Sunday, December 15, 2013

Boston/NYC Speed Trip

My sister and her family for years have been taking a trip to NYC at the beginning of December for a day or two to see Santa Claus at Macy's.  It's a great tradition that is possible for them because Z works for Jet Blue so they can fly standby for free.  A few of our children and I have joined them every once in a while for the fun trip.  Well, last year when they traveled there were so many empty seats on the flights that we decided that if it looked so wide open this year we would take the opportunity to go with them.  The flights looked great so we decided to go with them.  Because we still have to pay for our buddy passes we asked the kids if they would like to take this trip as their big Christmas present.  They all wholeheartedly agreed. As the kids get older it gets harder to buy gifts for them that are meaningful so this was a good present that would provide good memories for the years to come (little did we know).

The closer the trip got the more conflicts that came up and we had to keep making changes on dates. We split up the days we would be leaving but it was still crazy to think that we could get 13 of us on a flight standby to Boston.  But crazy is what we do best! On Thursday December 5th at 6:30pm, K, G and I attemped to get on the flight to Boston through Long Beach, CA with Z and her 4 children. There was only one open seat and we sent K (this would be Try #1=1 of 13 people got on). We were rolled over the flight the next day at 1:30pm. This would mean a long wait at the Long Beach Airport but it would be worth it if we made it.

Try #2
I had to check G out of school early and we had to take the Frontrunner and Trax to the airport because there was no one take us. Trying was Z and 4 children and G and I. We didn't make it again. There were two available seats but we just couldn't split up with 5 children, we decided it was better for us to roll over to 6:30pm again as chances looked pretty good then. We silently hoping that there wouldn't be enough seats so that Z could stay behind and help the others leaving at 11:30pm.  They would have a better chance of getting on the flight otherwise it didn't look good for them. But if she didn't get on then the young children and I wouldn't get on. Well we had no choice and we all got on. YAY! (7 of 13 on this flight). Only 5 left in SLC.

Try #3
This flight was going through NYC to Boston.  Those trying included: KC, C, S, CR and Jonas. We knew nothing of what was going on since we were flying at the time. We found out when we landed in Boston that only CR made it on the flight but nothing else than a miracle because they were super low on the list. He was flying alone with no instructions or preparation. I talked to him while he was in NYC and walked him through what to do. And since we had to wait for Derick to come pick us up we would still be at the Boston Airport when he arrived. I was a little nervous for him but he loved going alone and experiencing something new and different. (1 of 13 on this flight. We are now at 9 of 13 in Boston.) The rest were rolled over to Saturday night.

This at the play area at the Boston Airport.  The 15 passanger van that we were renting couldn't be picked up until 8:00am so we just had to hang out here for a few hours. The kids didn't mind one bit.

We got to D&C's house and we cleaned up and then decided to go do some shopping.  We decided to do a quick gift exchange. We got a name and we all went shopping at 5 Below (everying is $5 or less) for our person.  It was crazy trying to hide stuff from others. Here we are in the Swagmobile as the cousins called it.

After shopping we needed something to eat so we went to Mo's. As you can see everyone was exhausted and the second we stopped they were out. 

That night D and C had a wedding to go to so the rest of us just hung out at the house.  Z and I trying not to fall asleep and keeping track of the rest of our group in SLC. The flight looked open and they would most likely get on. But once again we would be sleeping so we wouldn't know till the morning. The kids having a blast being together!

Try #4
KC, C, S, & J made it on the flight going through NYC to Boston at 11:30pm.  That would be 13 of 13!!! Are we awesome or what??? I know it wasn't easy but why not??? The flight got in at 8:00am to Boston and church was at 9:00am so they had to take the Logan Express and we left a car parked so they could drive home, shower, sleep and wait for us to get home.

I snuck a picture in church of D holding little Zuri cause it was just too precious to pass up. 

There was a missionary farewell in their ward and so we helped with the food with that and ate. Afterwards on our drive home we drove by Wayside and drove by the beautiful sights there. 

We then went home and finally met up with the rest of our group. It was great to see them! There was an open house for a house that Cat wanted to look at and since we are crazy most of us went. 

We went back to pick up everyone and then went on a drive to downtown Boston in the Swagmobile. 

This is why the craziness is it's worth it!

I rode with Cat for a little bit and this is the back of the Swagmobile. 

Faneuil Hall (I don't know how the snow got there but it's a nice touch). 

