My oasis of calm descended into instant chaos. As soon as the words were out of my mouth I knew what to expect from my husband. However, I had to suck it up and allow the anxiety levels to escalate and subside in their own time. After all we had to get to the airport and catch that flight home. We had just over 2 hours till departure with nothing packed, a fridge full of food and toys everywhere. We were the only 2 adults here with so much to do……….so he went for a shower.
My wee mermaid was in tears, so sad to be leaving Disney but after a brief cuddle (it was all I could do) she complied with my request to get ready to leave immediately. Less than a minute later she was back in the room dressed, wearing her backpack and hat, smiling and ready to go, totally over the shock of leaving. More than I could say for her Papa, I could still hear him cursing me from the shower. I tasked her with looking under every bed and in every drawer putting everything she found into the middle of the floor. She set off on this task with fervour. (She was only 7). I also sent a text to my daughter to call us urgently.
I was on hold to British Airways on the landline, I’m not sure why but it seemed to be the most obvious thing to suggest “Hold the flight! we were coming”. I checked us all in on the mobile then, while still on hold, frantically trawled the room pulling everything into one place making it easier to pack it when my hands were free.
As you would expect on any two week holiday order and organisation had not had time to materialise in our villa. Clothes were scattered between 4 bedrooms or in the washing machine, nothing was in drawers, toys were strewn around the floor. All our purchases were stowed in cupboards still in bags, odd shoes and socks were secreted in corners and toiletries dispersed between each of the 3 bathrooms.
5 suitcases yawned hungrily in the centre of the room, the little mermaid filling them slowly; every discovery was studied closely and prompted a story. I was throwing things haphazardly into any case, nothing was folded, everything ownerless. While this mayhem unfolded little T was sound asleep blissfully unaware in his cot (best left there meantime). I hung up my unanswered call to BA when my daughter finally found WiFi and called us from the park.
She was so calm when I relayed the facts and she realised that her date day was over. (I think she was relieved there was nothing up with the kids). We advised that we would pick them up on the way to the airport. I lost the call as my better half emerged from his shower smelling fresh as a daisy and smartly dressed. Meanwhile I was bedraggled; my wet bikini soaking through my t-shirt and jeans, still being berated for this latest faux pas. Finally it was time to waken wee T . He immediately reacted to the stress levels by screaming every time I tried to put him on the ground. So while I continued to sweep the villa for remaining items I had to carry and reassure him.
In a frenzy of disjointed activity we finally threw the last bag in the car and like a scene from fast and furious wheel-spun out of our gated community heading for the I4 on a busy Friday afternoon. We now had 38 minutes to get to the airport usually more than an hour away. My daughter had the wherewithal to head direct to the airport with a plan to keep the check-in staff on side and allow us as much time as possible to make it there. Why hadn’t I thought of that?
The journey was peppered with expletives, thankfully drowned out by the radio which the kids were enjoying in the back, I wished I was sat with them. There were 7 toll booths between us and the airport, and for the first 4 we tossed in our change grateful to by-pass the queues. However for the remaining 3 we had to stew, waiting behind tourists with questions or looking for directions, watching our precious minutes dissolve along with our hopes of making the flight.
We had to arrive at the gate by 4.30pm and pulled into the airport at exactly 4.29. Instead of the orderly rental handover , we bailed as fast as 5 cases, 4 bits of hand luggage, a buggy and two kids would allow. With five minutes to go we set off to find check-in ………………………