March 25, 2012


Not overwhelmed yet.  Just whelmed.  A little exhausted. Not exactly modeling the best parenting skills as of late.

That's me.

The girls and I are preparing for a flight to Germany here sometime this week.  Why "sometime?"  Because we're planning to take a military aircraft, flying "space-a" (space available).  That is standby in military terminology. We don't know when we'll be leaving.  We don't know from what airport we'll be flying (anywhere from the one 20 minutes away to one 8 hours away).  And they only release the information on their flights 72 hours in advance.

Yep.  That's right.  Three days.

A friend of mine last week called me a planner.  I denied it.  I can now confirm with the utmost certainty - I AM a planner.   This is not easy for me.  Granted, I'm a procrastinator too.  Think about that for a moment.  Makes for a lot of grey hairs.

I've already learned quite a bit about planning and trying to get a space-a flight.  I've been taking some notes and will try to post a complete thought process when it's all said and done.  I've tried to find answers to some questions and I'm coming up empty.  For example, the space-a website does not tell me how to physically juggle two children (each (thank God) able to roll a small suitcase and wear a backpack,) our two suitcases and a carry on, as well as carseats and a diaper bag....all in one trip.   You can't bring part of your luggage in and leave it in the terminal to go back to the car.  And I'm not sure about all the terminals, but Pope terminal doesn't have luggage carts or curbside drop-off.  So we'll see how that all pans out.

I have had many friends say something like "I'm so glad you're flying space-a with your kids without your husband, so you can tell me how to do it!"  I'm feeling a bit like a guinea pig, but that's all right - I can pave the way.  (insert Olypmics-worthy music)

Apparently space-a flights are something we military families don't use all that much.  I'm not sure if it's because we don't have the time to be flexible and patient when waiting on a specific flight, or if it's just the fear of the unknown.  For me, it's most definitely been the fear of the unknown.  Now that I'm taking the plunge, it's because of the fear of using my charge card.  It would cost upwards of around $4,000 to fly the three of us round-trip to Germany.  Yes, it's worth it, if that's the only way to make it work, but it's not.  The space-a flights are nearly FREE!!!  You can pay for a boxed meal (something around $4) and we MAY have to pay a tax of around $8 per passenger.  That. Is. Phenomenal.  Could you even imagine the possibilities!!!??  So now, when we get to Germany, we can actually tour around Europe a little and maybe even buy a souvenir or two.

All-in-all this is a pretty boring post, but if I don't get into the habit of blogging again, I might as well shut the blog down.

For those of you who haven't seen this, this is a video I posted on Facebook of the inside of a C-17.  This is a common military aircraft on which space-a passengers fly.  After the mission requirements are fulfilled (i.e.vehicles, cargo and certain military personnel travel), they start calling the space-a passengers in order of category (importance).  There are six categories.  The girls and I fall in Category V.  Category VI is retirees. 



Brenda said...

I'm thinking that after you mentioned the price, this will be VERY worth it! But oh the unknowns!! I suppose it's just a matter of having your bags packed and ready and don't make any plans!! What an exciting adventure for the girls though! (And you, supposing you haven't been to Germany.) And the point of all this is to see Daddy/husband right? Awesome!

Mari said...

I cannot wait to hear about it! A friend of mine and her husband did space A to Alaska and ended up on a lear jet with a General! Will be thinking of you guys :)

Katie said...

First of all, I am so happy for a "talking" Rachel post, because I feel like I can actually hear you talking, and I love it! Secondly, you are a BRAVE woman, and while I don't envy you, I will most certainly be praying that all the logistics are worked out, that the Lord paves the way in front of you (even in little things like juggling luggage and car seats), and that soon you gals will be having a blast in Germany with JD. Love to you!

The Phillips Place said...

You can do it! I have a friend who does them all.the.time and while I think she is cuh-razy, I am also highly envious of her flexibility!

It will stretch you, I am sure, but in great ways...hang in there! We'll send up some prayers for you. And remember-- semper gumby! An Army wife's motto :).

P.S. Hurray for blogging!!!!!!

Kristen said...

I hope your trip goes well for you. Sounds like it'll be so much fun once you get there! ;) I've wondered about Space-A. Looked into it a bit once, and like you I didn't find much information out there and I had a lot of unanswered questions.

Grandy said...

I hope you have safe travels.

p.s. I haven't been blogging much either. Life gets busy is all...but I found my way back here based on a comment you posted on one of my posts from YEARS ago (on my son's birthday) and so I'm just visiting back with people. ;)