Well, we loaded the pickup, we checked in, we said our goodbyes, we wiped our tears. We took off our shoes and proceeded through security. We waited for awhile. I decided to try to look cool and use the wireless at Starbucks. (Thought I might buy a water til I saw it was 4 dollars.) I just happened to suggest to Firstborn to check our flight on the screen. CANCELLED! They hadn't even announced it. When we checked in, they said the flight would be 1 hour late.
CC waited in a line a long time, then was told, "Yes, the flight is cancelled." Blaming the problem on air traffic controllers, they said they could not even put us up in a hotel or give us meal vouchers. We pushed a little, reminding them that our new flight schedule was going to add about 8 hours to our original schedule and that we had 5 little people to consider. He agreed to put us in a hotel and give us a meal at the airport. I'll admit CC kept his cool better than me. (Felt like telling the guy I'd love to see him spend the night in an airport with 5 kids!) We almost called my folks to come get us, but decided to stick close to the airport since the new flight is a morning one (to Dallas. Go, Cowboys!)
Big Ben had made friends with some kids who had a dvd player and had actually curled up with them to watch their movie. Sweet Cheeks was crawling under benches making her Dollar Tree mermaids swim. Everyone held together in spite of no nap for Big Ben and no dinner as of 7PM.
We begged and pleaded to not have to take our 14 bags with us overnight. They agreed to lock them up and let us claim them in the morning. I ALWAYS have each kid bring a spare change of clothes in their backpack. One of these days I'm writing a little booklet on travelling long distances with children. We had to leave security checkpoint to get to our bags and sign off on them. Then we realized all the restaurants were back inside. We found one little sandwich shop where we would not have to go back in through security. We were given 84 dollars for dinner. Based on the sandwich prices, I let each kid choose 1 meal and a drink. She totalled it up, then suggested CC get something from the snack bar to bring the total up, as she can't give change for a voucher. He grabbed 7 nutrigrain bars. It came to 83.12. Only God!
We caught our shuttle to the hotel. Upon arrival, we were told that she could only give us 1 room in spite of our family of 7 because American Airlines had only given us 1 voucher. We told her it would be ok and just asked for extra cots. She began to ask us where we live and what we do. She then commented to CC that she knew we'd say something like that, that she thought he might be a pastor or something, because we had been gracious when told we could not have two rooms. She threw in the cots for free, then said, "Would you also like a fish and a lava lamp?" Blink blink. (That was pretty much our response.) Then she answered herself with, "Sure you would. We have to make this fun!" And so, housekeeping brought up 2 large cots, a fishbowl with a fish, and a green lava lamp. My children think both the fish and the lamp are amazing. I am not quite sure how they fit into the scheme of this hotel, except I have seen quite a bit of retro.
She also apologized that our voucher did not cover breakfast. We said, "Well, we have the nutrigrain bars."
And so, here we are, still in Nashville. I am propped up in bed, surrounded by the deep breathing and white bedding of all 5 of my beautiful children. Once again, God has provided for us as we start our journey.