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...