Elmo’s Rescue

We are now Tennesseans and survived our move.  We got settled in our new house and a few weeks later headed to the airport for our trip to Maine.  We had a great week there and there are more stories to tell.  But this is just about our trip back to Tennessee.

On our way home from Maine, I decided to schedule late flights out of Maine.  We had to drive four hours to the airport so I figured we might as well make a day of it and I would deal with the consequences of leaving Portland at 6pm and not arriving in Memphis until 10:30pm (which felt like 11:30pm).  
We were feeling a little rushed on our way to the airport but got there an hour before the flight.  Of course there was a long line to weigh baggage and they were making announcements on the speakers that a plane that had just landed was the plane to Atlanta and we should get to the boarding area.  In reality, after waiting 10-15 minutes to check baggage and 10 minutes to go through security, they hadn’t even started boarding yet.  But once they did start boarding, Casey of course decided she had to go to the bathroom.  
We had a layover in Atlanta and had to switch concourses to get to our next gate.  While we were going down an escalator I was trying to tell Jack that we might be going on a shuttle to get to the next concourse.  I said the word three or four times and he couldn’t hear me & didn’t understand what I was trying to say and I was getting very frustrated.  When we got on the shuttle and he heard the announcement that it was called the “plane train”, he just looked at me like I was crazy for calling it a shuttle.  “It’s a plane train Mommy!”
We waited about an hour for our next flight.  I enjoyed some people watching.  Casey acted like she was going to go to sleep but spent 15 minutes trying to get just right with her blanket and pillow, 2 minutes pretending to sleep and then sat up and said, “Good morning Mommy!”  To which I meanly said, “We’re not playing that game.  Either sleep or sit up and find something to do.”
We were among the last people to get on the plane, which was fine because I knew we had three seats together and that all our carry-ons would fit under the seat so we wouldn’t be struggling to find overhead space.  While we were in line, I said, “Does everyone have everything?”  I glanced at all our things and it looked like we had all our bags.
While we were buckling our seat belts, Casey whimpered, “Where’s Elmo?”  I started to panic a little and said, “Isn’t he in your bag?”  A quick look around determined that he was not to be found.  Casey started crying hysterically.  My first thought was that it really was the end of Elmo.  I said, “That’s really sad, Casey.”  Jack chimed in with, “I’m kind of sad too because that used to be my Elmo.”  
That’s when I realized that I couldn’t let Elmo go without a fight.  I asked the flight attendant if I could go search for him and she said I could as long as I had my boarding pass.  I gave a brief moment’s thought as to whether I should just leave my two children on the plane by themselves.  I wasn’t really worried about them but more about whether others would think it strange that I left them.  
I ran down the ramp and out to our seat but Elmo wasn’t anywhere to be seen.  There was a man sitting near our seat and I asked if he had seen Elmo.  He said a janitor had just come by and taken him. I couldn’t see the janitor on the concourse at all.  I wanted to run after him, but I didn’t dare to go away from the plane.   I was so dismayed after running all they way out there to rescue Elmo and I couldn’t even do it.
I explained to the ticket agent what had happened.  She said the janitor shouldn’t have taken it but should have brought it to her, but that was all she could do for me.  
I walked back onto the plane empty-handed.  Casey broke down crying again and it made me start to cry.  She calmed down a little and asked if she could get a new Elmo and I told her she could have any one she wanted.  
Then I saw the ticket agent walking onto the plane and I saw a little flash of red in her hands.  I quickly wiped the tears off my face.  When she got to us, I was so thankful.  She said the man sitting out there had tracked down the janitor and gotten Elmo for us!
I wish I could have run out there to thank him personally but I will never forget the kindness of that man in saving Elmo for us.  
Advertisements

Crayola Factory

What a fun and busy Mother’s Day Weekend!  Jack, Casey and I drove to Philly, picked Pat up at the airport there and spent the weekend with his family.  As we normally do when we are up there, we packed our weekend full of adventures.

Part of why I wanted to get back to Philly before we head to Tennessee for a couple years is that I realized the kids were probably a great age for the Crayola Factory – The Crayola Experience.  It is in Easton, PA about an hour and a half from Pat’s parents.

We made the trip through some hilly and windy roads which the kids thought was a lot of fun until Casey experienced her first bout of carsickness.  I got a bag in time, but didn’t quite get it opened up all the way.  I didn’t specifically have a change of clothes for her but we happened to have a whole bag of hand me downs that I had brought for my sister-in-law.  We managed to find an outfit that would still fit and cleaned Casey up.  Thankfully, we were only 5 minutes from the factory.

The kids had a great time at the factory.  I had read something to them from the internet about being able to do a bunch of crafts and not having to clean up and Jack was pretty excited about that.  There is basically a station in the museum for each product that Crayola makes – markers, crayons, paint, modeling clay, etc and the kids craft their way through the place.  I thought it would be a little more factory-like.  Although we did see a presentation of how they make crayons and markers with some of their machines.

I remembered my camera so here is our visit in pictures…

Jack was pretty sure he had just spotted the world’s largest crayon.  It’s actually a yellow plastic crayon.  You have to go into the gift shop to see the largest crayon.

Chalk tic-tac-toe with Nana.

Daddy helping Jack with his “flying saucer.”

Dancing with Nana.

Excited about something 🙂

Trying on her space suit.

Making his space suit.

Working hard with Nana…

Another neat part of the museum was a hands on model canal system.  As we drove to Easton, we followed the Delaware river for a while and could see where the canals used to be.  Pat informed us that they used mules to pull cargo up the river through the canals.  The kids got to pretend to be mules at the museum and sent their boats through a series of locks and ramps to get to the other side.  It was a really neat display and the kids loved getting their hands wet.

And I guess Casey got her shirt wet too!

After a trip to the store to see the world’s largest crayon and buy some goodies, we had a great lunch at Pearly Baker’s Alehouse.  The kids collected a special set of 4 different crayons throughout the museum so they got to color with them while we waited for lunch.