Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Living on the Edge

Our faces reflecting the the morning's events

     I awoke to my cell phone alarm and realized I had been dreaming about our trip. What was my last dream memory? Acknowledging in my subconscious that I had failed to gather the rent-a-car information. I thought hard to clear my head. Was it real or just a dream? My eyes widened . . . . . it was both! I immediately opened the computer and rummaged through my emails. . . . Not a single conformation letter to be found. There was also no bank trail due to the fact that there was no down payment for reservations. The worst part? I couldn't remember what company I had booked the car with. DOPE! I quickly thought of a plan of attack and looked up rental companies in L.A., made a list, and hopelessly started working my way through it as we drove to the airport. Every operator must have thought I was insane when they asked "What's your confirmation number?" and I replied "I don't have one," immediately explaining my story. Finally, I got lucky and found it.
I relaxed with my kindle, my neighbor
relaxed with his knee. . . . . . . . .
     When we got to the airport, the parking garage near American Airlines was closed for renovation, without warning, so we inadvertently got pushed into outdoor parking in B.F.E. We didn't even know where our terminal was from such a direction. We hopped on a nearby shuttle that dropped us off at our correct check-in station, thanked the driver, and after walking into the airport, we immediately got kicked out and was told to go somewhere else. They had the drug dogs out, the section closed off, and area was saturated with officers . . . . .someone was in trouble and although we were thankful it wasn't us, we were also upset we had to find another station by foot. I started questioning the employees and just as we were about to start on our new way, an officer walked out and said they were finished and we could return inside.
     We politely smiled and proceeded, to soon lose our smiles at the luggage check when we saw our bag was 64lbs and discovered the new over-weight charge is $100. CRAP. Guess it wasn't such a good idea to squeeze all of our stuff into one bag after all. But Cassandra, the nicest bag check woman on the planet, had faith we could shift our weight to save some dough. Actually she forced us to, saying it definitely wasn't worth the money. "Here's a plastic bag. I know you can do it," she said. We started shuffling, but it just didn't make much difference. "Shoes? Jeans? Those are the heaviest, get those out of there," she encouraged. But we already had those things in our back packs. Just as we had completely run out of shifting room and given up, she decided that the last 5 lbs wasn't really that big of a deal and since we put in so much effort, would let it slide. "That's good enough," she said and then directed her next statement to Patrick, "Now you can take your lady out for a really nice dinner."
. . . . .And Patrick, calming down now enough
to fake a smile. . . . . .
     After finding the terminal waiting area, taking a seat, and squeezing all our new carry-on luggage from the ripped-stuffed-to-the-brim-plastic-bag to our back packs, I abandoned Patrick with only my debit card in hand, on a mission to find a frou-frou coffee for a sweet tooth kick in the metabolism. As I was headed back his direction, we crossed paths, him lugging all our bags saying, "We've been at the wrong terminal." Just then, the overhead announcer says, "Last call for flight 709 to Burbank Terminal C31. All passengers should be boarded." OH SHIT. We were merely standing in front of C18.
     We both started in a dead sprint, recklessly bobbing and dodging through luggage cars and innocent bystanders, coffee steady in hand. We arrived at the empty gate just before close and handed over our tickets with apologies. Before we disappeared into the empty tunnel, a man said, "Ma'am! Excuse me ma'am," with his hand extended towards me, "You dropped your sunglasses back there", and handed me my precious second favorite cheapos. We then placed our bags in the first class overhead compartments, since that's all that was left, sat in the last two remaining seats, and let out a deep breath with cautious relief. Living on the edge.
     I didn't even break a sweat. It's nice when regular exercise actually pays off. My coffee was safe and so were we. Now that's what I call excitement. Kayla the adrenaline junky; it gives me the giggles just thinking about the feeling. (Maybe that's why I've always liked working in the ICU. . . . .And Six Flags?) I looked over at Patrick and said, "That was fun!" I assessed him. He was sweating, appeared stressed, and definitely lacking my sense of excited amusement, "I'm planning our trips from now on," he said, "And you should never go off somewhere without your cell phone!" I just smiled, becuase I know he will be able to laugh about it later.
     If everything always went ridiculously smooth, then I might miss great opportunities for writing! If we hadn't made a scene at the airport, no one may have noticed me enough to see I lost my sunglasses! Anywho, that's how vacations are suppose to go . . . . . . . . . . right?


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