It wasn’t too difficult, really. Its a quick flight from GTR to Atlanta and then one more flight and you’re in Grand Cayman by noon. So if you discount the yard-selling and culling of possessions, the 3-month’s worth of wrapping and packing, the sorting and squeezing of our “necessary” or “favorite” belongings into 20 bags and tupperware containers (4-per ticketed passenger! I would like to thank Delta Airlines for all of the “limitations”, without which I might never have had the guts to downsize so drastically), the weighing and re-packing (no more than 50 lb per bag!), the storing of everything else that I own, the arguing, cajoling, and finally groveling to our friendly USDA public servants down in Jackson for some help with permits to allow our pets to travel, the selling of vehicles, a last-minute birthday party for Nora Ruth, and Thomas’ christening…we’re really not very far from home!
And so when (at 4 am on Saturday morning) it was time to herd my 2 ecstatic toddlers, 2 drugged dogs, and my constipated infant through our small local airport I was confident that we had reached the home stretch. All of our luggage
was checked, we were printing out boarding passes, and I was dreading an inevitably tearful goodbye with my dad and my sister. Then, with a confused shake of her head, the lady at the ticket counter says that my boarding pass won’t print. Thirty minutes later, after several calls to “hold the plane”- the one loaded down with my “favorite” and “necessary” belongings and possibly (although I’m not sure at this point) my children- my boarding pass prints, she hands it to me like a baton and yells, “run! run!”.
I don’t know if GTR airport security typically gives a lot of leeway to the poor shmucks who fly at 6 am or if they just didn’t know what to do with someone who looked frantic enough to fly to Atlanta on the landing gear of a CRJ 200. They picked up the tickets that flew out of my passport without really worrying about which one was mine, they didn’t hassle me about my liquids and gels (for ONCE I had checked, measured, and re-organized this stuff so that I wouldn’t have to dump it all in the nearest trashcan), and no one detected the bomb that was in Thomas’ pants as Clif slipped him into my arms and we both sprinted to the runway.
Talk about wanting to disappear! I was already conspicuous for having been the crazy lady checking 20 bags and hogging the check-in line. Now I’m also the one who held the plane on the ground for an extra 15 minutes and I’m finally boarding the plane with a screaming, soiled infant. But that diaper really was the finish line.
The girls were well-behaved, we made it through the Atlanta airport and to our next flight without any trouble, Thomas slept most of the way, the dogs’ drugs
never wore off, all of our luggage made it to Grand Cayman, and we even found a resourceful taxi driver who fit all of our bags/boxes into his mini van. Unpacking was quick and bedtime was early. We had a great first week while Clif was still on break. We went to the beach, made lots of trips to our neighborhood pool, went to the beautiful Camana Bay shopping center to ride scooters and play in the sprinklers, and we visited the Sea Turtle Farm.
The girls have quickly improved their swimming. Nora Ruth is swimming, diving, and snorkeling in the ocean and Alliene is fearlessly jumping out into the pool or ocean to swim to us. We’d like for her to show some interest in raising her head to breathe soon. Nora Ruth hasn’t expressed a bit of homesickness.
At some point during our first week here she said, “Mommy, I love the Caribbean!”; but Alliene has been a little “off” lately…or maybe she’s just two. We have neighbors with girls the same age as Nora Ruth and Alliene, so they’ve made a couple of new friends.
Thomas is sleeping like a champ- 12 hours at night and then so much napping in the day that I think he’s just doing it to make his daddy jealous. He gets in the pool with us for a few minutes, but he’s quickly “over it” and ready to slumber again.
He is rolling over, smiling, laughing, and watching his sisters very carefully…