Okay, so our flight back home was not exactly eventless. We made it home four hours late, and on Delta instead of Northwest. And with none of our brand new luggage (a Christmas gift from Noel to me, to replace the cracked and zipper-challenged bags we brought down to St. Simons). But we're just thrilled to be in the city we were aiming at on the same calendar day we started traveling.
Out of five separate flights we took on this trip -- encompassing three airlines -- only two were on time: the U.S. Airways flights from Memphis to Charlotte and Charlotte to Jacksonville. Today's flights were all late: the Northwest flight we were suppoised to take from Jacksonville to Memphis was three hours late, the Delta flight from Jacksonville on which we got rebooked was almost two hours late, and the Atlanta-Little Rock leg was the same.
I don't think it was just our bad luck, since Chicago and Atlanta were experiencing horrible weather all day that made the whole system go crazy, and since we met plenty of people on our way out who were in the throes of an Airworld nightmare. This was not a good Christmas season to be depending on air travel. When Mom called tonight to check on us (and report the items we left behind -- some clothes and my sunglasses), she said what I was thinking but couldn't say: no more Christmas family get-togethers. When we're the only ones who have to fly, it's just too much of a handicap.
And to respond to Adam's comment yesterday, we have driven with the kids (or at least one of them) before. But two days down and two days back for four days there? It's too demanding. Sure, it took us two days to get down there this time, but at least our kids weren't strapped in carseats the whole time. Frankly, I dread the motel stay-over near Birmingham most of all; in a single room, none of us end up getting any sleep.
So enough about travel troubles. We're back. We have 197 pictures on our resurrected Canon. I promised to answer all those questions before the end of 2007. We have a pile of presents from Noel's side of the family (and from ourselves) to open on our secondary Christmas celebration tomorrow. We have some confidence that our baggage, which is probably still in the Northwest system and therefore made it to Memphis too late to get to Little Rock tonight, will be delivered tomorrow. And thus life resumes.