Tuesday, July 7, 2009

so today . . . was a traveling day. it was the day we left for what is becoming our annual summer visit to my mom and dad's house.

it started early this morning--not ridiculously early, but since i didn't get to bed until WELL after midnight, it was early enough.

when i made our plane reservations a month ago, we were not able to get seat assignments for today's flight. this has never happened to me before, so i was just a tiny bit concerned. i am haunted by the picture of a family of five--dad, mom, and three small children--standing at the boarding gate at 10:30 p.m. in seattle, carry-on luggage in hand, waiting to see if they were going to be allowed to board the plane. they were apparently flying stand-by, and so they were standing by (hahaha) hoping to get to orlando. this is what i saw in our future, especially considering my recent run of bad luck concerning airplanes . . . so my plan was to get there EARLY and get a seat.

we were early all right--2 1/2 hours early. if you remember the last time i flew without rollie, you know that this is not my usual modus operandi, but i had already cleaned house and packed, and i wanted to get on that plane! i did NOT want to hear anyone say, "i'm sorry, but all the seats are full. we will have to reschedule you." for some reason, i thought that the earlier we got there, the better our chances were of making that flight . . .

diandra and i checked our bags (there was NO line--but again, it was early and we flew out of long beach--yay!) and received our boarding passes. i was so relieved that we had boarding passes! so i looked to see where we would be sitting, and saw a blank space. "excuse me," i very politely said to the guy who had just taken our bags and handed over the passes, "but we need seat assignments." he looked at me like i was speaking russian, so i said, " the seat assignment is blank." he grabbed the boarding passes and looked at them, ready to point out to me where our seat assignments were, and probably thinking, "is this what my whole day is going to be like? moronic passengers who can't even find their seat numbers on their boarding passes??" but he did a double take, realized that we did need help, and started pounding the keys on his computer. (he was kind of cranky and it was only 8:00 a.m.--i hate to think what he was going to be like by noon!) after a few minutes he handed the passes back and said, "you will have to talk to the person at your gate to get seats."

ok, now i am starting to panic just a little bit. but they have already taken our money, so surely they will get us on the plane! surely i didn't vacuum for nothing!!

we breezed through security (again, long beach, YAY!) because there was no line. we found our gate (not hard in long beach--there are only three,) and settled down to wait for someone to show up who could get us on that plane!

two hours later, we got seat assignments in row 18. pretty good, i thought. until we got on the plane and realized that row 18 was the last row in the plane. really, the very last row. there was nothing behind those seats but the tail of the airplane. oh yes, and the one bathroom for the whole plane was conveniently located right across the aisle from us. did i mention that it was a small plane? only two seats on each side of the aisle?? for people who don't fly a lot and who have some claustrophobia issues, this was not ideal. i had my head between my knees trying to cram my carry-on bag under the seat in front of me, when an angel dressed in flight attendant clothes said, "would you two like to move up to the exit row?" "YES!!" i nearly screamed. "i mean, yes, thank you. that would be wonderful," i said in a more normal tone. she helped us move our things up 5 rows, and suddenly our legs could unfold, we could reach our bags under the seats in front of us without banging our heads on the seat backs, and we didn't have to endure people constantly watching us while they waited for the bathroom.

we made it to portland. and so did our bags. my mom and dad picked us up, listened to our tale of woe, and took us home. we ate lunch (which always tastes better when you are at your mom's house!) and started our vacation . . .

we are going to have a great week!

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