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At the Start

Fourth Grandchild Trip


View 2010 Yellowstone and Hawaii on greatgrandmaR's travel map.

After my mother died in 2006, I decided to carry on the tradition that she started of taking a trip with each of her grandchildren.

  • I took the first grandson C on a Bus trip to Ireland in 2007. He was 13 almost 14. (I have not finished writing up this trip yet because the photos got all mixed up on my computer).
  • The second grandson - D - did a Mediterranean Cruise in 2008. He was 13 almost 14. Which is mostly finished.
  • The third trip - the first one with a granddaughter - B- who is the sister of the grandson who went with me to Ireland. We went on a Baltic Cruise in 2009. She was 12 almost 13. Also mostly finished.

This is the fourth grandchild trip - with my grandson J. He is 12 - the youngest of my grandsons. He said he did not want to go to the Caribbean. I knew he was interested in weather, volcanoes and WWII. I asked him if he would rather go to Alaska or Hawaii, and he picked Hawaii. But we are going to Yellowstone National Park first. Yellowstone is the caldera of a gigantic ancient volcano.

I made reservations to fly into West Yellowstone on the first flight of the spring - 9 June. I was picking up a rental car and staying at a motel in West Yellowstone. Then I would drive in to Yellowstone to stay at the Old Faithful Inn on the 10th and 11th. We would drive out of the park on the 12th and go back to West Yellowstone for a second night and fly back to Texas on the 13th. I bought tickets for the "Circle of Fire" which was an all day tour on the 11th.

Then we were to fly from DFW (Dallas Fort Worth airport) to Honolulu on the 16th of June. I made reservations at the Ohana Waikiki Beachcomber which was a block or so from the beach. I bought tickets on a Air and Land tour of Pearl Harbor - the air part was to follow the flight of the Japanese bombers on the first day and then we would visit Pearl Harbor the following day. Then we were embarking on the Pride of America for a cruise around the islands. After the cruise, we were flying to the Big Island, and I would rent a car so we could spend a couple of days in Volcano National Park.

Saturday 5 June 2010 (our 51st wedding anniversary)

I packed off and on all day today. I haven't been able to find any of the lists that I made for other trips, which worries me because I am afraid I will forget something. I took the little red rolling bag (which was bulging, but in it I had another little cloth bag for the shorter trips, and a tote for use on excursions.

It was fairly heavy, but I did not weigh it. I also had the cloth computer bag which looks kind of like a briefcase. I took everything out of my wallet (like the safe deposit key) that I wouldn't need on the trip and put that and a change purse in a small black fanny pack which went into the computer bag. But it didn't stay in there very well and kept falling out. I printed out my boarding pass.

I am taking so many pills now and the flax seed oil and fish oil ones are so big that I can't fit them into my pill keeper anymore and Bob lent me two of his which cover the trip. I send a box off to our daughter E on Thursday with one of the pill keepers, my mask and snorkel, dive skin, inhaler, a small white hat, a power strip, and a couple of other things in it (13+ lbs). I find that the pill keepers rattle, and didn't want them rattling in the computer bag, so I packed the other one in the suitcase which I know I shouldn't do, but it worked out OK in this case.

Sunday 6 June 2010

Sunday morning, I ate two slices of bread, and set the big laptop up in the computer room for Bob to use. I am taking the little old laptop which I haven't used since 2007 because it is smaller and significantly lighter. I hope this doesn't come back to bite me because this morning it said Windows had a fatal exception and had to close.

Bob said to put everything in the trunk, so I did, including my coat with the liner zipped in for Yellowstone in June (although Dallas is to be over 100 today), a hat, cane, suitcase, and computer bag. The fanny pack fell out so I picked it up and took it and my cell phone and the boarding pass with me into the car. After we got underway, I phoned for the gate information. Boarding was to start at 12:45 - plane was to leave at 1:15 pm. Took all the small bills from the wallet and put them in my passport case (around my neck) for tips. I had a $10, a $5 and four $1s

Got to the airport about 10:15. Took everything out of the trunk. I was hoping to curb check the bag although I think it would work to be a carry-on. Curb check area was un-manned.

