Sunday, July 22, 2012

In Boston

So, we're here and it's already been somewhat of an adventure.

Yesterday I spent most of the day packing.  We got to the airport a little more than two hours before the flight.  The kids were running to the window to try and see some airplanes while I took a little break to sit down (while we were waiting for Heather and Mallory to arrive).  And I wanted to cry.  I just don't want to go.  I don't want to do any of this!  Why does it have to be like this?!  But, those thoughts get me no where.  They are how I feel, but feeling them is a waste of energy.  I have to shake it away.  I have to move forward and try to think as positively as possible.  Because we have to do this.  We have no choice.

I watched all the kids laughing and having fun running from the seats to the window and back again. Including Harlie.  She was running her own, unique little "run" (it's really more like speed walking because she keeps one foot on the floor all the time), pumping her arms, trying to keep up with them.  And laughing.  I wanted that positive energy to be contagious.

After checking in our bags, Tom and the kids went with us to the security point and we said our goodbyes.

And that's when the fun started.

I told them that Harlie has a pacemaker so she can't go through the metal detector.  And that's when progress came to a screeching halt.

Apparently there have been some recent policy changes on how to handle minors who cannot go through normal screening methods.  So, Heather and Mallory go through and they said we had to wait for someone.

We waited for what felt like forever!  Then a man came up to me and said, "Okay, Ma'am, let me tell you what's going on."  What?!  Then he told me about the policy changes and said they have to call the federal security guy and get direction from him and now he's aware of the situation and it will be a little while.

The situation?

Seriously?  So, I ask, do you have to do this for every kid with a pacemaker?  I don't remember his response.

In the meantime, Heather gets a thorough screening by security for being with us (because we had 2 cans of formula with us and that is a red flag right there).  They put on gloves and patted her down and then tested the gloves to see if there was anything bad on them.  I don't think Heather will be traveling with us again any time soon.

Finally a man came to stand beside me and he was on the phone.  He would ask me a question and then tell the person on the phone.  There also seemed to be an issue with Harlie's chair.  I call it a stroller, but it does sort of look like a wheelchair with really small wheels.  So, I told him she can walk through and I can fold the chair and put it through the conveyor belt thingy.  Anything to make this process go faster!  So, that worked. She walked through with the security guy and I went through the metal detector.  Which went off because I didn't take my bracelets off.  There was a really nice female security person who was kind of watching out for us the whole time.  So she gave me that bowl and I put them in there.  By now I was a little frazzled and felt pretty silly for not taking them off while I was standing there doing nothing.  Luckily, the airport wasn't that busy.  Mental note for future flights!  Come extra early.

So, I went through and then there more questions.  He asked for my driver's license to take a photocopy of it.  Then he asked for my cell number.  I told Heather that I would be getting a phone call later.

Then that nice security lady came up to me and handed me my bracelets.  I had totally forgot to get them!  Whew!  Thank goodness she was so nice.  You can really tell I don't travel much.

So, we go and sit down to get a little snack.  After a little while, my phone rang.  It was security.  He had another question for his report about the situation.

As far as security goes, they were all very nice and apologized for how long it took.  And the security guy who walked Harlie through told me that any time a minor can't be screened, they have to deal with it on a case-by-case basis.  When he was on the phone asking me questions, based on his response into the phone, I am sure the guy asked him if he felt good about letting us through.

I couldn't help but remember what Brandy said earlier.  I was thinking aloud about what time we had to leave to go to the airport and she said, "Christy, they say two hours early for normal people. So, you need to go even earlier."  haha!

So, the plane was fine.  Bumpy for a little while, but fine after that.  Harlie played musical chairs and switched seats a few times.  And of course she had to see the potty.  And play with the tray and the window.

Right as were landing, Mallory blurts out, "Boston is awesome!"  We hadn't even landed yet and she's never been there before.  We had to laugh, including the passengers around us.  It was pretty funny.  So, we land and go and get our baggage.  And then walk out to find our car.  Our awesome neighbor arranged this for us..

