Our First “Amazing Race” Moment
I’ve had everything planned for months. Well, not everything. Actually, I’ve only had week one of fifty six planned…but I was feeling good. We were going, ready or not. The not part, well, that almost happened.
For months I’ve had it on my calendar that our departure was June 25th at 12:16pm. This date and time has been ingrained in my mind for what seems like forever. Perhaps that was the problem. The parts of my life I didn’t have organized, my friends kindly stepped in and made sure it was all taken care of. They occupied my children, offered to take care of this or that, made sure they stayed on top of me for getting a ride to the airport. Anything they could have done, they did (THANK YOU!).
It was all scheduled. We were being picked up at 10:15 for a 12:15 flight. We had plenty of time on the front end. Our flight would arrive in to Denver 5 hours prior to our Icelandic departure. It was all planned perfectly – or so I thought.
Apparently somewhere along the way United Airlines decided to cancel our flight and book us on a flight 2 hours early. 2 hours?!? This could have worked out fine, after all we were staying in the airport lounge in Denver, not so bad of a gig. The part that didn’t work out fine…somehow I missed the email that notified me of all this change in the plans. Honestly, there probably was one. I’ve gotten them before. I’ve read them, looked up the reservation, noted the 3 minute difference from the regular flight time and duly recorded it on my calendar. The problem this time was that I’ve been just slightly busier the past six months than I have ever been in the past. So, while I wouldn’t quibble over whether or not they notified me my complaint here is that perhaps a two HOUR difference warrants a phone call or something?!?
So, as crazy, last minute mama is running around with last minute packing, screaming at kids to help finish picking up, cleaning and putting away I pause for a brief moment to print our boarding passes since wifi wasn’t working last night (hence printer wasn’t working).
As I go online to check at 9:15 I note an email sent by the airlines at 7:45am and another at 8:15am – which I of course hadn’t received as I was flying around the house with last minute preparations. Email one stated that our flight was delayed from 10:26 to the original time of 12:16…what?!? Surely there’s a mistake – but all is good because 12:16 is MY PLAN! Email two states we are back on for the scheduled 10:26 departure since apparently the flight that was delayed two hours miraculously was landing and would be ready for departure – in a mere hour and 10 minutes. What?!? I flip from email to email. Super confused. Shocked. Really can’t believe it.
Stress level immediately skyrockets. I yell to kids to call my friends who are so graciously playing taxi and frantically type away to see if there’s any rhyme or reason. Kids get friend on phone and conversation goes somewhat like “So, can you be ready sooner?” Friend “I can be ready in about 5.” Me, “Good, because apparently my flight leaves in an hour.” “We’ll be right there,” says friend.
Five minutes later flabbergasted friends arrive and pack all 4 of us, our 4 overstuffed backpacks and various papers flying into the car, leaving behind a very messy, not quite organized for being away for a year and now unlocked house. YIKES!
Friend one drives seemingly calm like but probably flooring it as much as she dares. Friend two picks up on my distress and takes it all on and is desperately trying to find another way for us to get to Denver for our connecting flight – after all we have 7 hours before departure to Iceland. All the while I’m on the phone with United Airlines and while I’m trying to be cool and collected I’m telling them, regardless of fault they just need to “get us there!” All of which they say they can’t do however the flight is delayed by 7-20 minutes….At this point we have about 20 minutes to get to the airport and get to our plane. Really not looking so good.
I hang up just as we are pulling into the airport. Forces mobilize and my friends decide one will stay in car while the other helps get us to and through security. Gotta love good friends. Plan B is they wait at the cell phone lot because really, the chances we are getting on that plane are slim to none. 10 minutes to take off. Not boarding. Take-off.
Passing blissfully fast through security I just yell at the kids that we have to run. So as only the best Amazing Race contestants can do, we take off at a full sprint, backpacks and all. Mom is yelling “Gate 22” – of course it’s the furthest away…because it always is. Kaitlyn in yelling “I’m coming” and Avery is just sprinting like her life depended on it. Liam is amazingly keeping up with the entire race, backpack and all. Kids pull together, Kaitlyn grabbing Liam’s carryon as Avery reaches the podium. Made it. Really, really, unbelievable.
With expressions of jubilation and high fives all around we sat puffing and gasping in our seats for the next 15 minutes. We quickly texted our waiting departure committee and were off on what is sure to be a year full of around the world adventures!