Northern California in October Part 1: Space A Adventure

I’ve been gone for awhile.  Not just in “blogger world” but literally…gone.

My dad called me in the beginning of October and said that my grandma (my last remaining grandparent) was now on hospice.  The end of an era was upon us.

This wasn’t really a surprise.  I’d been losing my sweet grandma for a few years now to Alzheimer’s Disease.   It began as it usually does: forgetting keys or a name here and there.  And it worked it’s way into forgetting how to eat, how to form sentences, who anyone was.

Since E was only in kindergarten and Little G wasn’t even in school yet and since I had been wanting to try a Space A adventure anyway…I decided maybe now, during the off season, we could try to get to California to see my grandma one last time.

For those of us that are not military, Space A (space available) travel is exactly what it sounds like: if they have space available, they’ll take you along!  But you have zero control over what type of aircraft you’re on, when you leave or where you stop over.  Typically, from Okinawa, you have at least one stop in Tokyo or Hawaii before you get to Travis AFB (which is where I was headed because my parents live only an hour and a half from Travis).  But amazingly, not three days after I decided to try this adventure, a straight flight from Kadena AFB (20 minutes from my house) to Travis AFB popped up!

So I packed us up on the weekend and hopped a c-5 (perhaps the biggest airplane they have) to Northern California!

Ah, fuzzy, dark iPhone shots!

It was definitely the easiest trip I have ever taken with kids!

The Kadena terminal staff were fast and efficient.  I wasn’t even ready to board the plane when we did!  I was moving my car and taking kids to the bathroom and suddenly we were going through security and hopping on a shuttle!  It was hilarious!  Thank goodness I had a friend, Terry, also taking this flight or they would’ve left without me!  He jumped in at roll call and told them I was changing a diaper!

Waiting to board!

There were 73 seats available and only 26 people showed.  So we got two full rows to sleep on!  The flight left in the evening, so my kids ate dinner, watched a show on the iPad and went to sleep.  AND, these seats (although old) are HUGE!! I’m talkin’ twice as big as commercial airline seats.  There is no expectation of your child being quiet and sitting still – everyone was supportive and friendly.  *Note: this is not always the case, mind you.  I did have one flight on the way back that was awful and I got a lot of nasty looks at my children’ behavior but hey, I’m doing the best I can, people!

We showed up at Travis AFB slightly rested and happy! I’d do that trip again any day!

Next post shall be our California time…complete with WAY TOO MANY PICTURES of my kids!




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