Met a skycap with a cart coming across the street and he asked me if I wanted a wheelchair so I said yes, and walked on across the street. When I went to get my credit card out, I realized that I did not have the fanny pack which had my wallet (drivers license and credit cards). Bob had already left. I took my phone out and tried to call him, but he had his cell phone OFF. The skycap came back with a wheelchair for me and we went inside and I tried to call again and left a callback number in case he didn't remember my cell number.

I told the skycap that I had no credit cards with me, and gave him my passport and my boarding pass and he checked the bag for me. I asked him about the checked bag charge and he said they didn't charge me. I don't know why. I tipped him with the $5.00

The wheelchair lady dumped the water in my water bottle, took me through security, refilled my water bottle and then took me to the gate, and I gave her $4.00. The plane was a little late getting in and I saw on the screen that I couldn't buy food unless I had a credit card, and of course I didn't. So I walked down to Wendy's and got a wrap and a baked potato and got a $20 changed (I had money in my passport case).

Got back to my seat and found I had no eating utensil for the baked potato. The only thing I had that resembled something to eat with was a small round magnifying glass on a handle. So I used that. The plane wasn't all that late and boarding was only delayed a little. I got on with the first class and the rest of the wheelchair people (there were 7 of us).
Flight to Texas

Flight to Texas


It was a good flight, and we got to DFW a little ahead of schedule. The wheelchair boy had just graduated from high school. I called my daughter E from the baggage claim and told her where I was and she sent my granddaughter A in. A wasn't wearing her glasses so she walked all the way around the baggage area before she saw me, and just about that time my bag came and we got out to the car and put the stuff in. I tipped the wheelchair guy.

I played some kind of computer room decorating game with my granddaughters and (or actually the older one demonstrated the game to me) in the evening.

My computer crashed that evening and I started to defragment the hard drive and it was still doing it when I wanted to go to bed, so I left it running and woke up at 3:30 and it was done. I also took off all the photos from 2007 and 2008 and put them on a memory stick so I have more room on the computer.

Monday 7 June 2010

I unpacked and rearranged the luggage so I could see what I have and I found I have two pair of maroon pants (one without pockets) instead of pants and a skirt. Oh well. At least one pair has pockets.
Packing

Packing


We played a game with the whole family in the evening after dinner. I can't remember what it is called but you try to get people to guess a word by putting little cards on a board. I didn't do too well. My grandson reassured me with that at least I did better than his younger sister, and I said

"Oh great - not only am I not smarter than a 5th grader, but I'm just a little smarter than a third grader."


My granddaughter corrected me that she is now a fourth grader.
Patio out back

Patio out back


The guys are still working on the patio out back. I took some photos of the house.

Tuesday 8 June 2010

Monday, Bob sent the fanny pack by FedEx and it got here at 10:20 on Tuesday. All is well on that front. I downloaded the most up-to-date Firefox and that works better than the version that I had (2.0).

The computer gave me some more trouble, and the cameras started to malfunction also.
Game room

Game room


Tried to do a cooking Wi game with with my granddaughter, but I am hopeless at it. I told her if I was mixing cookie dough I would use a mixer.

We went to my grandson's ball game at 1700 and it was REALLY hot.
Grandson at bat

Grandson at bat


Bill and Phyllis (the other grandparents) came too - Bill has a scooter he uses.
Bill on his scooter, Phyllis and youngest granddaughter

Bill on his scooter, Phyllis and youngest granddaughter

Afterwards we went to the Double Dipper
Frozen Custard

Frozen Custard


and had frozen custard.
Frozen Custard

Frozen Custard


My son-in-law took our older granddaughter to get a slushie instead as she can't have the frozen custard because it has gluten in it.
Eating Frozen Custard (or a Slushie)

Eating Frozen Custard (or a Slushie)


They had the misting fans running there.

We came home from the game and the computer crashed again. Could not download the photos off the camera or anything. So I decided maybe it was getting too hot, and shut it down. Then this morning I did a system restore, and re-downloaded Firefox and it seems to be OK now. We will see.

