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Monday, December 13, 2010

Funny travel tales

Today my oldest daughter is traveling to see her paternal family and be there when her oldest sister has a baby. She’ll be an aunt for the first time and she’s way pass excited. Knowing that I had to drop Amber off at the airport isn’t that big of a deal. She’s been flying alone since she was about 8 or 9 years old and she knows the ends and out of our busy Atlanta airport as well as travel tips and safety. So, I don’t worry.

However, we always have stories to tell from her travels. Usually before she even boards the plane. Today is no different. I had to take her to the airport a little early because the rebooked time of her flight clashed with my afternoon carpooling time. (Because of weather conditions most flights have been cancelled and delayed beginning about 6 p.m. last night.) We arrived as scheduled and because my youngest fell asleep in the car I took Amber to the curb, opened the hatch and promptly had this gigantic suitcase – that she had loaded – tumble out and attack me. I should have known that was a sign.

We hugged and did our fast goodbyes and I watched her sashay into the airport. I pulled away and realized that she was gone for the holidays. I sent a text, “awwww…. merry christmas…” (The fact that she won’t be home for Christmas is an entirely different post so you’ll have to wait for that one.) A few minutes later, as I passed the terminal again, I texted, “went wrong way, had to rtn 2 terminal. lol.”

(No, I wasn’t texting while driving either time. I was texting while sitting in my car oozing pass the terminal. And I went the wrong way ‘cause I was looking at the clouds and daydreaming.)

I got back on track and was halfway to the highway when my phone rang. I saw it was Amber. “Hey Munch,” I said happily. “Want me to come pick you up!?”

image “Uh… noooo… howwwweevvveer… My bag is over the weight limit and they’re going to charge me $90 if I don’t get rid of 15 pounds.”

“I’m turning around now.” Mom to the rescue.

I told her I would call when I pulled in front of the terminal. I called; it went to voicemail. I called; it went to voicemail. I texted. Then called… again. Voicemail.

I finally walked over to the Delta employee and said, “Can you do me a favor?” After repeating myself for the second time – amidst the high winds and roaring airplanes – I see Amber clicking her way out of the terminal.

We load her bag in the back of the van and she proceeds to mumble, giggle, talk, laugh, complain, dig and search… while I stood there shivering and holding her purse, phone and book. Finally after one of the reusable shopping bags was filled she pulled her suitcase over to the outdoor check in while I watched from the van, just in case. She turned to me and I made the “how much” hand sign with dramatic mouthing.

Four pounds, she gestured and mouthed back.

“OMG,” I say to no one, but the sleeping child in the back. I watch as she digs further into her suitcase and expressively talks to the airline employee. Finally, she clicks over (yes, she’s wearing high heels) with a couple of items in her hand and says, “I still need two pounds, but he’s working with me.”

“Great. Love you. You left your purse. Bye.”

I was supposed to be driving away, but I just stood there looking at my daughter. It was a semi-weird moment. She’s a young adult – a 19-year-old woman. I’m proud of her and glad I could be there in her “time of need.” I can only imagine what she would have done had I already made it back home. I envision a mysterious box left in the airport with my name on it, the FBI knocking on my door and a bomb squad slowly approaching with a robot.

An-t-way, she turned as if she felt me looking and did the little “mooommmm” expression with the laugh and wave. I waved, smiled and finally left the airport terminal.

Her traveling technical difficulties – and blog fodder – haven’t ended quite yet. The 3-something flight that was supposed to take off hadn’t left at 4:10 because of a missing and stranded crew member. She’d already had to switch gates three times and she has layovers and connecting flights to get.

That’s the current traveling story and I’m sure there’s more to come… ‘cause we can’t just have normal, uneventful travels. I have to tell you about that time I was happily standing in the line to get to security, enjoying a bottle of water while I listened and chuckled at people complaining. I was in my travel Zen… me and my big 8-month-old belly. An airport employee strolled by, looked at my belly and gestured for me to approach. She looked at my ticket and ID then got me through security quickly. How nice of her to let a big pregnant woman get through without having to stand. What I realized after I got through was luckily she had stopped ‘cause I was pregnant, but when she looked at my boarding pass she saw I was about to miss my plane. LOL… yup, total Zen and pregnant brain.

Have you enjoyed my travel tales? Do you have some of your own? As people begin their holiday traveling and vacationing I’m sure there will be a lot to share. Why don’t you share yours here?

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