Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Just Girls and Travel

I flew home yesterday from Minnesota. I hated leaving my girls, but duty calls.....

I miss my girls today! I am soooooo tired! Travel is always tiring, but yesterday's flight was the flight from hell.

Let's go back to the beginning, though......... Knowing that I was to fly out at 8:10 last week, I carefully laid out my clothes and had every thing ready to go very early in the morning. I wanted to leave no later than 6:30 and that would be pushing it, but I was feeling bad for my husband who had to work the evening before. I was up and finishing the packing when he got home and watched him set the alarm.

I woke up at 7:00...... we are 75 miles from the airport. I threw a pillow at love of my life and shouted the time. I was not happy. He calmly got out of bed and said, "Don't worry, we'll make it." WHAT? I think that is when I told him he was an idiot. I raced into my clothes and grabbed my carry-on and heavy coat and headed out the door as he was loading my luggage. He went back in to go to the bathroom (unnecessary, he could have held it).

So, there I was all riled up at him on our 35th anniversary. I have no idea why I was hurrying, I knew we wouldn't make it. But I was hurrying along in my slip-on shoes that would have to be removed to go through security. Aren't I ever so clever?

Okay, here I must back up a bit and tell you about an encounter between the flagstone and the loader on the front of the tractor.......... love of my life was operating the machine, in case you didn't already guess. I think he was trying to level the terrain and in doing so he lifted the flagstone and dropped it back down, slightly askew, and in doing so made it not be level with the rock surrounding it. I had stumbled on it a couple of times and told love of my life that he needed to fix it, because it was a hazard. Low on the priority list, taking second and third place to anything else that came up. I should have fixed it myself, really, I should have.

I know you have all figured out what happened by now. While my husband leisurely emptied his bladder I rushed out the front door annoyed to no end with my bag in front of me, blocking the view of my feet. The toe of my shoe hit that flagstone just right and the momentum carried me forward (I swear I was air born for a few seconds) and I came down with a whoof of air out of my lungs and slid along the gravel on my hands and knees as if I were sliding into home plate. Knocked the shoes right off my feet, it did. Thank goodness that bag and my coat were in my arms in front of me and blocked the fall on my belly and kept my face up. I have mixed feelings about the surveillance cameras on the front of the building. They didn't catch my performance and I was thankful. But..... I bet it would have been funny to watch. First thing I did when I stopped sliding was to look around to see if anyone saw me. Seeing no-one around, I got into the car and only then did I look at the palms of my hands and start picking the gravel out. My knees were stinging, but my pants were intact, so I thought they were okay. I later discovered I was wrong in the airport restroom.

Yes, I missed my flight, but was able to get a later one. I didn't arrive in Minnesota around noon as I had planned, but at 3:15. Had I left in my car when I got up, I would have made it in about the same amount of time.......

The return flight started out good. I arrived at the airport in plenty of time. Bought the nastiest tasting coffee ever and read quietly until I boarded my first flight. I knew I had a two hour lay-over in Chicago and wasn't really thrilled about it, but I figured I would grab a sandwich and read some more and that would take up the two hours.

I got off the plane and walked towards the concourse with my departure gate. Lots and lots of people everywhere. no big surprise there. I see a sign ahead announcing that flu shots are available in the direction I am going. This was set up in the middle of the walkway to take advantage of the central location to several concourses. It didn't block the flow of traffic, but was highly visible. There was a woman about to receive her shot standing next to the counter........ with her arm pulled out of one side of her shirt, leaving her bra and abdomen bare for all the world to see!

Gee, you would have thought they could have set up a partition providing a little privacy, don't you?

I kept walking after being treated to the peep show and found a seat near my gate. I was at the end of that concourse where 6 gates are merged together. I happened to look up from my book and see a man laying on the floor near a gate that wasn't being used. There was a young woman massaging him. At one point she flipped him onto his stomach and climbed on his back and dug her knees into his buttocks while digging into his back with her elbows. Other folks were watching, like me. It was hard not to watch. During this performance and in between announcements urging us all to cover our mouths when coughing or sneezing and washing our hands....... I hear that my flight has been delayed 25 minutes. What can you do?

I read an entire book and got another out. I strolled a bit to stretch my legs, then as the area started to fill up decided to keep my seat, since my carry-on was getting heavier. More announcements urging common sense hygiene and my flight has been delayed another 20 minutes. The plane finally arrives and the area is packed with travelers, including lots of little old ladies in wheel chairs and tons of cologne. I start wheezing right away and wonder why the announcements don't include telling people who are gathering in tight spaces to not douse themselves in fragrance. I drag out my inhaler and suck albuterol into my lungs and stick a Halls cough drop in my mouth, then hunt another location.

