Last month, Journey and I, along with my daughter, took a trip home to visit family and friends. Journey has done short flights before, but this was his first big international trip, and it was exciting for all of us.
The first day, we had to travel from Málaga to Madrid, then from Madrid to Chicago, then from Chicago to Richmond, then from Richmond down to Charlotte, NC. Things in Málaga were a breeze, even if Journey looked bored.
He was a champ on the plane. We had a nice little two-seater row, perfect for my daughter, Journey and me for our short little hop to Madrid.
Things in Madrid SUCKED. Our hour layover… wasn’t. We had to change terminals, so we only had enough time to get off the plane and for whatever reason, our special assistance escort was not there waiting for us, so we had to make a mad dash for the train on our own. I tried to potty Journey in the ladies’ restroom but he just gave me a bewildered look like “but mom! I’m never ever supposed to pee inside!” and wouldn’t go, so… sorry buddy… we’ll try again in Chicago. We barely made it to our gate in time.
On the Madrid to Chicago leg, we took J’s harness off so he could get more comfy.
Here’s where I have to give a HUGE shoutout to Iberia Airlines. We were treated fantastically, they had blocked off an extra seat for us so basically we had an entire row to ourselves so Journey had tons of space, the food was fabulous (we highly recommend the pasta! and the hummus omggggg) and the on board entertainment kept us busy for most of the flight.
When we landed in Chicago, special assistance WAS waiting for us… however, there was another nightmare ahead of us. We were only supposed to have an hour and a half layover in Chicago, and despite being told in Málaga that our bags were checked all the way through to our final destination, turns out we would have to pick them up in Chicago, and recheck them after going through Customs and Border Patrol. Of COURSE our bag was the last one out, and despite having a special assistance escort fly us through security, passport control, CBP and get us on the train, and to the gate with minutes to spare… we missed boarding and therefore lost our connection to Richmond. They rebooked us on the next flight…. six hours later. Great. And of course we were stuck in the one terminal in all of O’Hare that had the WORST dining and shopping options available to us.
So we decided to make the best of it and find a place to potty Journey and settle in for a loooooong wait for our next flight.
Many hours later, we were finally boarded on a puddle-jumper to Richmond, landed there at midnight and my brother picked us up. By this time we had been traveling for well over 24 hours and were beyond exhausted. We fell asleep in the car on the way to Charlotte. My brother did wake us up for a moment at a rest stop just across the VA/NC state line so that Journey could do this:
And then we got back in the car, drove to my brother’s house and passed out.
More adventures from the USA in the next post!