Last week a huge storm hit the east coast. We were happy to be in sunny California when it was happening but it really messed up our flight home. Originally we were leaving Tuesday night (that flight was cancelled), we moved it up a night (that flight was cancelled), we moved it back to Thursday night (that flight was cancelled), we finally moved it to Wednesday morning but when we got to the airport, our flight was delayed. Once we boarded the flight and started down the runway, we had to turn back because of a maintenance issue. We sat on the plane at the gate forever, they thought they fixed the issue, we started down the runway once more only to turn back because the pilot said "I wouldn't fly my family on a plane I didn't think was safe, and this one isn't safe". As you can imagine, after a delayed flight and sitting on the runway -- people were a little annoyed. After that it was a mad rush to get in line, get on another flight, I had JetBlue on the phone and the helpful woman was telling me "get to gate 8! there's a flight to JFK" and I'd run to gate 8 and they were auctioning off tickets and the woman in front of us got the last one (damn her!). Then the woman would say "get to gate 4, you can get to San Francisco with a layover you can be Boston tomorrow morning" and we'd run there (with Javi, a stroller, 2 backpacks, etc., etc., etc.) -- she eventually said "I'm so sorry, but that was the last one. The next flight to get you anywhere close to the east coast is Sunday". SUNDAY. It was Wednesday. So we decided to cancel the flight, rent a car, and drive. We were in Long Beach, California and we live outside of Boston. It's winter. And we had a toddler with us.
It didn't take long for us to realize that Javi wasn't going to make the trek. He fell asleep immediately upon sitting in his carseat. He was out... for 3 hours. So I started researching airports along the route home and then seeing which ones could get us a flight within the next day. Eventually we settled on Phoenix (about 10 hours from where we started off in Long Beach) so we booked a random hotel on Expedia (yay for last minute bookings that are super on sale!) and headed toward Phoenix.
I've been to a lot of east coast states, and a few years ago we drove from Seattle to San Diego -- but I've never really spent any length of time inland on either coast. I've always been pretty close to the ocean (with the exception of a few trips to places like Vegas and Lake Tahoe) so the views of mountains and deserts was something I've never (in my adult life) seen before! The drive definitely made us realize that we aren't ready to embark on such a trip with Javi (as a 17 month old) but that in a few years (!) we will definitely make the trip across the whole country! If I could have taken pictures of the stars at night -- I would have! It was like we were in the planetarium at a museum. That's how bright they were! We finally made it to the hotel around midnight and it was such a nice hotel we were upset that we were only there to sleep for 6 hours! We wanted to spend more time there. Phoenix is definitely HOT. When we woke up at 6AM it was still 75 degrees outside.
We did eventually get home. The following day (Thursday) we got on an 8AM flight (that's when this whole thing happened) and landed in Boston around 4:30. We were really excited up until the moment we stepped off the plane and felt the -degree weather and we were all "sooo.... why were we rushing to get home"?!