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Wabi Blog

How the worst travel day ever reminded me I can do anything



We hear about so many bad people in the world but, the kindness of humanity remains. This is not a marketing blog. This is not a business blog. This is the story of one of the worst travel days in my life. It's about a day where I was reminded people are amazing, and I am amazing.


It was my husband’s birthday (I promised to make it up to him.) We were traveling with our 3-month-old and 19-month-old (Yikes.) We booked a 9:40am departure as flying late in the day scares me. I was excited to get home for potential naps and unpack and have Sunday to relax. Here’s a timeline of what happened. I’ll try to be as objective as possible.


5:30am my alarm goes off.

I shower, get coffee, pack last minute items, and breastfeed Ollie.


6:45am drive to the airport.


7:45am arrive at airport and return rental car. We tram ride with two car seat backpacks, stroller, smart cart with three bags to check. We check three bags (one was overweight so quickly repacked.)


Second Tram ride to TSA but “smart cart” not allowed. This is not very smart to me. In Milwaukee they let you take it to the gate and all the way down the jetway. Just sayin.’


We schlep all our stuff through TSA pre check. The line is not bad. The departures monitor is completely red. Every single flight is canceled or delayed. I feel like I am in a movie. Surprisingly, our 9:40am departing flight is delayed 40 min to 10:21am.


We find a spot across the terminal from our gate as Ollie starts to fuss.

I buy two Evians at an airport shop and go to the pickup your drink spot at Starbucks with my baby bottle in hand, begging for them to fill my solo cup with hot water to warm up the bottle.


They say not in your cup and give me hot water in two venti cups. I warm up the bottle and feed Ollie. I have two bottles left. I measured already and need to just add water and heat with warm water.


I give Ollie to Will to burp and take Whitney to order breakfast sandwiches. The line is about 10 ppl long. We go back to Will and Ollie, put our car seat packs on, and go to the gate. There are no seats. We put our stuff on the floor next to another family.


I change Whitney’s wet diaper in women’s bathroom. Hope she poops before flight. We gate check our car seats and stroller. We board. We sit on the plane waiting for the pilot for nearly two hours. They let Whitney and a couple other kids run up and down the jetway. Eventually she trips and has a bloody mouth. The wonderful flight attendant Denise pours ice in her sippy cup and she’s fine. I ask Denise for hot water to warm up bottle as Ollie is fussing again. I give Ollie a second bottle/third feeding. I change Ollie’s poop.


The pilot arrives. We now must wait for more fuel. This takes another hour.


We push off from gate. We are informed there are 20 other planes waiting. One can take off every 5 mins. We wait for an hour.



A storm moves in. We wait for another hour. Change wet diapers on both. I now have two diapers left to my name. I give Ollie his third bottle/has now had four feedings when usually only three at this point.


4:16 PM Whitney falls asleep

We are informed that we are going back to the gate, but there is no gate available as all the planes are waiting for the storm to pass before leaving the gate and taking off. We wait another hour. A gate becomes available. Whitney falls asleep just as we arrive at the gate to deplane, after six hours on a plane that went nowhere, with our infant and toddler.


Whitney, who normally takes 2+ hour naps each afternoon, is a wreck. Will takes Whitney to get pizza and I wait with Ollie and our stuff by a post. There are no tables/seats in the food and bar area, the airport is completely full. Whitney officially melts.


A family offers two seats and to share their table with us. We thank them and as I set down our bags, to change Ollie, Whitney cries. I pick her up and, carrying a child in each arm announce we are going to the changing room. Will looks at me like I’m crazy and asks, “Well what do you want me to do?”

“Go get a drink! It’s your birthday!” I call over my shoulder. It’s 5 o’clock.


A woman offers to stand in front of Whitney, so she doesn’t fall off the counter as I change Ollie. I thank her profusely.


We get back to the table and another lady offers to hold Ollie so I can eat. She is with her family, and I am so tired and hungry I say yes.


Alicia holds Ollie so I can eat for the first time since 10am

“I got you a margarita” Will says.

I raise my eyebrows in anticipation, looking around eagerly for the cocktail.

“No, a margherita pizza!” he clarifies. Seeing my disappointment, he says, “Oh! I also got you this!” And proceeds to hand me the largest, most delicious beer I have ever tasted in my life. I take several chugs.


5:12PM Whitney melts

Another family from our flight stops by to compliment us on how well we did with the two little ones. Will gives Whitney a chocolate chip cookie the size of her head.

I break it in half and put the other half out of site. She cries. I take another long sip. I find a pack of two diapers at the airport shop and buy them.


Chocolate chip cookies make everything better

I am heading for the restroom with her when I see two pilots quickly walking in the direction of our gate.

“Are you for flight 3190 to Milwaukee?” I ask.

Yes, they say.

I run to the bathroom and change Whitney out of her tank top and shorts into leggings and a long sleeve shirt.

We make it to the gate as A is boarding. Whitney runs around, the cookie is in full effect.

Family boarding is called. Whitney poops.

I put a blanket down and change her behind an empty row of seats near the gate. I'm disgusted, but I didn't want to do it on the plane either. Survival mode.


I sanitize my hands and board the plane, again.

Will has Ollie, I have Whit.

The plane feels like a sauna.

Ollie is crying. We fan him with the seat pocket info card.

We are both on the aisle. Whitney is antsy AF.

I fan her, too.

7:54pm Elyssa holds Whitney on her lap prior to takeoff

My window seat partner asks if she can hold Whitney on her lap to show her what’s going on out outside the plane. It’s the third or fourth time someone has offered to try and help our family and I almost cry. People are sweet. Especially travelers.


11:09pm We arrive home.

We get home at 11:09pm, mere minutes before my sister’s family arrived home in Naperville, after driving since 4am.


It was the shittiest travel day ever, but people were really kind and complimentary of us. It restored my faith in humanity and myself. If I can make it through that kind of day, I can make it through anything.


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