6 weeks. That's how long Dan was gone for. He went to Alabama for AMS (Officer School). Right before he left we found tickets at a rock bottom price that meant the kids and I could fly down for graduation. The last time I flew was over 10 years ago. The kids had never flown.
Life without Dan is always hard. It definitely gets easier as the kids get older, but it remains a challenge when your partner is missing. We had very minimal communication which also made it difficult. The kids missed him, and I missed him too. BUT, the preparation for the flights kept me busy!
My mom had an engagement the day we left so she flew overnight and met us the next morning. This meant that the flight down was going to be SOLO! We left on a Wednesday from Spokane and flew to Denver. The kids were amazing. They did great. Even in Denver where we did some massive fast-walking to do bathrooms and food before boarding our next flight. From Denver to Atlanta was a tad rocky just because it was a smaller plane and we were not all seated in the same row. Once we got in the air and got everyone settled, it was a dream. I'm glad I didn't bring anything for me to do on the plane, because I would have never had the chance!
The Atlanta airport did not turn out exactly as I expected. We walked a short distance to get luggage. Grabbed a luggage cart and then realized it was going to be difficult. The luggage cart was not something a kid could operate so I was forced to manage that (it was holding all four carseats and very tipsy). That meant Thomas had to push the double stroller containing the girls, and Joshua had to pull the carry-ons. It was quite the adventure. I did not realize we'd have a long walk at midnight to get to our rental car. We walked about 1/2 mile before we did an elevator (not exciting with all our stuff). And then a train...also not exciting. The tran gives you about 60 seconds to load before the doors shut. This is not easy with four children and mass extras. Nevertheless at midnight.
**There was a guy who saw us and took pity and said he would help us load the train. Come about 45 seconds and the guy realizing that he was not going to make it on if he helped us, he did a "save yourself!" kind of run and got on somewhere else. :) We made it, but it was not an easy task. And managing the children on a fast moving train with all the luggage and stroller rolling around was incredibly difficult.
Once we got off the train it was 3 elevators, one stop and about a 1/2 mile walk and we were finally
at our car.
After getting mega-lost we made it to our hotel and settled down. Mom flew in and arrive at about 8 AM in the morning, so we showered and got ready to go.
The drive from Atlanta to Montgomery was beautiful and the kids were awesome. We stopped for breakfast, but not again until we reached Montgomery.