Sunday, June 29, 2008

Eight Perks of Being Delayed 7.5 Hours At The Omaha Airport

Scott, Amaya and I had the pleasure of spending 8.5 hours in the Omaha airport before flying home to AZ. We were seriously thinking of buying a home we were there so long and were delayed so many times. We didn't think we'd ever be leaving! In years past and sans our precious little daughther, this wouldn't have been such a big deal. We would hang out, listen to our ipods, watch a movie, buy a magazine, basically relax. Not such a bad way to spend time. But, with an active toddler along, we grew more and more nervous with each delay, wondering how our little one would fair without her naps and getting home so late, or what ended up being getting home "tomorrow" rather than "today." But, we came to discover the perks of being the last flight out of the day. And Amaya continued to prove herself to be a great traveler. Thank goodness.

Perk #1
Plenty of space to stretch your legs. We had a whole wing to ourselves.
Make that almost to ourselves. There's a random lady in the background I guess.
Here's our gate. They were able to reroute a lot of people, so our flight ended up being pretty open. They rerouted all of those with connecting flights. Those with a final destination of Phoenix were the ones who got to close down the airport. So Perk #2: we got our own entire row of seats, both sides of the aisle (6 seats). Score!Literally. We were the last flight out. We left at 10pm finally. The last flight is usually 815pm, so I am sure the staff wasn't to pleased. That brings me to Perk #3: you become on a first name basis with the Omaha Airport staff. That's how I learned the last flight is usually 815pm. From our good friend Janitor Charles. Note our flight on the board below. The only flight left. All the other flights listed were for Tues.
We were there long after the "gift shop" closed...
the shoeshiners had gone home...
and the "restaurant" had closed. Which brings me to Perk #4: dinner on US Airways at "the restaurant." Although we must admit, dinner was actually quite good, by airport standards.
Perk #5: No one minds when you entertain your toddler by running up and down the rows of chairs pushing her in a stroller.
Perk #6: Plenty of space for a pick-up football game. Note Scott and Amaya watching in the pic below (to the right).
Amaya loved watching the football game! So much that she tried with all her might to participate. She'd didn't last long on Scott's lap. She kept wriggling free. Then she began a game of cat and mouse, weaving among the chairs trying to lose us and gain an opportunity to run onto "the field" and join the game. Miss No Fear is back. She never gave up trying. She is persistent. Even when we got her ball out and began our own game in another open area of the airport. She continued to wait for opportunities to make a mad dash towards the big kids game. So funny!
Perk #7: No lines in the bathrooms. No, I didn't take a picture for this one.

And last but definitely not least

Perk#8: 8.5 hours of quality family time. Looking back we realized that our time spent in the Omaha airport was really a gift of sorts. 8.5 hours of quality time hanging out together without all the interruptions of home life and technology (with the exception of cell phones). We are sure that's why Amaya did so great. She had mom and dad playing with her all day in yet another new environment to explore with more new people to meet. Score for the little one!

I must add one more story about our return travels. Amaya did surprisingly well on the flight home. Even though she's a seasoned and good traveler, I wouldn't have blamed her if she didn't do well on the flight, considering she'd missed her naps, with the exception of one catnap on the car ride to the airport, and considering our flight left around her bedtime. But, she thankfully fell asleep for the first 90 minutes of our flight. Then she was awake for awhile, and was just falling back asleep when we began our decent into Phoenix. Now, mind you, she has yet to let our even a single cry the whole day, but she got woken up by the intercom, and wasn't happy about it. She began to fuss. She had fussed for no longer than 1-2 minutes when a flight attendent came over and told us to give our child a pacifier. I said she didn't want her pacifier and she truly didn't. She never wants it unless she's in her crib. He said "she needs to suck for her ears, that's why she's crying." (No kind sir, that is a myth. This is our child's 11th flight and this is the first time she has cried on a flight...and she's never utilized a pacifier on take off or landing. Any NICU Dr. will tell you that. Mr. Flight Attendent, our child is crying because she's overtired from a 7.5 hour delay. Thank you very much.) That is what I wished I said. Smile, smile. What I did say was simply that she was just overtired, it wasn't her ears. Then came the kicker. He said I should coat her paci in honey so she'd take it. Can you believe that. Hopefully most parents know that honey can be life threatening to children under 2 due to botulism spores. But I thought to myself after he left, "how many parents a day does he tell this to, how many don't know about botulism, and how many actually follow the advice and accept the honey. Scary. So, needless to say, I was glad I knew. But was still shocked at the flight attendent's adacity considering Amaya was only fussing a little, only fussed for about 5 minutes total, and considering the delay his airline put us through. You'd think he'd a been a little more patient and kind. Guess not.

Here is Amaya Tues. the 23rd looking a "little" jet lagged. Her boyfriend Jaxon had recently returned Amaya's bouncie seat and Amaya saw it sitting in the hallway. She was so excited. She crawled in it by herself, so I strapped her in and let her enjoy the reunion while I worked on laundry.

"I use to be able to hit the parrot with my foot. What's the deal. This is frustrating."
"Oh, I remember these lights and sounds. Lots of good memories."

"O.K. I can still spin the birdie if I use my knee. Cool."
"O.K. mom. I'm done. You can unbuckle me. I am going to go roam with my bubbles now."
"And mom...I think I could use a bath!"

No comments: