Coming Home.. By way of pandemonium

So breckenridge has been a pretty “easy” trip. We were basically catered the entire trip. Everything was provided and sent to our rooms for us. We didn’t even have to walk more than a couple yards to access anything. Our groceries and food, all baby needs like highchairs and beds, and even transportation was sent directly to our front door. Well the past 6 days has spoiled us a bit. Now it is time to head home. Check-out was scheduled for 10, but was able to keep one room until 4pm due to our late flight. So everyone piled up in one condo and just lounged around wasting time until we were to head to the airport. 18 people in a 3 bedroom condo is no stretch for this family. We average more than that on any given weekend during the summer at papa’s paradise. So it was a ordinary day for us while waiting for time to depart. About 10 people crowded up a couple of couches and watched a movie, a few of the ladies played cards, and the babies wollered around the living room. It snowed a few inches the day before and had melted down during this sunny afternoon. Then temps dropped and that melted snow began to form ice on the streets. So we began to worry a little about how the drive to the airport would be, even for experienced Colorado drivers. Our schedule was for the shuttle to pick us up at 4pm and make the 2 hour shuttle ride to Denver airport with plenty of time for our 7:35pm flight. Our 2 shuttles arrived about 20 minutes early. We loaded about 40 bags, 14 adults, 6 year old Jake, the three babies and their strollers into two 18-passenger vans with one having 3 child cars seats installed. With the shuttles arriving early, we were able to get loaded and on the road about 5 minutes before our scheduled 4pm departure. So things are still going “easy”. I guess the vacation ended at the front door of the condo because our so called “easy” trip is just about to get a shot back down to reality. We get on the road and what do you know, traffic is running half normal speed on the highway and we are 80+ miles out from the airport. So now we are starting to worry about our time restraints. Zac decides to call the airline and get our tickets ready. Well the only way to advance the tickets is to pay for checked luggage in advance. So Zac starts calculating how many bags each passenger has and has to get each of the 16 tickets authorized, account for their luggage and pay for checked bags while riding in a van going 25 miles per hour and babies screaming in the background. Speaking of the babies. The girls went out for lunch and left the daddies to fend for the kids earlier that day. As you would expect, the babies didn’t get the proper naps due to the guys inability to follow schedules. And now that we are on the highway, that lack of sleep is catching up with the babies. Jack gets pretty mad and the only cure for his cry is the video “praise baby, God of wonders”. Which we had already watched about 6 times daily at the condo. Lexi was able to get the video to play on her phone via YouTube. After the 1st showing, jack started to cry again. So lexi restarted it and ran it over and over for the last hour of the drive into Denver. Finally we arrived at the airport. It was 6:30p and we had a 7:35 flight. We all unloaded ourselves and our bags beside the United Airlines kiosk that was located outside. We started throwing bags into a pile to be checked and a worker started labeling them. Then we waited as the older gentleman that ran the kiosk started pecking at the keyboard. Using only his two index fingers, he struck each key as if he were trying to drive the keys through the bottom of the board. With 18 passengers, it took the older guy 25 minutes to print our flight passes.  So now we are down to less that an hour to get through security and to the terminal that is about a mile across the airport. So somewhat frantically we begin to rush through the airport. All we needed was the song “Run, Run, Rudolph” and we would have a reinactment of the airport scene of the 1990 hit movie Home Alone.  Most of the women had to use the restroom and everyone was hungry so now we were really getting worried. We made our way to the security checkpoint and of course if would be at a stand still. Everyone was sent through the xray machine and several people had something questionable in their carry-on bag that slowed down the line. So we get through security a few people at a time and we are down to under 30 minutes to departure and we have a long trek across the airport to our gate. If you have never been to Denver Airport, it is a huge. It is actually the largest internation airport in the US and 3rd largest in the world. So we are not just walking down a hall to a plane. So we go down some stairs, catch a train to our concourse, back up to the stairs, and toward our gate. Andie, Eli, and I were paired up with Adam, Lexi, and Jack so while we were running, I decided to shoot through the McDonalds and grab dinner for the 6 of us. By the time I grabbed food and caught back up with my group, we were loading. So we made it, but not everyone was at the gate yet. We are hoping that they make it to the terminal before the plane takes off. We get through the gate and through the shoot to our plane and end up going through a door that leads us outside. This plane is so small that it doesn’t reach the walkway that connects to the plane. My first though is that Zac’s head is going to be hanging out the top of the plane and wondering where are they gonna put our luggage. We get to the plane and others start filing in behind us. The plane had a single row running down the right side of the plane and a double seated row running down the other side. We had a few conflicts with the flight attendant. Then everything slowed down a little. We all made the flight and were heading back home. The flight home wasn’t bad. Being at night we had a nice view of all the city lights that we passed. Eli was fussy for the first hour, trying to fight sleep. He finally gave in and the rest of the flight was relaxing. We landed at Birmingham airport around midnight. Everyone was pretty beat down at this point. It’s was a long, eventful week and it was finally catching up with us. Andie and I were dropped off at the airport by a coworker on the day we left, so we were gonna ride back with Lori and Tommy. Well so did Grandy, Gran, Wesley, Steven, and Eli. So the 9 of us loaded up in the Chevy van. The back seat was out for luggage, so me, Tommy, and Steven sat in the back on top of luggage as Andie and Lori sat on the floor in between the middle seats. For some families it would have been a tight fit, but our family is used to being that close. We got home and we were saddened by fact that our vacation was over. Sore from all the fun and tired from the excitement finally kicked in.

The trip was awesome in all aspects. Colorado was beautiful and offered a great experience.  Zac did a wonderful job setting this trip and everyone else added much more and just made a great.replica watches uk sale

2 Responses to Coming Home.. By way of pandemonium

  • ann white says:

    Adam and Karen, you both did good describing the pandamonium. It was an exciting trip to the airport and then to finally make it to the plane to be greeted by a very rude flight attendent. But, you know, that just adds to the memories. It was a wonderful trip and we can’t wait until the next one. .

  • Karen says:

    Well said, Adam. Except you couldn’t know the hell we put Gran and Grandy through those last 30 minutes because you all were ahead of us. Gran kept screwing up the x-ray machine going through security because of her prosthesis which she finally had to explain to the rude attendant. And Grandy was getting sick so he was shaking like a leaf which made it hard for him to empty his pockets. Then we have to shove them in their shoes (and I mean that literally) and grab the rest of their stuff and tell them to “run” as fast as they can for the next mile!!! Ponder that for a moment. Well, never did they stop, complain or even gasp for breath. Finally we spot a tram and shove them on it and tell them we’ll see them at the gate. We are the last ones at the gate but we made it! Thankfully, Lori sent Wesley to get food as they were boarding. That was the best McDonaldS hamburger we’ve ever eaten. As always, we worked together to get the job done. It was an amazing trip. I’m proud of our family for being able to be cold, hungry, crowded, tired, sore, scared from skiing, and sick and still have so much fun.

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