M was a good sport about it and helped me lug all the bags through the line while The Man went to park the van. We filled out all the little paper luggage tags for our checked and carry-on baggage. We had one left over.
It had been three years since the boys had flown (2 for A), so they spent most of the flight becoming reacquainted with the aircraft. While The Man tried to nap, S studied the plane evacuation procedures. He is now able to explain, in great detail, that in the unlikely event that our plane goes down on water we are not to use the back exits. And, you'll be happy to hear, there ARE flotation devices under the seats. S checked.
They had a wonderful time at Grandma & Grandpa's. While there, we were able to spend a few days at a Restoration International family camp, spend time with cousins, aunts & uncles, and visit a children's science museum. That's J and A exploring the 2-story grapevine. Soon it was time to pack up again and return home. S and A followed the flight attendant's instructions and "flapped their wings" to make the plane go faster. She said they were the only two on the plane that followed through. It was because of them that the plane was only 30 minutes late due to headwinds. Really. An airline employee said so, so it must be true. S was so proud.
We didn't get home until 11:30 that night (that's 2:30 a.m. in the time zone we had left). By 11:35 everyone was in bed and sound asleep.
The next day I set out in search of the missing carry-on baggage. I found it packed, in my walk-in closet. It must have walked in there.
***Q: What do you call a deer head in a paper sack?
A: Carrion (Carry-on) luggage.
***The dog missed us while we were gone. At least he sure was excited to see us all when we returned. The critter sitter said he was rather ill the day after we left. I didn't get all the details, but I did use my carpet cleaner when we returned. Maybe it had something to do with the deer head he found and consumed the day before we left. Could be.