So, we hop in and start to head to the hotel.  We get about three feet when my cell phone rings.  It's a Boston area code, so Heather looks at me like, "C'mon!" Thinking it was security again.  But it was baggage claim.  Apparently I grabbed the wrong red suitcase.  Oops.  I told you I don't travel much!

So I ask the driver to stop and we jump out to get the wrong suitcase out of the back so I can exchange it.  But, the door to the storage area of the van is broken and he can't get it open.  Ugh.  He finally pushes and turns in the special way that makes it open and off I go back to baggage claim.

I apologize profusely (he was actually pretty nice about it) and grab my bag and go.  The driver puts it in the back and again, we're off to the hotel.

During our ride, Heather decides to look up the hotel on a bed bug website.  Apparently, a few months ago, they had all the beds and box springs replaced on the 7th floor.  Nice.

So, we're driving through a tunnel when all of a sudden a car starts honking it's horn and saying something to the driver.  Of course we stop talking to see what was going on.  Then the driver stops - in the middle of the tunnel!  And says the luggage door must be open.  ACK!!!

So, he jumps out, while Heather and I pray that no one slams into the back of the van, and shuts the door.  I also pray that Harlie's medical equipment or our clothes aren't a few miles back laying in the street.

We get to the hotel, which is right next door to Boston Children's Hospital and check in.  At this point, I'm a nervous wreck about this stay.  The hotel already looks a little dumpy.  We get our room key - not on the 7th floor - by the way.  Which I mention to Heather, who then says, "At least they replaced all the beds on the 7th floor."  According to the bed bug report, there was an incident in May on this floor in the room right next door!!!!


So, before anyone did anything, Heather and I inspected the beds.  They appear to be fine.  The room is clean.  Albeit run down.  But, just to get it out of my system....

There are three beds.  All in one big room.  Weird.  And there is a couch, and two chairs, all in a row - like touching each other - and none of them match.  In fact, none of the furniture matches.  Apparently we are staying in a storage room.

Heather opens the drawers to a desk and tells me that there are metal trays in it for file folders and organization.  Apparently, that desk was in the office and when some guy downstairs got a new desk, they were like, "Put it in room 422, with all the other junk."

One of the electrical sockets has lost most of it's plastic cover - so one could easily stick a finger (or several) in there.  One sliding light switch is broken.  There are three small windows with just white, grungy mini blinds on them.  This place is not nice.  Although it appears clean, so, I'm holding on to that.

But Harlie and Mallory don't see this room the same as we do.  They ran around like it was the best room ever.  Mallory jumped from the bed, to the couch, to the chair, to the chair.  It was hysterical.  So I really tried hard to look at it from their view and just roll with it.  Like I have a choice, right?  I think it just stings a little because it's so freaking expensive!!!!  And I would think that most people who stay here are staying here because of the children's hospital.  So, talk about taking advantage of people that already in the dumps, and don't have a lot of options!  Just another perk to having a medical complex child!  

So, Heather and I ordered a pizza (which they got our order wrong) and drank a bottle of wine.  And we talked and laughed till after midnight.  So, all's good again.

They are all sleeping in.  But thanks to my dear, sweet Cooper, I can no longer sleep in.  So, I thought I'd bring you up to speed with our trip so far.

I don't know what we are going to do today.  The aquarium?  A Duck tour?  Boston Commons?

We'll see...

More later!  Thanks for reading!


Anonymous said...

At least its not a 1 bedroom cabin with no power or ac.....bright side?

B-Mama said...

You all are champs, especially because I know you both were laughing the whole way through. You have such a good outlook and always try to see through to the funny. Keep that up! Sounds like the hotel is going to provide you with a lot of material... Love from VA! xo

Grandma said...

you had a really sucky day...thank goodness for good friends and that bottle of wine!!

Anonymous said...

Good luck to you all in Boston,
Thoughts and prayers coming your way :)


Susan said...

I'm glad you had good company, pizza and wine to distract from your day. Hope things go better tomorrow.