Yesterday we began the first leg of our California adventure. Our day started bright and early with a 4:30 am wake up for Mommy (after approx. 4 hours of sleep the night before!). We got everyone up and out the door and on route to the airport by 6 am – a half hour later than planned. We were not ready for the number of crazy people on the highway, the construction and the accidents at this time….so it took us more than an hour and a half to get across the 401. So much for arriving at the airport 3 hours before our flight (which was scheduled to depart at 9:35.)
We opted to Park n Fly this vacation which led to our next small inconvenience. As we’re pulling our luggage out of the trunk, the shuttle bus leaves the lot. No biggie – the next one should be there in 15 minutes – OR NOT! More than 30 minutes later, we’re finally at Terminal 3…but were dropped off at the wrong end of the building.
Unfortunately, we didn’t realise this until we started the self-check-in process at the WestJet kiosk. When we had issues with Kaleb’s boarding pass the kind lady offering assistance pointed out we had to scurry down to the US desk….
The staff at the WestJet counter were AMAZING! The lady was friendly, got us checked in quickly and waived our overweight luggage fee. Unfortunately, the line for US Customs was not as friendly. As we’re standing in line, I glance at the clock and see, oh my, our plane is boarding! Yikes. Now Mommy is officially starting to stress out.
The Customs agent was friendly and processed us quickly. We then went through security and that went quickly for the carseats and checked baggage…. not so much for carry on! Did I mention how much I think having to haul your luggage (3 suitcases, 3 carry-ons, 2 carseats) is a pain in the butt? Much prefer when you check it in at the counter. Anyhow, once we get to the personal security check, Kaleb was flagged for search…. and Mommy forgot her laptop was in her carry-on, and Kevin’s bag needed to be searched.
Now, these staff were amazing! I never thought I’d say that about security but they were laughing with Kaleb as they patted him down and used the wand. The guy laughed at my absentmindedness and they were so apologetic about searching the bags and the order we had to put Kaleb’s stuff on the belt. And then I mentioned we had about 5 minutes til our plane departed! They started helping to get our stuff together and pointed out which gate and did their best to expedite us through the end process.
WestJet staff then laughed and said “They’re holding the plane for you!” Yikes… kids didn’t get to relax or even pee before boarding. Did I mention that Justin still wasn’t feeling well through all this??? The flight itself was fantastic (but a little bumpy – couldn’t be helped.) The boys were amazing – Kaleb was more interested in his seatback tv than anything and Justin fell asleep once I gave him more tylenol. The crew were funny and friendly and I think I just became a huge WestJet fan!
We landed in Las Vegas quickly but getting our rental car was another ordeal. After Kev stood in line 40 minutes, we got our vehicle & I got a sunburn! Luckily, we got a upgrade…and finally got out of Vegas after a quick lunch at Subway and hit the road by 2.
We got into Cathedral City (Palm Springs) around 7 after a few quick pit stops. The boys were great in the car, the drive through the desert was novel at first…but after 5 hours of staring at cactus and dusty mountains, the novelty wore off. Hotel check in at the Holiday Inn Express was fast and friendly, our hotel is clean. The boys got a quick dip in the pool, pizza for dinner, hugs from Papa & Oma and off to bed at 10 pm (PST) which is the equivalent of 1 am our time. I’m so proud of them – they did so well!
I was happy for bed and a pillow… and look forward to a more relaxing day today!