Tuesday, March 15, 2011

A Recap: Part V

Okay, so if you're still with me, and have read Part I, Part II, Part III and Part IV, I'm gonna tell you that this will be the final in this series recapping my weekend in California with my fellow heart sisters. I know, this has turned out to be a lot more blogging and lot more reading than I had intended and I'm sorry!

This part is just about my flight home. You'll probably recall that I'm not a flyer. Not a fan. Don't like it. But for obvious reasons, this trip was way too important for me to miss. The flights from home to LA were okay, minus the checked baggage fiasco at LAX. Imagine the fun for me that started Monday morning when I logged into my Delta account to see that my 10:35am flight had been delayed until 12:25pm. NOT cool. This would cause me to miss my connecting flight in Atlanta. I started to stress, but then I got a call from Delta. It was an automated message telling me my flight had been delayed, but they had gone ahead and "protected me" on a different flight out of LAX with a later connecting flight out of Atlanta.

Wow!

I was surprised and impressed! All I needed to do was print out my new boarding passes! The only real downside was that I'd get home an hour or so later than I had planned, which would have been after both kids were in bed. But my flight out of LA was supposed to leave around 11:25am (this is why I should've written this post sooner... I can't remember all of the details a week later!). So I got to the airport nice and early and got to my gate with a couple hours to spare. It was perfect!

Except there was NO free wireless Internet available.

Are you kidding me? LAX? What are you thinking?

I was bummed about this, but killed some time spending way too much money in the gift shop buying magazines, snacks and gifts for the kids. Before I knew it, it was time to board the plane. I was just two rows from first class, sandwiched in the middle of the 3-seat middle section (Best. Seat. Ever... NOT.). The captain had already been on once telling us we had a 20 minute delay before we could leave the gate... lovely. I kept watching the clock to make sure I'd make my connection in Atlanta.

The last few people were boarding the plane, and there wasn't much room in the overhead compartments. A middle-aged couple was desperately trying to find room in the overhead bins on my row, and started looking at moving this bag to that bin, then turning it this way, then putting their bag in the other bin, etc. I won't lie, there was a lot of finagling going on with the bags.

Enter: Horribly Awful Obnoxious Girl (HAOG).

She was dressed in black, probably mid-20s, almost-shaved head and earrings and tattoos. There was a certain "something" about her. She was waiting behind middle-aged bag couple and was obviously growing irritated with the wait to get past them so she could get to her seat. And note, she was carrying a VERY large duffel bag and another rather large personal item (purse maybe?). Finally, she'd had enough.

In a very rude and obnoxious tone, she told the couple to move aside so other people could get by.

The husband mentioned the overhead bins were full and asked where she planned to put her bags?

She responded, "Up your a$$."

Yes, obviously not the most polite, child-friendly language. I was shocked and immediately looked away and pretended to read all about Charlie Sheen's latest antics in my People magazine (yawn).

The wife muttered a comment about how rude and offensive that comment was. But HAOG wasn't done yet.

She made another comment about how much he'd like it, that he enjoys that kind of thing.

Ohmygoodness.

I couldn't believe the nerve of this girl!

The couple eventually got out of her way to let her pass. However, the flight attendant told her that her bag would need to be checked at the gate because there was no room in the overhead bin.

She muttered some profanities and kept walking towards the rear of the plane.

The flight attendant again called to her and told her she needed to check her bag.

HAOG dropped her large duffel bag in the aisle and told the flight attendant to come and get it herself.

I was about ready to duck under my seat and cower in fear over what might happen next.

Eventually they were able to get the girl off the plane to check her bag.

Ten minutes go by.

Another ten minutes go by.

The captain finally came on and apologized to the passengers for the delay, but that we had a security issue that needed to be resolved. They were looking for the passenger's bag under the plane and once it was located, we would be able to get moving.

I looked at the time. It was about 12:20. My original flight, which was delayed until 12:25, would most likely take off BEFORE the flight I was on. I was not a happy camper.

We finally got off the ground what seemed like FOREVER later. I can imagine the HAOG being completely indifferent and refusing to tell the security folks which bag was hers, etc., to where they had baggage guys climbing all over the luggage looking for her exact tag. What a mess!

Luckily, this plane was a massive 777 (ack!) and made some sweet time flying from LAX to ATL.

The ginormous plane from LAX to ATL.
My flight to LAX was almost 5 hours. The flight from LAX? Just over 3 hours. It was bookin' it and I was so glad! I was hopeful I could make my original flight from ATL to home so I could return at the same time I had originally planned.

We arrived around 7:20pm and my original scheduled flight was at 7:25pm. I knew there was no way I'd make it. But I was still determined to try. I got off the flight and ran about 1,200 miles to the gate where I thought the flight was scheduled to depart from. There was still a plane at the gate, but there were no Delta reps at the counter. I ran to another gate across the aisle and inquired about the flight.

That's when they told me that wasn't the flight I thought it was. Apparently my original 7:25pm flight out of Atlanta was at another gate... about another 1,200 miles away.

I was disappointed to say the least, until the gate reps told me that the flight had been delayed until 7:50pm. I could totally make that! And it would get me home earlier than the 8:30pm flight they had booked me on! The reps were going to add me to the 7:50pm flight and my job was to run my buns off to get to the gate in time. Easier said than done.

I learned exactly how out of shape I am at my old age. I was dying. DYING I say!!!

Luckily, I made it to the gate in time and confirmed I was added to the flight and received my new boarding pass. There was about a 15 minute wait before boarding began, and I was beyond thrilled to make that earlier flight after all. I got home around 8:30pm, just as I had planned all along.

It was wonderful to get home. It was wonderful to give my girl some hugs and kisses that night, and to see my sweet boy the following morning. But most of all, it was wonderful to have a darling husband who was willing to let me go for 3 days, was willing to fly solo with our two little ones, and willing to support me in doing something I absolutely felt called to do. What an amazing trip with amazing friends and an amazing celebration of sweet little Travis.

This is totally unrelated to today's recap (it probably should have been in Part II or III), but I couldn't NOT share a few pics I captured of little Bodie while in LA...

Going to town on some homemade guacamole. And yes, that is paint on his face (in case you were wondering).

The little "princess" sporting a tiara, complements of his daddy. So very cute!!
My favorite photo of the entire weekend.
No, he didn't down the Bud Light but the photo (and the expression on his face!) sure makes it look like he did!

Special THANK YOU to Amy for letting me crash with her family during my stay in Los Angeles. It was such an amazing trip and I was so blessed to meet so many of my fellow heart sisters!!!