And OH what a rough start it has been! I was hoping my first blog post about being back in Korea would be a glowing one.  That is not the case, although this has more to do with the Army than with Korea itself - however I am still smiling (even if it is through gritted teeth)...

Boy 1 nailed it when he said:  "This will be 14 of the worst hours of our lives, but the 2 year pay off will be worth it".  How did he get so insightful?

Let's start with the flight to Korea.  Patriot Express.  Sounds admirable doesn't it?  I mean patriots are revered right?  Webster’s Dictionary definition of a Patriot is: a person who loves, supports, and defends his or her country and its interests with devotion. With a definition like that wouldn't you WANT to take care of that person?  And if I am correct express mean, direct, fast....Hummm.... I think a better suited name for this flight is Traitor Kayak.  (That was just off the top of my head.  I'm sure I can think of a better name in due time.)

Let me paint a little picture for you....
- Arrive at the airport at 4:50AM (ordered to do so by the Army and or AirForce, I'm not sure which one made up this  ridiculous rule)
-Flight time is at 8:50AM (that's right folks, we had to be at the airport 4 whole hours early!)
-Board flight at 7:30AM
-7:45AM - THAT family sits in front of me. 2 FIT THROWING, SCREAMING KIDS that are old enough to know better, plus two yelling parents that have NO fliters.
-7:46AM - in front of THAT family is another family - 2 screaming babies (which I can bear way easier than FIT PITCHING children with NO PARENTAL guidance) and 2 more kids under the age of 5.
-At 8:45AM pilot makes announcement - Will the kind gentleman that check a bag for a lady with too many bags please come forward?  She is missing her bag and doesn't know who you are, but knows you are on this flight and you are wearing a red polo style shirt.  (WHAT THE WHAT,WHAT?!?!  Isn't this travel 101, NEVER GIVE YOU BAG TO A STRANGER?! ) Oh, and by the way, guess who is wearing a red polo style shirt that is sitting right next to me? That's right, my hubby, but NO he is not dumb enough to take a bag from a stranger.
-8:50AM - pilot makes another announcement asking the red polo gentleman to come forward (while all the flight attendants are eyeballing Hubby.)
- 9AM - The pilot makes ANOTHER announcement about the red polo guy - at this point I want to SCREAM - TELL THE DUMB B*&^h  HER BAG IS GONE, STOLEN, SHE WILL NEVER SEE IT AGAIN and for her punishment she needs to come sit in my seat!! 
-9:01AM - they come to Hubby's seat and ask him if he checked a bag for someone else.  Are you kidding me?
-9:15AM - I guess they got the stupid lady situation figured out, and announced that as soon as they are able to get the loading door shut we will leave, and they have someone working on it. Awesome.
9:20AM - still working on the door.
9:21AM - did I mention that the airplane is SO OLD that is still has cigarette ash trays at each seat?!?!  I'm NOT JOKING!!
9:30AM - we taxi, screaming kids, screaming parents and all.

And that was just the beginning of the worst flight of my life.

A few more flight highlights:
-My tray table is broken.
-Guy in front of me doesn't know how to sit still and is constantly fighting with his 6 year old.
-As soon as the airplane is dark, lights are out and my children have just fallen asleep some PSYCHO lady OPENS HER FREAKING WINDOW and leaves it open the rest of the flight - the light shines on OUR ROW and my children are awake!  AGAIN I have the urge to yell, but I don't.  (However as my civic duty I want to let those of you that do not know better that when you are on an international flight and they turn all lights off it means GO TO SLEEP.....they are trying to acclimate you to your new time zone.)
-Freak kids still screaming.  Parents totally asleep.  Are you kidding me?!
-Arrive in Japan 10 hours later exhausted.
-Sent to holding cell like criminals.
-THAT Family still screaming and carrying on.
-Stay there for 2 hours
-Back on hellacious flight. 
-I'm so freaking tired at this point I don't care anymore.
-Offered processed chicken or processed beef - AGAIN.
-I. just. want. to. get. off. this. flight.
-I fall asleep for 20 minutes until kids scream again. (THOSE kids, not mine)
- 2 hours later arrive in Osan, Korea.
-Get on bus and wait another hour on HOT bus before heading to Yongsan.
-Finally arrive to Yongsan at 7:45PM (The next day)
-They don't even drop us at the hotel entrance - not too far away but far enough when you have 12 checked bags and 6 carry on bags, 4 tired kids, 1 grumpy Mommy and Hubby can't help at all because he has to go inprocess!!
-Get checked into hotel and make it to room by 8:15PM
-Hotel screws up rooms types............
-I can still hear THAT FAMILY (in my head).
-Hubby gets to hotel at 8:45PM.

