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Thursday
Apr192012

funny story...

so, if you happened to be in the D terminal of la guardia airport on sunday & you saw some crazy new mom SPRINTING with a baby in a sling (picture home alone style running), & a rather tall husband right behind pushing a stroller & holding his jeans up (the belt was a casualty of a rapid trip through security) it MIGHT have been us.

you see, we were traveling by plane with ellie for the first time. we were so prepared for this. i'd read every blog guide on traveling with small children. we checked our bags so we could totally focus on ellie & the ridiculous amount of things she needs to go somewhere. the trip out to indiana was a huge success -- ellie took a nap with her pacifier on the way up for both flights, was awake and adorable for the layover in detroit, & i fed her on the way down each flight keeping her ears popped. we had what we needed, dirty diapers were no big deal & ellie charmed the socks off the people sitting around us with her big grins. we knew the trip back would be a bit tougher, we had a long layover in la guardia (probably my least favorite airport of all time) and with any delays, we'd be pushing bed time boundaries.

the flight from indiana to la guardia went great. we get to la guardia & had a plan -- we traded off getting massages at the little express spa while the other one entertained ellie. (relaxed mama & dad are a good thing in our house) we got some good food for energy. ellie took a fabulous nap in my sling. then, about 40 minutes before our flight was supposed to take off (4:45 p.m.), i suggested we go check out the gate. both our flights were delta & i knew from all my travel for work that there was a us airways terminal & a delta terminal, so we didn't even pay attention to letters, just looked for gate 7. we get there & the flight says it's leaving at 5:59 (what?! when did it get delayed?!). i go to ask the gate agent & she says that was the original time. i look down & see the us airways logo & totally panic. i'd remembered hearing us airways & delta had exchanged some gates at la guardia and washington reagan. i had this sinking feeling we were in the wrong terminal (i then remembered our gate said 7A and realized we were in the C terminal...) & now it was 30 minutes until our flight took off. i look at ryan & say RUN!! we sprint downstairs, talked to a really unhelpful security guard & jump in a cab to get to the A terminal (no time for shuttle). ten dollars & 7 agonizing minutes later -- we arrived at the A terminal -- only to realize it was only for delta shuttle flights to boston & d.c. it turns out gate 7A is in the D terminal (because that makes sense). that terminal is literally on the other side of the airport. at this point it is 4:20 p.m. there is no way we are going to make our plane that is taking off in 25 minutes, needing to get back to the right terminal, through security, and presumably they have to close the door soon. i begin to cry. we jump in a cab & i'm so frustrated at myself, upset, hopeless about the prospects & imagining a miserable four hours waiting for another flight, night in some dodgy hotel with a rightfully screaming baby, etc. ryan sits there cool as a cucumber, says everything is going to be ok, while ellie naps peacefully in her sling. another $10 later, we arrive at the D terminal.

we sprint to security, where the woman takes her sweet time looking at our ids and tickets (miraculously there is no line on a sunday at LGA!). we of course get flagged for a security check. if you're keeping tabs, it's now about 4:32. we finally get thru & i just start RUNNING down the terminal, dodging people & hoping ryan is right behind me. i see the gate & it looks like the door might still be open. we made it about 30 seconds before they close the door. we run down the stairs, baby & stroller in hand (i'm not going to feel better until we are sitting on a plane) & get on board. i literally am incredulous we made it.

we sit in silence a minute, ryan cracks this huge smile (i'm still not amused) & then i announce i'm going to give us grades. ellie clearly gets an A+ for being on her first trip, and yet not batting an eyelash at the whole ordeal. it was as if she knew we were going to make it the whole time. ryan got a B+ because he also remained calm, but can read/ask questions, so alas he also should have figured this out in the over 2 hours we were in the wrong terminal. I sadly get a D-, which may be generous, because i had every range of emotion -- crying, frustration, anger, you name it. the good news is our family average was around a B, thank you ellie for bringing up the curve.

so, everyone told us to be worried about the baby & instead we should have been worried about the sleep deprived parents & ridiculous way la guardia assigns gates... any funny stories from when you travelled with babies? remember this post on the adorable little girl i sat in front of one time?

p.s. traveling with toddlers looks WAY harder than with babies. ellie doesn't even know she can move beyond our laps right now! fun times ahead... 

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Reader Comments (8)

airports are so confusing.
i just stand there staring until someone points me in the right direction.
i'm completely hopeless there

04.19.2012 | Unregistered Commentermorgan

mary! that is the craziest. i would have been like you-- a complete mess! the good news is that you made it(!!!), and that you've got a great story to tell for years to come :)

04.19.2012 | Unregistered Commenterashley maureen

This is so funny, the same thing happened to us at LaGuardia on Friday, only in reverse, we weren't supposed to be at D terminal but the one on the other side of the airport. However, we were dropping off our 18 year old daughter for her first flight ALONE to visit her best friend in Ohio, so maybe I was kinda hoping we could just turn around and all go back home! Seems like yesterday we were doing our first flight with baby. P.S. Oh, and I cried too!

04.19.2012 | Unregistered CommenterDenise Sommer

Oh my word, I can't imagine going through all that, even though it makes for a funny story now! Ellie sounds like a trooper : )

04.19.2012 | Unregistered CommenterAlli

My DD (5) and I have flown together about 20 times in her short life. Thankfully there have been no on board meltdowns or missed flights. (I recommend the GoGo Baby, I always took her car seat on the plane which keeps her safer and more comfortable.) Anyway, the only "incident" I can remember was sitting at the gate close to a people mover. Baby was about two and I was letting her wander a bit. Sure enough, she stepped on the people mover just as I got up to grab her. I couldn't reach her over the glass side and was having a frantic debate in my head about whether I should grab the carry ons (plus my purse) or just jump on, grab her and ride it down the terminal. Luckily as she was moseying along a man in front of her saw what was happening, scooped her up and handed her over the partition to me.

04.22.2012 | Unregistered CommenterTessa

Oh my goodness! I randomly decided to check out your blog and see how you and Ryan are doing. So fantastic to see pics of Ellie - she's beautiful. You seem so incredibly happy! So glad you all are doing well! - Laura Yoon

04.26.2012 | Unregistered CommenterLaura Yoon

Just wait until you have 2 and you're traveling alone with them both. My girls are 16 months apart and we often fly from Denver to Indy, most of the times by myself. I remember one time I was running late and I had Annie in the sling and Molly in the stroller along with the huge carseat for her to sit in on the plane (that is when I purchased the GoGo Baby as soon as we got in). Not one person offered to help me. By the time I sat in my seat and had the girls situated, I was a complete mess. I really don't know how guys can stay so calm during it all.

04.28.2012 | Unregistered Commenterkelly

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05.3.2012 | Unregistered CommenterSports Apparel

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