July 2nd, 2012

Flying to Newfoundland with the kids

Thanks to the miracle of vacuum seal bags and kids who can handle their own carry-ons, we were all packed and ready to roll in plenty of time for our flight out of Little Rock last Monday.  And miracle of miracles, our flight was ready for us. We arrived at O’Hare right on schedule, found our gate, ate lunch, and settled in to wait for our evening departure to Halifax.


There the miracles ended, with the sudden cancellation of our flight just before we were due to board. Halifax airport was fogged in.

The next hour was spent in a slow-moving customer service line, trying to keep things upbeat. Not an easy feat when you are surrounded by Maritimers, who as a people, possess many charms. Natural optimism is not one of them.

“Maybe we’ll get to spend a bonus day in Chicago!” I said to the boys. “They have great museums here!”

“Oh my,” the woman next to us dolefully intoned. “I suppose we could be fogged out for days.”

“Maybe we can fly to Toronto tonight instead!” I said. “We’ll see your cousins who live there!”

“I suppose the flights out of Toronto are already full,” said Eeyore.

“Why don’t you guys go sit on the floor over there and play video games?” I suggested.

We were rerouted to Montreal on Air Canada, and I managed to change our hotel reservations as my phone battery was dying and we were boarding. Our seats were nowhere near each other, but people immediately jumped up to let us sit together. I fell into my seat next to my much relieved eight-year-old, and exhaled.

“Something to drink, Madam?”

Yes, s’il vous plait!

Traveling 2,500 miles with three kids is no small feat, but it’s nowhere near the kind of production it was when they were little. They can read the information screens, schlep their own carry-ons, and go to the bathroom by themselves. I can go to the bathroom by myself. The last time I made this trip by air with them on my own, I had two in a double stroller and one in a chest carrier. Plus diapers, bottles, snacks and toys. People bowed their heads and wept as we walked down the concourse.

It was midnight before we arrived at our hotel in Montreal, and we were back at the airport five hours later. Halifax had emerged from the mists, and we got there in plenty of time to make our original connection to Newfoundland.


That last leg of the journey always brings home how very far out there my island home is. When the ocean beneath us gave way to land again, the boys began shouting, “Newfoundland! Newfoundland!”

My heart was shouting it with them.

Our luggage caught up with us a day later, one of many happy reunions since we arrived. Lots more pictures and stories to come.

11 Responses to “Odyssey”

  1. Glad you made it to Newfoundland. Enjoy your trip. I will be home sometime in July with my grand son and one very pregnant sister. There’s no place like home. Cheers

  2. Kelly says:

    Whew. Yes, waaay easier than with little ones, but still…I’d have been a little freaked with all the sudden changes in plans. Glad you made it “home!”

  3. Karen says:

    That actually just looks like lots of fun! I love reading your blog since I too have three boys very close to the ages of your little men (mine are 14, 10 and 7). Love the pic of you with the boys…isn’t it so very strange to have one as tall al you? My 14-year-old way over grew me this year! I have to ask, where did you buy that super comfy looking dress. It looks perfect for the long flight we have coming up….

    • Karen, it is the perfect travel dress! Target Mossimo label. I packed a pair of leggings to wear under it in case it got cool. I was so glad to have them on Day Two without our luggage!

  4. Melissa Mc says:

    It makes being from Oklahoma look very, very boring.

  5. patrick says:

    Missing you guys very, very much this morning.

  6. Jen @ Bible Belt to Boulder says:

    Wow, I am in awe of your ability to do the previous trip when they were younger! I also love how positive you are able to remain when things go awry. I hope you enjoy your visit in your native land. And I agree with the comment above – it makes living in Oklahoma look extremely boring. We’re on the road to our new home in Boulder, CO. Hopefully, that will be our Newfoundland.

  7. If you haven’t already read it, I think you would appreciate “How to Fit a Carseat on a Camel and Other Misadventures of Traveling with Children.” A compilation of stories from Seal Press written primarily by women that will have you laughing and feeling better about your own travel woes.

  8. Laurie says:

    Newfoundland! I fell in love with Nova Scotia in 2005 on my honeymoon and have wanted to travel around the rest of the Maritimes ever since. Reading The Shipping News right now, and want to get to Newfoundland despite the bleak picture the book paints. I love me some harsh landscape and unfamiliar culture. 🙂 Have fun!!

  9. all ears says:

    […] not as if we never get to go anywhere exciting. My kids don’t have many classmates who go to Canada for a month at a time every three years. I don’t know any other families who’ve gone dog sledding. […]

  10. […] that’s on the program (or in the budget) right now. Last year was our triennial, month-long, Eastern Canada vacation, and we went to Disney World and Universal Studios for spring break. I don’t feel too sorry […]

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