We're home. I think I've never loved my house more. I keep breathing a sigh of relief when I walk into my kitchen and turn on my own faucet, when I get to take a shower in my own shower, when I don't have to dig through a suitcase to find something to wear. I did have to dig through the laundry room, but at least it wasn't a jumbled suitcase with clothing belonging to 3 different people. It's an improvement.
Our flight out of Florida pulled away from the gate on time, and then sat there for 2 hours when they discovered a problem with our brakes. Eventually, the maintenance crew determined that we needed a new plane, so everyone moved to another plane at a different gate. Normally I wouldn't mind, but I had Josie, Gabe, a gigantic car seat, with the wheel board that allows me to drag it through the airport, blankets, a jacket, a purse, and a large roll aboard suitcase that was full of dvd players and snacks and blankets and changes of clothes and toys. Getting on a plane is exhausting, and getting off and then back on another is even more so. But the alternative of flying on a plane with malfunctioning brakes is no alternative at all, therefore move we did.
When we landed in Boston, way past everyone's bedtime, one bag on the entire plane was lost. Guess whose bag it was? Even better, out of all the possible bags to lose, it ended up being Josie's car seat, which meant we couldn't leave the airport without it. Eventually, the airline located a loaner car seat for me, and we headed home with a screaming baby who screamed the whole way home. The whole fairly long way home, in these great hiccuping screams of indignant rage.
They did find our car seat the next day, though, thankfully with everything inside. As the last bags were rolling around the belt in the baggage area, and it became abundantly clear that our car seat was not coming out, I realized my mistake. I'd viewed the car seat box as another opportunity to shove things in- toys, the monitor, noise machine, heavy clothing- allowing me to avoid paying another bag fee. When it disappeared, however, I realized that while I had saved myself a baggage fee, if the car seat really didn't turn up, the airline would definitely (and with good reason) refuse to pay for all those other things I'd thrown into the box. I started adding up the cost of all those lost items, and the number wasn't pretty. Lesson learned. Next time, I'll pay the $15 and throw in a duffel bag.
Now I'm facing the daunting task of unpacking and getting everyone back on a reasonable schedule, but at least we're home and with no trips on the horizon. I have some serious catching up to do with everyone and can't wait to hear what I missed.