Hawaii was awesome. Imagine "We are the Champions" playing on repeat in your head, imaginary confetti flying with each gleeful squeal of your kiddos. I practically tattooed "Parent of the Year" across my chest. It was that awesome.
Which made the trip home all that much worse.
The world's largest joy ballon popped.
When TSA showed up.
We arrived at the Honolulu Airport and immediately noticed the lack of AC. After dragging the luggage and children to the security line, I was sweating... profusely. Hey HNL, 85 degrees is not OK.
And you can't just dump your luggage with the baggage folks at the curb. Nooooooo. You must drag it all through the agriculture inspection, then to the baggage folks to check in, then to the baggage belt, and put it on the belt yourself. I'm fairly certain they would have asked us to load the plane had there not been those pesky OSHA rules.
We finally dump most of our luggage but, thanks to the kiddos, must still drag a car seat and an arsenal of toys and snacks on the flight.
I'm soaked in sweat, miserable, and on the verge of vomiting (thanks embryo!) so of course, I must go through secondary screening and a pat down.
Terrorists frequently dress up as sweaty, exhausted mothers traveling with toddlers.
All three backpacks had to go through x-ray twice. Crap. I'm never getting home.
Since the bags are deemed 'suspicious' (because apparently the Dora the Explorer sing-a-long book looks exactly like a bomb in TSA's jacked up world), they grab my husband and put him through secondary screening. He hands me both kids and I'm ready to start screaming at TSA, "WE AREN'T TERRORISTS!! WE'RE JUST MISERABLE PARENTS TRYING TO GET HOME!!!"
Cash starts kicking the TSA metal cabinets and Declan is crying, flailing his arms. I tell Cash to stop but he can tell I'm not really committed to making him stop because it seems to annoy TSA... and he continues.
Chris finally gets to the secure side and TSA brings out all three backpacks, now empty, and three bins of our belongings.
That's right. They empty the bags, yes, the same bags you spent 2 hours packing just right so everything would fit. The three bags that had everything in the 'perfect spot' are now sitting empty at my feet. Diaper rash cream mixed with a Thomas the Train puzzle. Four different types of carefully arranged diaper sizes, shuffled like a deck of cards.
Declan wasn't the only poor soul crying...
Thanks to that lovely experience, my kids aren't getting on another plane until they can carry their own luggage.