That Time We Almost Went to Cozumel

Phoenix looking at the airplane

Of course last night was the night all the younguns had issues sleeping.

Griffin woke up around 12:30 I think. Tristen took care of him then, but he woke up again around 1:30, so she asked me to take care of him then. You can sit down in the recliner with him and the kid will start snoring on your shoulder, but as soon as you put him down he wakes right up. So I’ve taken to getting in the crib with him for a bit, which helps.

Then around 2:30 we heard a scream. I jumped up and ran in their room to find Fawkes by the door. I got in bed with him and settled him down, but Phoenix woke up and wanted to cuddle. It was fine at first, but after a bit they were starting to wiggle around and wanted to play, so I left and they eventually fell asleep again.

Tristen and I had a hard time falling back asleep, and we were getting up around 4:40 anyway. We packed everything the night before so all we had to do was throw on some clothes and get the kids.

So up we got, put on some clothes, got Milly and Erin (who was driving us to the airport in our van), gathered the last few things, then got Fawkes and Phoenix without waking Griffin.

Erin dropped us off and we checked in, seeing the rest of our travel crew a little bit ahead of us.

We hit a snag when Tristen realized her passport still had her maiden name on it, but she was a Dotsey on all her boarding passes, so Milly, Fawkes, and I went ahead through TSA while she and Phoenix (whose boarding pass was tied to hers) stuck behind and sorted it out. Fawkes gave one of the TSA agents a fist bump, which they all thought was cute.

We caught up with the rest of the crew: Laura, Torrie, Johnny, Sebastian, and Gabriel, at the gate. Tristen and Phoenix, whom we last saw getting in the TSA line, joined us after a bit. We waited, chatted, let the smaller kids all have some snacks.

Then we heard an announcement about our 6:15 AM flight.

The pilot became aware of a maintenance issue and, fortunately, they said, a maintenance crew was already there and often the wait was for them to arrive, so it should be quicker than usual.

We got permission to board a little while later. All good.

We lucked out in that nobody else was in the row with me and Milly and Fawkes, so Fawkes and Phoenix got to share a seat. Phoenix had been sitting on Tristen’s lap in the row in front of us. Torrie, Nonnie, and Bash were in the seats across from us, and Johnny and Gabriel were one back.

Then we got news that there would be a further delay, basically because we had to get in the back of the line to take off. They said that could be up to 45 minutes.

Meanwhile, Fawkes and Phoenix were watching Tangled and Frozen on Fire tablets. Milly was journaling for her class. I felt the cabin start to pressurize and saw that Bash and Gabriel had suckers, so I thought it might be time to give my toddlers suckers. (For the air pressure you know.) Well, we didn’t take off for a while (or ever, actually, which is what I’m getting to), but they really enjoyed the Tootsie Pops.

Of course they got stickiness everywhere: Milly’s jacket, my watch, their tablets. Their shirts were freaking drenched down the front from all the drool.

Lesson #1: Wait until we’re actually taking off to give them a Tootsie Pop.

Lesson #2: Make sure they’re wearing bibs.

Lesson #3: Make sure you have wipes ready.

Lesson #4: Don’t give them Tootsie Pops.

So anyway, after a while we got an announcement that the maintenance issue persisted, so we were going back to the gate. They weren’t sure how long it would take and told everybody to remain seated. Then they told us to disembark because it was going to take a bit, at which point we knew we were going to miss our connecting flight from Charlotte to Cozumel.

Laura was on the phone before we were off the plane to figure out what to do. Options included driving to Raleigh, but there weren’t very many flights and I think the one she found would have made it a 13-hour trip.

Once we were off the plane, she and Tristen got in a long line of people to discuss options and whatnot. Torrie and Bash stuck around while the rest of us piled back into our van as Erin, who had fallen back asleep, came to get us.

Tristen had me text her some passport info and a baggage claim ticket and got home eventually, announcing that we were leaving even earlier tomorrow (by about 15 minutes), so we get to do it all over again tomorrow.

It’s all a big headache, of course, but there are some positives.

  • Milly gets to go further west than she’s ever been before and she will be able to say she’s been in Texas (if you take that as a positive). Her previous record for traveling west is Kentucky.
  • Same for Tristen, whose previous record is Tennessee.
  • Fawkes and Phoenix get to visit another state as well.
  • I get to go through DFW Airport again, which I haven’t done since I was 15. (I spent a few summers down in the Dallas area with Aunt Robbie). And hey, BONUS: We get to hang out in the airport for a few hours, thereby building up our excitement for Cozumel. I guess.
  • We get to see Griffin some more.
  • WE CAN GO TO THE AIRPORT AGAIN BECAUSE I LOVE THE AIRPORT!!! YASSSS (?Milly)
  • We don’t die in a plane crash because of mechanical difficulties. (?)

I mean, that’s the big thing, the last point. However much of a pain it all is, you just keep in mind that there’s a reason they delayed the flight, and it’s for everyone’s safety.

Hopefully the babies will sleep better tonight.