Sunset from the air
In fact, they even weigh us every so often and keep a record of our weight. The plane is small, so they have to know exactly what everything and everyone on it weighs. Where you are seated on the plane is also a result of your weight. Heavier passengers fly in the front. Unfortunately, this means we are almost never seated together. I'm always in the back with the boys, and Oliver sits in one of the second or third rows. I get him back by making him carry our 200 pounds of stuff.
About all that stuff; I have never been so aware of what things weigh as I am now. We never use suitcases anymore as suitcases weigh more than duffel bags. We also leave home anything we possibly can, so we can use our weight allowance for bringing home our new stuff. Unfortunately, we still have to bring a car seat along (we have a vest Wyatt can use that only weighs a of couple pounds). Oscar's seat weighs 13 lbs, apparently. I can't wait until he outgrows that thing.
I hate shopping like this. I mean, I'm grateful we have the option because there are so many things we just can't get out there, plus shipping to an FPO gets ridiculously expensive. However, when I go shopping, I want to go home when I'm done. I don't want to have to stay the night, kill time until the flight, then go through the stress of making said flight, all while hoping we won't get bumped and end up staying another night.
So, when we went this time, our goal was to get everything we could so we don't have to do it again for another three months. We do have the nice option of packing a large plastic tub and shipping it from the post office there. They give us the parcel post rate, which is nice, especially considering all that happens is they put it on the same plane we fly. We mailed both an 18 and a 14 gallon tub that we had drilled holes into and zip tied closed. Together, they weighed about 110 lbs, and it cost $40 total to mail, which is a whole lot better than if we had had to pay typical FPO/APO rates.
When we showed up at the terminal and used their scale to see how close we were on weight, we discovered we were exactly 13 lbs. over our limit. Remember the car seat I mentioned? Yeah, I really hated that thing then. We tossed a couple inconsequential things that weighed a lot (tip: water weighs more than dry things, so the first to go was a bottle of $2 conditioner that I use to shave with), but then Oliver went to talk the woman running things that day and she said we would be ok because there were so many kids on the flight, including ours. So, we flew home a little overweight.
They run a bus to and from the airport for flights. We rode it home with most of the people from our flight. I think our luggage equaled all of their luggage put together, which was kind of amusing as well as a reminder of why we hope not to do this again anytime soon. (This is especially annoying when half your party can't carry their own 50 lbs, nor can one of them even manage to transport themselves on their own two feet.)
When we got to base, one of the guards came on board to check our badges. One of the MAs from our flight passed over a few cans of tobacco that he had obviously picked up for his friend. Wyatt, watching this exchange, was perplexed. He turned to me and asked, "Why did that guy give that stuff to him? What is that?"
Not really wanting to launch into a discussion on chewing tobacco and why he's never seen it before right then and there, I kind of deflected his question. Wyatt, however, is far too much like me. When he wants to know something, he wants to know right then.
"Mama," he said, seriousness written all over his face, "why'd he give that guy some bombs?"
The entire bus erupted in laughter, including us. I appreciate my five year old for handing us some much needed levity as I was pretty much done-in at that point.
The end result of this very involved shopping trip is a houseful of food. I think I need to get rid of some stuff just to make room for it all, and we still have over a 100 lbs on the way. This is the first time in my life I've actually had a decent amount of food storage, and it's a good feeling. Hopefully, it lasts as long as we need it to.