Tales from an Airport ~ One Persons Stuggle to Get Through the Day

Columbia, South Carolina, Airport, Flying, Airplanes, Air Travel, Travel
Starting my day off by doing what I do best, avoidance.

 

Some Days, I’d Rather Just Say in Bed…Unless It’s Uncomfortable

I think we all know that traveling can be something of an adventure.  While we all book vacations to relax and get away from the normal hum drum thing we call life, vacations are often work.  Why is it though, life never wants to cut us a break. It always seems to creep in.  It’s ironic really. Usually I find myself saying, I need a vacation from my vacation. 

As it were, this was no vacation anyway.  Recently I took a trip to South Carolina for work. By the end of the week I was more than ready to come home.  Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to sleep the night before, or any night for that matter. I woke up early, which was no huge shock for me since I slept very poorly all week. It is becoming more and more obvious to me I don’t like to travel that much anymore.

Of course my adventure to return to Killeen started out fairly uneventful.  I woke up and packed up. No mysteries there. BUT the very first thing that made me say, is this an omen was the coffee pot. For reasons that can only be known to the maid herself, the filter for my coffee pot was missing. While this alone may not be that alarming, the fact that I’m addicted to coffee is. Luckily for myself and really anyone else I may have encountered, the hotel had coffee in the lobby. I would like to say that my addiction to coffee is very real. I have made great strides is lowering my amount of caffeine intake, but too little avail.

The Struggle for Coffee is Real

Coffee in hand I see the taxi pull up. I’m happy to be on my way and I grab my bags and head out side. Oddly enough the driver is the same driver who took me to the hotel when I arrived last Sunday.  We had a great conversation discussing life, racism, protests and immigration.  For the second time, he asked if I was an attorney. It sounds like a lot, but this gentleman was very educated and held no grudges against anyone. He told me a couple stories of being a young black boy growing up in the south. A little to his surprise, I enjoyed hearing the perspective of someone who did not think and act as I do. After all, he wasn’t a girl or grew up on the West Coast.

I got to the airport and got checked in.  Nothing special to report here. Just the same old hum drum boring cattle call process through the ticket line.  I made my way through the TSA check point and out to my gate. Initially this was great. Early in the morning and no one to bother me.  After a couple of hours a flight cancelled and the airline took up the task of re-booking. While most of the passengers remained calm, one passenger managed to step on my already frail nerves.

When Someone Else’s Problem, Becomes Your Problem

This particular gentleman, who could have chosen anywhere in the terminal to have his conversation, decided he wanted to stand right next to me.  I’m sitting in the terminal typing away on my computer. Maybe it’s just me, but I am aware of other around me. If someone appears to be working, I certainly am not going to stand next to them and carry on a conversation in what can only be described as the loudest speaking voice I’ve ever heard.  Needless to say, this also happened to me on the way to S. Carolina by a lady on her phone. Perhaps I am a dying breed.

It wasn’t all bad because I was facing the window and I did hear him say, “I think I will be re-booked on a new plane. They (airplanes) are the one with the engines on the wings. Those are new.”  Now there is a couple points of interest here. One being the fact it’s a commuter airport.  What we were looking at was a mini plane that probably help 50 or less passengers. I would also like to point out that engines on the wings of aircraft is nothing new. I just couldn’t help but laugh. Not really sure if he knew I was laughing at him. He appeared oblivious, so I doubt it.

This Exceeded Even My Level of Being Screwed at The Airport

Coke, Soda, Drinking, Ripped Off, Travel Scam
Notice how narrow this cup is toward the bottom.

By now I’m thinking, I need a drink. A drink is code for soda.  I collect my belongings and get a large Coke. The lady hands me my $3 drink and I am literally stunned. I think this is the smallest $3 drink I’ve ever purchased. I take my drink and walk away. Back at the gate I try yet again to escape the airport environment and sink deep into my computer. Try as I might the kids screaming at the top of its lungs will not allow it.

While I try harder to focus on my work, the less ability I seem to have to maintain my thought process. Try as I might to work, I just can’t. World one, Kari zero. I throw in the towel and pack up my stuff. There I sit staring off into the distance like some shmuck with no life.

One Flight Down, Two to Go

Finally I’m on my first of three flights. Off to Charlotte, North Carolina. Apparently it’s on the way to Texas.  I’m sitting in my seat in utter amazement.  I try to sit in the aisles seat because I get claustrophobic.  While everyone is trying to get seated there is a child standing on his seat screaming. Of course he won’t sit. That would be crazy.  The male flight attendant doesn’t seem alarmed. He takes his seat and pulls out his phone.  While we taxi out to the runway and this mother continues to try and wrestle her kid into the seat I glance down the aisle.  What do I see, the flight attendant looking at his phone.  Apparently the FAA doesn’t care about passenger safety the way it did when I was a flight attendant, but unbeknownst to him, I ever was.

I don’t know what he was watching on his phone, but I received the message loud and clear. Whatever he was doing was more important than us. I look up again, of course the kid is

Crappy Flight Attendant, Unhappy Customer, Save Your Self, Travel isn't What is Was
1% of what I really thought

still standing and screaming. I hear the standard high low ding dong of the airplane and we are ready to hit the run way.  Finally the child is wrestled to the seat with no assistance from the person charged with our safety.