Every day may not be good, but there's something good in every day. ~ Author Unknown

Even though it was the worst flight of my life, I arrived safe and sound and with my family in tact  and we are filled with love and excitement (as tired as it may be). We are all very happy to be back in The Land of the Morning Calm. (Just please, please don't  make me fly Patriot Express EVER again.....)
linda tilley
6/21/2012 07:09:36 am

I love all of our military families. Personal thanks to both kids and parents. No one knows what all you guys do we stay safe

6/21/2012 09:20:55 am

Sorry to hear that your flight was so awful...but glad to hear that you arrived safely. Get some rest...

Jana S
6/21/2012 09:48:27 am

Love your writing. Even through all that you are hilarious!!!

6/22/2012 05:10:19 am

Thanks, although I put a fun spin on it that flight was NOT hilarious! :O)

6/21/2012 09:48:56 am

Holy cow! I can't even think of something witty to say to all that! Holy cow!

6/21/2012 09:49:34 am

Yikes!! That doesn't sound fun!! Sorry it started off on the wrong foot but glad to hear you have a house and car!! That's heading in the right direction!!!! :D

6/22/2012 05:10:52 am

OH, don't get me started on the house....

6/21/2012 09:51:50 am

oh my gosh trish! i haven't even finished reading it yet but i am in hysterics! you are so funny! always! love that!

6/21/2012 09:58:30 am

wow! cigarette ash trays in the arm rest of the seats! flashback! and kind of scary!

6/22/2012 05:11:46 am

It was, that along with the door not shutting....well, I thought I might not see Seoul! :o)

6/21/2012 10:02:32 am


6/21/2012 10:16:29 am

Trish, did you know Dave went to all the Patriot Express meetings before we left...wrote all over the Facebook page...told them how unpatriotic and ridiculous it was and basically made them so angry he was talked about and blackballed all over post? The whole idea is so terrible and just disrespectful...I hate that you all had to go through handled it all much more dignified than I would have!!

6/22/2012 05:13:51 am

I do remember Dave fighting the whole PE thing, please thank him for me for putting his name on the line. I'm going to write a few letters, not that it will do any good, but I'm still going to try.

6/21/2012 12:00:15 pm

Glad you made it. I could so picture it. On our way here we were in the very last route by the toilets, I got bumped and hit so many times I ached. I had an infant pull my hair and the mom didn't even notice. I want mad at the baby but the mom was going off on her husband she had no clue. I thought I smelted toilet for a few days. But like you we arrived safe

6/22/2012 05:15:12 am

Oh Dalia, you make me laugh! I'm sorry you went through that, although I think I would have prefered the back seat over "THAT FAMILY" - maybe. :o)

6/21/2012 01:58:28 pm

Geez Louise, that sounds like a Flight from H;;; Did you have a choice to take either the Patriot flight or a commercial flight? I am so sorry you all had to endure that for so long! You need a vacation already and just arrived....Love to you all...

6/22/2012 05:09:35 am

No, we did NOT have a choice. They booked us before we even went into travel!

6/21/2012 08:14:18 pm

Oh, you poor thing! I had my own flight from H* when I flew back to TX in January to deliver Son#1 to school, but it was purely because I was hit with a stomach virus I'd picked up in Thailand (which we had arrived back from 2 days earlier - what was I thinking when I scheduled that?) I spent 90% of the flight to San Francisco in the airplane lav, praying for a quick death.
I did think it might be you, just from photos on your blog, but - as I said, didn't think you were in country yet, or I would have said 'hi.'-
Sorry things are so confusing, hope all your inprocessing goes much more smoothly!
Hope the jetlag passes soon, looking forward to meeting you when we get back to Seoul in August!

6/26/2012 02:35:27 pm

We all knew that PE was a terrible idea before it even began. Thank the Lord we didn't have to do it on our way home from Korea! PE is a FAR CRY from Korean Air. So sorry for your miserable trip! But you gave us a good laugh--as usual. Luv u!


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