|this was his activity of choice for a while: play with the magazines in the chair-back in front of you until they fall to the floor and mami has to pick them up. Repeat until your bored. Probably about 10 minutes later.|
|Our airplane flying across the map. Hey, it entertained me for a while, so I'm thankful.|
|His entertainment of choice: garbage truck videos. This is a guy playing with his collector's items: $180 Waste Management garbage trucks.|
A short story I will title,
"An Airport Experience"
First, we had an exactly 2-hour layover between our landing in Dallas to our takeoff to Seattle. That's exactly how much time you want if you're traveling with a toddler, have to go through immigration, then to baggage claim, then re-check your bags, but if you can find a layover that is longer- GO FOR IT!
Secondly, we traveled with as big car seat this time. Eduardo had a tough time boarding the plane with a medium-sized suitcase on wheels, a large backpack and the car seat, so he told us we will let everyone get off the plane before we did. There goes 15 or so minutes of our 2-hour window for the next flight....
We got off the plane and of course Santi wanted to walk at a fairly slow pace while pushing the medium suitcase on wheels, but I didn't get angry at him because he wasn't aware of the slight rush we were in. Then we all took a bathroom break, but we had to take turns since someone had to watch all the luggage (a large backpack, the car seat, my purse, Edu's bag, a medium sized suit case). There goes another 15 or so minutes of our 2-hour window for the next flight....
Off to customs! The relieving part of it was that we saw new signs posted on in the halls as we headed to customs: "U.S. Citizen? Easy! Scan passport, answer a few questions, and you're done!" What a joy, we finally get a break! Eduardo is now a U.S. Citizen, so this is going to be a breeze!" More signs, more hope, leading to no lines, a machine that scanned each of our passports and took each of our pictures... Then we presented the printed out customs form to an important person whose title escapes me at the moment, "X, X, oh...please head this way.." Said the worker who noticed Eduardo's form didn't have a large, "X" over it, which means something has to be looked at. A new line. A new line that didn't move. 4 of us in that line, 1 customs worker that quickly turned into a customs worker leaving for their lunch break and a poor transition in their replacement. No one being attended... But JOY, a man saw us not moving, and no one at the desk they should be at, so he kindly guided us to another line with just one man in front of us. Whew! There goes another 15 or so minutes of our 2-hour window for the next flight....
Oh but wait... There's more, much more: cue in another 20+ minute wait for someone to call out, "next!" so that we could move things along. Finally! Hi customs agent, yeah we went to Mexico to visit family! 12 days! (Smile, grin, smile...) then the man pipes up, "Jose you have a very common name..." (Eduardo's legal first name is Jose) "...I'm going to need you to follow me..."
[[3 years ago or so we had this same problem: Edu's common name, some bad guys have that name, the immigration workers have to make sure he isn't a bad guy. Two hours later, we missed our flight. Eduardo was sick, I was emotional, and I clearly remember us sitting on the floor in an airport in California - crying like a wee baby wanting her mommy.]]
Into the immigration room we go. There goes yet 20 or so minutes of our 2-hour window for the next flight.... Oh good, here's our guy, coming up to Eduardo to tell us we're good to go! Oh, no? You have questions, sir? (Side note: the officer's last name was the same as Eduardo's - I guess it is pretty common!) Questions answered, we were then told, "I'm just waiting for a phone call, everything has to be processed via phone, sorry guys.."
Eduardo started praying out loud that we could make it to our flight on time, so I followed lead and gave the trip up to Jesus.
I kid you not. 30+ minutes later...we were give the clear to go.
WE THEN AWKWARDLY RUN AS FAST AS WE CAN (which is about the pace my dad walks at; fast, but not really legible to be called, "running".) And yes, we had to check in bags, empty out suitcases and laptops and take off shoes...
THEN THE CARSEAT GOT JAMMED IN THE CONVEYER BELT SCANNING TUNNEL THING. So some guys helped yank it out and a gal walked through the human scanners with it, then gave it a pat down.
THEN THE CONVEYER BELT SCANNING TUNNEL STOPPED WORKING. And it was the only one being used at the time. I started laughing; Eduardo anxiously gave me a, "is this really truly actually happening right now?!" smile.
QUICKLY EVERYONE TRANSFER ALL YOUR BELONGINGS TO THE OTHER BELT THEY ARE JUST NOW OPENING! Barefoot. It was like synchronized swimming without the water. The line of 10 or so people all moved together in frantic, rushed harmony. Picture them, once given the command to switch lines they each lifted their bin with their laptops, shoes and belts, awkwardly danced over to the other side, slammed their bins down and then repeated the whole thing for their suitcase and carry on personal item.
WE THEN AWKWARDLY RUN AS FAST AS WE CAN (again, about the pace my dad walks at; fast, but not really legible to be called, "running".)
Up stairs, escalators and those moving floor things.
Oh and then we arrived in Seattle, stood up rejoicing, and the power went out in the plane. That means the door cannot open…
...It just lasted for 5 minutes, but still... c'mon! Haha.