Sunday, August 2, 2015

Montreal Trip Part I: Airports and airplanes

I have many, many pictures to post of our trip to Montreal, and I thought I'd get the most boring ones out of the way first so we can all look forward to the exciting things to come! Boring if you think airports and airplanes are boring, that is. Which I don't. And my boys don't. Don't they ever!

But let me back up. When we were last in the Great White North, some of the workshop organizers were telling us about their "In-house Workshop," which is an intense 30-day class where four students go and live in a house outside of Montreal, and learn about art. (Or get "trained in the inspiring and stimulating environment of the Imaginism house," if you prefer.) We met Thierry, who lives in the house and teaches the workshop. And a few weeks later, he invited Sam to come up and be the Visiting Artist for a week sometime. And…he said Sam could bring the family! Sam didn't have classes to teach for Summer term, so he had a free July. It sounded fun, and mostly, we kept thinking about how much the boys would love riding an airplane. (They LOVE airplanes!) Even if the rest of it wasn't fun, it almost seemed like the plane rides would be worth it! :) There are too many of us to make flying feasible, normally, so we thought it might be a chance they wouldn't soon have again. It seemed a bit much to try and bring ALL of the kids, though, and my mom volunteered to watch the three girls so we could just take the boys.

So. There we were, at the Salt Lake Airport. Hooray!
It all started out nicely enough. We had our little dinner of muffins and gyoza we'd brought from home (yum) and the boys were in heaven watching the planes come and go. We occasionally drive up to the airport to watch planes, but you can't get a very good view from the road! So this was special.
Then our flight started getting delayed, and it got later and later. The sun went down. The boys explored the entire airport and rode up and down the escalators, and the moving sidewalk, which is for your traveling convenience. Please stand to the right so that others may walk past you on the left. Thank you for your courtesy.
Teddy did this to pass the time.
We finally got on the plane at 11:30 p.m. We had to fly west to L.A. first, which seems like a terrible waste, but what do I know?
When we got to LAX it was 1 a.m., and we'd missed our connecting flight, of course. Everyone was so tired that they lay down and fell asleep. Sort of. It was freezing, as airports are, and there were loud announcements from the P.A. system every fifteen minutes or so, so you'd drift off and then sit bolt upright with a vague feeling that your unattended bag was about to be destroyed for security reasons. I made a bed for Theo out of the baby wrap, which I was so grateful for. He slept a little.

Finally we unfolded ourselves around 5 a.m. and wended our way through the wasteland of terrible signage and counterintuitive crowdflow that is LAX. We waited in various lines while computers and conveyor belts spontaneously broke down all around us. And when we asked about our checked baggage and the man at the ticket counter said airily, "Oh, don't worry, it will just follow you onto whichever flight you get onto"—I knew. I just knew, deep in my soul and with every fiber of my being (to use a much-maligned phrase), that our baggage would be lost.

But what could we do? Nothing. So we did that.
The plane ride was great. Malachi had never been on a plane, so he loved every second, and the seats had little TV screens which everyone loved, and Theo mostly nursed and only fussed a little, but Sam and I handed him back and forth and it was fine.

And then we got to Montreal and they had lost our luggage. So at least I had the satisfaction of being right! Luckily the boys had carried on their bags, so it was only Sam's and my suitcase that was lost. But that's another story.

And now I will leave you reeling from this cliffhanger of a tale, and skip to our trip home from Montreal, so as to keep all the airports and airplanes together.
Theo wasn't nearly so good this time. He did hold this cup and look concerned for a bit while I tried frantically to amuse him with pictures of himself on the phone. Then I nursed him and nursed him and he gnashed his teeth and wailed, but I was at the front of the plane, and Sam (in the back) said he couldn't even hear it so…that's good I guess.

And then we got to fly into Reagan National Airport, which was cool, and I saw the Washington D.C. Temple out the window:
You could even see it from way far away because it has such a recognizable shape.
Distinctive. See?
As we approached the airport, we could see the Pentagon and the White House and the Washington Monument and the Lincoln and Jefferson Memorials. I loved that. If only we could have just hopped out and walked around a bit! But of course there was no time. We were on to our next flight.
We made quite a parade. People kept smiling at us and commenting about how we had all boys and we had our hands full. To which I would have liked to reply, "You don't know the half of it!" Haha. But I restrained myself.

On the flight back to Houston, Theo screeched most of the way, but the nicest Indian ladies up ahead of me waved off my apologies and said, "He's an angel. Absolutely, an angel! And we all made those sorts of noises ourselves when we were babies, so none of us can complain." That was a nice thing to say, wasn't it?
And then we got to Houston and saw the sun setting, and felt a blast of hot, humid air as we walked onto the plane, and then at last we were back in Salt Lake where our wonderful, wonderful beds were waiting.

And that's all about airplanes and airports.

To be continued…

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