After sight seeing. We went home for dinner. Yummy soup. Interrupted by us checking in for our flight out of NYC on Monday night. After dinner clean up it was time for the gift exchange! What crazy fun!!!

At 2:30am on Monday we needed to catch a bus to take us to NYC. The M family flew because they don't have to pay.  Derick, Bri, Ellie and the 7 of us went on the Megabus.  Cat had to drive us to the bus station. Leaving the house at 12:30am. Then she took D to return the Swagmobile and brought him back to the bus station.  She got home and then had to drive the M's to the bus so they could go to the airport. The M's were nice enough to take all of our luggage so we wouldn't have to have it or store it in NYC. So Cat had to make two trips for them. Wow crazy!

Waiting in line at the bus terminal.

We all just slept on the bus the entire way.  When we got there this was the view out the window?! 

The bus clan. 

Ahh...breakfast and warmth. 

The view outh the window. 

Looking at the Christmas Window Displays at Macy's Department Store. 

We did a little shopping while we waited for the M's to get there.  The two girls got matching hats.

We then met up whith the M family at Santa Land.  On the 8th floor of Macy's Department Store.  This is a beautiful sight.  It reminds me of the happiness you feel at the Disney Parks. 

KC had all of the coats on the stroller. 

Getting closer... 

Thanks to Jonas and his camera we got some good pictures.

Afterwards it was just explore the city for a few hours. It was cold but it stopped raining so it was fine.

The Ripley's Believe it or Not Museum: 

Times Square 

In honor of C a selfie of me at Times Square 

The love of my life and beyond!

The New Year's ball at the Visitor's Center 

Rockefeller Center (someone proposing) 

We are all in NYC (unbelievable)! 

Skyline view from Central Park 

Beautiful and serene Central Park. 

It was then time to say goodbye and for us to head to the airport :(

We took the subway and the train.

We finally made it to the airport and there was a long line for check in.  The man at the counter said it didn't look good but we still had hopes that at least C (who had to be in class on Tuesday) would make it. After a long security line we made it through and as predicted none of us made the flight!  We were all stuck at the JFK Airport.  Time to regroup and see what our next plan of action was going to be. We tried looking for hotels but it didn't seem worth it to pay so much money and we would need 3 rooms and transportation there. So we ended up spending the night at the airport. We claimed a corner of the airport and just crashed on the floor or chairs wherever comfortable.

The flight didn't look that great the next day but we did have higher priority.  In the morning, it was snowing and the Jet Blue Crew told us that it would be better if we tried to get out on an earlier flight to Las Vegas cause if there were flight delays or cancellations we would not make it on the flight.  So we changed all of the reservations and decided to fly into Vegas and then drive home.  The flight left at 10:30 so it wouldn't be to hard.  Well, the flight was delayed and we were all on the plane, the door closed and they made an announcement that the plane was too heavy and they would have to deboard some standby passengers. Are you serious???

They took off the plane: Jonas, S, KC, and G.  It was so sad.  And we had no time to think. We wanted to trade people but there was no time. We were split again!

Wow! We had expected not to get on but once the door is closed to be kicked off? That was not expected. But what could we do. We flew into Las Vegas. Communicated with the other group.  We rented a van, got some food, did some shopping for wipes, diapers, snackes, etc. Dropped the boys of at Thorntons so that they would drive home with the other group because we did not have enough seats and we were on our way at 8:00pm Mountain Time.  The girls kept me awake and I drove the entire way! I don't know how? I've never driven that long especially at that time of the night.  Angels were watching over us I know it!  After dropping off C in Provo, Z's family in SLC, getting stuck in their driveway, picking up K's car from the Frontrunner station we got to bed at 4:15am. I had to leave for work at 7:15. I was a zombie all day but I was there for accreditation!

Now for reflection of the things I learned on this trip:
1. There's nothing more important than family.
2. Always treasure you sister. They will be with you through thick and thin. 
3. Brothers provide guidance and direction and transportation. From near and far. 
4. Parents (although they did not come with us cause they knew how crazy it would be) love us very much.  And will do anthing even if they don't like it, (taking care of Buster) for their children and grandchildren.  
5. No matter what...have a good attitude!
6. Family far away can help by praying on our behalf.
7. Inlaws are not inlaws they are brothers and sisters!
8. Children and teenagers bring joy into everything therefore we should be more like them! 
9. We can be of service no matter where we are.  
10. Santa and his elves represent Heavenly Father and his angels.
11. Family trips bring lasting memories that we can't buy with any amount of money.
12. I love my crazy FAMILY!