International Adoption Book

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

What a Ride

We left late on July 14th to visit Matt's famiy in Southern Missouri. We took a Red-Eye flight and have since decided that we will NEVER do that again since it effected us just as badly as driving over night does. I slept about an hour or two on the long flight and most of the short, one-hour flight while Matt slept much of the long flight and none of the short flight. I also slept almost the entire 5 hour drive from Kansas City to south MO (Matt slept about 45 minutes) AND still went to sleep by 9:00pm and slept all night... I was worn out and hadn't even done anything!

Gas was super cheap ($3.69/gal) and the weather was super hot (ranging from 99-104). Matt's family was doing well. We thoroughly enjoyed the visit. M and C played with their cousin, Little Miss E, so very well, though towards the end of the trip they were all getting a bit grumpy (but who wasn't). I was so very proud of how well all three of them played, especially since Little Miss E and M have pretty much been only children until just this past year. Matt and I were able to help his mom out with a new (small) a/c from Wal-Mart. We're on the prowl for a new heater because hers is at least from the 70's, though I wouldn't be surprised if it was actually from the 60's. We'd like to get one installed for her before winter starts in the hopes that it will save her a bit of money on Natural Gas.

We added 2 extra days to our trip so that we could swing by our house in North-Eastern Kansas and meet our new Property Managers. They seemed like very nice people and we're hoping for a bit better communication from them (our previous guy got "short-timer's syndrome," since he was preparing to move, and began neglecting to share vital information). Our tenants had a verbal agreement with us that they would buy our house in 3 to 5 years, but after speaking with our manager it sounds like that won't be happening, which is actually fine. The family has indicated their desire to remain in the house for the next two years, but that once their youngest finishes his stint at the school he is in they would like to move closer to their jobs (which are a significant distance away)

Matt went to see some old friends while we were in town. He got some fabulous job offers while we were there. They would be awfully hard to turn down, especially since the location of our house puts C (and our new child?) in a good position to attend the Kansas School for the Deaf. So, loosing the tenants in a couple of years might work out well for us.

The house looks fabulous! The tenants have a couple of complaints (with easy fixes), but for the most part the house is doing well.

While we were in the KC area, we took the kids to T-Rex (a restaraunt/store similar to Rain Forest Cafe but with dinosaurs). They had a blast and each got to build a dinosaur. M picked out "Friar Tuck" (as per Jurasic Park 2) while C picked out a Pteradactyl. We had to go back the next day to allow the kids to play in the "Dino Dig" area (which is so very cool) because we closed out the place the first day. What was even more special was the fact that while we were there the KS School for the Deaf has a small field trip there, so C (and all of us) were exposed to tons of sign language. It was fabulous and made us truly appreciate the distinct education possibilities available in the area for C.

Our flight home was interesting. We flew Northwest who gave us 4 seats in completely different areas of the plane on all of our flights. The flights going to Missouri were fixed quickly and easily, while the flights returning home were not so pretty. We checked in 3 hours early so we could save $30 on the rental car but the guy checking us in could only fix the short Minneapolis flight. And, because we only had a 35 minute layover in Minneapolis there wouldn't be enough time to fix the problem there. The guy had the nerve to tell us in a rather haughty tone (with his nose stuck so high in the air that it could have been used as a telescope to view the moon) that we had better hurry to our gate so we could attempt to fix the problem because he couldn't fix it 5 hours BEFORE the scheduled departure. Well, needless to say, I was pissed and made it VERY clear. I'm surprised they didn't kick me off the plane for my obnoxious behavior (oh was I hoping because I had my lawsuit planned out... I'm so tired of the airlines holding us all hostage for their convenience, though I truly apprciate all the hard work and good attitudes of most of the flight attendants we've met through the years).

Well, we were being watched over because there was an earlier flight to Minneapolis that we were able to get on (and we are ever so grateful to the gate attendant for arranging this for us). And since we arrived in Minnesota two hours early we were able to get our seats for the second leg of our return trip squared away. This was a great thing because there were numerous other families whose children were spread all across the plane with no adult supervision. Very poor planning on Northwest's part (especially when they completely blew off the seats we requested when we purchased the tickets). One nice thing about Minneapolis' airport: They have a play area for kids! It was fabulous with an airplane, traffic control tower, tram and suitecases that the kids could climb in and around. It was a great way for them to let off steam! THANKS MUCH, Minnesota, FOR THIS GREAT TREAT!!!

All in all, the trip was wonderful. Our family was fabulous, our house was amazing (reminding me why I fell in love with it 3-1/2 years ago), our kids had fun and our flights were safe!

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