Wednesday, July 7, 2010

The Broken Plane

I'm home, I'm home!

Granted, it's cold and overcast outside in July but still. I'm home.

We had been visiting Tom's family in North Carolina for a week and yes, it was a good time but by the end of it you start to miss your own things.

We thought we'd get home with no problems.

We were wrong.

Yesterday we woke up early so we could get to the airport. We breezed through security for once and I remember thinking, "This is going to be a good day."


We get to our gate and see that our flight has been delayed. This wouldn't be an issue had we not had a connecting flight that would take us to Denver. The guy behind the counter had to get us all new tickets so we could catch a connecting flight.

We ended up flying into Atlanta.

We found our next gate.

We boarded our next plane that would take us home.

And then we waited.

And waited.

Oh, and waited on the plane.

"Why aren't we moving?" I asked Tom.

The way we were seated was that he, Natalie, and Tommy were in a row of three and I was across from them. I had been right by the kids for the first flight.

"No clue," Tom said, shrugging. He flipped through a Sky Mall magazine.

I tried to read my book. But I was distracted. Why weren't we moving? Was something wrong with the plane? Was--

"Hi everyone, this is your Captain speaking," a voice popped up on the overhead. "We seem to be having issues with our power steering. We need to have people look at it before we head off."

Okay. Power steering. Yes. Please fix that.

We waited some more.

The captain popped on again. The power steering still wasn't working and he'd update us in ten minutes.

I leaned over to Tom. "What if we're one of those flights that sit out here with no access to food or water?" I remembered hearing horror stories about passengers stuck on a plane without anything for hours on end. What if that happened to us? Would a news crew come in and film? Ack, that couldn't happen, I looked like crap! I ran some fingers through my limp airplane-scented hair.

"It's not like that at all," Tom said, not bothering to look up from his magazine. "The air conditioning is still on and the flight attendants keep asking if we need anything."


Luckily the kids were entertained by Spongebob on their DVD player. I flipped open my book and started to read. That's when the couple seated beside me was all, "We need to get out and use the bathroom."

No problem. I shut my book and let them pass.

And yes, they went in separate bathrooms. For a moment I thought they wanted to join the Mile High club. Or really, it would be the Sitting On The Tarmac club in our case.

When they came back the Captain popped on and said the power steering was broken and we'd all have to get off.

"Now what?" I asked Tom, who casually put his magazine away. Why wasn't he reacting? Why was he just sitting there? Didn't he want to know how we'd get home?

"Dunno," Tom said, shrugging.

We grabbed our stuff and got off the plane. Then we were told to go to another gate where another plane would be waiting.

Yay! Home!

Of course they kept pushing back the time when we would leave. First they said 630, then 645, then 725...

And then finally we were on the plane.

"While we were waiting I caught the news and apparently we'll be flying through some pretty bad storms," Tom said simply.


Why would he tell me, a person terrified of flying, that? He barely said a thing when we had to change planes and the thing he decides to say is about BAD WEATHER?

Our flight was bumpy. When the Captain came on to warn us that it would be "pretty bumpy and that we should all put our seat belts on" I tensed. The plane shook pretty violently, just like it did before it split apart in Lost.

"If we crash on an island, you'll have to be like Jack," I hissed to Tom. I scanned the other passengers and there didn't seem to be another competent male on board. The guy who was seated in my row kept jumping up to go pee and I had to keep getting up to let him pass. How could we be saved by someone who has to pee every half hour?

"Natalie could be like Kate, because she's fiesty, and Tommy could be like Aaron because of his blond hair. I guess I'd be Claire then," I rambled.

Tom blinked at me. "You're strange."

"I'm strange? You'll thank me when we crash and have a plan," I said as the plane jolted. My stomach leaped up to my throat as I gripped the arm rests. I couldn't die this way. Not on a plane with a couple who had bladders the size of a pea.

"Do you want the barf bag?" Tommy asked, dangling it towards me.

"No thanks," I said, a little embarrassed to know that I was freaking out and my own children were not. Tommy was staring out the window in awe shouting things like, "Wow, we're going through a HUGE cloud!" and Natalie was playing with her creepy Yo Gabba Gabba toys. Tom was just sitting there as though he were watching one of his World War 2 shows.

