A nearly perfect travel day

Yesterday was a day that Michelle and I have been dreading for a while now – our trip to Charlevoix, MI with the boys. This trip entailed a 4.5-hour flight from SFO to Detroit, then a 1.5 hour layover, then a 1 hour flight to Traverse City… where we’d pick up our van and drive another 1.5 hours to Charlevoix. The thought of pulling this off with two kids under 3 caused ulcer-inducing anxiety in the both of us. Particularly when you add in the aforementioned motion sickness propensity of both myself and my son!

We’re here in Charlevoix, and I have to be honest – yesterday the trip to get here was as near-perfect as you could have asked for. The boys were fantastic! No fussing, no fighting, lots of smiles, great using the plane bathroom (Andrew’s potty training), and all around fantastic patience on the kid’s part. And no barfing on Justin! The closest we got to barf was actually the woman in front of us on the trip, who looked a bit hung over… and even that was closer than I wanted. Michelle had been planning (and shopping) for this trip for a while, and her arsenal of food, toys, and games made the time go by very quickly. We actually only pulled out the DVD player for 30 minutes on the entire trip!

One of the highlights was meeting Scott, another 3 year old, in the Detroit airport near the kids’ play area. Andrew and Scott immediately bonded (which meant Justin bonded as well) and they had a great hour chasing each other all over the airport. Scott was from Germany but had a British accent which Andrew found rather amusing – he kept saying ” ‘ello!” (imagine a british accent here) and “I’m going on a tiny little plane” in a rather affected manner 😉 By the time we got on the flight to Charlevoix, Andrew passed out on my lap and slept the whole way, while Justin quietly sucked on his pacifier and stared out the window. Phew! What a trip – seriously, Michelle and I thought we were dreaming.

Unfortunately no day could be THAT perfect. We stood waiting at the airport at the baggage claim. We had 4 bags checked – 3 suitcases and 1 car seat. We waited. And waited. And waited. Nearly everyone got their bags and left. We waited some more. Then the carousel shut down. I waited another couple minutes for good measure, and then went to luggage services (or, I should just say, the ticket counter – there were about 5 employees in the entire Traverse City airport.) Turns out, yep, they’d lost our luggage. They had no idea where it was. They “usually” get it to folks within 24 hours, but no guarantees, the guy said with a courteous smile that made me want to slug him. How could they ruin this ideal day? And how were we going to drive with our kids without a car seat?

Thankfully, the lovely woman at Avis gave us a spare car seat they had, so we loaded up our carry-on luggage and got in the minivan. Off we went to the condo, where thankfully my folks were there and helped us go shopping for toiletries, etc. I waited until after midnight to see if anyone would call, but no word… and the online tracking system said they were “still searching” for our bags.

But the bad luck wasn’t long-lived – this morning at 9AM our bags were delivered to the hotel! We managed to get unpacked, cleaned up, changed, and ready for the wedding rehearsal just in time.

Tomorrow is Andrew’s big debut as the Ring Bearer at the wedding – stay tuned for stories & photos!

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~ by Nathan on June 23, 2007.

2 Responses to “A nearly perfect travel day”

  1. Nathan,
    Great to hear the happy ending. I’m always interested in how folks overcome travel traumas and I’m glad to hear our Traverse City Avis counter was on the ball. You certainly picked a great weekend to come to Northern Michigan. I was in the Charlevoix area on Saturday too, and it was amazing. Incidentally, my 4-year old thought the Ironton Ferry was really cool. It might not have been just the idea that the car was going on a boat; she did ask the Captain where the fairies were. Enjoy your vacation in Traverse City and if you need any info on where to go, or what to do with the kids, check out DestinationNorthernMichigan.com
    If there’s any info I can provide–just drop me a note.

    Rachel North
    Mktg. Dir., Traverse, Northern Michigan’s Magazine

  2. Aww that sounds like our trip from Alaska to Virginia with our 2 year old daughter, she did wonderfully on the planes! 🙂 So glad to hear your luggage returned to you so quickly! I got tired of them “misplacing” my luggage and started attaching Global Bag Tags to everything LOL! They’re shiny, pretty and don’t openly display your personal information 🙂

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