CavFamily got an early start on Tuesday morning. An early start on a long day. CavWife was up at 5:30, while I got up at 6 to shower and finalize the packing for our trip. While bringing the luggage into the garage, I see all the frost on my car. I won’t miss the cold.
By 6:45 our friend had arrived in their mini-van to drive us to Orlando International Airport. I chose to fly on Tuesday, hoping that the flights would not be a full. We had never flown this far with kids. It is very different when you have kids on a cross-country flight. Actually, we had 3 flights. Thankfully, we did not have to change planes.
We checked our bags and moved quickly through security. It was there that we learned the TSA considers yogurt a liquid. Bye-bye part of our lunch. We had time to get some breakfast. Since the McDonald’s at the airport didn’t have the McCafe, it was Au Bon Pain instead. CavWife needs her coffee. I settled for an incredible chocolate crossiant over grits. Why they have grits is beyond me, but not even their grits will entice me. We had a nice meal and it was on to our gate.
The first flight (to St. Louis) went well. As usual, I sat with CavSon. We watched most of Veggie Tales’ Jonah on the way. He refused to wear headphones, so those around us got to hear songs like “The God of Second Chances”. I could barely hear the dialogue, but CavWife kept telling me “that’s too loud”. I’m not sure what she was listening to. CavDaughter was able to watch some Babar (scary), the Veggie Tales Christmas Star (also surprisingly scary to her) and something else on a borrowed i-Pod.
As we land in St. Louis, I am reminded of my only trip there when I worked a conference for Ligonier Ministries. The local papers are all about Mark McGwire’s confession the day before concerning steroids. While we wait for the next group to board, I take CavDaughter to the bathroom. She doesn’t want me to flush the toilet while she’s in there. Then she spills soap all over my scrubs (yes, I wanted to fly comfortably). Such a pleasure…
As we take off again, CavSon has fallen asleep (yes!) but CavDaughter has not (rats!). The nap is short-lived as he must smell lunch. Most of the 2nd flight is taken up by eating, and CavSon coughing. When we finally get off the plane in Tucson, I discover a mountain of crumbs under his car seat. His cough is a bit disconcerting to us. And he refuses to cough in his elbow as instructed. Thankfully, on this leg of the flight the seat next to me is empty.
We arrived in Denver 30 minutes early. They allowed us to de-plane so we can stretch our legs, get a bite (okay, coffee for CavWife) and use a real bathroom. The kids love the moving sidewalks and I spend some time with them going back and forth, back and forth. But we also learn about the horrible earthquake in Haiti.
Shortly after leaving Denver we realize CavSon’s nose is bleeding. Not too bad. The kids finish off the yogurts that slipped by the TSA officials. Then we finish off Jonah, making sure we listen to “In the Belly of the Whale” by the Newsboys. I am tired of reading by the time we land in Tucson. But the sun is out (I barely saw the sun in my trip here in December). And it certainly looks less dreary as we land.
In a surprise, we are met at the baggage claim by one of the members of the search committee. Without introduction, CavSon goes and hugs him. Somewhere there is a balance between the responses of our kids with new people. It was a good thing he met us because I spent forever in the Budget Rent-a-Car line. CavWife had someone to talk to as they entertained the kids. Apparently 2 young men did not make reservations, and one of them had a credit car that had not been validated. Only one person was working the counter, so the line kept growing. And growing (though some bailed for other companies).
When I got there I mentioned that we would need a 4-door since we have 2 kids with car seats. “I don’t think I have any left.” That didn’t sound good. He explained how military personnel in town for training will often rent a car for 2-3 months (our tax dollars at work?). “I’ve got a mini-van.” “Same rate?” “Yes, the same rate.” “Guess what, honey?” “Mini-van!” We are both excited since now we won’t be cramped, and could even drive with someone else with us. “Guess what kind?” as I referred back to previous discussions. “I don’t know.” “The one you’ve been coveting, a Toyota Sienna.”
So our long wait for the rental has a great ending. Though we are leaving the airport far later than we expected. We followed the search committee member to the hotel where the new desk clerk inadvertently sends us to the wrong building. I now have a headache, and my back is bothering me from sitting all day.
After unpacking, and changing out of my messed up scrubs, we head to the chairperson’s home for dinner with the search committee. CavSon embraces nearly everyone while CavDaughter focuses on the dogs. They graciously provided some gifts for the kids. CavSon is not very pleased when the dogs went to give him a kiss. We enjoy a nice meal and before we know it is is 8 pm (or 10 pm EST). They are probably on the verge of total meltdowns, so we bid them all a good night.
After quick showers, the kids go to bed near 9 pm. They are OUT! We are barely hanging on ourselves. I force myself to make to 10 pm by watching an old Everybody Loves Raymond episode. I’m just hoping we don’t all wake up on EST. It was a long, good day.