The plane took another dive.

I sucked in my breath.

I shut my eyes and started to think of chocolate and the fact that Big Brother starts on Thursday! Who would be the house witch? Who would be the mousy houseguest who would inevitably win it all?

I must've fallen asleep because the next thing I knew the Captain was coming on saying that we should be in Denver in twenty minutes.

"You okay, Sleeping Beauty?" Tom joked.

"We're alive," I said. "We're alive."

"Um. Yes," Tom said slowly, as though he were speaking to a mental patient.

When we landed I was relieved. We had made it! Yes!

Of course we still had an hour and a half drive to Wyoming. Ugh. Tom and I were both tired so I kept us awake by asking Tom all sorts of World War 2 questions. ("What was wrong with Hitler, what was up with that mustache? Did he actually think it looked good? What was your favorite battle?")

And then we were home.

Ten minutes later we were in bed, vowing to take care of unpacking tomorrow.

And now I'm on here, vowing to take care of the unpacking by the end of the day.

Though Tom said, "Since we'll be visiting your family in a few weeks, how about we just leave the stuff in the suitcase?"

I looked at him and went, "No, the kids have different clothes. Since we'll be at the beach, they have beach themed outfits you know."

Tom rolled his eyes. "I should have known."


  1. I hate flying too. Yay for being home in your own bed though!

  2. I am glad you made it. I hate to fly. It creeps me out. I am shaking just reading your story. I am proud of you for hanging in there.

  3. Welcome home! When you have a return trip like that, it makes you really appreciate being home even more!

  4. You're going to go back on a plane after that?!?! Man - I like bravery!! I think I'd be shook up for a bit - shook up and travel logged.


  5. That is quite a scary story. I'm glad you made it safe though.

  6. Welcome home.

    Ait travel can plain suck sometimes...

    I think I'd rather take a train - but then the choice is Amtrak - which is horrid.

  7. Welcome home! I love to fly...though I think that's because it means getting out!

  8. yah! i hate to fly too.. glad you made it home safely!

  9. I had some pretty bad turbulence on my last flight. It was scary. I'm also afraid of flying.

  10. seriously though what was with that mustache? and by now Tom should know. Silly boy!

  11. Flying somewhat freaks me out too. Especially if it's shaky and rainy!

  12. There are few things more fun than hanging out on a stationary airplane for more than an hour and then being told something is not working and that you have to "deplane".

    Except maybe a pelvic exam.

  13. Thankfully you made it home alright. Good plan though to scout the plan for passengers who could be of use if you should crash!

    Hopefully this experience will be all behind you before you board a plane again. Or is your next trip a driving vacation?

  14. I finally had to get up and shut my door from laughing so my coworkers wouldn't wonder about me. I know you were scared but you have a way with writing and I was entertained with your story!

  15. I really dislike flying. I should never have watched Lost.

  16. I agree with Dawn, Airplane rides always mean you are going somewhere! I Love travelling! :)

  17. Big Brother, LOST, and beach themed clothes ... I think I'm in love! :)

  18. I don't love flying either...I would have maybe, probably for certain used the barf breath into ;)

    *...creepy Yo Gabba Gabba toys* made me giggle.

  19. Flying is just asking for drama. Glad it all turned out well.

  20. *breathe* I really think I know how to spell, just can't type.

  21. Glad you made it back in one piece. I hate flying too and I'm flying all the way across the country tomorrow. Boo!

  22. Great to hear that you are home and in one piece. I hate flying through storms. I would have been freaking out with you.

  23. I would be very tempted to leave everything in the suitcases. I hate unpacking and packing.

    Welcome back!

  24. I hate delays when flying! What a nightmare, especially with kids.

  25. "Waiting for someone to look at it." That sounds like what I had to go through with a flight on American Airlines from Dallas to San Antonio. We were all loaded up and thinking "I'm finally going home, can't wait." Well we waited and waited and soon the pilot came on the intercom and said we needed a jump and they were waiting for the truck to get to us to help us jump start the engines. I couldn't believe it! We needed a jump! Someone yelled from the back of the plane...Should we get out and give it a push?" That was the craziest flight I ever took.

