Tag Archives: airports

planes, trains, and minivans.

Greetings from the land of chapped cheeks!  (Face cheeks, that is, you dirty minds…) Actually, I can’t really complain about the weather because it’s almost 40 degrees here today which is like, balmy.  We’re thinking of going swimming later.

We’re already in month 2 of our new life in Minnesota and things are slowly settling down after the craze of the move.  It was nuts there for a while, making sure that all of our things and cars and PETS made it here. And then making sure we were situated in temporary housing, getting Casey ready to start his job, locating the nearest Total Wine, etc. etc.  Anyways, I think at this point we’re as “settled” as we can possibly be in our current situation… that is, until we move into an airbnb next month. Sigh.  What a fun adventure!! ::she says with a forced smile::

Stepping back a bit though… I want to make sure some things are documented here, so I’m going to share the story of our move/flight from Portland to Minnesota.   Because it’s ridiculous.

The days leading up to our move were majorly chaotic.   It went something like this….
On Saturday we had a going away party at our house, but it ended up snowing a bunch the night of the party which meant that only about half of our pals actually made it.  It was still super fun (and super sad) but we wished we could have seen all our buddies.  Big thanks to our dear friends who braved the icy roads!!  We love you miss you waaaaa!
On Sunday we packed our suitcases that would basically need to sustain us for the next few months.  Super casual.
On Monday our packers came.  They lovingly wrapped our knickknacks with bubble paper (name that movie!) and had everything we own packed in less than 4 hours.  Amaze.  We moved into a hotel that night.
On Tuesday the movers came and moved all of our crap from our house into the biggest moving truck I’ve ever seen.  Our cars were also picked up by the car movers so we had to pick up a rental car for our last day in Portland.

Cut to late Tuesday night, and it snowed.  Again.  A lot.  Disclaimer: Portland gets a pitiful amount of snow maybe once a year that causes the city to basically shut down because nobody knows how to deal.  There is also no infrastructure in place to take care of all the snow so all the roads become skating rinks.  (High-five for using the word “infrastructure” before noon.  Heyo!)  So basically productive life comes to a stand-still until the snow melts.  It’s super fun if you’re in the market for a cozy couple of days hunkered down at home.  Not so much if you’re attempting to move across the country.

So when we woke up on Wednesday morning, AKA the morning of our flight, and saw the ridiculous amount of snow on the ground we thought for sure our flight would be cancelled.  And/or we thought there’d be no way we’d make it to the airport in our front-wheel drive minivan rental.   Either way, we figured we were screwed because we had SO many plans in motion that all depended on us flying to Minnesota that day.  So to reschedule would have been an absolute nightmare on elm street.  We waited a bit for a flight cancellation alert that never came, so then had to make the ulcer-inducing decision of whether or not to attempt the 30 min drive to the airport to make the flight.  We decided to go for it… so we loaded up our minivan to capacity and hit the road.  Roads that were absolute SHIT.  It was by far the scariest snow/ice drive I’ve ever endured and I grew up in Minnesota!  It was bad.  Casey was a serious driving champ, especially considering that I was white-knuckling the door and shouting things like “gah!” and “eep!” and “I need wine!” every 3 seconds.  Oh, I forgot to mention that we had to make a detour on the way to the airport to pick up our dogs at doggy daycare!  They had been there the last few days while we were staying in a hotel.  (Seriously, my head is spinning remembering all this.)  The dogs were scheduled to be on our same flight and would have to ride in crates in the cargo area of the plane.  So we made the deathly drive to doggy daycare in one piece, got the pups and set off again towards the airport.  20 more minutes of sweat and swearing later, we made it to the airport cargo area where we needed to drop the dogs off.  Casey brought the pups in and then was kindly informed that the dogs could not actually fly that day.  BECAUSE (grumble grumble) there is a rule that in order for animals to fly in the cargo area of the plane, the temperature in your arrival city has to be at least 10 degrees.  And the forecasted temp for Minneapolis at our time of arrival was 9 degrees.  ONE DEGREE difference.  I seriously cried.  After lots of attempts to get Delta to bend the rules for us (they didn’t), we had to bring the most depressed dogs all the way back to doggy daycare.  Via the shitty shitty roads.

By the way, shoutout to our rental minivan because that sucker was bomb.  Everyone on the radio was saying “DO NOT attempt to drive anywhere unless you have snow tires, chains and a 4-wheel drive vehicle!!”  And we’re like, oh we have a front-wheel drive minivan with probably stripped tires and ice skates on, will that work?  Cool, let’s do it!  And she kicked ass.

So by the time we got back to the airport, it was maybe 9am?  And I felt like I was ready for bed.  Alas, we still had to drop off our rental van and get all of our crap into the airport.  I wish so so badly that I would have taken a photo of our luggage cart… it was packed higher than Casey’s head, plus we both had car seats strapped to our backs and carry ons over our shoulders.  And two kids. NBD.  The luggage cart only tipped over and flung all of our stuff into a snow puddle one time!  Success!

Checking in and going through security actually went fairly smoothly, except for the gallon-sized baggy of loose change in one of our carry-ons (seriously the heaviest, stupidest thing to pack in a suitcase but for some reason it didn’t get packed with the rest of our shipped stuff and we couldn’t just leave it behind… it’s probably like a whole $17 dollars worth of change!!! #priorities) that caused some hoopla and a 10-minute bag search.  During that bag search Crosby started what turned out to be an hour-long tantrum.  It.was.rough.  One of the TSA ladies kept looking at me and saying (about Crosby) “Oh she’s so sad!”, “She’s really sad.”, “Why is she so sad?”.  Listen lady, SHE is a HE.  And he’s not sad, he’s TWO.

After we got through security, we decided to sit down for a casual mid-morning cocktail.  But, as I mentioned before, Crosby was still in the throes of a lengthy tantrum.  So our well deserved happy hour turned into sweaty scramble to keep our toddler from losing his shit.  I’ll spare you all the details but I will give you the ending: two half full drinks left behind and a toddler with wet pants.

One fresh pair of pants later, and we were on the plane!  The flight was actually pretty uneventful.  Both kiddos did really well.  And I don’t even feel bad for saying that, because have you read any of this story?  The only low point was flying over Mt Hood, which broke my Portland loving heart into a bajillion little pieces.

When we landed in Minneapolis, Casey went to get our rental vehicle and I was sitting down feeding Willa while we waited… and I looked over juuuuust in time to see Crosby pick up a french fry off the ground and eat it.  He immediately spit it out and said “that’s not good, mama”.  No, no it’s not.

We checked into another hotel for the evening and the next day we made it to corporate housing where we’ve been living the downtown life for the last month.  It’s been great, but I am so so ready to find a place of our own and get all of our stuff out of storage.  I miss my shoes.

Oh, and our dogs!  They got here, eventually.  They ended up having to stay at doggy daycare in Portland for 4 more nights until it warmed up enough for them to fly into Minneapolis.  A good friend of ours picked them up from daycare and brought them to the airport for us and they arrived here safe and sound and smelly.  They are now living the luxurious life with Casey’s parents for a few months until we find a house.

Anyways!  That’s the tale of our entry into the Motherland.

Moral of the story: there is no “good way” to move a husband, wife, toddler, infant, 2 beagles + all their earthly possessions to Minnesota in January.  Ever.  Just wait until spring, for the love of gawd.