And We’re Off! {Not So Much, it Turns Out}

I’ve been writing this post in my head for days.  Funny how things don’t always turn out the way you plan.

First, I’d start out with a picture of The Cuties in front of the stretch limo we surprised them with to take us to the airport.

Although no amount of creative editing could hide the excessive baggage we are taking with us.  That, my friends, is what TWELVE suitcases looks like.  In fairness to the Felt So Cutes, we were told our air shipment would take two weeks and the sea shipment would take two months.  So in those bags, are work clothes for Cute Husband, each of The Cuties’ school supplies, lunch boxes/bento supplies/water bottles, towel sets for each of us and sheets, in addition to basic clothing and toiletry needs.

We managed to fit all the luggage in the car and made it to JFK in record time.  Our bags all squeaked in under the weight allowance {I’m a HUGE worrier about things like that and Cute Husband totally isn’t.  Basically, we cancel each other out}.  We eased through security with plenty of time to spare and sauntered onto the plane to settle in.

The flight attendants heard we were moving to Tokyo and oohed and aahed over The Cuties and immediately shared the news with the pilots, who escorted them right up to the cabin and set up a whole photo shoot for them to commemorate the day.

And then we pushed back from the gate and settled in for the 13 hour flight to our new home……

Except we never made it.

We sat on the runway for an hour or two due to computer issues in the control tower.  Then had to go back to the gate to refuel because of the long flight.  Then there was a “minor” engine problem that mechanical had to sign off on before we could leave.  And then we pushed back again and burned so much fuel on the runway waiting to taxi that we had to go back and refuel again.  And by now about six and a half hours had already passed and the pilot announced that we had finally been cleared to try and taxi again, but the four pilots only had about thirty minutes left before they were grounded by the FAA for time.  We happened to be at a gate where they have to tow 747s in and out instead of just driving them in, and whomever was towing us seemed to be having a particularly off day.  We were pulled out, then pulled back in, and as we were being pulled back out…..

The pilots ran out of time and the flight was cancelled.

I kid you not.

It then took over an hour to deplane everyone because they didn’t have enough staff to deal with the 300 people and rebooking them and right about then those HUGE thunderstorms on the East coast hit as they were ushering us outside from one terminal to another.  It was awesomesauce.

We then waited in line for rebooking for more than another hour.

Someday, my children may be old enough to scour the Internet and find their mother’s blog.  If and when they do, they should know that they were complete and total ROCK STARS today.  They ate lunch ate noon and we weren’t able to get to a hotel and find them food until well after 10:00 p.m.  It was so disappointing not to get to start our new adventure today, and they really did great {better than some of the adults!}.

So we’ll sleep in hotel beds in America tonight, wear the same clothes again tomorrow {no returning the luggage because the baggage ramps were closed due to the storms – I mentioned how fabby this day was already, right?}, and get up early and try, try again!

The one bright spot in the second half of our day was that we happened to wait in line for rebooking with another Expat family with young children.  The mother was delightful and incredibly helpful, offering me names of pediatricians, parks, etc, that I was frantically scribbling down on scraps of paper in my purse, while our children sat on the floor playing games and sharing all the snack food we had left in our purses.

They’re looking forward to a play date tomorrow at 35,000 feet!

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8 Responses to And We’re Off! {Not So Much, it Turns Out}

  1. cpbaby says:

    You are amazing. That’s all.

  2. MamaofFaith says:

    What a frustrating day!

  3. ErinLMay says:

    Wow! I’m pretty sure you a) deserve to be sainted and b) got all the hard stuff out of the way – the rest of the move will be seamless!

  4. fuzzylolipop says:

    Thinking of you this a.m.! The re-do will be total awesomesauce I can feel it!!

  5. Laura says:

    Awesomesauce. That just might be my new favorite word. Exciting story about your lack of adventure – I hope the next attempt goes much, much better. Safe travels to you all.

  6. Kaycee says:

    What an adventure!!! The Cuties were just plain adorable in the cockpit!!! I’m sorry it didn’t go so well on attempt 1, but I’m certain attempt 2 will go better!!! Have a safe journey and God Bless you and your family!!!

  7. J&Z's Mom says:

    Thinking good thoughts for you and yours today. May it go much smoother than yesterday.

  8. In 1965 my Mom traveled with my sister-age 7, me-age 3 and had my brother in a back carrier-age 10 months. She was taking us home, to Sweden, so we could see our Grandparents. First she flew from LAX to NY, was kept over night a day or two, then went to London, Paris (where I got lost) and then finally to Sweden. What a mess! She has this adorable picture of my Grandparents at the Stockholm airport with a worried look on their face. I look at it and thinking wow to travel way back then and deal with all of that.

    I’m glad you eventually made it to Japan safely. Now I have to catch up with your other new posts.

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