January 30, 2009

Planes, Trains, and Automobiles

A commentary on our Florida transportation experiences:

No faces were melted off and no one went deaf, but Alicia was convinced she would die any minute. The ride was turbulent and she was white-knuckle gripping the arm rests and saying, "How can everyone stay so calm?! They're just reading magazines and listening to music! It's like they don't know that we're going to die!"
I tried to calm her down by saying things like, "Do you hear that sound? I think something's wrong with the engine." (It's what any good parent should do). And when Megan said, "It sounds like the wing is cracking off," I said, "Oh that only happens sometimes."
Nearby strangers kept giving me weird looks. (What, they've never heard someone terrorize children before?)

On our return trip I sat next to Alicia and she said, "Jenny, if we crash then I love you."
Since the wording was a little odd, I just had to ask, "And what if we don't crash?"
Alicia: "Then I hate you."
Me: "Fair enough."

The kids eventually settled in and got over their paralyzing fear of death (enough so that they could watch TV at least). Megan, however, was more interested in following the plane flight stats than what was on TV. While her two sisters watched Sponge Bob, she stared at the screen of numbers and when there was a change in elevation or speed she'd announce it to everyone around her.

When we were getting off the plane, I asked the pilot if I could get his picture with Andrew. He nodded, but then looked at the long line of people behind me and pulled Andrew into the cockpit and stuck his pilot's hat on him instead. The co-pilot entertained Andrew by pushing a button that made the sound of a machine gun being shot off and letting Andrew play with the steering wheel for a while.
When we met up with the rest of our group, I told them what Andrew had gotten to do and they all congratulated and fawned over him. He just looked at them and rolled his eyes like they were so immature, then threw his bag over his shoulder like "yeah, no biggie".

Our kids used to get pretty excited about trains, but they became pretty mundane after the airport shuttle, the monorail, parking shuttles, and train rides all throughout Disney World. The one funny story we have from train riding came on our first day on the parking shuttle when Alicia (who never gets in trouble) got numerous Disney-style reprimands on the short ride to the park. We were so crowded on the bench that her elbows, knees, and toes kept peeking out of the sides of the train. The conductor, who was on that side kept looking straight at her and saying, "Please remember to keep your arms and legs inside the train at all times.....please remember to keep your arms, legs, and shoulders inside the train at all times.....please remember to keep your arms, legs, and toes inside....." Alicia was mortified, the rest of us were giggling, and Andrew had the mantra memorized by the time we got to the park.

So, toll roads are kind of new to us. When we passed the first booth Rex got out three quarters, aimed the best he could, and threw with all his might (without reducing speed). Only one of the three quarters made it, but we kept speeding by.
When we got to the next toll booth, Alicia encouragingly said, "Dad, let's see how many quarters you can make in this time!"


  1. This is seriously my new favorite blog. It makes me laugh, out loud, by myself, 100% of the time! GOOD JOB!!! Glad to know you are back safe and sound! Love all of your guts!!!

  2. hee hee. sounds like such fun! people who don't terrorize kids are weird.

  3. Love hearing more about it! And I want a post about what Alicia announced yesterday - what she was getting in a couple of weeks. Ha!

  4. You are one lucky girl! Amy RARELY comments on my blog. Love the stories! I hope you got some good pictures of Captain Andrew so people will believe you. :-)

  5. Love the scowling Alicia pic, so I guess that means she hates you then. Too bad. Captian Andrew is a hunk!

  6. Yeah, I agree with star about the pic of Alicia. That is awesome. And I can't believe what a cool mom you are for asking for a picture with the captain. All part of the plan right? You know what you are doing. That is really lucky for Andrew! Oh wait - I guess it was "no big thang" He's so cool.

  7. I've quoted this post like 5 times in the last day. Another fun-unny. I hope I can be as cool as you when I have teenagers. :)

  8. Dear Post Commenters:
    Amy, I think I'm blushing. Garsh.
    Kate, Yes, they're very weird. And what do they do for fun?
    Victoria, Ummm....I think I'll have to skip that since teenagers embarrass easily.
    Missy, I do feel lucky. Very lucky. Hey, I posted a picture of Drew just for you.
    Star, We all know Alicia really loves me.
    Katie, Andrew was way less excited than his mom.
    Sarah, As cool as I am? Good luck.

  9. "Do you hear that sound? I think something's wrong with the engine."

    ....AND clearer!!! :-)) LOL

    I love you Jenny! You definitely are my favoritest!

  10. P.S. You'll have to read all my comments in order of first to last time-wise for them to make sense, I'm afraid! Hope that's not too complicated!