What a day! Picking up my missionary proved to be a more of an adventure than expected.
This a spoiler, but in case you don't read the whole story, I must warn you. Check and DOUBLE check your missionary's itinerary. Don't just make sure you have read the information you were given correctly, but make sure that the information is current at the time of travel. Contact Missionary Travel and confirm your missonary's flight itinerary.
The sequences and timing may not be exactly right - things were crazy.
The mission office forwarded Benjamin's itinerary to me the end of June. I was so excited to get it and I made sure all my children had it, too. Korean Airlines to Los Angeles, then American Airlines to Sacramento arriving at 2pm. I checked the flight status repeatedly. Everything was good.
We (my sons, Joseph and Andrew, and I) went to the airport, parked in economy parking, took the shuttle in, and were settled in to waiting by 1:30. American Airlines Terminal B. Soon most of his siblings and I were waiting at the point beyond which only ticket people could go. Watching eagerly as tram after tram arrived and emptied. We checked the flight board. On time. We were sure he would be one of the last ones off - after helping others and waiting nicely, but still.....
Then we heard a PA "Would the Robarts family please join their party at Terminal A information" What?! Terminal A??! Has Benjamin been waiting for us all this time at Terminal A? How did we get different Terminals?! So we dashed through the airport. Up and down escalators, stairs, and elevators, through a parking garage, over a sky way, and breathlessly arrived at the Information Desk. Where there was no Elder Robarts. Someone asked who paged us. The information lady pointed - we thought at my ex-husband. Why was he here at Terminal A when he was going to meet Benjamin, too? Who cares? ! Now we were sure that Benjamin would finally arrive at Terminal B, but we would not be there.
So, we dashed back! Now, the fleet of foot hurried ahead of the pregnant sister and the old, slow mother. I told them to hurry and to hug him! One son went down to the baggage area to Scout around. We got back to the nearly deserted tram stop, started down the escalator to the baggage area. Halfway down one sister got a message from the brother that Benjamin was definitely NOT at baggage and neither was his luggage. She and my grandchildren (her nieces and nephew) turned around and ran up the escalator. I knew that was too much for me. My pregnant daughter and I continued down. I didn't see that the kids made it to the top of the escalator, but my daughter had to quit and ride back down, too. (Don't worry there were at least one aunt and uncle at the top)
We scattered to different ways back up - another escalator, an elevator. We had people all over Terminal B.
It was a little like The Amazing Race. Only less organized.
Word came that Dad, my ex, had an itinerary a few weeks newer than mine which said Delta airlines Terminal A. That flight was delayed.
Well, my flight had come without Benjamin and his flight had not come yet. His email was newer. Drat! I hate it when he's right and I'm wrong! My daughter got through to Missionary Travel and confirmed that Elder Robarts' travel plans had been changed. Then I realized. Missionary Travel never had emailed me even though I had talked to them a few weeks before and made sure they had my email. I had gotten mine from the mission office. The mission office would not have cared about an update to the flight after the one they put the missionaries on. Their job was done. And they probably assumed that either I or Missionary Travel or both would have been more on top of things.
The good news was that while the American flight was on time, the Delta flight was quite late and we had plenty of time to go back up and down and over and through to Terminal A.
A few minutes waiting and talking and then THERE HE WAS! coming down the escalator. I think I yelled. I know that we flew into each other's arms and that was one wonderful, long hug.
Lots of hugs and pictures. After politely waiting for family, Benjamin's very good friends Ben and Ahn and Ahn's little siblings (whom he loves) greeted him. So sweet!
It's a good thing I had told the Stake Executive Secretary that a 4pm release appointment was too quick to be sure we would be there on time. Surprisingly after all that we were a bit early for the 4:30. The whole family was there, but the Stake President only wanted Elder Robarts.
The rest of the evening was sharing food and every body talking at once and the kids wanting to play with Uncle Benjamin and watching the video my son had taken as we ran through the airport back and forth.
He's home! And pretty happy to be here, but not as happy as I am.