I have finally decompressed enough from our trip that I can talk about how it went. So, let’s go…
Two Sundays ago, we were all packed and decided to spend the night at Grandma’s house. She’s 20 minutes closer to the airport than we are, so it made sense. The boys were super jazzed up to have a sleepover, but they were getting nervous about the trip. So instead of sleeping on the big, blowup mattress in the living room, they both mashed themselves up against me in a double bed that was much too small for such an arrangement.
Extremely early on Monday, we got up to go to the airport. There are only two flights per day out of Marquette so, you catch this early one or you don’t go. Well, we were anxious about getting on the plane so, of course, I got a sassy gate agent who tried to bump us due to the plane being overly full.
Thankfully we were not bumped and a couple people moved on the plane so that the boys and I could sit in the same row. Robert was across the aisle from Peter and I because the planes that fly out of Marquette are itty bitty puddle jumpers. Well, I didn’t think about it until we were buckling up and getting ready to take off but, Robert is a little ball of anxiety. He was terrified to be on the plane in general. And it was made worse because he was sitting next to a stranger.
He sat on the edge of his seat, looking nervous all the way to Detroit, poor thing.
In Detroit we learned Robert’s anxiety does not end with planes. He is also suddenly and inexplicably afraid of escalators.
We had a great time trying to figure out how to get across that airport without using escalators. More than once Robert and I used an elevator while Peter jumped on the escalator. When we got to the bottom….Peter was gone because he went right back up the escalator. Ug.
Also, the tunnel of horrors in the Detroit airport? Who thought that up? It’s a dark cave with creepy flashing lights and music to inspire your worst nightmares like scary circus music or thunderstorms. Because, when you are already nervous about flying, let’s make you think about storms and turbulence!
Seriously, what is this?
Anyhow, eventually we got to our next plane and set off for St Louis. Robert sat next to me and was much happier.
“This plane is bigger. I am much more comfortable,” he told me sagely.
What a character.
Once we got to St Louis, we found our luggage and had to set out to get our rental car. We took the shuttle to the rental car place, waited in a super long line and….were told our car was at a different location.
“Your tag line is literally, ‘we’ll pick you up’. Can someone from that office pick us up here?” I asked the agent.
“No. We can’t pick up at other Car Rental places,” the guy replied.
“But, if I walk like…a block in to the neighborhood here, they will?”
Well, that’s stupid. But, I did it. I walked over to a White Castle with two kids and an enormous suitcase in tow. Everyone I passed looked really angry and I was getting concerned that St Louis was one of those cities with really awful, mean people.
We waited for over an hour and a half to be picked up because the guy picking us up got lost. But, once he got there, he looked REAL anxious to leave.
I tried to make small talk as we left the area about how nice this neighborhood looked. I asked if all of St Louis looked so nice. The driver still looked nervous and didn’t really answer my question.
I found out later I had been in the middle of Ferguson. You know, the place with all the racial tension and (at that time) active riots? The driver must have thought I lived under a rock.
Well, we finally got our car and headed to the hotel. I have never been so happy to see a Best Western.
The boys made themselves at home immediately.
They also very quickly noticed there was a Target right behind the hotel and they deduced they could convince me to take them there for snacks and swim trunks. (I avoided bringing swim suits because I knew Peter couldn’t swim with his cast. That didn’t stop him from trying, though. I still consider it a miracle that he didn’t completely destroy his cast during this trip.)
In any rate, it was nice to burn off some energy at the store and in the pool because we had a full day scheduled for Tuesday…
to be continued.