Monday, August 28, 2006

Mistakes on a Plane

Okay, here we go with our vacation posts. Lots of pictures to follow, but this is a story for the ages.

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So our flight was scheduled to take off last Friday at 6:20pm for a direct flight to LAX. Dave and I had both taken the day off work and did our long run and finished packing. Dad picked us up at 3:30 and dropped us at the airport just before 4:00. There was NOBODY at the airport, and we were able to check in immediately. Even though our flight would get us in around 8:00pm LA time, it would be really late our time so we decided to get some food. We still had plenty of time to eat, get through security, and make it to our gate.

The weather wasn't very cooperative in Columbus last Friday. It was pouring when our flight was supposed to leave. My mom called us to say goodbye and totally jinxed everything when she said, "You know, your flight is going to be delayed because it's raining outside?" I should have known.

We boarded the plane on time and everything seemed to be going well. The captain got on the speaker and said that the windshield wiper was not working, the mechanics were working on it, and we would be leaving momentarily. In the mean time, they would show the movie "RV" to pass the time. We were flying a 737, so the movie screens weren't really watchable. We sat and we sat and we sat and time was getting longer and longer. I checked my watch and it was now an hour and a half since our flight was supposed to take off.

There were many international flyers on the plane and attendants were starting to rearrange flights for people. The captain got back on the loudspeaker and said the part wasn't going to be available until 8:30 and our flight was now scheduled to take off at 9:30. There was another plane we could take, but it was coming in from Atlanta and wouldn't be available until 9:30 either. To make matters worse, the airport was now closed. I was feeling really trapped. I called my mom and my aunt (who was providing us housing on vacation) to let them know the nightmare that was developing.

If only I had known what nightmare it was about to be. I didn't want to be on the plane anymore since we still had another 1-1/2 ahead of us to wait out the plane plus a four hour flight. I made my way to the front of the plane only to realize I needed my boarding pass. I sat down to open my purse to find it and spilled my water in my crotch region. No, no, not my lap. My freakin' crotch! I was wet both front and back from knee to knee! Was I wearing jeans or black pants that would cover it up? NO! I was wearing khakis, which showed everything. And, of course, I didn't have a sweatshirt or an extra shirt to tie around my waist to cover it up. I had my tiny camera bag and my purse. Dave followed right behind me and I put my purse in front of me and I ran off to the bathroom inside the terminal.

This is where it gets really crazy. The bathroom did not have hand dryers. Instead there were automatic paper towel dispensers. Dave got a hoot listening to the sounds of me ripping off tons and tons of towels. I took those towels into the stall and started to pat myself down. The towels quickly soaked up some water, but it wasn't working well enough. So I took off my pants and started blowing hot air on them. I blew and blew until I almost passed out. I can only imagine what other people must have thought I was doing in that stall! I was in there for 15-20 minutes and then decided it was safe to come out. The wetness was still there, but it was definitely better.

We sat in the terminal until around 9:00 and then they called us to board again. At Columbus's airport they do random searches at the gate also and the woman in front of us got her purse searched. The security person asked her if she had anything sharp in her bag that would poke him. She kind of looked at him quizically, obviously not understanding the language. He asked her again, this time gesturing with a finger poking him in his palm. She smiled and nodded and said "yes." He kind of smiled and laughed and knew she had no idea what he said.

Our plane finally took off at 10:00. You would think this would be the end of the story....

We arrived in LA around 11:30. I called my aunt to let her know we had arrived and that we still needed to get our luggage, pick up our rental car, and drive the hour down to Dana Point. We got our luggage and picked up our rental car after midnight. We drove south about an hour and finally reached Dana Point. We had no trouble finding the complex the condo was in, but we discovered we only had the building address and not the actual condo number. My aunt had told me she left the key under the doormat so I started looking under mats with the light of my cell phone to guide me. I got around to the backside of the condo and a woman was sitting on the adjacent steps smoking a cigarette. Crap! It was now 2:00am and we had been up for about 23 hours straight. I decided to call my dad since he would be getting up soon to go running. Of course, he didn't have the address. So I had to call my aunt and wake up her and ask her what the number was. Finally, we were in the condo around 2:30am.

We were STARVING, so we found a microwavable ravioli, heated it up, and shared it while standing over the kitchen sink. Classy! Finally we went to bed to start our adventures on Saturday.

To be continued....

6 comments:

Noj said...

Can't wait to hear more...

Michelle said...

ditto . . .

jeff said...

this read really well, but i liked your telling of it in person better. it's hard to show panic, anxiety and frustration in text. plus, the exagerated hand motions are a nice plus. =)

Meredith said...

Jeff, maybe I just need to do all my entries via YouTube so people can see my exaggerated body language. Which, isn't so exaggerated since that's how I always talk. :)

jessie_tri_mn said...

It's never fun when vacations start that way... hope it got easier once Saturday hit

Flatman said...

suspense. is. killing. me.