Tuesday, November 07, 2006

home again home again

Well, I'm home. And quite honestly, I'm not sure when the last time I was so happy to get home was. You'll have to wait til later in the week to get the full "what I did on vacation" post. All in all, I had a wonderful time. But now it's time for the whiney travel stories and few sad things.

It all started on my way out of town last saturday. I had checked the flight and it was going to leave about an hour and a half after scheduled flight time. About 10 minutes AFTER my connecting flight. Yeah. What at way to start a trip. I am not a regular flier. I fly once a year. I called Mom (who was doing double duty as dropoff driver). She recommended heading to the airport anyways as we had planned to see what they had to say. I called Dad (who was doing double duty as pick up driver) to let him know there was a possible glitch in the system. Couldn't reach Dad, he'd already left town to drive to the "big city" 3 hrs away to get some shopping in before picking me up. At the airport, I talked to the very nice and helpful check in people who generously got me on a different flight, on a different airline, leaving around the same time as I was originally scheduled but arriving 1 hr later. That would put me in Midland around 10 pm. I called Dad again and again, didn't reach him but left a message with the updated plans. Got my suitcase searched at the check in, got me searched at the security gate (apparently leaving your keys with your silver key fob locket is a good way to ensure you get searched :) ). Said good bye to Mom who was dutifully standing by just in case they wanted to take my knitting needles or scissors (they didn't). Went to the gate, sat down and cast on for dishcloth #1 (pictures to come later, I haven't unpacked yet). Called Dad again before I turned the phone off before boarding the plane. He said we were not going to try to drive back to their town after I arrived at 10 pm, we'd get a hotel room.

At this point in time, it may be benefical to clue you into the fact that I have a motion sickness problem. Dad and I found some herbal stuff I bought and he sent me some of those accupressure wrist bands.

When we took off it was very windy and the whole trip was very rough and generally icky. I survived though. :) I landed in Atlanta and that take off was rough and bumpy. The flight smoothed out and I got some knitting in before it got bumpy again. I dozed a little on the way to Houston. By the time I got to Houston, I was a little hungry. I was out of luck though, apparently Houston "closes" by 745 pm on Saturdays. Every thing, the little restaurants to the news stands that have junk. I ate the last couple of cookies I'd gotten in Atlanta. I arrived in Midland tired and hungry. We stopped at a Whataburger (Whattaburger? I can't remember if there are to "t"s or not) where I got a big fat juicy hamburger that I ate on the way to the hotel. Where we all fell fast asleep and woke up way too early (time change and for some of us, time zone change :) ). All went well travel wise until it was time to come home. (I did finish dishcloth #1 BTW after I reached final destination, along with dishcloth #2, #3 and #4.)

Time frame is a little important in the home coming story. Dad made us bacon egg and cheese sandwiches around 8am CST. We left for the airport around 9am and got there around 1145ish. I checked in with no troubles and my even heavier suitcase didn't get searched (scanned yes, but not searched - which is probably good for the TSA agent, it stunk of woodsmoke and chili spices LOL). I told Dad and Pat I had had a most lovely time with them but now that we were at the airport, I was just ready to be home. I sat around with them for about an hour when we noticed a large crowd starting to check in so I went on up to the security gate and for the first time in about 3 years, didn't cry when I said goodbye. I came pretty damn close, but I didn't cry. I did manage to get searched again but had a nice conversation with the lady about the cookoff I'd been to while she searched me. She even brought me my shoes so I didn't have to walk around in my sock feet (not that I would've minded but it was still nice and yes, I had on plain ol' storebought socks).

I browsed about the store and got a $1.80 bottle of water (sigh...) and went to the gate. I had a lovely conversation with a lady about knitting (I'd cast on for dishcloth #6, #5 was too pattern involved to me to knit mindlessly and was in the suitcase) when I found out my plane had been delayed about 45 min. It really cut into my layover at DFW (Dallas-Fort Worth) but I made it with time to spare. Even thought I wasn't entirely hungry, I ate at McDonalds (this was 4pm CST) having learned my lesson from the whole Houston ordeal. Hopped on the plane with no problems and knit happily most of the way to Dulles in Washington, DC. As a side note, the snack we got on the plane was most yummy, it was mini pretzles with roasted red pepper sesame seed sticks and BBQ soy nuts. The package needed to be a little bigger though...

