I remember glancing at the clock at 9:58am and saying to Steph that we needed to be in the car in 2 minutes. The luggage was at the door and Ben and I decided to take it down to the car while Steph grabbed something to eat and got the boy’s shoes on. Ben was barely out of the doorway when the handle of their large rolling suitcase snapped. He spent the next 15-20 minutes trying to get the handle to retract back into the top of the suitcase with no luck. They finally decided they would have to break it off.
Down in the parking garage, we strapped the boys into their car seats and Steph and Ben struggled to get the double stroller and bulging suitcases into the trunk of the car. At one point, I really didn’t think there was anyway we would be able to fit everything into the car.
Nearly 25 minutes after we had hoped to leave, we were on the road and I was praying we wouldn’t hit traffic. But of course, 10 minutes into our drive, we were in stop-and-go traffic. We watched the minutes tick by as it got later and later. I felt sick to my stomach as Steph announced, “I don’t think we’re going to make this plane.”
When we finally made it onto the highway that would take us South to the airport, I knew our only shot at making it on time was to get into the carpool lane and pray there wasn’t an accident up ahead. I gripped the steering wheel, put the pedal to the floor, and prayed for safety as we flew down the mountain passed 4 or 5 lanes of bumper-to-bumper traffic. At one point, Steph or Ben said, “This must be what it feels like to be on The Amazing Race.” You know, that anxious pit in your stomach feeling?
We were 10 minutes away and could see our exit in the distance. We just might make it, I thought. Oh, but guess what? The exit lane was CLOSED! Just our luck. Everything that could go wrong was going wrong and we began questioning whether or not they were meant to get on that plane.
As we finally made our way to Terminal 6, exactly one hour before their flight was scheduled to take off, we made a game plan to unload the luggage and get the kids in the stroller as quickly as possible while Ben took the car seats out. I had just finished strapping Micah into the stroller and was making my way around the car to get Noah when I saw the car jerk backwards. “In my rush, I didn’t put the car into park,” I thought. I looked down and saw that I was holding the car keys in my hand. “What just happened,” I asked Ben as I saw him get pushed backwards with the car. “You just got hit,” Ben said. Are you kidding me?? The man parked in front of us had put his car into reverse and backed up into us. Just when I thought we were home free and nothing else could go wrong, we were hit by a car. Thankfully, no one was hurt and the damage to the cars was very minor.
I said a very quick and tearful goodbye. When I got into the car, I thanked God for getting us to the airport on time, but most of all safely, in spite of all the challenges we had encountered. But, the journey wasn’t over for me. Through my tears, I took the wrong exit and ended up somewhere South of the airport. Brutal!!
I am happy to say that Steph, Ben, Micah, and Noah made it home safely Tuesday night. We had a wonderful week together and captured countless memories on film. I look forward to sharing more pictures in the weeks to come.