Monday, March 14, 2011

Cuban Adventures – 5 days, 7 nights in Cuba Part One: Heading for Cuba.

The clock did not yet read two A.M., the alarm had not yet rang, but still it was time to get up. You might as well when you have been lying more awake than asleep in fitful bouts of dozing all night long and the alarm will sound in less than ten minutes.

The house was still a shambles, having exhaustedly run out of time trying to clean it the night before and gone off to bed.

The state of the house is only one of the casualties of trying to be Supermom and returning to full time work after six years exclusively as a stay at home mom.

Seriously sleep deprived, we were up, showered, and stumbling about to frantically get the last things packed, the car loaded, kids up and dressed, and out the door by three-thirty A.M. We really should have been hitting the road before two-thirty to get to the airport when they recommend – three hours before our six A.M. overseas flight.

And then came the hours of waiting. Waiting in line while the four of us felt we certainly couldn’t possibly stand another minute. Then more waiting, waiting in chairs and again in another line. At last we made it to the security line. We scrambled to put everything in those little plastic trays, jackets etc off, and sliding things though the x-ray machine one at a time. Finally we were ready to go through the metal detector. Steve went first and was immediately swarmed by three stern looking airport security guards waving menacing looking wands over him. It was kind of funny, all the fuss over a little blue jeans button. But the kids were a bit scared watching these stern guards waving their metal detecting weapons all around their daddy. It was their first experience going on and airplane, and my first since very many years before all the need for high security on airlines and at the airports. We scrambled to collect our things and make room for the people behind us, rushing off … to spend what felt like many more hours waiting to actually board the plane. Naturally, the plane was delayed by an hour and a half.

After a great deal of waiting the kids learned that wonderful magical plane ride they had been so eagerly waiting for weeks for wasn’t so wonderful and magical after all. At roughly five minutes and thirty-six seconds into the flight they were completely bored with a four hour flight to go.

The plane ride was pretty much as expected. The kids couldn’t really see the little television that folded down from the ceiling some rows of seats ahead, the picture and sound were choppy and cutting out through much of the movie, and the seats were cramped. The kids had no interest in the movie anyway. It was more of an adult movie. Seven year old Sidney’s distaste for the choices for the limited airline menu was just a taste of what was to come.

Despite the utter exhaustion of only half a night’s sleep at best, none of us slept on the plane ride.


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