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Saturday, August 13, 2011

Travel with A Little/How I Missed my Flight/Wednesday

Okay, probably because I was in denial about the difficulty/work aspect, pretty much no one knew that I was taking a vacation, with james, for a week, and then James is meeting us for the final few days . . .

We are now in Jacksonville, FL, until Monday morning. We are here visiting my cousin Dave and our new little cousin Parker--this will be my first time meeting Parker!

Our flight was SUPPOSED TO be Wednesday at 1:30, land at 3:30, check into the hotel and have a leisurely night settling in, and then see Dave, Tracy, and Parker on Thursday. However . . . we missed our flight. :-/

I will say that both me, and my Dad who was driving me, tends to cut it close in terms of arrival. We are not the type to sit around the airport. We like to arrive and board.

Well. I discovered that my strategy with a baby in tow (especially when I'm alone) is going to have to change.

I checked in more than an hour before my flight (I think? I was in line to check my baggage for a LONG time). And then I went through security . . . which took FOR.EV.ER. They made me take the baby out of the carrier, take my laptop bag out of my carryon, take my laptop out of it's bag, put everything in separate bins that they were running out of . . . then I had to put it all back together on the other side. And I wasn't even rushing! I had NO CLUE that the time was running down.

I think I was just so concerned with the baby and being alone that I just . . . wasn't even thinking it was that close!

But I got through security, looked at the board to find my gate number, and the flight was already closed. WHAT THE HELL? So I ran there, and started pleading with the attendant.

"The plane is there, I can see it!"
"Sorry miss we already closed the doors."
Then the pilot arrives, and looks at me sweating my balls off and clinging to my baby . . .
"Please!" I say, "please, I just got here and I ran straight from security, I didn't even stop to go the bathroom! And my carseat is on that plane!" Waaaaaaaaaaaa
"Can you let this lady on?" he asks the attendant.
"We closed the doors, sir."
"Well, are you going to open them to let me on? Yeah? Well let's get this girl on, too."
"I could kiss you!" I tell him.
"Don't worry," he says with a wink, "I'll get you on this plane. I won't leave without you."
And then he emerges a minute later.
"ummm, I didn't realize this, all the seats are full."
"You sold my seat?"
At this point I'm totally deflated, thank the pilot sincerely for his efforts, and make my way slowly over to customer service. They give me a ticket for an 8:30 flight (my original flight was at 1:30).

I sigh and hunker down--ie, walk the baby to sleep in the ergo, have a glass of wine, make friends with EVERYONE in the airport--bartender lady who looks like my cousin Nikki (but is Colombian, not Italian), magazine stand lady, shoe shine guy, costumer service guy, custodian . . . various other passengers. James charmes and wows even through extreme tiredness--that half-hour nap while I drank my wine is the last sleep I will get out of him until 11pm . . . but I try. I probably literally paced the area around my luggage for three hours straight.

So 8:30 eventually arrives, and they invite those with small kids to board first. And now, I find out for the first time that my ticket? Is actually a stand-by ticket. I am not guaranteed to get on the plane. So then I really flip out--poor customer service guy feels awful because there's nothing he can really do.

At this point I realize I am not alone. I'm not the only one who missed this flight, not the only one on standby. I'm joined by a Mom/Aunt/Grandma? with two young littles, and an entire other family . . . about 10 of us missed the original flight, and apparently they sold ALL of our tickets . . . um. Something is wrong here. JFK needs a kids/family line.

Anyway, me and the Mom/Aunt with the two littles manage to get on. THANK GOD. The flight is fairly awful, but at this point, I'm just grateful to be there. james hadn't slept, as I mentioned, and was practically hysterically beside himself with exhaustion. I really needed to walk him but they kept the seat-belt sign on the ENTIRE time, even though it was like 5-10 mins of smooth sailing, 1 min of shakiness . . . so he fussed and fussed and FINALLY nursed to sleep in the ergo.

So, we arrive, pick up our luggage, I get my rental car, and here I am, at 12 midnight. james plays happily, standing in the back of the car while I SWEAT BULLETS in the steamy Florida weather--can't believe it feels this much like a jungle at midnight, and attempt to install the carseat. GOD IT TAKES FOREVER!

But we're in, we're on our way--I get to my hotel. james is asleep in the car now, and I have been told by the hotel guy that my key will be in an envelope with my name on it in a black mailbox. And sure, I'm exhausted beyond belief, but I'm not seeing any black anywhere around?

So I'm wandering around looking confused at 1 am, and I catch the attentions of slightly-drunk guy.
"Well HELLO, you look like you need some help!"
"Do you work here?"
"Hahahah, No."
I appraise slightly drunk guy, who looks like he is half-hobbit, and decide he is no threat to me.
"I'm looking for this mailbox . . . "
He ends up finding the mailbox for me, which is not at all black or looking like a normal mailbox . . . ?
"Wow thank you so much!"
"Sooooo, what brings you to Jacksonville?" he asks, as I walk the few steps back to my car.
"Well, I'm visiting my cousin."
"Oh, why are you visiting?"
"Well, he had a baby a few months ago, and so did I!" I point to james sleeping in his carseat.
"Oh!" I have surprised the drunk hobbit, but he rallies.
"Well," he holds out his hand and I go to shake it, but he turns it around, "but, there's no ring here!"
"That's because it's here," I say, and show him my left hand. At this point I'm . . . LOL . . . it's just funny, and I'm smiling . . .
I have to give the hobbit a nod for persistence though, because he still gives me his room number and tells me if I need ANYTHING, to come find him. Okay dude, LOL.

So then I finally get in my room, and take the bed apart while holding the critically overtired and screaming baby, mattress on the floor, because I'm too tired, and I don't trust myself to keep a grip on the little man for the entire night . . . boxspring leaning up against the wall, bedframe in the bathroom.

And finally we sleep. Phew.

Note to self. Arrive early to airport in the future. Keep track of time/flight while going through security.

1 comment:

laurengould said...

Bleak! It is nice to hear that the pilot tried to help though!

LOL hobbit man!

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