Christmas Travel: Bumps in the Road
“Over the river and through the woods, to grandmother’s house we go.”
A lot of planning went into the decision to travel with two toddlers to Central Oregon for Christmas, but what would elaborate plans be without bumps along the road? (pun intended, read on).
Let’s start at the beginning. We decided it was best to pay the extra money, and purchase four seats on the aircrafts. There was no way, our 1.5 year olds would sit on our lap for longer then 3 minutes, let alone, 3 hours in flight time. We found a great deal on United, flying from Orange County to Central Oregon, departing December 24 and returning on January 4.
A few months after booking our flight, I received an email that said our itinerary has changed. After logging in to United to view the changes, I realized we went from a 60 minute layover, to a 5-hour layover in San Francisco, on our way North. This was not going to work, so I immediately called the airlines, and had our flights changed to leave Christmas morning. Potential crisis averted!
Bump #2 (pun intended)
Our original plan was to drive the mini van to a friend’s house on Christmas morning, and they would drop us off at the airport and leave the van at their house while we were gone. Two days before Christmas, we were driving to Brea to show the girls some amazing Christmas light displays. A commercial tire was in the car pool lane, and there was no way around it. End result, my car is out of commission and was towed to a repair shop that night.
We talked to our insurance company about a rental car, which we obviously did not need until we would return home from our vacation. They agreed to pay for a shuttle service to pick us up and take us to the airport Christmas morning. About ten minutes before we were supposed to be picked up, we got a call from the shuttle company that our driver had been in a car accident and would be unable to pick us up, but told us they would try to locate another driver.
The shuttle company finally called back and said they would send a taxi to our house, and he would be there in 15 minutes. We asked if they could please make sure the cab was big enough to accommodate two large convertible car seats, two adults and all of our luggage. A few minutes later, our taxi pulled up, and just when we thought we could no longer be surprised anymore, we walk outside to see the Toyota Prius parked in front of our garage. I ended up in the backseat, sitting sideways, on the edge of the middle seat.
We finally made it to the airport and through security. (That will be another post) We got some lunch, which the girls refused to eat, and we took our seats on the airplane. I breathed a sigh of relief, we made it. Sitting on the runway, the captain’s voice came over the loud speaker. He announced that there was a mechanical problem with the aircraft. They will need to have their maintenance team come out to clear the plane for takeoff. It should be about 20 minutes.
Keeping in mind, that we only have an hour layover in San Francisco, I was keeping my fingers crossed that the plane would take off soon. Finally the captain announced that we have good news and bad news. The good news, the plane has been cleared for takeoff on a mechanical level. The bad news, the air traffic controller will not let us off the ground for another 20 minutes, due to traffic regulation.
Saving Grace: Our flight in San Francisco had a minor delay, allowing us enough time to run through the rain, hop on a bus to take us to another terminal, change the girl’s diapers, and jump on the next plane.
Alas, we made it to Central Oregon! We may have had some bumps in the road, but nothing was going to keep us from having our white Christmas.
So, we finally made it and we have had a great visit with our family! I’m not overly excited about the plane trip home, but what would our life be without a little adventure?
Looking forward and staying positive! Wishing you all a very Happy New Year!