It was a little touch-and-go there, though.
We got to the airport at 5 a.m. today, and the check-in line was unhappily long, plus there was only one person working. I tried to use the express check-in kiosk, but it couldn’t find me, probably because it’s a rescheduled flight. So, finally finally finally I get up there (they’d added a second person by then, and also were asking folks on the 6 a.m. flight to come up first), and I get my boarding passes, and I turn in my suitcase, and I hug Sarah goodbye…
…and I get upstairs to discover the line for security is out the hallway to the gates, and edging down the hallway to other gates. This is not a large airport. I gaped. But I figured I was checked in, I had a little time, etc. Then, while standing in that interminable line, I looked at my boarding passes to discover that all I actually had was a boarding pass for the Chicago to LA flight, and the other two things were some other sort of flight document.
That other thingie got me through security, at least, but as I was waiting for my stuff to come through the screening machine, I heard them call final boarding for my flight. I grabbed my stuff, including my shoes, and ran. And ran. And thanked the gods for my personal trainer and my chiropractor and my massage therapist, even though I thought I was going to pass out. A few months ago, there was no way I could have even tried. As I ran, they made the “…and everybody should now be on board” announcement, and I ran and ran, and they accepted my flight document and gave me a boarding pass and told me to go out that door there and down the stairs to the “silver plane.”
So now I have barrelled out onto the tarmac, in the heat and dark, in my socks, and I cannot find the plane.
There’s a United plane in front of me, but the door’s closed and the stair ramp moved away. There’s a larger ramp to my right with no plane attached. There’s a Delta plane farther to my left. I’m having trouble processing this (as I gasp and wheeze and stare). Would they have given me the boarding pass and sent me out the door if the plane’s door was closed? Would they send me out this door if the plane was somewhere else? I was about to turn around and go back in and cry at the nearest United agent, when a baggage woman across the way shouted at me. I assumed she was telling me to get the hell off the runway, but I said “What?” and she said something along the lines of “It’s that other plane,” pointing at another United plane way behind the one in front of me.
So I ran across the tarmac in my socks and fell up the stairs, and, barely able to breathe because all the moisture has been sucked from my mouth, I gasp an inquiry as to whether this is the plane to Chicago, and it is, and I collapse in my seat and wait for my heart to stop pounding. As it turned out, I wasn’t even the last person to board.
Some time after that, it occurred to me that this was so going in a story someday.
I then had 10 minutes to switch terminals in Chicago, but a lot of people were in the same boat as me. I’m in an exit row, which just feels like the world’s biggest perk to this otherwise insane experience.
Okay, and now I’ve eaten for the first time in six hours. Life is definitely looking up. And I have a massage tonight, which will go a long way towards restoring my sanity.
Ken will be picking me up from the airport! Poor guy rushed home to be able to do that on Sunday. He’s leaving tonight, though, to start heading to Missouri. He was going to do a timed coast-to-coast ride, but decided he’d rather be more prepared. Plus he misses me. So he’ll wait ‘til after dark, when it’s cooler and the traffic has died down, to get through LA and the desert. I turn around and fly back out on Thursday morning. Ack.
The person who was happiest about this whole delay thing was Fiona, Sarah’s daughter. She was just over the moon that she got to spend more time with me. Sarah and I were happy about spending more time with each other, sure, but we also sat around Sunday evening and most of Monday feeling confused, like we were waiting for something, but we weren’t sure what…
Sarah’s and my book signing for A Little Night Music went smashingly. We sold over half the stock ordered by the store, and were the third best-selling book for the store that week! Go us!
I’ve been working away at my urban fantasy novel, which I really have to ramp up progress on if I’m going to get it done by the end of September. I’ve also started an anthology story that I’ll finish off in the next day or two.
Well, I almost missed my Oxnard flight because I went to the bathroom and they boarded the plane in the two and a half minutes I was gone. But I hopped on, and then we were in Oxnard, and Ken was waiting with kisses and Baja Fresh.
I’m exhausted, but I’ve gotten a lot done: unpacked, caught up (mostly) on e-mail, sorted mail, paid bills, done some prep work for our trip. Ken leaves in a few hours. Wah.
Oh, and my massage therapist thought I was going to be away this week, but we’ve rescheduled for tomorrow evening. Phew!
Currently Reading: Summer Knight, Jim Butcher
Lately Listened To: Bloodletting, Concrete Blonde
Recently Watched: Gowan concert and videos (Still, so shocking.)