Are You KIDDING Me With This???

Friday, June 30, 2006

The Travelogue

4:30am: Wake up. Remind myself that any flight that requires me to wake up at 4:30 in the morning is a very bad flight. Vow to only book afternoon flights from that moment on.

4:35am: Get in the shower. Wonder why I find it necessary to glam up in order to spend 5+ hours on a plane, where I will arrive at my destination distinctly un-glammed up. Remember that McMama will be meeting the plane and that I want her to think I look hot enough to be married to her son. Continue showering.

4:50am: Pack up the last of the toiletries and wonder where Oscar is. Stop wondering where Oscar is when he walks past me into the shower. Think to myself that we planned to leave the house at 5:00. Snort when Oscar tells me that he will shower fast and be ready before I know it.

5:00am: Confirm that Oscar will be ready "soon" and it's okay to wake up Turtle. Feel like crap that Turtle is missing out on a couple hours of sleep, but pray that he is sleepy enough to nap on the plane.

5:20am: Drive to the airport. Thank the travel gods for online check-in.

5:35am: Walk past security to get to the baggage check. Note the relatively short line. Thank the travel gods again. Check baggage and lose 70 pounds of dead weight. Brilliant!

5:45am: Say goodbye to Oscar as Turtle and I pass through security. Wrangle a 2 year old, two carry-ons and a car seat through security without killing myself or anyone else. Would pat myself on the back, but am wrangling a 2 year old, two carry-ons and a car seat. Remind myself to pat later.

6:20am: Board the flight. Feel sheepish when I learn that the gentleman on the aisle seat has been staring at my big fat ass as I wrestled the car seat into place and got Turtle settled. Decide this is not so much a problem when the woman across the aisle sits down with her 5 month old and apologizes in advance for any crying. The sins of my big fat ass run secondary to those of a pissed off baby flying on Mommy's lap.

6:55am: Turtle falls asleep. Hear a choir of angels sing.

7:35am: Turtle wakes up. Remind myself to kick some angels' asses.

7:36am - 12:46pm: "Oh look! Here's your choo-choo! Do you want to play with your choo-choo? No? Is there anything you want to play with? No, not the in-flight phone.....Mommy doesn't have enough money for you to call Daddy on the in-flight phone. Maybe when you have your own credit card."

12:46pm - 1:20pm: Land. De-plane. Remember why I virulently despise the Newark Airport when I realize I'm going to have to walk more than a mile, wrangling a 2 year old, two carry-ons, and a car seat, to get to my connecting gate. Remember why I can't completely hate the Newark Airport when a gentleman running a shuttle-y thing stops to pick me up and yells at someone else that they'll just have to wait because he has to get me to my gate first. Contemplate kissing him. Decide against it, if for no other reason than I've been traveling for several hours and I haven't had any minty gum recently.

1:35pm: Realize that my flight, which was supposed to take off in 20 more minutes, hasn't even boarded yet. Note that the flight information has suddenly disappeared from the gate. Start walking towards the departure boards. See the word "Canceled" next to my flight number. Start to panic.

1:36pm: Call McMama. Let her know what's happening. Almost start hyperventilating. Pull it together enough to get to the customer service phones.

1:45pm: Am informed that the people on the customer service/reservations lines can't help me. I should be in the mile-long service line at the actual airport.

1:48pm: Wrangle 2 year old, two carry-ons and a car seat to the service line. Wait.

2:30pm: Airline Service Manager begins talking to people behind me. Eavesdrop and learn that it could take as many as 48 hours to get another flight out of Newark. Contemplate committing seppuku in the middle of the airport. Watch the Airline Service Manager approach me.

2:40pm: Airline Service Manager looks at me expectantly, even though he already knows he's going to tell me the same thing he told the 20 people behind me: You're not getting out of here tonight and we're not putting you up in a hotel so don't even ask me.

2:41pm: Burst into tears. Between hiccups, apologize for being so emotional. He tells me I need to get on the phone to get a new flight out of Newark. Ask him why the people on the phone would tell me the people AT the airport could help me better than they could if he's now telling me that the people on the phones could help me more than he could. He looks at me blankly. Burst into fresh round of tears. Watch Airline Service Manager slowly back away from the crazy lady.

2:50pm: Call McMama with the update. McPapa answers. He vows to get me to their house in less than 48 hours. Tells me he'll call back in 15 minutes, but in the meantime stay in the airline services line. Think "Well, where the hell else am I going to go????" but decide to be nice, since he's going to try to get me on a flight.

2:55pm: Tell Turtle to stay close to Mommy for the zillionth time and burst into tears again when I realize Turtle lost two hours of sleep in the morning, only took a half hour nap and hasn't slept since. Decide to hate everyone and everything.

3:08pm: Get call from McPapa. He has found a flight for me. Okay, so maybe I won't hate him. Contemplate offering him sexual favors if the flight actually takes off and I actually am able to get to their house tonight. Decide that McMama might not quite understand that and that I need to find a more appropriate way to say "thank you." McPapa tells me to talk to the gate attendant about getting my bags transferred.

3:10pm - 3:40pm: Hunt down food for Turtle and me. Park our butts in front of the gate from which our flight will SUPPOSEDLY take off. Eat quickly, before the acid in my stomach consumes the rest of my internal organs. Decide to make sure the next time I fly, I have an emergency chocolate stash in my carry-on.

5:45pm: Talk to the gate attendant about my luggage. He says it's "probably" on its way to Buffalo, with or without me, and I'll have to check with the baggage services people when I land. Decide I am really not crazy about people who act put-out when I very nicely ask them to do their jobs. Want to kill him. Slowly. With my bare hands. While Turtle says "Yay." Realize I'll never get on my flight if I do that. Resign myself to just crushing him in my mind.

6:30pm: Board flight. Note that the flight attendant is quite possibly the nicest person I've spoken with in the last 12 hours. Want to be her best friend.

6:31pm: Start praying that Turtle falls asleep on THIS flight.

6:35pm: Turtle starts screaming the scream that makes my ears bleed. Want to start crying again, but suck it up this time and keep popping the binky back in his mouth. He finally falls asleep.

7:20pm: Land in Rochester. So. Very. Grateful. Grateful that I am no longer in Newark, which is an airport already filled with very bad memories for me and which I hope to never step foot in again. Grateful to McPapa that he was able to get me on a flight. Grateful to both McMama and McPapa for being so good with Turtle, considering my only interests were collapsing and maybe, possibly crying one more time. Grateful that the next time I get on a plane, it will be with Oscar, so if something goes wrong, we will at least be able to tag team. And grateful that I could finally get on with my vacation, the way it was meant to be.

Or so I thought....


At July 01, 2006 7:54 AM, Blogger Flip said...

What a frigging nightmare.

You took the recommendation right out of my mouth when I got to the last paragraph. NEVER TRAVEL ALONE WITH ANYTHING THAT REQUIRES A CAR SEAT. (But Oscar owes you a solo trip...involving a connection in an east coast hub...with Turtle!) It's only fair.

At July 03, 2006 1:35 PM, Anonymous Oscar said...

Flip, now that I'm catching up on my reading after a very long week, I just want you to know that I'm waving at you.

With a special gesture.

It involves one finger.

Want to guess which one? :D

I'm seriously hating that you made this suggestion right now, but I understand. Let's hope the Travel Gods like me at this point, and choose to keep me free of that insanity.


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