Taking to the air

 Well, the first leg of our journey is over, and I am posting this from our hotel room in Anchorage.  

Our journey began Saturday morning when our charter came to pick us up at 11am in Marshall.  Friday afternoon the boys had a playdate with Michael & Aaliyah so their mom could (try to)  pack-- she still had her nearly two-year-old twins with her-- so I'm not sure how helpful it was, but the kids were cuh-razy having fun and talking about leaving the next day.

Friday night Josh and I finished packing and finalized the "last minute" list for Saturday morning.  We woke up around 3:30am that morning, and both struggled to fall back asleep.  Finally it was time to get up and we ran round like chickens with our heads cut off trying to get everything together.

Josh started loading the van and Wyatt was insufferable. It was like he thought we were going to leave without him, poor kid!  Finally everything was in the van, the garbage was out, and the lights were off... It was time to go.  

Wyatt stood in the living room saying, "Airplane, WAHOO!" and jumping up with both feet off the ground, over and over again. He was so excited!

I have to admit, I teared up a bit leaving the house.  It's hard for me to say goodbye to this place that is our home, even if it is just for the summer. We locked the door and headed out to the van.

 Once we reached the airport runway, it was time for goodbyes.  Josh said he just kept hugging and hugging Susan (who won't be back in Marshall next year) because they have been through so much together.  

They started teaching here together two years ago, went through new teacher orientation together, and have just been there for each other so much. We joke that she was his second wife.  

 Meanwhile, Bruce (our ERA agent in Marshall) was unloading mail off the plane that came, and Martin (our Assistant IL, aka Assistant Principal) was helping throw our luggage on.

 Then Wyatt and the twins gave Susan farewell hugs.  I remember my first gathering of teacher folk the first year I was there, and Susan asked if she could hold Wyatt. She and I hardly knew each other, but she said she needed a baby fix, so she walked around with chubby little Wy on her hip, and I knew we could be friends.  After all, she loved my kids!

 All too soon it was time for us to say goodbye.  We got a couple of pictures,

 and I took some of her and Leah as well.

 Then I hugged her (maybe nearly to death) and thanked her for being my sanity, my friend and told her I would miss her so much.  Beyond words, really.  

Then I told her that I am so happy for her.  I know she's going to grow and blossom and have amazing opportunities in Mountain Village since the district is headquartered there.

We also promised to text each other randomly and stay in touch. I hope that we do.

 After a tearful goodbye, we started loading the caravan. The pilots were super friendly, and the whole experience felt surreal.

We chartered from Marshall to Bethel on ERA along with the Gaylord family (Joe, Krista, Aaliyah, Michael, Khasia & Khaila) and Leah.

 Wyatt wanted to sit with Daddy.

 That lasted until it got turbulent, then he switched and wanted to sit with me. Somehow, I managed to rock him to sleep.

 Flying to Bethel is so much fun.  Our little village is a tiny dot on this HUGE Alaskan landscape, and it takes my breath away every time.

 Josh and I were talking Saturday morning saying we still can't believe most days that this is our life. That we live in the middle of nowhere, with our children, shooting moose and being stuck indoors nine months of the year!

 Wyatt did not like the turbulence at all (neither did I!) and he kept going, "Kinda scary! Kinda scary!"

 Joe's little one didn't like it either!  
Josh snapped that picture of her. So sad!

 Finally we made it to Bethel, and stacked all our luggage to go from the ERA terminal to the Alaska Airlines terminal.  You take the shuttle, which is less than five minutes.

When we landed, we went to the counter to pay for our charter, and the man behind the counter said, as we teased that he could put it all on Joe or Leah's credit cards, that we all looked like we could afford the entire flight. It felt like a slam, although I'm not sure exactly what he meant.  It was uncomfortable.

While we were waiting for our shuttle, the twins were sitting on a bench together, and they were being so good. I was feeling all impressed with my parenting, until Leah came over. They were like, "Hey, Leah, can you move? We can't see!" 

Hahaha! I thought they were just being good, patient boys... What I didn't notice was the TV across the room they were watching!

 Once we arrived in the Alaska terminal, we were able to check our baggage and the guys went to get lunch at Brother's for us to take on the plane with us.

(The flight from Bethel to Anchorage is only an hour on Alaska Airlines, so there's no food service.)

 While we were in the airport waiting, the boys played Tablets with Michael & Aaliyah, and we also used the bathroom. While in the bathroom, I waved my hand in front of the paper towel dispenser, and paper towels appeared magically.  Jack goes, "That.is.amazing!"

With tons of help from Leah, we managed to get through security and onto the second plane.  Our flight attendant, Tim, was awesome. Gave Josh and I each a full can of Coke instead of just a glass, and was just very kind and cheerful. It makes flying so much easier when you have a helpful attendant!

 The view out the window was amazing. The boy sitting by the window was nice enough to let me snap a few pictures. I wonder if it will ever seem less inspiring.  Less breath taking. 
I hope not.

 All three kids were so well behaved, the entire day.  
Patient and good at waiting, and really good listeners.

 The plane ride flew right on by as they played their Tablets.
Logan in particular was tickled that we were flying on a jet. While we were still in the terminal, he had asked Josh, "If it's a jet, dad, will it have shooters?!?" all excited.  Josh cracked up and told him, no.

 Wyatt got a little scared when that flight had turbulence as well, but he got to watch Baby Einstein (his favorite thing in the whole world!) so that helped.  He would just turn and hug me when it got bumpy and say, "Kinda bumpy, mom!" 

 Before we knew it, the flight was over and we were making our way down to luggage pick up.  I had my hands full of backpacks and coats, and Josh was holding Wyatt and his stuff. So Leah was the one stuck with both twins, heading toward the escalator to go down to baggage claim.  Jack was fine. Stepped on with one foot, then the other.  

Logan, on the other hand, Spider-man'ed the glass panel on the side of the escalator and ended up with his feet about four steps apart, and both hands gripped on the side rail.  I was dying, laughing so hard.  Watching them as they adjust to civilization again is going to be so much fun!

After our long day of flights, Josh got the rental car and we headed, with Leah in tow, to the hotel to drop off our luggage.

Then we were off on our next adventure:
The store!

{Stay tuned... more to come!}


Rox said...

Literally laughed out loud reading about the escalator!!! Hahahaaaa! Only Logan.
I'm so happy everything went great. I bet the kids were good because you and Josh were in such good moods. I know you'll miss Susan. I'm happy you had her and Leah to lean on. Saying good bye is unfortunately a big part of this journey you're on.

Emily said...

I'm laughing out loud too. The escalator part was reminding me of the movie Elf! And sweet Wyatt, "kinda scary." Too adorable.

Olivia said...

Glad to see you made it into town! We are 6 days out and counting down the days...