It has been three years since we've visited my family in Ohio for Christmas, so we checked into plane tickets in August, they were reasonably affordable, and our trip was planned!
We decided last week that it would be better to drive down to the Cities (where we were flying out, four hours away) the day before and stay over night, not worrying about potential bad weather (we ARE in Minnesota!)...plus, by staying at a hotel and paying just a bit extra to leave our car there, we actually saved a good amount on parking. It was a good thing we did. We had a winter storm roll in on our way to the Cities on Monday, delaying our arrival by a good 90 minutes. Then, the next morning, I had a notification voice mail on my cell phone reminding me about our flight departure....almost two hours before it originally was supposed to leave! Turns out, they'd rescheduled our flight, but I wasn't observant enough when looking at the email reminder to notice it. We got to the airport in plenty of time, I showed security my new fancy card that indicated I was the recipient of a joint replacement so that there would be no problems getting thru. Ha! I was still thoroughly patted down....and was informed I will be every time I go thru airport security from now on. Yay.
From there, we went to our gate and waited. And waited. And waited. Our flight finally boarded, and by the time we taxied off, it was just about the original time we were supposed to leave. We arrived at Milwaukee with a few hours to spare between flights; however, we were there for about 30 minutes when I got another voice mail notification that our flight was cancelled. Not rescheduled. Cancelled. Nothing further. I high tailed it to the nearest airline employee and asked what was going on and how we were going to get to Akron, Ohio, that day. They had no clue our flight was cancelled yet! They got on the phone, talked with a supervisor, and told me that our flight WAS cancelled, that they were going to put us on another east-bound flight, and that they'd make a stop in Akron to drop off those passengers. However, the flight wouldn't be leaving until after it was supposed to arrive in Ohio originally. Oh, we would get compensation in the form of a free airline ticket for each of us, yay! No problems, the flight boarded on time and pulled away from the gate...and taxied, and taxied, and taxied. We were then informed that because the winds had changed, they had to move all the de-icing equipment from the other side of the airport, and until it got there and our plane was de-iced, they were shutting down the circulating air inside the plane....it would be about 10 minutes. Well, it was longer, probably about 30 minutes. Not really that bad. Luke kept occupied by playing tic-tac-toe and other games with the young man sitting beside him while Susi was busy drawing, and across the aisle, Tony and I talked and snuggled. Then we were off!
About ten minutes into our 54 minute flight, Luke started complaining that his head hurt. He soon started hitting it with his head, then putting his head down on his tray. Having dealt with some probable migraines before, I suggested to Tony that he trade places with Susi to make sure Luke was okay (my leg would have been uncomfortable in that seat...plus I had a feeling it was leading to something I don't like to deal with.....). I suggested again to Tony that he grab a barf bag and keep it handy, explaining to Luke what to do, if it was needed. Just a few minutes later, barf bag in hand, Luke showed how bad his aim really is. ALL over the place, well, at least on him, the seat, the tray, and the floor in front of him (bulk head row). Tony got things cleaned up as much as possible, while I wiped him down in the bathroom, just in time for us to land in Akron. I grabbed an extra bag as we were leaving, and after our luggage came off, Luke got changed before we piled into my parents' van. He promptly made use of the new bag several times before dozing off on our hour-long trip to my parents'. Once more when we got in the house....and the poor kid was wiped out.
The next morning, Luke was almost as good as new, but my tummy was a bit upset....and Tony was really wiped out. By the evening, Luke and I were feeling better, but Tony had slept most of the day. We were supposed to all drive to PA the following day to share a meal with my youngest brother, but Tony felt it best that our family just stay back, rest, and recuperate. He slept almost the entire day, while Susanna started with a deep cough.
Today, Christmas Eve, everyone seems relatively back to normal. Luke, however, is understandably nervous about flying back to Minnesota then the long drive back from the Cities. He doesn't want to stay in Ohio, though, especially without Daddy and Mama, so he'll be making the trip back with us come Monday morning. I did call my doctor and got a prescription for him for Zofran, a great anti-nausea medicine that he's used before. We don't know if it was from the travel (there are times that even driving home five miles from town he asks me to pull over because he feels "travel sick") or if it was a bug (there is something going around at home affecting the tummy without a fever) or if it was something we ate (Tony thought the chips and salsa we snacked on in Milwaukee tasted a bit off, and Susi is the only one who didn't eat any...and the only one who didn't have queasiness).
Needless to say, our plans for our trip changed some...but we've still been enjoying ourselves. It's been very low-keyed and has involved lots of time with "the cousins" -- my brother, his wife, and their nine children -- as well as my parents...and at times just us. Our plans tomorrow include caroling at a local nursing home...and not much beyond that. Sunday after services, we're headed to my uncle's home in Akron for a big get together, before headed back to my brother's for the night...then the airport Monday morning.
Please pray that our flights are on time, are uneventful, and that all tummies, heads, and everything else have no problems. Please also pray that Luke is courageous during this time as he really is nervous....
Merry Christmas, everyone! Thru this all, we've also kept the focus where it should be...on that tiny Baby born so long ago to bring hope eternal to a lost and dying world. Happy birthday, Jesus!