Getting there is half the fun.

Three o’clock in the morning came too soon that day (Nov 25). As I zipped up the last luggage, hubby came in and said, “It’s time to go. Let’s wake the kids up.” Oh man… I haven’t been able to have a shut eye at all, and it’s time to go already? Good thing I dressed the kids in track pants, long sleeve shirts, and socks for them to sleep on. Once they’re awake, all they need to do was put their shoes on and get going. I was expecting some fuss, not wanting to get up, need more sleep, etc, from them; but there wasn’t any. They were actually in a happy mood when I woke them up. That’s why I couldn’t say ‘no’ when they asked if it’s okay to bring their pillows along.

Quarter to four in the morning, in our Toyota Highlander, on Interstate 35, I wondered if we were insane. After what had happened, with the cancellation and all, was it best for us to just cancel everything and not keep on trying? Is it like a bad signal that we’re supposed to follow and avoid going to SE Asia all together?

Four o’clock. We finally arrived at the Des Moines International Airport. Since it’s freakingly cold outside (somewhere in teens), hubby said he’d drop us off (and the luggages) at the front door, then he’d park the car and take the shuttle back to the airport *My hero!!*

When we checked in with Delta Airlines, they said that the four of us will be seated separately on the flight from Atlanta to Los Angeles! They’re talking rows and rows away, not only a few chairs. My heart sank. When we asked if there’s anything they could do since we have two little kids, they replied, “I’m sorry, it’s a full flight. You can try to have the people at the Atlanta gate to help you, but nothing we can do here.”  *What a great service*

That’s why I couldn’t sleep at all on the flight from Des Moines (IA) to Atlanta (GA). Not only because it was a small plane and unbelievably uncomfortable, but mainly worrying about having my children scattered around in an airplane for 3 1/2 hours on the next flight.

When we finally got to Atlanta, we had to hurry to the next gate. Hubby directly went to the check-in counter and told the rep our situation. Again, they were reluctant to help and basically told us that there’s nothing they could do about it and for us to ‘beg’ other passengers to switch seats.

Hubby and I nervously walked into the plane; we kept the kids not knowing what’s going on because there’s no reason to scare them. We told our 7 y.o. Davi and 6 y.0. Dante to just sit on their assigned seats and play with their game Boy/read a book. Hubby was seated 2 rows right behind Dante, so that’s good, he could keep an eye on Dante and who’s seating next to him. Mean while, I was seated all the way at the back and couldn’t even see Davi, Dante, or hubby. I couldn’t sit at all. I was standing up and all jittery. Delta’s flight attendant wasn’t helpful whatsoever. There was one lady who said that she’d check on us from time to time, but that means no shit to me.

Finally, I saw an African-American young girl walking towards me and kept looking at the seat next to me. She’s probably in her early 20s, and behind her was her parents. I asked the girl politely if she’d mind switching seats with my seven year old daughter and briefly explained the situation. She snottily said, “No thanks. I’m sitting here with my parents.” She didn’t even look at me or trying to see where my daughter was seated. Neither did her parents. I knew they heard me alright, but her mom just glanced at me and shoke her head. No sympathy at all. Instead, they sat down and ate their fried chicken they’ve brought along.

Time passed, and the plane was almost full. Somebody who’s supposed to sit next to Dante was finally showed up. She was about 40ish y.o. with a very short hair, dressed masculine, and a tattoo on her hand. A dyke, I thought. They’re usually nice people. Boy, was I wrong. When hubby told her our situation, she looked at him like, “And why would I care?” Her reaction when hubby asked her a favor? She didn’t say anything but shaking her head and continued to store her bag in the overhead bin and find her seat.

Finally, with only a few minutes to spare before taking off, I just grabbed a flight attendant who’s nearby and with [almost] teary eyes I asked her if she would at least check if there’s any two of 2 seats close together so we could be with our kids. A lady overheard us and said to me, “There’s an empty seat next to me. I’d switch with you.” OMG! I thanked her over and over again and quickly grabbed Davi and her stuff to switch around. When we walked passed the black family, I purposely said loudly to Davi, “Wow, what an awesome lady, huh? She’s so nice to help a little girl like you. UNLIKE SOME OTHER PEOPLE.” Davi whispered, “Mommy, why are you talking so loud? I can hear you just fine.”

Good things come to those who wait. Shortly after I got Davi settled in next to me, the flight attendant found two empty seats at the very back of the plane; which was unfavorable because you wouldn’t be able to recline your seats back. Dante and Dad moved there.

I don’t know why we would want to fly to Asia, because both hubby and I were bitching on how long the flight from Atlanta to L.A. took (it was close to 4 hours). Kids seemed to be enjoying themselves, reading books, playing with their Game Boy, watching cartoons, etc. The adults were really struggling *maybe the lack of sleep made us cranky*

Do I see the light at the end of the tunnel yet? I wish. While hubby’s getting our luggages at the bagage claim area, I called the hotel to find out if they have shuttle buses. When they asked my name, they said it was cancelled because we were a no-show last night. Are you fuckin’ kidding me? The hotel rep told us to just go ahead and come in and they’ll help us out. At that time, I was about ready to kill him because he’s the one who booked it. But then, it was that chaotic midnight when we both stayed up all night preparing everything, so I decided to let him live. For now.

We got to the Embassy Suites LAX North, talked to the front desk rep, and after they check with the Manager they let us stay one night for free because it was an ‘honest mistake’. Now, that is SERVICE!
Our suite was quite big for a one bedroom (we originally booked the two bedroom suite, but not available at that time). We were happy with the one bedroom because there’s a pull-out bed in the living room. The staff was so nice and the breakfast was amazing.

We were scheduled to fly out to Seoul (South Korea) then Bangkok (Thailand) the next morning. Davi started to feel sicky that night; sore throat, headache, and mild fever. Great. The concierge only has sinus medication for adults, so I had to go out of the hotel and walk a little bit to a store to get something for her. Unfortunately, they only had Sudafed PE and it clearly said ‘for children under 12 year old, please contact your doctor’. Since it was already night time, our doctor’s office back home was already closed. Next option was to call the ‘First Nurse’ back home for suggestion. Whoever that nurse was, who answered the phone, was not very helpful at all. All she could come up with was for me to contact the nearest pharmaceutial because that particular medicine was not in her stinkin’ data base. Not wanting to overmeds her, all we could do was to make sure she’s well rested and to have her drink plenty of OJ (orange juice).

As I was packing for tomorrow’s long haul flight to Asia, I heard hubby cursed, “Fuck! Oh shit! Hunny, c’mere… you’re not going to believe this!”

… to be continued…