Remember those plane tickets I tried to cancel but could only be forwarded to a better (safer) time? Well, we used them and are glad to be done with the whole flying experience. And an experience it was!

Packing for the trip became tricky when I tried to insert all of the presents I had been amassing for Grayson’s birthday. A recently acquired long green bat with its accompanying baseball firmly attached to the tip of it simply would not fit in my suitcase, even if I hacked into the plastic and removed the ball. Since Southwest allows for free baggage I sent the hubby up to the attic for one of our old suitcases, the kind that would need to be carried by hand. 

Then we fired up Henrietta know-it-all and headed to Rochester. Henrietta found the airport just fine but was ill prepared to help us locate the Red Lot, which is the cheapest place to park your car and I think that’s because it is across the street from the actual airport. We had to find it on our own. 

The first flight went smoothly enough until we landed, or should I say tried to land. No sooner had we reached the landing strip than we were heading right back up. And don’t think I took this quietly. I had already thanked God for getting me safely down for the first of a total of four flights and now I would have to start all over again. 

The pilot’s excuse was that two planes were too close together and somehow that involved us. So now the 45 minute rest between flights was down to 15 minutes, whereby our hopeful dream of using a restroom and having an early dinner in the airport turned into a fast run past a pretzel place, still chewing our food as we boarded that plane and succumbed to using their teeny tiny toilet.

Here’s where the fun really began. This connection was in Orlando (the best we could do). The plane was loaded with kids coming back from Disney World and it was 4 p.m. Apparently everyone from Florida knows this little known fact – that they have thunderstorms most every day at this time and today would be no different. So for all that rushing to get onto the plane, we had to sit strapped in until they were given the all clear — which would be about 15 minutes, then 10 minutes more, and a few more here and there until we had been sitting for an hour or more. The children on the plane were no happier than me. 

And our son had been sitting outside the airport for the same amount of time while his wife was home putting our grandkids to bed. (Sigh)

When we were reunited with our suitcases, the old one with the baseball bat in it looked like someone had taken a real baseball bat to it. The handle was caved in and the tweed fabric was split open in two places. It was on its last voyage. Naturally, after the fact, I was told Southwest would have replaced it had we reported it. Oh well. 

But our visit was great. As soon as the boys woke up I handed them each a pinwheel as an ice breaker and they ran around the house having a blast. After breakfast the boys opened their next gift, baseball bats (the stubby one for the two-year old) and bases. We then went out to play ball until it began to rain. And it rained there just as much as it has been raining here. 

It didn’t stop us from participating in National Doughnut Day, going shopping or watching the boys swim in their pool between rain drops. And they have a trail in the woods a very short distance from their house where we got to throw rocks in the water and watch the ripple effect. 

Then back to the house to open more presents. A Lego kit Grayson expertly put together and a sticker book of critters and creatures that was highly enjoyed. The last gift of a basketball hoop that fits over a door had us all swooshing the net. 

It was a short-lived couple of days but it was great fun. One of the best moments was near the end when Grayson sighed and said, “Gramma, these are really awesome presents.” 

I flew home on that high. 

debbiehough@hotmail.com

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