After twelve weeks, five flight changes, and two missed connections, we finally arrived at our house in Brazil on Tuesday.
Are you ready for the tale? Hope you have your coffee (or other choice beverage) in hand...
*Pics of ordeal not available. See inserted inspiration images for monologue relief*
Saturday, the 24th was my birthday. We had finally received Isla's visa after a twelve week ordeal of government bureaucracy, and we were scheduled to fly home. The girls and I had been in Texas, while Ben worked both in Brazil, and The States, so it was actually a great gift to finally have my family together. The plan was for me to fly with the girls from Houston to Atlanta, where I'd meet up with Ben for the overnight direct flight to Brasilia.
The direct flights are only offered three times a week, so I knew the earliest we could catch the next flight was Monday, and the agents said there weren't any seats available, anyway. Tears. Restless and tired kids in an airport is not a happy place.
When we got to the counter, I realized I didn't have my carry-on, which I had gate checked. The carry on that contained my $$$ camera/lenses, laptop, iPod, prescription meds, jewelry, oh, and all of Isla's new social security and birth certificate cards. It was a flippin' goldmine for someone with sticky fingers, and I was beside myself. Picture a frantic woman with baby in Bjorn running down the concourse back to the gate - that was me. At the gate - no dice - no one had seen it. Had I left it? I don't know - I was in a serious hurry. It wasn't with the stroller and car seat I had also checked. Again, tears.
We were told our bags were in a holding area, one we couldn't get to since it was so late. So they sent us on our way to a meager hotel, with a "care kit" that contained a t shirt, a toothbrush, and that's about it. But, before we left, I made a claim for my missing bag.
It was after 2 am Sunday when we all crashed. Happy Birthday to me.
We took a long afternoon nap, and Ben retrieved my carry on that evening - everything intact. Dear God, I know these are not the important things in life, but I owe you one.
Before we took the shuttle, I asked Ben to check our flight status (our luck, you know) He got quiet - not good - then said, "Business."
Ben: "Business - we got bumped to business - all of us."
With new spring in our step, we headed to ATL with plenty of time to spare.
We boarded, settled, and began smugly sipping champagne, when the Captain came on the overhead saying we were missing about 70 passengers who were delayed by weather - we would wait for them - for two hours. (Kinda wish they'd offered US that courtesy) Oh well - we were comfy, so it didn't smart as much.
But, it did make us miss our connection in Rio. Ugh, and freakin' ugh BUT with the help of a gracious airline valet - we were rebooked for the next flight, which boarded immediately.
We walked in the door of Casa Giese around 3:30 on Tuesday, beat to a pulp, but together, and home.