As we were taxiing to the gate yesterday afternoon, the 20 something guy in front of me turned around and said something to the effect of, "You guys are just livin' the dream right now." Unfortunately, he was NOT saying that because he had just heard we had spent a month in Europe. No, he was saying that because he has just witnessed the WORST FLIGHT I have ever been on in my entire life. Now, it wasn't the worst flight for everyone on the plane. No - just us.
And technically, it was the worst hour and half on the plane of my life as the first 6 hours or so were fine. The boys watched Monsters v. Aliens and played some Nintendo DS. However, they hadn't had much to eat over the course of the day (can you see where this is going already?). With a little over an hour left on the flight (or so we thought), Berkley starts mumbling about being hungry, then all of a sudden, he says he feels sick. Doug (who is sitting in a middle seat) manages to wheel him around so he's facing the aisle, all while frantically waving towards me (sitting in the aisle opposite with Quin) to get him to the restroom. But it's too little, too late. Berkley blows all over himself, me and the aisle (with a little on the woman behind us, who thankfully was a mother and so really understanding about it). SWEET. But what are you going to do? We clean everything up, strip Berkley down (he wore a sweatshirt and his underwear for the rest of the flight) and thank God we don't have much time on the flight left (can you see where THIS is going?).
Now, I don't know if all international flights do this, but American displays a map (when no movies or shows are being shown) of the progress of the flight. We're all sitting there watching the plane chug towards Boston when all of a sudden, the plane makes a u-turn and starts heading back towards London. The only thought going through my mind at that moment - NOOOOO. Some of you may have heard about the little funeral we had in Boston yesterday. Well - we timed our flight PERFECTLY such that the airspace between Hanscom Airforce Base and Martha's Vineyard had to be kept clear for the President and that was pretty much were we needed to fly. So we all watched as our plane did little circles over the Atlantic Ocean as we waiedt for the Obamas to resume their vacation (I am certain that Obama lost a few votes in '12 in that 40 minutes).
We FINALLY get clearence to land and are making our approach to the airport when Quin looks at me and says (can you SEE where this is going?) - I don't feel so good. I manage to get the barf bag out this time, but there is SOO much coming out, that it's completely useless. And we can't get up as we are making our approach (or so I thought at the point). As I try to fruitlessly mop up the "mess" that now covers Quin, me and our little area, the pilot comes on. Apparently we got "a little too close to another plane" on our approach (I didn't notice as my son looked like Linda Blair in the Exorcist, but Doug said we banked so hard, HE almost got sick), so we have to circle back and get back in line to land - I KID YOU NOT. So, I now have to spend the next 20 minutes sitting while we make a second approach. This makes a full extra hour of sitting in vomit fun on the plane for me (at this point you might also note, that while I have been barfed on not once, but twice, Doug has managed to avoid all bodily contact).
It was when we finally landed that the guy in front of me made that "livin' the dream" comment. Now, he actually was really nice - almost got barfed on by Berkley, was scrounging around for blankets for me to clean up with Quin - and was trying to make me laugh. But at that point, all I really wanted was a good cry and a BIG glass of wine. I'm not really sure what happened as both boys were not sick beforehand and were fine almost immediately after (empty stomach + hot + too much screen time maybe?) - not sure we'll ever know.
And of course, in hindsight, we landed safely and are finally home, so the flight could have been A LOT worse (for example, I had real fears of quarantine as we were going through customs). But at the moment when the pilot said we had to get back in line, that was pretty much the lowest of the low for the whole trip. Suffice it to say, we are really happy to be back - we'll post some final thoughts in the next few days.