  26. Oooooh, I would have freaked out, too. Completely sympathize and I don't think you were overreacting in the least. I hate flying, but if the Captain announces a broken anything, ugh, just watch me have a panic attack. Flying through bad weather? Yeah, I would need a tranquilizer. At least if I'm loopy, I won't realize if the plane is snapping apart. Of course, given my luck, there wouldn't be a Jack or a Sawyer on my plane.

  27. You are so funny, but you shouldn't watch to much Tv (Lost).;)
    And yes, there's no place like home, xcept ...may be...a beautiful resort on the beach...aaah!

  28. ha! I have been home from LA for a week and a half and still havent unpacked. oops.

  29. Glad you made it home safely! I love flying....except when there is turbulence, that freaks me out!

  30. I don't blame you for being freaked out about flying. I am, too, somewhat. I usually take muscle relaxers and order a drink, and that helps.

    You'd be in trouble, though, if your husband was like mine. Greg has this horrible hobby of following plane crashes. He collects books about famous crashes, and has actually listened to tapes of black box recordings. His knowledge of plane crashes is not helpful when flying. Sigh. Well, at least he doesn't play video games.

  31. Welcome home! Glad you made it safely, despite setbacks. :)

  32. Stopping by from SITS. This reminds me of when my husband and I fly. I constantly think every noise will bring my death, while he, an aerospace engineer barely realizes he's on a plane!

  33. Sitting on the tarmac club. Loved that.
    Sorry you had such a hard time getting home. I think you would have made a great Claire. (The original one with the pretty hair...I didn't mean the kooky one with the filthy dreadlocks.)

  34. I should have known that you were gone! The air was different when I came home today.

    I don't mind flying - unless it's through storms - or if I think about it too much.....much better than driving from where you are to here that's for sure.

    Hope you had a good time in NC and glad to hear you've arrived home safely.

    And? What is wrong with Tom? OF COURSE the children need different outfits!!

  35. Welcome back! Glad you made it home - airplane travel is just NOT fun, haha.

  36. Glad to have you back. I'm always so glad to go anywhere (love to travel) that I don't mind flying, but with kids it's much more of a worry. Still, Yo Gabba Gabba scares me more than air travel.

  37. Traveling by plane is certainly not what it used to be. I recall a time when passengers were treated like a guest in the home. Now we're just cargo.


  38. I think I love you. When The Husband and I were flying last week, when we got off I told him that if something had happened we would have been The Tailies. :-D

  39. I just flew out of Denver yesterday in all that weather and I got to sit on the Denver tarmac for 2.5 hours before we took off. Ugh. But I arrived at my friends house by 2:30 am ... so at least I am here now.

  40. I hate flying. So. Much.

    Where are the teleporters already?

  41. Yep. I would have totally been peeing my pants. No doubt about it! Flying is scary!! Cant believe you fell asleep! LOL

  42. Just how many suitcases of kids outfits did you take with you?

  43. Amber, I'm so glad you made it home fine. I hate bumpy flights too, but then I just pretend I'm on a bus going through Chinatown, and I stop worrying. Another vacation? Wow! Good for you Girl! Now, about Tom. You are so lucky to have a man who doesn't have to pee every 15 minutes and keeps his head in all situations!

  44. Glad you are home safe and sound.

  45. I am JUST like you! Pass me the knock out medicine or I am a MESS!

  46. Wow! What an action-packed ride!!! Glad y'all made it back in one piece, and welcome home!

  47. Wow. I'm even more psyched for our summer trip back to England. Because nothing says summer vacation than an 11hour flight with 3 kids 5 and under.

    Awesomeness awaits.

  48. I am so proud of you for being the one family member with a plan after the plane crashes. The rest of them are so que sera sera. They are lucky to have you in charge!!!

  49. I HATE flying. Hate. It. I get all sweaty and shaky and sick and the people sitting next to me start doing that "lean away from the girl who might puke on us" thing.

  50. YAY! You made it! the packing will get done in good time.

  51. I was stuck in the Dallas airport for 4 hours a couple weeks ago and I totally looked at everyone as if we were going to be stuck in a Lost type situation.


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