Sunday, April 3, 2011

The End of the Journey

This is entitled "The End of the Journey but frankly there was a lot more journey left. We were stuck in CA, it was Saturday and the next flight out wasn't scheduled until Monday night. So we called up Aunt Joyce and Uncle Milton and begged and pleaded to come there (really we just asked and they graciously and immediately agreed.) They live in Bakersfield CA which was about a 4 hour  drive from where we were at Travis Air force Base. The kids and I headed back down I-5 for the second time on our trip. Luckily it's a pretty drive with lots of orchards just starting to bloom. Aunt Joyce and Uncle Milton have a beautiful home. I hated to impose on them as this is where my Grandma had been living and they had just been through a lot with having her there and dying, but Uncle Milton said it was good for Aunt Joyce so she could have a few more days before she had to figure out what she was going to do with her time now that she didn't have Grandma. They've just now become empty nesters as Grandma and Grandpa moved in with them when their youngest was still at home.During this time we learned that my Great Aunt Vida my paternal Grandfather's sister had passed away. That made 3 deaths and I sincerely hope that we are done with deaths and funerals for awhile.

It was so nice to be in a place where they were okay with kids running around and playing. They had lots of toys for them and spoiled them rotten when it came to breakfasts! Aunt Joyce made them a hot breakfast every morning and since Daniel loves anything with syrup he got his share of french toast, pancakes and waffles. They didn't just stop at the syrup either. He had syrup, butter, whipped cream and homemade strawberry jam all together on them. He's been trying to talk me into letting him have that ever since we've been home. On Valentine's day Aunt Joyce made them heart shaped french toast. They were so kind and made that day so special for my kids when I totally forgot about it. (Maybe the month long travel and deaths and funerals had something to do with it.) Uncle Milton took them to the park where they had a blast. Reagan especially loved to be able to go to the park on this trip. She's been asking for months to go to the park but here in AK they are covered in snow and ice and when its 10 degrees outside, Mom's not too inclined to go to the park.

On Monday my cousin Mark and his family came to see us. That really meant a lot to me that he took the time to come specifically to see me. Until the funeral I hadn't seen him since he had left on his mission which was about 15? years ago. Now a wife and 6 kids later... Who knows when we will see each other again. So I appreciate the time he spent with me and the inconvenience it was for his family. And a thank you to Aunt Joyce and Uncle Milton who roasted hot dogs and hamburgers and served their famous rootbeer. Not a fan of the rootbeer myself, (It's the homemade yeasty kind.) but it good for the memories.

Later in the week Aunt Joyce and Uncle Milton took us out to see the Kern river. I had other pictures... But these are some great ones that Uncle Milton took.

Twice a week Aunt Joyce watches two of her great granddaughters so her granddaughter in law can go to school. The kids loved having Lexi and Brielle there to play. Again, I had pictures... Their Grandma, (my cousin) Wendi and her husband came by one night too. I just love family. If anyone wants to come visit me here and stay a week or two we've got room!

Meanwhile on Monday they canceled the flight from Travis, and all flights home were $700 plus per person. So I was calling Elmendorf Air force base as well as Eilsen Air force base (in Fairbanks) to see if they were getting flights from anywhere that we could drive to. All week long there was nothing but one flight from Bangor Maine and that was a bit far to drive to get to. I might as well drive home if I was going to go for that. I was so frustrated and we all desperately wanted to go home. Reagan stopped talking to Paul at all. She was mad that we weren't home with him.Aunt Joyce's and Uncle Milton's was wonderful and I was so grateful to have somewhere to be. Finally there was a flight scheduled for Saturday. After spending a week there we said goodbye and drove back up I-5.

I got a hotel room on base as we were supposed to report in for our flight at 1:30 am.We checked in and tried to get a little rest. I arranged with a shuttle agency to pick us up and take us over to the terminal. It's only 3 blocks but at 1 in the morning you don't feel like walking. We waited and waited for the shuttle guy and he never showed up. So I walked the 3 blocks with my 2 kids, 2 suitcases, 2 car seats, and various other bags at 1 in the morning. Only to get there and be told that the flight once again had been canceled for passengers. Needless to say I broke down crying.The next flight was maybe the next night. Some kind strangers took pity on me and drove me back to the hotel where we were able to get our room back. I was not in a good place that night.

At this point I was stuck in a hotel no car (we'd returned it thinking we would be leaving) and nothing to do with 2 kids. There was the bowling alley across the street, but everything else in walking distance was closed. Lots of t.v. The next night the flight was canceled. At this point we had been gone almost a month and we couldn't stay gone forever, so Paul used the airline miles he had and we found that Alaska Air has special rates for Military. The kids and I finally flew home late Wednesday night. The kids and I were about 48 hours short of being gone 4 weeks, and had driven over 2700 miles and were finally home. Can I tell you that I seriously considered kissing the ground?

Daniel did fabulously the entire trip until the day we left, and then he lost it. He didn't regain "it" until 3 weeks later until he finally adjusted to being back home. We are not sure we are ever leaving home again. At least not for another year.

1 comment:

  1. Wow, I can't believe how much Daniel has grow up. He looks so different.