Friday, February 4, 2011

Through Rain, Sleet and Snow

We made it to Spokane!  It was a long, hard trip.  I came to Spokane to help my DIL on the plane with the two kids and to stay for two weeks. 
Brandon has been back in Spokane since New Years to get back to work.  Diana stayed in Pennsylvania for a month.  Brandon was going to be out in the field most of the month and then last week he was in Alaska.  Now they are all very happy to be back in Spokane together.  But I must say, it wasn’t easy!
Dee and I were scheduled to leave Pittsburgh at 11:48 Tuesday morning, fly to Cincinnati, then to Milwaukee, then to Minneapolis, then finally to Spokane arriving at 6:50 Pacific time (9:50 our Eastern time).  Well, that wasn’t how it went.  The winter storm started to hit the East Coast and the Midwest on Monday night.  Diana was already in Pittsburgh at her parent’s house.  At 3:00 in the morning I was laying awake in bed listening to ice hitting my bedroom window and thinking that Bob needs to get me to Pittsburgh by 9:00 in the morning and the roads are going to be covered with ice and snow.  Needless to say, I didn’t sleep from that point on. 
We got up at 5:00 in order to leave by 6:00.  It would normally take us about 1-1/2 to 2 hours to get to Dee’s parent’s house but we knew we had to leave with more time to get there that morning.  We were right!  What a mess.  If it weren’t for having an all wheel drive vehicle we would have never made it.  By 9:00 exactly we were there.  The next hurtle was hoping that the flight out of Pittsburgh was leaving and on time.  Pittsburgh weather was much better than mid central PA, so it was looking promising. 
Bob headed back home for the 3 hour long treacherous drive and Dee’s parents drove us the remainder hour drive to the airport.  It was only raining at this point.  In the meantime I was getting messages on my cell phone that our first two flights had been cancelled and they were putting us on a different (and actually better) flight direct to Minneapolis and it was leaving at noon.  Some things were positive and going our way.  We checked in all our bags which normally would have cost us about $100 extra with 4 bags, but the Delta check in attendant didn’t charge us anything.  Maybe Dee’s military ID helped, and possibly feeling sorry for us on this awful travel day with two babies.  Whatever reason, that was nice.  The other good news is that the airport was empty.  So many flights had been cancelled.  This led to another good thing; the planes were not full, so we had extra seats to spread out in.
Dee and I were each going to have to hold a baby in our laps, which is really hard for a 15 month old to do.
We made it to Minneapolis with no problem.  We then had a four hour layover before our next flight to Spokane.  Thankfully Minneapolis airport is big with lots of restaurants and shops.  We had a nice lunch in Chili’s and Riley was able to walk and run a little energy off. 
The flight to Spokane was so empty that they were able to give us a whole row of six seats for ourselves.  That was nice!  Between diaper bags, filled to the brim large purses, and winter coats and hats, we took up a lot of room.  I don’t know how we could have done it squeezed into two small airplane seats as we normally would have had to do.   But by about half way through the 3 hour flight to Spokane the Chili’s food, which had tasted so good, started to hit me in a way that was not feeling good at all.  Acid reflux was setting in and that along with an active Riley and a little bit of turbulence – Ohhh! it was not good.  The last thing we needed now was for me to throw up on the plane! 
We finally landed in Spokane, a little early even.  Getting off that plane and being able to walk helped me out a little bit.  So we go down to baggage claim to meet Brandon and wait for our bags.  We waited, and waited, and looked and looked and no Brandon and no bags!  Brandon was held up at work and our flight was early. He eventually showed up.  It was a very excited and happy little family reunion.  Our luggage was a different story.  The conveyor belts were now empty and out bags were not there.  We go to the lost baggage desk and find a line of fellow travelers.  We had to fill out claim reports and from initial checking it looked as though our bags all went to Salt Lake.  Wouldn’t you know it!  And I never check luggage, but we had to have our hands as free as possible this time.  I would also normally have a carry on bag with toiletries at least, but I didn’t do that this trip.  Wouldn’t you know it!  You know what, at this point we really didn’t even care.  We were so tired and worn out. 
We got to Brandon and Dee’s house and it felt so good, except my acid reflux was not going away.  I finally fell asleep on the couch watching TV.  Being so exhausted helped the situation because I went back to bed and slept very well.  I woke up in the morning feeling just fine.
That was our Travel to Spokane adventure story.  It was one of those days that was not easy but will forever be a memory that we’ll always have and be able to look back on a smile about and say “Remember when ---".


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