Destination: Tampa, FL
Departure Time: 3:40pm
Layover in Michigan
As has been documented on the blog, we kept our vacation daisy chain, removing one chain each day until it got shorter and shorter and then there was nothing left of it.
We were so excited when that last chain was removed and we knew we were just hours away from leaving for the airport.
Grammie came and picked us up. We loaded in with such excitement.
We were dropped off at the airport where we promptly took a picture. After all, this was the first time for the kids to get on a plane where they were all old enough to remember it! We soon realized that in all our excitement, we forgot Hattie's carseat in the van. A quick call was made as well as a U-turn my Grammie and within about 10 minutes, she was back out front with our precious cargo.
My crew searched for our flight and found our gate. The plane was full so our seats were scattered all around the plane. Hattie and I were together, but everyone else...well that was a different story. At least God provided kind people to sit next to the kids. I was so nervous they would end up by some creepy person, but God took care of all of us.
The first leg of our trip took us from MSP to Michigan. I was glad that this was such a short little jaunt since we couldn't be by each other. It's hard as a mama to have your children all spread out!
This is how far Ella was away from my seat. Luckily she's tall so I could at least see her head.
I did some research before hand on what is allowed through TSA and quickly found out that we weren't forced to eat horribly tasting and horribly expensive airport food. I would way rather save my money for a great meal in Florida. I packed up some super awesome chicken-avocado pitas, apples, pretzels, a cookie, and filled our water bottles once we passed through security. They didn't have a problem with any of our food whatsoever. I will be doing this every trip from here on out! Besides, I'm convinced that you could bring boring pb&j sandwiches and it would taste awesome by proxy of being at the airport on your way to vacation.
Everyone gobbled up their supper and I didn't hear even one single complaint from anyone. Success! It was also so much easier than standing in line and trying to eat quickly to get back to the gate. This was so much more relaxing.
The flights from Michigan to Tampa was maybe half full...so we got to sit with each other and that made the last leg so much more fun!! You can see that there really wasn't anyone even close to us.
Ella came and sat next to Hattie and me. We watched movies, drank our ginger ale, and enjoyed our complimentary cookies. The little girls thought they were so grown-up getting to order their own drink!
About half-way through the flight, Hattie decided to go sit in the middle of these two chuckle-heads. They had a great time!!
We arrived at 11:18pm...although with the time change and daylight savings time, we felt like it was only 9:18pm so we were still full of energy. The air outside smelled so good!! I was giddy, absolutely giddy. It smelled of warmth, dirt, living things, and of promise.
This picture just makes me smile...we were on an adventure! (Not to mention that Lily and Ella were pretty happy to be off the plane.) The 2nd leg really played with their ears and no amount of gum chewing was helping. Look at Hattie! She is too cute for words.
We got our rental car and went out to the row to pick it up! Jason wanted this one.
But he got this one. A very practical, 7-seater, luggage hauling mini van!
We got checked into the room at the Hampton Inn and Suites, put on our jammies, and everyone crawled into bed.
We were here. Florida. With adventure just waiting to knock on our door in the morning.