Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas everyone! Things here have been completely crazy. I guess everyone has a different feeling about family. Despite all of the craziness we are having a good time. Christmas dinner is in the oven and the guys are heading out to play a game of horseshoes. After a strong fight against falling asleep, Lindsey is taking a much needed nap. This year was so much fun with her. She really enjoyed opening up her presents. How sweet kids are!

I hope that each and everyone of you has a very Merry Christmas and a safe, happy and healthy 2008!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

45 Hours... Continued

It is now 10:25 am in beautiful Martha's Vineyard. We are all safe, warm and ready to spend some fun family time together. It is obvious that we are here so if things didn't continue to just spin out of control, I would leave my post from yesterday as our story. I just think you need to hear how fun our day really was.

After sitting on the plane for several hours with no food or water we departed at 1:30 pm and arrived in Boston at 2:15 pm . Continental decided to compensate us for the past two days with a generous $8 meal voucher. After learning that we would have to wait three hours for our van service we decided to enjoy a delicious Fuddruckers hamburger. After that we claimed our many pieces of luggage and enjoyed an hour of hilarious people watching in the baggage claim. One bright spot in the day was that our 15 passenger van turned into a stretch limo. So at 5:45 pm we loaded up, turned on Starsky and Hutch and headed to the ferry. We arrived at 8 pm just in time to make the last boat of the evening. After placing our luggage on the cart, we walked on the ferry. Another bright spot in our day was the ferry ticket taker only taking three tickets and handing them back to us and telling us to have a nice day. We enjoyed a nice cup of hot chocolate on the way to the island.

Michael and JoAnne arrive at 9:30 pm to pick us up and hugs and kisses are exchanged. JoAnne sees she has a headlight out, but there is nothing that can be done we must get home. We drive roughly two miles and we see the lights of the State Trooper who is pulling us over. Our caravan stops. At this point Lindsey is thoroughly unhappy and frankly screaming her head off. Her shaw is in the other car. At this point though I am hoping that the screaming will help the officer make his decision to just let us go. We sit patiently trying to calm Lindsey. The officer returns five minutes later to give us a warning (Whew) and I run to the other car to retrieve the much needed security item. We get "home" to the nice house Michael and JoAnne have arranged, drop our bags and head over to their house for a few snacks and some much needed adult beverages. At 11:45 pm we head back to "our" house for the evening. My sister needs her glasses and contact stuff which had been put in my pretty Java Blue Vera Bradley bag. John reaches in and pulls out some nice snowflake blankets and some Vitamin water. Ummm, guys, I didn't have Vitamin Water. There is no way this can be happening to me. This is not my bag. All of the stockings my Mom made by hand for each of us was in that bag. Uggggg!!!! After composing myself, I look for something with a name. Her wallet is there! (Seriously, why would you put your wallet with cash and a checkbook on a cart for anyone to handle? I mean thank you for doing it, but I wouldn't do it myself. I am guessing she was just tired like we were.) The cell phone on her check is off. We look them up in the phonebook and I make the call at 12:15 am. She answers and is happy to hear we have her bag. We agree to exchange bags at 8 am. I sleep through the knock at 8 am, but thankfully my sister makes the exchange and accepts the homemade cookies the nice lady brings us.

So, now it is 11:15 am and I am sitting here enjoying a cup of coffee with Rosemary and Robert. Everyone else is still asleep. Yes, even Lindsey is asleep.

Although this trip has been full of craziness I am thankful to be here. I am thankful to be with my family, thankful to God that he helped us get through here safely. I will end with a quote from my oldest nephew Robert, "This is the best trip ever!"

Monday, December 22, 2008

45 Hours Into A Five Hour Trip

It is now 8:50 p.m. and I am sitting on a ferry to Martha's Vineyard with a motley crew of eight very tired, slightly dirty, pretty upbeat people. Our group consists of me, John, Lindsey, my sister Rosemary and her family (Robert Sr., Robert Jr., Richard and Robin) We are nearing the completion of a journey that started some 45 hours ago in Houston, TX. Below is a brief synopsis of the past two days events.

3 am - alarm goes off in Houston, TX so we can ride the hour to the airport
5:30 am - group arrives at Houston airport for a 7:15 departure, all is well despite taking more than 30 minutes to check in
7:50 am - we depart for beautiful Martha's Vineyard for a 11:50 am arrival
12 pm - the first round of bad news arrives, we must circle Providence before clearance into Boston is granted due to poor weather conditions
1 pm - low on fuel we are diverted to Bangor, Maine (look on a map, there are a few states and several airports on the way to Bangor
1:15 pm - we arrive in Bangor and are told we will fuel up, de-ice and get back in the air
3 pm - still on the plane, we notice the snow is coming down a bit harder
4 pm - fueling is complete and we are de-iced, we sit on the runway anxious to to take off, after 10 minutes, we are informed we are iced over again and must return to the tarmac
4:30 pm - our pilot informs us that we will be spending the night in Bangor
5:30 pm - we finally deplane into 15 degree weather and wait in line for hours for information on flight and hotels
7:30 pm - we are informed that our flight will depart at 6 am so we must arrive at 4 am
8 pm - after much frustration and very little food our four pizzas arrive to baggage claim
9 pm - we begin our journey to a hotel 5 miles away, oh, did I mention that there was a blizzard in Bangor
10:30 pm - we arrive at our hotel after plowing through several snow drifts
12:30 am - we turn in for the evening, whew, what a day

2 am - our wake up call so we can get on the 3 am taxi to get us to the airport by 4, it takes this long in 20 inches of snow
3:45 am - we await in line to re-check in, only to be told that we were not on the flight, oh yeah, tell a lady with a 19 month old, two diapers left and no milk, that I am not on that flight. Needless to say, we made it on the flight.
4:30 am - we are waiting at the gate to board
5:30 am - waiting at the gate
6:30 am - waiting at the gate
7:30 am - waiting at the gate
8:30 am - board the plane, we are on our way, yeah, right

Okay, I know the suspense is killing you, but I am about to hop off the boat and see my brother Michael and his wife JoAnne for the first time in two years. He is going to meet my Lindsey. I am so happy and frankly could almost cry at this point. I will complete the story of our journey tomorrow if possible, I even have pics! Was it Harley Davidson that says something about its not where you are going, its all about the journey? Oh please!!!!!!!!!!! Good night all.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

How Time Flies

It seems like just yesterday I held my oldest nephew Robert just minutes after he was born. Richard wanted to make a grand entrance into the world and decided to arrive very quickly, so even if my sister had told me she was in labor and had stopped me from driving back to College Station to start the Spring semester, I probably would have missed it. After waiting a few years, my precious little niece Robin arrived. Just look at them now. How can this be? (Richard, Robert, Robin)