When I went to download the photos from the camera it refused as it said there was an unrecognized file type. After I deleted that, it worked OK. My grandson's camera is at the shop and he expects to have it back by the time we go on the Hawaii section but for now he will use my other one that Bob usually uses. It is identical to mine except that the on-off switch is very hard to turn and I get a bruised thumb when I use it.

We packed for this short trip (we return on June 13th) with just two carry-on bags. We each had a small wheeled bag and my grandson had a backpack and I had a soft side computer bag. My daughter printed out our boarding passes and put my grandson's frequent flyer number into the AA reservations.

Wednesday 9 June 2010

I had breakfast with the kids - my daughter's breakfasts are as good as the cruise ship - a regular smorgasbord. Showered and finished packing. We had an early lunch, and off to the airport.

I forget to bring the binoculars. We were dropped off and they got me a chair and called a wheelchair for me. I sat in the chair and waited. The guy came and got the other lady sitting there and took her and then came back for me. I tipped him $4.00

When we cut into the security line, I told my grandson to get out his passport and it took him quite awhile because I think it was in his backpack and not accessible. And then the guy said he didn't need it - that he didn't need to see ID if they were under 18. So I was not asked for my documentation to have him as they didn't know his name.

Then he had to get his computer out and it took him some time to get organized.

We were at the gate in good order and I said I would stay seated in the wheelchair (as opposed to getting out and sitting in a chair). There were some people flying standby and the plane was not full. My grandson got a hamburger and fries and a drink in the airport.
J eating lunch in the airport

J eating lunch in the airport


Another lady wheeled me down the gangway and the flight attendant took my cane and coat. My grandson had a hard time lifting his wheeled bag into the bin - I guess I should have done it for him.
Bad driver?

Bad driver?


The plane taxied all the way to the other side of the airport, crossing several freeways to get to the runway. There were a lot of planes lined up to take off but the pilot (a very chatty one) said that there was even more of a back-up going east because of the thundershowers which had just passed over us.
Taking off from DFW

Taking off from DFW


My grandson slept some in the plane. I had cranapple and a chocolate chip cookie on the plane
My lunch

My lunch


and took a few photos
Snowy mountains

Snowy mountains


and did the crossword.

Next: Salt Lake City

Posted by greatgrandmaR 20:02 Archived in USA Tagged flying family grandson bwi frisco

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Comments

Quite scary that you wouldn't need an ID for under 18 year old..
I remember that when me and my sister went to Montenegro, the travel agency required her to have signed paper from her parents that I am allowed to travel with her (we have 12 years age gap and she was under 16 at the time)..But I don't remember that anyone wanted to see the paper on airport...

Also I have now a craving for the frozen custard, never had one but it looks good!

by hennaonthetrek

While 2010 was after 9-11, we didn't yet have to furnish ID for travel - your ticket was enough.

I always got a notarized paper from both parents which said that I had permission to travel with my grandchildren, and also had the right to give them medical attention if they required it. I think the requirement is to prevent kidnapping of young children. Out of the seven times that I traveled with grandchildren under 18, I was only asked for my permission slip once and that was at Heathrow airport when changing planes. I asked him - if I didn't have it, which one of us would they send back? And he had to admit that he wouldn't be able to do anything because we were already there.

My mother always took a permission slip with her and I think she was asked for it at Checkpoint Charlie - going in to East Berlin in 1976. She had a lot of trouble at that border.

Frozen custard is like ice cream except that it has egg yolks in it in addition to the cream and sugar in ice cream. It is very good.

by greatgrandmaR

I understand and support the requirement, I just can't understand why they wouldn't ask about the papers..For example I could have been anyone, we don't have the same last name with my sister and we don't look alike..

Yes, that would have been an pickle to the clerk at the Heathrow..:)

by hennaonthetrek

I don't understand it either. The first grandchild does have the same last name as I do - he's my son's son. And I suppose I look young enough to be his mother (the captain on the BOSS tour thought I was younger than he was and he was 56 - I think the fact that my hair was still mostly dark brown when I was in my 70s might have had something to do with it).

But even when we didn't have the same last name (all of my daughter's children have a different last nae than I do), no one ever questioned me. I guess I look honest.

by greatgrandmaR

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