Friday, January 21, 2011

The rain in Spain falls mainly on the plane

Have you ever had one of those days? A day that you can bet that the public toilet will be out of paper, or the bird will pick you out of the crowd to release itself. This was a great day; but it was definitely one of 'those' days.

To celebrate our daughters 3rd birthday we planned a holiday to Spain to meet a friend, (any excuse for some more travel really). We allowed an hour to get to the airport, which would of been plenty of time, had I put the right airport into the GPS. You could cut the tension in the air of the car with a knife as we counted down the minutes from check in time to GPS arrival time, we lost a minute here, gained a minute there, and felt like we were in an episode of The Amazing Race. We agreed to park in the first available car space we could find, (surely better to pay for expensive parking as apposed to purchasing new plane tickets). Looking, looking, and parked 500 meters away! We could just see the airport in the distance like a mirage. Out of car, set up pram, kids scarves and hats on, kids in pram, back pack on, birthday presents bag over shoulder, handbag, toiletries bag, I'm running, "Lock the car!" yelled over my shoulder, husband takes up the rear pulling large bag and daughters pretty pink butterfly bag. We run 100meters and spot a transit bus, "Bus, bus!" I hear from behind. Open boot of van, large bag in, pink bag in, toiletries bag in, present bag in, back pack in, kids out of pram, "Off the road!", take pram apart, pram in, door locked, "ahem ahem", door still locked, "ahem ahem", climb in the van, quick head count, all good. Drive 200meters. End of line. Time to get out and start all over again. (Not to sure if we saved any time here?) So with daughter surfing the front of the pram and son under my arm hanging on for dear life, I take of like a football player wanting to score. Hubby is behind looking like he is about to go kung-fu on our luggage, but manages to make up some distance once his 5 items are balanced correctly.

One minute late for check in, the lovely lady accepts our tickets and we place our bag and pram at an external door. We rush to our gate, (which is obviously the one furtherest away), and join the end of the remaining queue that is boarding the plane. This is where we are told that our carry on luggage of 5 bags is to be condensed to 3. "Infants don't count, everyone else has only one piece of carry on Madam." (Did you know that a small handbag is carry on luggage?) So now would be the perfect time for our daughter to unpack her bag and play with some toys, "Can I open my presents now?" I take a deep breath and unpack and repack bags as fast as possible, trying to keep out of the corridor, so the last 2 remaining passengers with two carry on bags each may pass through!

So, yes, we are now officially those people. The last ones onto the plane hoping to get sympathetic looks, instead receiving glares of detest. I think we held the plane up one minute. I just wanted to sink into my seat. If I could find one. With six free rows at the front and four free rows at the back, we are still unable to take a seat. Ushered to the back to be ushered back to the front again, worried that the plane was going to be too top heavey? I presumed that all would be fine as long as the pointy end of the plane was pointing forward, but then I am no pilot. So to anger more patrons, others are moved so I can sit with my daughter, as my husband takes the rear of the plane with our son on his lap. This was going to be a long flight.

After ten minutes in the air, the stewardess informs me of some great news, in Spanish, a language that I do not comprehend. I tell her I do not understand, so she speaks again, slower and louder, (this obviously does not help my comprehension, it just makes me feel, quite frankly, a little special). So I nod, smile and thank her. My husband eventually flags me down, and I realise I am now able to join him in the back so we can all sit together. Reunited; we can regroup and start our holiday. The morning can only get better. Right?

My husband makes his way to our carry on luggage in the front of the plane to search for a nappy for our son that has just managed to pee through his nappy and on to both of us. He is stuck for ten minutes behind the food trolley, so I hold my son above me by the waist to avoid more spillage, (and make the most of an arm weights session). I decide to take a little toilet brake, and a moment to breath, when I find a 5 pence coin on the floor. Opting to combine two of the dirtiest things, (money and toilet floors), I decide it is a sign, pick up the money smiling and saying to myself "Find a penny, pick it up, all day long you'll have good luck!" I practically skip back to my seat and inform my husband of our new fortune of luck. Not quite a winning lottery ticket, but it was enough for me to boost some positive thinking.

I rest back into my seat, take the cup of energy drink my husband has poured me. We hit turbulance; I now have drink up my nose and down my clothes. The landing was not exactly smooth either and we gripped onto each other as Captain Kangaroo bounced us to the terminal. The morning can only get better. Right?

"Thank you for flying with us today. We hope you enjoyed giving us the business, as much as we enjoyed taking you for a ride!"

IF Important Fact
There is more than one airport in Milan.

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