Christmas was busy. I get a nice break from work, so my wife and I try to see both sides of the family during my time off. This time, we drove to her parents and spent Christmas with them, then flew out to mine to spend New Year's with them, then flew back and drove home.
After making the return flight, we were thrilled to get out of the plane and couldn't wait to get our luggage and leave. My daughter was being particularly rambunctious, and the only thing that would keep her from fussing for an extended period of time was lifting her up close to the little air nozzle above our seat on the plane. She loves all things windy (heating vents, the exhaust on a vacuum), and I have a sneaking suspicion she's practicing to be a model in those ads with the beach scenes and the windblown hair.
So, we make our way to baggage claim.
Is anyone else amazed at how much crap you have to lug around when you have a kid? I can't believe how one tiny little person requires twice as much stuff as my wife and I used to pack ... combined.
I stand there scanning each bag that comes along, looking for anything familiar, while my wife follows "Miss Social Butterfly" around as she greets all the other travelers. The carousel goes around a bunch of times, and I manage to find one of our bags.
Then, it shuts down.
I get a little nervous, but I figure I should stick it out a little longer. A few minutes later, the thing starts up again, and continues pumping out luggage. I manage to find the rest of our stuff, but our last item (the car seat) is still missing.
Then, it shuts down again. And doesn't start back up.
Now, to understand how truly horrifying this is, the airport is a good two hours away from my wife's parent's house. We have to somehow get a 1 1/2 year old 2 hours down the highway so we can sleep and get up the next morning to drive the rest of the way back.
I went over to the baggage claim problem area, fully expecting them to give me the cold shoulder that would end with us trying to find a way to sleep in the airport.
Thankfully, the lady was extremely helpful, and we even got a car seat on loan so we could make the trip back.
In the days that followed, we have gotten no less than 10 calls from various people with the airline or the airport, asking to confirm our address.
I guess I should be grateful that they are thorough, if nothing else.