Longest travelogue ever
Hi, everyone! OK. So you know how I said I had to go out of town at the last minute over the weekend? I was gone for exactly 25 hours. And what a 25 hours it was. The rundown:
* I leave early for the airport so that I can park. I get to the airport, park my car, go to wait for the shuttle ... and wait. And wait. And wait some more. In the meantime, there's an older couple waiting with me, and they're freaking out because--you'll never believe this--THEIR DAUGHTER HAD JUST BEEN HIT BY A CAR! Yeah. For real. And the shuttle is NOWHERE to be found, and they were totally going to miss their flight. And the lady in the money booth SLAMMED THE WINDOW IN THEIR FACE when they went over to ask her to page the shuttle. So they actually walked out to the road and started trying to flag down one of the other shuttle buses. I felt so bad for them, I literally almost tossed them in the backseat of my car and dropped them off myself. I even forgot about the fact that I was going to miss my OWN flight. Thankfully, just as I was going to get my car, the shuttle showed up and we all (barely) made our flights.
* I wanted to get a lot of work done on the plane. A LOT. Which of course means I got nothing done. I sat in the very back so I could have my own row, and wouldn't you know it, AS THE PLANE IS MOVING AWAY FROM THE GATE, some guy moves out of his seat and asks if he can sit with me. OK, fine, whatever. I get everything out and start working, and within milliseconds, it's like 20 questions on crack next to me. Twenty questions that end with, "So ... do you know what you're doing for dinner tonight?" and "What hotel are you staying at?" (Me: "Uhhh ... I'm not ... hey, do you like pretzels? Here, have mine.")
* I go to pick up my rental car and ... who knew? There are two different airports! And I've reserved my rental car at the wrong airport! And, oh yeah, those directions that I printed out ahead of time because I'm oh-so-on-top-of-things? Useless, because I'm at the OTHER airport across town! The lady at Avis tells me it's a common mistake. I guess that's supposed to make me feel better.
* Swishy learns how to read a map.
* Kind of.
* Swishy also masters the art of the U-turn.
* I check into the hotel, change my clothes and then leave so I can find where I'm going the next day before it gets dark. I reread my directions 3,763 times, ask two people in a Walgreens if they know where it is and spend the next hour driving up and down the same half-mile stretch of road before I finally find it.
* I realize at 2 a.m. that the beautiful, exquisite 42-inch flat screen in my room DOES NOT WORK! This is like putting heroin in a locked glass case in the same room as a drug addict. I fiddle with the cables for like a half hour, and nada. I call downstairs, and she tells me I can switch rooms. I grudgingly--VERY grudgingly--decline, telling myself that I have to go to sleep and nothing good is on at 2:30 a.m. anyway, not even on HBO. I'm not very convincing.
* Work thing goes well. I am very relieved.
* I realize I'm going to be late to the airport, and I want a shortcut, so I ask a guy at the Wendy's drive-thru for one. He tells me to turn right, which doesn't SEEM right, so at the first light, I get the guy next to me to unroll his window and I ask him. He tells me, naturally, to turn around. He's cute and seems nice, so I listen. Good call, Swishy! I arrive at the airport 15 minutes later. Which, unfortunately, is a mere 40 minutes before my flight is supposed to leave.
* I am having shuttle issues. BIG-TIME shuttle issues. I wait for like five minutes, then go inside. He's turning in right now, the nice Avis lady tells me. Apparently "right now" means something different in other areas of the country, because five more minutes later, there is no sign of the shuttle. I go back inside and tell the nice Avis lady that I WILL miss my flight if I don't leave RIGHT NOW, so she asks some random guy driving by in a Jeep Cherokee if he'll take me. He's like, Whaaaaaaa? And then the real shuttle gets there.
* Southwest makes me wait in a very long line to check my bag even though I've already checked in online. That doesn't bother me as much as the Southwest lady, who merely points to the line whenever I ask her a question, rather than actually OPENING HER MOUTH to answer.
* I wait in another long line to get through security. My bracelet sets off the metal detector, so I throw it onto the X-ray machine and go through again, earning me a very stern lecture from the security official on duty.
* I run--in THREE-INCH HEELS--to Gate 10, which is, oh, 70 miles away from the security checkpoint. The doors shut just as I get there, but the nice woman at the counter pounds on the door until they let me in.
* A half an hour after I land, I'm informed that my bag didn't land with me.
* Six hours after that, I call the baggage office and am told that I can come get my bag anytime between now and 1 a.m. I get back to the airport a little after 11, and I really, really, really don't want to park and walk all the way inside just to grab my bag. So I go over to the two security guys and summon up all the Swishy charm I can muster, and they finally tell me I can leave my car by the curb if I RUN inside. So I do. And ... there's no one at the baggage office! And the door's locked! I race upstairs to the ticket counter. No one. I race back downstairs and look for anyone who appears to have a set of keys or lock-picking ability. No one. Oh, and did I mention that my cell phone was dead and the charger was in the missing bag? So I go to a pay phone and call the airline's 800 number and talk to them, and eventually I ended up paging airport security and asking them to page my baggage guy, who showed up seconds later, shaking and scared to death he was going to get in trouble. (I have no doubt he was reading US Weekly on the toilet.)
So that was my trip. And that was just the TRAVELING, not the BEING THERE. The being there is like five more posts.
Seriously, though? I don't think anyone will be surprised when I say the worst part was the TV. TOTALLY the TV.