Flying to Michigan

Let’s see, traveling with children:

Snacks – check
Books – check
Sugar – check
Presents – check
Blanket – check
Movies – check

That pretty much fills up my bag. I should probably pack something for the kids.

Just kidding. About the sugar. I’m off sugar these days.

The children and I flew to Michigan on Tuesday night. Tim is home (working from home most of the time). We took a red-eye flight which, in my opinion, is great. The kids are excited about going on a trip, which keeps them in a good mood until the plane gets started. At that point the Dramadine (or Benadryl, take your pick of over-the-counter meds) kicks in and they sleep for the rest of the flight. Perfect. It’s a little difficult for any grown up in the bunch (who can’t, in good conscience, take sleep-inducing medicine while flying with five children on an airplane) and who can’t scrunch down across the seat and fall into a deep sleep.

ready to fly!

This trip we used up every spare frequent-flier and credit card mile we had (and most of my parent’s as well). One of the tickets was in first class. I chortled with glee when the travel agent told me it was available for the same about of frequent-flier miles. “Oh yeah,” I said to myself, “a red-eye flight in first class. I can definitely handle that.” I booked the ticket and went on to figure out the rest of the flight arrangements. It wasn’t until a couple of days later, when I was bragging about my great deal, that my mom asked me if Tim was flying with us. “No,” I said. “Well,” she answered, pausing, “who is going to get that first-class seat?” “Um, that would be me!” (Doing a little happy dance over the phone.) Another pause and she gently dropped the bomb:

“Who will sit with the children?”

Back to reality in row 33.

Oh NO!!!!! I reserved a first class seat, at no extra expense, and wasn’t going to be able to enjoy it. NOOOOOOOO!!!!!

Great sadness. Just like I can’t really take some Valium (I mean Benadryl) before the flight, I guess I can’t really sit up in first class while my five children (one being a four year old) sit 31 rows behind me.

When I checked in at the counter, I didn’t pay any attention to the seat assignments. It was enough of a challenge to figure out how many bags we were checking, how many children were flying (okay that one wasn’t too difficult), and not lose any of the carry-on bags (or the children). Luckily we were all wearing matching shirts. Yep, that helps. Or at least it makes for some cute pictures.

matching kiddos

It wasn’t until we we said goodbye to Tim, navigated security (with two laptops), found our way to the gate, made several trips to the bathroom, handed out goodies, and bought me a salad that I had a chance to look at the boarding passes. It turns out there were TWO seats in first class!!! I don’t have any idea how THAT happened. Of course, Rachel immediately began to beg, cry and plead for the second seat. Tim (consulted via cell-phone) suggested I have Rachel and Daniel take the first class spots and then I could switch with one of them half way through the flight. Daniel was oblivious to the whole thing and didn’t seem to recognize the elite status and glory awarded to the first-class traveler, so I wasn’t sure what to do.

We boarded early as befit our new-found prestige and status. I can’t imagine how many frequent-flier miles you would need to fly a whole family in first class. The person checking tickets laughed and laughed at my dilemma (big help, thanks) and advised me to take Sarah up front with me and leave the rest in the back. Now that’s an idea I hadn’t considered. Hmmmm. Ultimately, I realized Sarah wouldn’t remember this trip, but Rachel and Joshua will, and what a fun opportunity to say, “I flew first class when I was 11.”

The trip went well. I didn’t get any pictures of Joshua and Rachel schmooozing it up in first class, no doubt exchanging business cards and investment tips with the other travelers and helping themselves to drinks (on the house). My plan to low-crawl up the aisle and switch with one of them half way through the flight was never realized. Thirty-one rows is a long distance and the flight attendant didn’t seem to thrilled with the idea:

“We prefer our passengers choose a cabin and stay there throughout the flight.” Small plastic smile.

“Really,” I thought to myself. “Well, then I’d like to choose first class from now on and stay there!”

No doubt my face reflected a little of my thoughts on the subject as she quickly said, “But we do our best to accommodate the situation. Don’t you trust them up here?”

“Hello? No, I just want to sleep in first class rather than back with the other peasants,” I said.

Sarah woke up in the middle of the flight and needed to use the bathroom. She was awake the rest of the time, whispering to me every time I started to doze off.

I guess I was destined for row 33.

Thankfully we are now safe and sound in Michigan and beginning a wonderful visit with my parents.

tree fort clean up

Blogging from MI

Project 365 – Day 164

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10 thoughts on “Flying to Michigan”

  1. Oh dear! What a terrible dilemna (sp?) to have! You were very sweet to “give up” those First Class tickets although I would have ignored the plastic smiling stewardess and checked out First Class during the flight. I guess she doesn’t want the “riff raff” to bother the first class people. I have to say that when I travel by myself, I have to do a little dance inside of myself when I see parents traveling with kids – it’s so nice to have that break once in awhile and not worry about the number of bags, carry ons, snacks, etc..! Enjoy your MI trip; I know that you are loving being home again with your mom! There is nothing like having mom around!!! (we miss you grandma!) Take lots of pics, pretty please.

  2. Kathy, great post! Somehow, I’ve had the privilege of flying with my kids for the last couple of years while Robert’s seat was somewhere else. (Lucky for HIM, it wasn’t first class!) Can’t wait to see more pics of your vacation!

  3. Hey Kath….
    You are so funny….I loved this one. I can just see you sayng it….hysterical dilemma to be in re: first class. I’da bailed on the kids and low crawled like a woman on fire, babyyyyyyy!
    Have a blast and know that you’re missed already!
    Love ya Girlie!
    :) Michelle

    ps….do you need anything from the WHO? Let me know!

  4. The things we mothers do for our children, such sacrifices! Giving up first class is truly one of those thankless tasks isn’t it. :)
    Glad you all arrived safely and with pictures to post. yeah for the matching shirts, that is how we did Disneyland too.

  5. Kathy,
    FUN! FUN! We have one child who doesn’t really like to fly (bet you can’t guess which one THAT is – lol). We’ve been split up numerous times, but we usually manage to at least have the boys sitting with one of us. The last 2 times we’ve gone somewhere there have been 13 of us!! Glad you were able to take your laptop so you can blog while gone! Isn’t that the BEST! How long do you get to be with your parents?

  6. Cute blog. Thanks for keeping it up in MI where there are many distractions. But also some good pictures to be taken and shared. Please!!

    JW always wants to give the kids lst class tickets if he can- because of his platinum status. But it’s not as easy to work out with grandkids! One time he was able to get Alex lst class one way to somewhere. Ha.

    I’m glad you are safely in MI and attracting siblings and water play and mulch work, etc. Do help your sweet mom with meals!! I know you do!!

    Happy hair cutting day to you. Aunt Kate

  7. LOL, Kathy, what a fun blog entry! First class is so glorious! I’ve only flown 1st class once and it was wonderful.

    Enjoy your visit. Can’t wait to here all about your adventures.

  8. Oh my goodness! I would of had a hard time giving up those seats! I have been squished one to many times back in coach :-) Love you blog!

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