Great Vacation…

…lousy return trip. Oh well. Good stuff first:

Etta and alligators

Us at the zoo—lots more pictures on Flickr!

And the travel torture (just need to get this out of my system):

On our return trip, we flew through Dulles on United. Etta was great on the first flight — she kept herself busy fiddling with stuff around our seat, etc. The first piece of excitement was our descent into the Dulles area — we hit some serious turbulence, lots of bouncing around, and pretty darn scary (at least for us). Henrietta somehow managed to fall asleep while I was holding on to her for dear life. Lucky baby! We got to Dulles, got ourselves to the gate for the next flight, and then went and found a bite to eat. We got back to the gate with plenty of time for our 6:40 flight.

Then things started to slide slowly downhill. First, they announced a delay due to a mechanical issue, pushing our time up to 7:30. Once that issue was cleared up, they were just waiting on the flight attendant. He finally turned up, and they boarded us all in a rush, trying to get us out on time. So, we’re all on board, ready to go, when the pilot announced that they had put too many people on the flight, putting us overweight, so they needed to de-fuel a bit to get us to the right weight. So, a bit more sitting on the tarmac while we waiting for a fuel truck….and then, maybe 15 minutes later, the ground crew came on to tell us that the crew had timed out and the flight was canceled.

So, we gathered everything back up and got off the plane. At the handy customer service desk (gee, this must happen with some frequency) we got rebooked on the 9:40pm flight. We heard some speculation from other passengers that they really just wanted to consolidate the two flights anyway, hence the cancellation. So, back into the weird Dulles shuttle bus over to another concourse to wait for the new flight. Etta, meanwhile, held up pretty well, walking around, riding in the backpack, snacking, etc.

The 9:40 flight ended up leaving around 10:00. Etta fell asleep for most of the flight, but woke up during the descent and proceeded to completely come apart, screaming, flailing, the whole nine yards. Turns out that in addition to being outrageously overtired, on her third plane of the day, and probably having her ears all screwed up, she had herself a nasty full diaper and a raging diaper rash. Poor thing, and the poor people on the plane with us!

In spite of all that, it was a great little vacation!

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