After standing against a wall for 30 minutes it is finally time to board. It is open seating and I see two women with a seat between them and grab it. I am in the last group to board and am expecting to take off soon after I am situated. No such luck. The flight attendants keep counting us like we are a group of grade school children with one missing. Next they call out a man's name and ask that he raise his hand. After not being able to locate this man they all gather at the front of the plane and confer with the pilot, who is now using his finger to count as he looks out from the front of the plane at his passengers.

As we sit waiting I strike up a conversation with one of my seatmates. She has been flying since 6:00 AM and is coming from Canada to visit her son in Houston for the holidays. She is happy to tell me that she was on this plane when it landed in Chicago and will not have to get off and change flights again. This flight is stopping in St. Louis, then Tulsa, and finally in Houston. As we chat, one of the flight attendants asks that everyone who was on the plane when it landed raise their hand. The lady next to me was supposed to change planes and board another flight bound for Houston. She had to get off and the man who had been lost was now found and got on the plane. I felt so bad for the lady....she had asked and was told to stay seated. The flight attendant didn't ask to see the itinerary and assumed she was on the correct flight. I hope she made it to Houston.

So, we are all excited to finally be ready for take-off........ But, now they have determined we are too heavy for take-off and have to unload some cargo.

I was supposed to be home at 5:00 and that didn't happen. I am glad to be here and all my dog children are happy to see me, too. Love of my life is also happy that I am home. He is off to work and I will have a long evening to catch up on all my favorite blogs!


scarlethue said...

It's so funny, but I think it's everyone's natural reaction after a trip or fall to look around to see if anyone saw them. Even if you have broken bones it's still the first thing you do, like embarrassment is worse than actual physical injury!

I'm glad you had a good time with your girls and made it home safely (if not on time :) ).

Kathy G said...

What a trip! I'm sure the good parts outweighed the bad.

squawmama said...

OMG Kathy... What an event from beginning to end. Glad you made it home safe & sound! Enjoy the peace & quiet for a while... Know you miss your girlies though!!!


SkippyMom said...

Am I reading this right? You did this in one day? Whoa - you are a good Momma.

Flying is always an adventure - are airports are so huge we have to show up at least 1.5 hours ahead of time [thank goodness we live close to two of the three] because of the number of people and the security.

Airports are funny things.

The Good Cook said...

Oh, ouch... are you a bit sore? I fell (tripped on a curb) a few weeks ago and could not believe how sore I was... and air travel? Don't miss it at all...

Brian Miller said...

yikes...glad you are home...and did not get hurt in the fall...what a wacky adventure right from the beginning...glad you had fun with the girls though. smiles.

Jilly said...

Wow...I look terrible when I haven't slept in two weeks. Pretty.

Karen said...

You're a hoot, Kathy! Ah... the Universal Reaction to falling... no matter how bad you're hurt, you always look around first. Did the same thing last fall when I broke my ankle. It's a good thing you left Minnesota when you did. We're bracing for a nasty, nasty storm (again). Yay.

Glad you're back!

otin said...

I am sure that you miss the girls, but you can relax a bit now.

Just a note: if they ever say that the plane is too heavy, I am out of there!!

Teresa - in the Middle Side of Life said...

heavens! what a trip. I hope the memories of your visit with your girls makes the memories of this flight experience become a dull memory. I can't imagine being on a plane that made so many stops. I don't do the takeoff and landing parts very well.

Silly husbands - sometimes they don't realize they should just listen to us.

Merry Christmas!

Nancy said...

Traveling this time of year is like shopping this time of year.

Sunny said...

I'm exhausted just reading about your trip! Sometimes traveling is a nightmare!
I'm glad you are safely home and in one piece.
Merry Christmas!
Sunny :)

lifein3dee said...

Good grief! That sounds positively dreadful.

Pat said...

Your trip sounded more dreadful than mine! Mine was a piece of cake! Although I'm only halfway through the trip! Return trip yet to go - I'll talk to you then!

Glad you didn't hurt yourself too bad from your fall.

Your one daughter looks exactly like you - in fact I thought it was you at first.

ellen abbott said...

I've always had pretty good luck traveling, no horror stories, but then I don't travel during holidays.

Glad you are safely home. Enjoy your holiday.

Just Joany said...

And did you enjoy your flight? The first one? The one where you collected gravel in your hands? You see, that's the important thing; to always enjoy the flight. :-)

I'm so glad you made it home, safe and sound. I am sorry for the difficulties you had, but welcome home and Merry Christmas!

~ Just Joany
Red Wagon Flights