The kids are on a break from kindergarten until the middle of August, so we figured it was a nice time to head home for a visit. And by we I really mean my parents. They get a little crazy when they haven’t seen us (maybe just Emma and Talon) for a while.
It’s a joke, Mom.
(It’s not a joke.)
It seems pretty obvious to say a lot has changed since we departed for Germany on August 1, 2016. We have a new nephew. He’s almost eight months old. My parents moved into a new home after living in the same place for almost 28 years. We’ve missed birthdays and holidays, and found new appreciation for garbage disposals and the option to pay at the pump. For all these reasons and many more, I’m braving a very long journey with two children who hardly cooperate on trips to the grocery store. Everyone here has been really helpful so far, the kids included.
To save money, I chose to give Space A travel a try. For those who don’t live the military life, Space Available Travel is when you fly for free using vacant seats on military planes. You first have to find a plane that’s going where you want to go. Then, you show up for roll call when they say and hope you get one of the seats. Last Tuesday, we tried twice to get on planes going to Salina, Kansas and barely missed getting seats on one of them. This morning, we competed for a flight to Colorado Springs and got chosen. It’s not the most ideal way to get to Oklahoma, but at least I don’t have to show up for another roll call.
The plane is loud. We have hearing protection but I’m sure the kids ears hurt. We’re sharing the plane with a couple dozen soldiers on their way home from a deployment, plus all their gear, but there’s still a bit of space to stretch out. It has its perks over commercial travel in the sense that I blew up an air mattress for the kids to lay on, and it’s so loud that no one else can hear Talon scream, which he’s done… a lot. It is a bit chilly, and the in-flight meal consisted of Mountain Dew and peanut butter and jelly uncrustables. A life of over exposure has left me rather intolerant of lemon-lime flavored sodas.
The plane over flew, which means we didn’t stop to refuel and instead went straight through to Colorado. I’m not complaining! The heat is broken on the plane, and it’s ridiculously cold. I panicked a little when I thought about how much longer we had on the plane, but it ended up not being so bad since we didn’t make the stop in Maine. The coolest part of our journey, by far, was when the kids and I were invited up to the cockpit area to warm up. One of the members of the flight crew even gave the kids coins. Talon held onto his for the rest of the flight.
*I’ve revisited this post to add photos.