Under normal circumstances, I wouldn’t bother to have a single blog post for the journey home. This day was anything but normal! If anything, it’s worth blogging about it just so I can remember what this day was like.
After an early breakfast, we went to a local hospital in order to have our covid tests for entry back into the States. Walking up to a partition wall with giant gloves protruding out is not what you want administering a skinny stick up your nose. The woman that went ahead of us had all of us nervous about what was going to happen. Judah was so scared! Thankfully, it looked way worse than it felt.
The lab assistant told us to expect up to an hour to receive our test results by email. We didn’t want to go to the airport yet just in case any of our tests returned negative.
We decided to drive a couple of blocks over to see the coast. This area is where cruise ships dock when visiting Belize. We did some souvenir shopping and after about an hour, we all received our negative covid test results! Yay! We could all go home.
We arrived at the airport, returned our rental van, and got checked in and through security for our flight with ease. We grabbed a bite for lunch in preparation for our 12:30 pm flight. The kids took a short nap and soon after, Bro. Troy turned to me and said, “did you just get that?” I looked down at my phone and saw the notification that our 12:30 flight (that should be leaving in 30 minutes at that point) was delayed until 5:30 pm.
I was taken aback. How on earth was I going to keep these kids entertained for 5 more hours in this small airport? We had a connecting flight at the same time that our flight would now be leaving.
Simple, I thought. We’ll just grab a rental car and drive the three hours home since we had missed the connection. Otherwise, we would have to stay overnight in Atlanta and wait for the next flight the following day.
Well, that was not simple since it was peak spring break for the US and no rental cars were available! At that point, I was fully prepared to have to spend another full day getting home.
I stood in that airport all day watching small planes take passengers to and from private islands surrounding Belize. “Just put me on tomorrow’s flight home,” I thought.
By 7:00 pm, eight hours after being stranded in the small airport and having purchased so many cheaply made, overpriced souvenirs to entertain the kids, a new plane finally arrived to take us home! It turns out that our original plane had faulty tires on the front. Eight hours was a small price to pay for our safety in getting home!
The silver lining of the day was my best friend texting me and telling me that she and her husband would drive six hours round trip to come to get us from the airport since we had missed that connecting flight! I wanted to cry tears of joy after a long, exhausting day knowing that I’d be able to sleep in my bed that night.
We made it safely back to Atlanta on our three-hour flight. If you’re wondering, no, Joanna did not sleep. We made a pit stop at the nearest Waffle House since we had not eaten supper. Then we ventured on our three-hour ride home and finally made it to our own beds around 4 am.
The kids were champs! They did surprisingly well considering the circumstances. At the end of the day, I’m just thankful that we had a wonderful trip and made it home safely. Certainly a day we’ll never forget!
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