Got to Dulles tired and bored and honestly, tired of traveling. It was a short layover and an even shorter flight so I just got a small bag of wheat thins. I was really tired of airport "food" at this point in time as well and not very hungry. While waiting at the gate I finished off my bottle of water I bought in Midland and waited. This gate I was to leave out of had 3 flights within 25 min so it was very crowded and for some bizzare reason you couldn't really hear gate announcements at other gates. So I leaned up against this glass wall decoration thing. Eventually I sat leaning up against this wall. The first flight boarded and left. My flight and the other flight were delayed due to "mechanical problems". They were delayed and delayed and delayed. They told us my flight had mechanics working on it and were waiting on mechanics for the other flight. I had hope. Eventually, they told us a bird had hit the plane. My plane. But we should load about 11:30. I had called the airport transportation people who were waiting for me at home to let them know I didn't know when I'd get there and could just call a taxi when I did get there. I would've called someone else, but everyone I knew was asleep. I was very bored. And very tired. When they announced around 1140ish that my flight had been canceled. I cried. Not a lot but just that tears seeping out of your eyes crying. I got in line to get rebooked. They tried to put me on a 10pm flight the next day. I started crying again and appologized to the lady (there had already been a very nasty man yelling at them and I didn't want her to think I was going to be nasty too) and asked if there was any way I could be on the very next flight out. I got booked on an 815am flight. Since it was a "natural occurence" they weren't giving us hotel rooms or anything. We did get a voucher for a discounted room though. So I went back to a deserted gate (they all were at this point except where the the customer service counter was) and called my Mom. She wasn't at home and didn't have her cell on. So I called Dad. Woke him up and just sobbed and sobbed and managed to tell him what happened and and cried some more. I called and got a room, for a discounted rate of $75 with 2 hrs to check in or cancel. As I was trying to find my way back to the main terminal I ran into a group of people who were going to stay at the airport. I had thought of that but didn't want to stay alone. They were a comfortable group of people so I decided to stay with them. I called Dad and he didn't think it was a bad idea either since it was past midnight at this point in time and I would've had to be back at the airport by 6. I called to cancel my room and we found our gate the next flight was going leave out of and settled down. At that point in time, I thought I'd never get to sleep. It was a long, chilly night where I didn't get much sleep. And when I woke up at 430, the lem-o-lunch cookies I had since Dad, Pat and I stopped on the way to Midland, were the best cookies I'd had in a long time. However, I had nothing to wash them down with (apparently airports have something against water fountains). At 530 when the coffee shop/news stand opened I had a muffin that was so so and a coke. At 8am when they announced that the mechanics were working on my plane's PA system, I almost cried again. But we loaded up and I fell asleep. I barely woke up for take off and I woke up a few minutes before landing. Thankfully, my suitcase was on the plane with me.

When I finally got home, I called Mom and Dad and they both said all the appropriate things and told me about my sister's troubles (which I'll get to in a moment). I got a ride home and unpacked a little of the junk (I think the suitcase is just gonna go up to Mom's with me for laundry). I went to vote and get my mail and a little bit of lunch. I came home and have been in my jammies since. The cats and I had a good long nap this afternoon and I am truly dreading going to work tomorrow. I'm still off...

My sister woke up this morning to a yowling howly cry. When she got up her cat, Sweetums, was dead. The vet thinks it was probably a heart attack or aneurysm. She's had her longer than any of her other animals and she'd been there for her a lot.

Some friends of mine who we always visit with at the cookoff had to have their dog put down on the trip as well. Sadly, I don't think I have any pictures of Priscilla.

Be well my friends...

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