Thursday, August 8, 2013

Cross Country

Before all the wedding bliss there came The Great Journey.

Scott and I have traveled many, many times across the US with our kids. But never with five. And, for reasons too complicated to go into right now, I was going to make this trip without Scott.

Let me rephrase that.

Five kids.
Seven pieces of luggage.
Three car seats.
One stroller.
No husband.

Let's just say the this trip took a lot of planning, mental preparation and luck.

First: wake up.

Get everyone in the car.

See these smiles? Everyone is excited to go to UTAAAAAHHHH!

We drive two hours to the airport in Charlotte. 

For help, moral support, and adult companionship I brought along my sis-in-law and marathon runner, Shelly. 

(Sometimes people ask us if we are sisters. I love it when they do that.) 

We unload the kids and the luggage. Shelly parks the van in long term parking. 

While we wait for Shelly to get back we make a luggage fort.

Shelly returns and we wait in the longest line. Ever.

Then we check our bags with the slowest bag checker-outer. Ever.  Little did we know this was National Take Your Time Day.

Levi was not happy.

Meanwhile, this is what Turkeyboy was doing:

By the time our boarding passes were printed we were very late. We flew through security and RAN to our gate, just as they were calling: FINAL CALL FOR FLIGHT 289 TO SALT LAKE CITY. The airline ladies at the gates were waving at us shouting, You can make it! You can make it! 

I'm sure it reminded Shelly of her recent marathon she ran. 

Finally we made it onto the plane. Whew. 

Other than the four times Danny had to use the bathroom the plane ride was wonderfully uneventful.

We landed in Salt Lake and Grandma was there to meet Levi for the first time.

But our adventure was far from over, because we still had to get our rental van from Thrifty . . .
 . . . or should I say Shifty?

I wait 30 minutes in line.

When I get to the counter they say there is no van for me. (Even though we reserved one.)

They say we have to wait two hours.

 In a corner.

I tell them I have five kids who haven't had a real meal since 3 am.

She tells me there is a Starbucks.

We don't drink coffee.

We are sad.

The kids make another luggage fort.

 Meanwhile, this is what Turkeyboy is doing:

We wait and wait. 

Angel baby falls asleep. 

 Devil Thrifty people never get a van for us.

Dan's car seat came in handy.

(Did I mention Shelly ran a marathon?)

In the end we finally got a van. Not from Thrifty or any other airport car rental company, though. From a shady place on the other side of Salt Lake. Long story.

But the good news is we made it across the country without anyone crying besides Levi. 

It was a long journey and a long day. Of course the wedding made it all worth it.  

I couldn't have done it without five very patient kids and one great friend. Thanks, Shelly!


  1. I am so happy that Levi was the only one who cried, and I'm so happy you had a marathoner with you. I'm really impressed with your photo-documentation of this trip and your luggage forts. This post made the title Turkeyboy really ring true, ;) but don't worry I know he is the nicest of guys. Way to make it happen, Chelsea.

  2. You are one brave mama! So glad that the kids traveled so well for you. And where was Scott and what was he doing?

  3. by the end of this post I felt like I ran a marathon....whhhooohhh. I'm tired!
    Dumb car rental place :(.
    Ya'll could have stayed with me in Charlotte before that flight!!! Next time...if there is another next time ;).

  4. Those kinds of travel are soooo hard! It encourages me to be a homebody. But way to go, girl! And really happy for your sister!