And so It Continues With The Phone

As we descended into Charlotte the flight attendant was back on his phone. By now I’m thinking, thank G*d I can save myself. I certainly didn’t feel he was going to do it. Upon landing in Charlotte the flight attendant was taking off his shoulder harnesses. Bam. He’s on his phone.  Clearly this guy had better things to do than make sure we didn’t die. Should someone have had a heart attack, he wouldn’t have known.

Making a Tight Connection is BS!

Despite having a standard layover I made a mad sprint to my next flight. I’m not certain, but I think my flights were at opposite ends of the airport.  As I sped walk the whole time, the gate agent was already boarding when I arrived. For someone who needs to be everywhere 15 minutes early, this is sheer panic for me. Tragedy overted and I was off on my second flight.

Round Two, Let’s Hope it Goes Better Than the First

The second flight was no joy either. Mainly because it was a full flight and I was stuck in the center seat. Worst case scenario. According to the pilot we were cruising at 32 thousand feet. It made me wonder how

Travel, Airlines, 32K Feet, American Airlines
Could I be anymore bored?

many feet were in eight miles. The distance a human can see. I’m looking over the sleeping man next to me and I can make out roads and houses, buildings and lakes. It made me wonder, why we don’t see more airplanes in the air. Perhaps it’s because I never look up.

Eventually I start to fall asleep only to be plagued with bouts of restless leg syndrome.  I started twitching so bad I could only assume the guys next to me though I was on crack or something.  It came to the point where I couldn’t control it. The pain was too great. Eventually the three toes on my left side started to go numb.  Awesome. It’s getting worse.  They were nice and kept to themselves. Although I’m certain, they thought I had a serious problem and probably on my way to rehab.

Apparently My Thoughts Are Not My Own

The most alarming thing on this flight though, didn’t occurring during the middle or end. It occurred at the very beginning. In fact, just as we took flight. I got this crazy overwhelming feeling to film a video for Ron, Breezy and Shayne.  For reasons I certainly cannot explain, it came to me to make a video and tell them how much I loved them. How they are the best thing that has ever happened to my life. I recall clearly thinking, maybe if they find the phone in the crash they will get the message. I couldn’t shake the feeling, but I thought, too late now. We are in the air. The pilot isn’t going to go back for me.  We are most certainly headed off to Dallas.

I suppose it’s anyone’s guess why I would have a thought like that. Certainly didn’t feel scared prior to getting on the airplane. I think it’s fairly obvious nothing happened. After all here I am typing away on my computer. Needless to say, the flight was uneventful and we landed in Dallas 20 minutes early.

Arriving in Dallas Left me Starved  and Out of Time

Originally I thought I had a three hour layover in Dallas. At which point I would finally get some food. However, upon landing in Dallas and checking my flight status I realized I had less than one hour. Again, I was at the complete wrong end of the airport. So I high tail it onto the air tram to take me to the other side of the terminal. I get to my gate with only a few minutes to spare. Already the gate agent is asking for people to give up seats. Feeling more than a little volatile I text my husband. Immediately I say I’m not willing to give up my seat. I advised him I haven’t ate all day and I need food.  As luck would have it though, there isn’t a food joint anywhere near my gate.

As my phone starts to die I tell Ron I will text him when we land. For reasons I don’t know, other than the fact that it coincides with my entire day, I plug in my cell phone to charge. Its starts beeping every 30 seconds. As it does I notice the battery power is going down 1% each time it beeps. As you recall it’s plugged into a power source. Freakin’ typical.  By the time I get onto the plane and text Ron we are leaving the phone completely dies. Awesome.

Third and Final Flight

During the flight I realize I have my back up battery in my purse.  As I get a moment of genius and think I’m going to charge my phone, I grab the battery pack and realize I have the cord for my old phone plugged into it. Now I’m thinking…how I am going to text Ron when we land?  With the wind pulled from my sail I drop it back into my bag and walling in my own self-pity. After all, I did put the charging cable in my bag I left curbside before boarding the plane.

It Really is A Wonderful Life

Once I finally arrived in Killeen I was feeling like George Bailey. I kept thinking, I love this old car, I love you husband, I love you old house, I love you bed and shower. I missed you old town.  Sometimes you have to

Food, Mexican, Margarita, Dinner, Killeen
Get in my belly!!

leave home to know how good you really do have it in life.  Like George Baily I realized none of the small inconveniences in life matter. Nothing can take away from being with family. 

Ron picked me up. Helped with my luggage and took me out to dinner.  He called me Hangry before even saying hello. I let it go because I felt like ripping his face off before he did anything or even said hello.  I’m sure

the guy standing next to us though Ron was a jerk. Perhaps he had some words for me when I glared back at Ron. The truth is though, it doesn’t matter. Ron and I understand each other and that is all that matters.  At the end of a long hard day we all just want that one place we can go home to. A soft place to land.  I certainly have mine.  If Ron quit putting up with me, there is no telling what I would do.

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