Enjoying warm Mexican weather, sipping umbrella drinks, admiring
women in thongs stunning beaches, and having family cue up to babysit our children. Sounds nice, doesn't it? If your read the previous post, you know that we're on 5 weeks vacation in Mexico. There is only one slight problem, it didn't happen. We're still in Sweden…… Destiny (or God for some) sometimes changes our plans. Unexpected events can be very tragic or just annoying. The latest winter storm caused thousands of flights to be canceled so the Mexican beer and sunshine will have to wait three days.
We should have known it wasn't meant to be. There were little signs here and there. Annika's cold and slightly infected ears caused my wife some worry. Daniel also had an upset stomach the day before departure. He woke up at 3.30 am asking to poop. That has rarely happened before. And our regular parking place at the airport took no new reservations since it was full. Has never happened. So I guess the signs were there. We were all remarkably upbeat after waking up at an ungodly hour, parking the car, hanging out at the airport, and then heading back home again with a departure date a few days later.
Traveling with kids can be a little stressful but we've done it a lot and have had some great times. Perhaps I should write a post with some helpful traveling tips. There are lots of small things that make family travel easier. The alarm rang at 4 Am, but I was already awake tending to Daniel's poop. I put him back to sleep, showered, did some last minute stuff, packed the car, and then woke the others at 5 Am for immediate departure. I dropped Annika and Sandra at the airport with bags and headed to the parking place with a sleeping Daniel to pack the two car seats and park the car. You read that right, we're bringing the car seats to Mexico. My kids have never and will never ride in a car without a car seat. Regardless if I'm at home or on vacation.
Just as I had woken Daniel up, and was standing in the rain packing our car seats, wife called. Flight was canceled due to snow storm in NYC. I read the day before about Jet Blue canceling some flights but didn't think the storm was that bad. For once I was really glad the Swedes are boring, logical, and calm. There were 200 people in line to rebook their tickets and the line was not even moving at snails pace. And there were no possibilities of re-routing since every airline had their flights canceled. Still people were calm and relaxed. A bit stressed and worried but still in control. We were looking at a few hours in cue, with the kids. No fun. This is where we got a bit lucky and used some of our contacts.
Sandra plays tennis with a girl whose husband is the head of Continental Airlines in Stockholm. He was luckily at the airport overseeing the chaos. My wife called her friend, who was in Madrid, and asked if she could make a quick call to her husband. We laughed as we immediately saw him pick up his cellphone. He came over to us, number 50 or so in the line, and told us flights were full for the next two days (even before the storm) but there were a few seats left for Tuesday.
He booked us on the Tuesday flight in a few minutes and came back with our tickets. We thanked him and headed off to breakfast. It was only 7 Am but it felt like we'd been awake half a day. After a long breakfast, looking at airplanes taking off and land, and putting Annika to sleep, we headed home. We passed the Continental cue and it had moved about 3 feet. Damn, we got really lucky. All flights from Europe had been canceled and there were not enough seats on any airline to handle the backup.
Many years ago I would have been crushed by something like this but as we drove home I was feeling quite good. Being married to a Mexican wife teaches you to be prepared for the unexpected. It just wasn't meant to be. As we arrived home at 9 Am and started unpacking the car with all the bags, the tiredness hit me. Hard. Since I've traveled a lot I know that this usually lasts for an hour or two but it's crucial to stay awake and be active. But it's also damn difficult. Our children handled the whole adventure like champions. Not a single complaint about waking up before dawn, being promised exciting airplanes, and getting nothing but the apartment back home. And no whining and cring.
Turns out it was probably not a bad idea to have the trip postponed a few days. It gave me a couple of days to relax at home after some stressful weeks at work. We had a great day at home with the kids and managed to go for a bike ride, a three hour play session at a friends house, a hard workout at the gym, and a run. But by 9 Pm we were all dead. I never go to bed at this hour but the early wakeup call and the events of the day had made me exhausted. Or perhaps it was the bottle of wine and two beers that killed my spirit?
Regardless, we will try again in three days. Hopefully with better results and less snow in NYC.
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