and Abigail enjoyed the surroundings while waiting to board the plane.
This flight was a bit longer than the first, but aside from some earaches upon landing, the flight was great.
Wednesday 1:30pm Pacific Time.
Los Angeles to Shanghai… or not?
Flight 3 of 3.
We boarded the aircraft, the new Boeing Dreamliner. Josh, my ever-techy husband, couldn’t wait to use the personal screens and option of choosing movies. The kids promptly began watching Rio 2, which they had heard about from Josh for days beforehand.
Halfway into the kids’ movie, we realized that we were still sitting at the gate. The pilot announced, “I’m sorry, but the mechanical crew has found an issue with a hydraulic line. They will take the aircraft to the hangar where they have more tools available to fix it. We need all of you to deboard the plane and wait at the gate for further instructions.”
The crew hoped that we would be able to board another plane around 5pm and leave for Shanghai the same day.
The kids found sweet spots to sleep and to play at LAX while we waited, and in the midst of their playing, I got the phone call from Josh. “Can you get back here right away? Fast? Our flight is cancelled. We need to get our luggage from baggage claim and rebook.”
While we quickly gathered our belongings and headed to baggage claim, Josh rebooked over the phone. He told the person on the other side, “Yeah, that should work fine,” then turned to me and explained, “We will check back in here, go through security again, and leave for Chicago tonight. We’ll arrive around 1am and take the flight to Shanghai in the morning.”
My heart sank.
Another flight. In the wrong direction. Late at night. With three kids.
Thank God we had another adult with us.
So we did it. We hauled all of our luggage around, had Chaya pull her own suitcase and her backpack laden with toys, rushed through security, and found ourselves at the same gate in LAX that we had just left.
Read the rest of the story, Roundabout Route, Part 2.