PUI: Packing Under the Influence
April 01, 2004
I'm back from Florida. Finally. But more on that later.
First, let me give you the results of my packing efforts, chronicled slightly obsessively here. It should come as no surprise that I made a few critical errors. Such as the seven different shirts I brought vs. the one pair of pants. The three skirts vs. the fact that I would never need to wear a skirt, ever. The white capris that sit really, really low vs. the seven shirts that did not cover my belly. The high heels vs. no stockings or little footie things. The two white shirts vs. two black bras.
And I was in constant battle with the weather. Wool slacks and blazer when it was 80 degrees, capris and tank top when it plummeted down to 50 at night. This culminated in an unfortunate incident when our host decided to show us the Pensacola beach yesterday so I was wandering around the beach with Spring Breakers in the same wool pants as the day before and a dorky sweater set. I have never felt like such a tool in my life.
But whatever. It was a short trip and I was comforted by the fact that I would soon be home with my full and glorious closet in no time.
My plane was supposed to leave at 6:20 last night and connect in Atlanta. Due to weather in Atlanta (which, as far as I could tell? Was some freaking drizzle), the flight was delayed until 7:30. I wasn't worried. It's only an hour flight and my connection wasn't until 9:30.
Then I was gently reminded of the one-hour time difference.
I was totally screwed. There weren't any later flights from Atlanta to National Airport. The best they could do was put me on a 9:45 flight to Dulles in Virginia. It would be super close, but I could probably make it. If I missed that I'd have to wait until 6:50 am the next morning.
VP Mike and I handled the whole situation with grace and aplomb though, we went straight to the bar and got hammered. It would all be ok! Who cares!
Then they closed the bar at 7 pm, which angered me greatly. But we were boarding! Whee!
(Side note: Delta is Coca-Cola's bitch. On every flight? When they talk about the beverage selection? One of which is water? It seems to be an FAA regulation that they must refer to the water as Dasani Water at all times. It's not just water, it's Dasani Water! We're proud to serve Dasani Water! Blah blah blah. We also found it hilarious when the flight attendents gave everyone an extra bottle of Dasani Water because of the delay and VP Mike asked the attendent, "Is this DASANI WATER?" and she stared at him for a minute and then told him to "Stop being smart" like your mom would. If you had been there you totally would have laughed. Especially if you had been there and had three drinks on an empty stomach.)
We landed in Atlanta at 9:30 sharp. VP Mike's flight was delayed enough that he could make it. My flight wasn't delayed but the boards said it was still at the gate. We landed at gate A06. My flight was at gate D32, which could not have been further away and still been in the same airport. I was faced with a dilemma. Did I make a crazy dash in hopes that they were holding the flight for all the delayed connections? Or did I give up and go for the Dulles flight at gate A02 which was delayed 18 minutes?
Fueled by alcohol and DASANI WATER, I felt brave. I'd run for it. Or rather, I'd run, hop on the tram thing between concourses and hop impatiently while it carried me past concourses B, C and then D. Then I'd run again. So I did. There were escalators to deal with. I sprinted. I stopped and gasped for breath and then ran again. The boards still said the flight was at the gate. I was still in heels with no stockings, wool pants and the dorky sweater set. I got to the gate. The flight was long gone. The boards just hadn't updated.
And like a little girl I sat down on my luggage and tried not to cry. Because I didn't have time to sit and cry. I had to sprint back to the A concourse and catch my last hope of getting home in less than 15 minutes. It had taken me almost 20 minutes to get this far.
So I ran again. I missed the entrance to the tram and had to turn around and go back. I ran the entire way and was a sweaty, red and flustered mess by the time I got to the gate. I was the last person to get on. All the running and the no food and the beer upset my stomach and for the first time in my life I was relieved that planes do indeed carry air-sickness bags in the seat pockets. I didn't need it, but lord, I was glad it was there. (I opted for ginger ale instead of DASANI WATER this time which helped.)
And because I'm a brat? I made Jason drive to Virginia and pick me up at 12:30 am. I was afraid of puking in a cab or something.
That was my trip. It was lovely.