We made it to Chicago! The trip went relatively smoothly and we met up with Jeff's folks and had a great time with the rest of the Elms' today. Here is what we have learned on our trip so far:

Air Travel is about waiting in lines: The boys were great, but I think that they were surprised at how much waiting in lines we had to do! A huge line to check in (good thing that Jeff dropped us off while he parked the car!), another line to get through security, another line to get on the plane, another line to check on the rental car and then a final line to get on the bus to get the car!

Computers should be removed from the bag before going through security: This is supposedly a commonly known thing to everyone (including Jeff) except me. I put my bag with the computer through the xray machine, resulting in the need to do a "bag check" which consisted of a security person wiping my computer down and doing a computer analyzation (I am assuming to check for bomb residue?). The boys found it fascinating and it led to a discussion of why they need to do this. What fun.

Airline security is allowed to open and go through my bags at will: I found a note in my suitcase that I was randomly chosen for a search required by their security measures. It was a good thing that I did not lock my suitcase because they are allowed to break in if it is locked.

There are now cell phone waiting parking areas: We saw this both when we left Washington and when we arrived in Chicago. I am guessing that is a place that folks can wait until the passenger they are picking up calls and lets them know that they are here. Beats circling the airport over and over or paying for parking I guess.

Four personal pan pizzas cost $26 at the airport: This does not include drinks!

I am totally spoiled by wireless internet access: I have to plug the computer in here at the hotel to get internet access and I do not have a long cord, so I am stuck in an uncomfortable chair. Of course, maybe if I was more uncomfortable back home, I might not spend as much time online! I am very spoiled and miss blogging while lying in bed or on the couch!

Flying is much easier with a 9 and 6 year old then with a 3 year old and 6 month old: Which was how old the boys were the last time they were on a plane. Just not having to carry them was a great improvement!

I do not need to pack near as much stuff for the airplane as I thought: I packed way too much stuff for the plane and we did not need half of it.

Flying is way more enjoyable when seen through the eyes of a 9 and 6 year old for the first time: The look on the boys faces when they realized that we were flying higher then the clouds was priceless. It is easy to forget how really awesome this realization is!

Wish us luck on the return trip! The reunion was fun…met lots of folks, listened to lots of good stories and the kids met some of their cousins (2nd cousins? Cousins once removed? Not sure, need to go google it…)

~Steph


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