Our trip through Orlando Airport

On Sunday Jan 10th, we traveled through MCO, orlando international airport. Wow, what a trip to hell and back.
So there were 8 of us travelling, 5 kids, 3 adults, 7 checked bags, 3 strollers, and 8 carryons. Yeah, a lot of crap!
My husband was still not feeling very well. Miss D was still under the weather but had not thrown up or had a blow out diaper in 24 hours. I was travelling with extra clothing for her and for me in each persons carry on bag. We were prepared for anything. Plus, I really did not let her eat much, nor did she want to in the past 24 hours!
Our flight left at 10:35, Southwest direct flight to Washington Dulles. This should have been a piece of cake, uh huh, yeah right.

I asked my husband, the frequent traveller, what time we needed to leave for the airport. He said between 845 and 900. I was up at 5 am with Miss D, tossing and turning all night long. We both got up, got dressed and tried to feed the others breakfast without her noticing. It worked well, she was mesmerized by the Mickey channel and we quickly packed up. The teen did not help, rather annoyed us as we tried to pack and make sure we did not leave any important items. At this point, I did not really care what we left, I just wanted to be home, and have a healthy family again!

So we barely got all our stuff packed into the minivan along with the 8 people, it was a tight squeeze. Luckily we all like each other. We drove to Target first to return 3 things we bought, uh oh, gas light is on. We had to fill up the car before returning it anyway, so we just filled up with gas first. The Target return only took about 20 seconds and we were off the the airport.

We weaved our way through the airport and Southwest was the last door of the terminal. But why were there 300 people outside checking bags? This was a bad sign. DH dropped all of us off with all our checked bags and our carryons and our 3 strollers and we walked inside. There were about 500 people winding their way through the check in line, waiting to use one of the 20 check in terminals. You would think that 20 checkin terminals would be sufficient for this large crowd. Well it would if they were all working, but I counted, only 11 of the terminals were working. I started to panic. It was 920 and our flight was at 1035, would we make it to our gate??

DH went to deal with returning the rental car and we got in the back of the line. The line moved, but oh so slowly. There was one man in the front of the line directing people to an open checkin kiosk. This would have worked fine had the man been paying attention to which kiosks were opening up! Instead he dealt with wheelchairs, people who needed help with bags, and everything else in between and many kiosks sat open with no one using them! We winded through the line watching the disaster unfold. My DH came up and saw us in the endless line. The carrental return went very smoothly and now we needed to sit and wait. I kept telling myself that as soon as we got the bags checked in we would breeze through security and be at the gate in no time. The line continued to move ssslllloowwwllllyyy. My baby girl was not feeling well and made me carry her the whole time in the airport, which would have been fine if I did not also have to carry 4 heavy bags and push a stroller.
As we got closer to the front of the line, my husband was getting increasingly aggravated as he could see all the open kiosks and the one man doing a terrible job at getting the line moving along. It is now 9:50 and we finally get our turn! We slowly get our bags checked in and our boarding passes printed and our IDs checked. 10:05, we should be ok, hopefully.

We gather up our carryons and turn the corner to get in the security line. Well I cannot really call it a line, it was a mob scene. There must have been 1000 people crowded around the security area waiting to get screened. I now know there is no way we are going to make this plane. The 8 of us get in the back of the mob and I see a TSA agent trying to get people to stand in more organized lines. I quickly go over to her and explain that our flight leaves in 25 minutes and we have been in Florida sick for 5 days and we NEED to get on that plane now. I must have really been totally distraught because she parts the crowd and says, PLEASE LET THIS FAMILY OUT OF THE LINE. Yes, she took us out of the mob and said the only thing she could do was put us in the wheelchair line.
That was major progress. There were only 2 families with wheelchairs in front of us. But the line was moving so slowly. The TSA agent quizzed us for 5 minutes. Made each child raise their hand twice when he called their name. Asked each child how old they were. Checked the 3 adults ID three times. Please, just let us go!!

We got all our stuff on the belts, which is no easy task. I went through the detector with all the little kids. Some guy got in between us and started to put all his stuff on the belt. Just what we needed, more time wasted. Then the guy who crashed our line, had a problem so the whole line stopped for a few minutes. I seriously felt like I might have a heart attack. We finally got all our crap through the scanner and we saw the shuttle bus sitting there. We ran and as we approached the doors began to close. I SHOVED my stroller into the doors and the doors popped open. We all jumped in. 10:20, no joke. Our flight leaves in 15 minutes. There is no way we are going to make it!! On the shuttle my husband took his boarding pass and my teens boarding pass and they RAN OUT the second the doors of the shuttle opened. The rest of us also ran, but our running with all our crap was not quite as fast. We were headed to the gate, which of course was the LAST gate in that row. 1030, my husband is no where to be seen, he must have gotten on the plane, thank goodness!! And, there were still 25 people in line waiting to get on. I can hear the steward announcing, “We are now done boarding the B passengers and we are ready for the C group.” We were in the A group so I quickly handed the steward our boarding passes. He gave us stroller check tags for our 3 strollers and we ran down the jetway. Surprisingly, there were 25 people just standing in the jetway waiting to get on the plane. I took a deep breath, we had made it. It was a total miracle, there was no way we should have made it, but we did. My husband also managed to secure the LAST three rows on the plane, and we all even got to sit together. And, my sick baby girl SLEPT almost the whole flight, peacefully, no extra clothes needed at all.

Home sweet home, it felt so good to be home!! My husband was home 5 minutes and said he was going to urgent care, he felt that crappy. The Dr said he had a terribly strep throat and gave him meds. Baby girl had a horrible blowout diaper after we were home only half an hour, but I was well equipped to deal with it there. Next day I was struck with this horrible stomach flu and boy did it suck! I was feverish, sick and totally out of commission for 3 days. But I was home, and it felt so good.


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