I jumped up looked at the clock and the first words out of my mouth were “Oh SHIT!” Kahuna opened one eye and groaned “What?” “Get UP!” I ordered. “It’s 4:25!” Kahuna jumped up shaking the sleep off and said “On NO. Do you have your stuff packed up?” I had already left the room grabbing clothes and putting make-up on as I hopped on one foot trying to squeeze into jeans and coat my nonexistent eyelashes with mascara. I could hear the shower going as I completed making the bed while applying my deodorant and lip gloss all at once.
Kahuna came in and did the fireman pull on the pants while putting your shoes on move and looked at my almost dressed almost made-up face. “Are you almost ready?” he implored looking over my head at the clock on the wall. I slipped on my shoes and grabbed my jacket and said “Let’s go.” I was praying to God that my make-up didn’t look like that lady in the movie “Airplane” who tried to put her face on while in the middle of turbulence. Why all this craziness you ask? We had a 6:00 a.m. flight which means they board at 5:30. We live an hour if traffic is light from the airport. We still had to drop off the rental car catch the shuttle and check in through security this process usually takes about an hour. Let’s do the math 4:30 departure and one hour with no traffic to the airport, drop off rental car and catch shuttle to terminal another 30 minutes, security check in and walk to gate 25 minutes. That puts our estimated time of arrival at the gate with no hold-ups at 6:25 a.m. The plane departs at 6:00 a.m.
Yeah this was not looking good. I was mentally going through the late traveler prayer. Please don’t let there be any traffic. Please let there be a problem and they have held the plane. Please let there be no lines at security. Please let us not get stopped on the freeway for doing 110 miles per hour. I was repeating this mantra over and over in my mind. I was using the power of positive thinking by saying “We will make it. We will make it” over and over again. I was holding on to the ‘oh shit bar’ (you know the little handle that is in most vehicles above the passenger door) because Kahuna was driving like he was Mario Andretti and we were racing Le Mans.
Then it happened, red tail lights lit up the early morning darkness like Christmas lights in suburbia. The four lane freeway has suddenly become a parking lot for a bazillion cars and we were in full panic mode. I was looking for an off-ramp but those were all closed while Kahuna was looking ahead at the 57 miles of cars ahead of us stopped. It was Saturday it is 4:45 in the morning where in God’s name did all these people come from and where are they going? Were they all heading to the airport too? I turned to Kahuna and said “I don’t mean to be Debbie Downer here but I don’t think we are going to make it.” Kahuna squeezed my hand and said “Don’t worry honey bunny, we’ll make it” then he pulled his NASCAR move and swerved around traffic and we were on our way.
We went screaming into the rental car return and bailed out like rats on a sinking ship. I was in a pair of 4 inch platform clogs. I looked like one of those dumb girls who runns from the zombie in those bad horror movies. I clip clop clip clop then shuffle shuffle, but I’m holding my own with Kahuna who was schlepping his computer bag and my camera bag while trying to hold his pants up because he was jail housing like a gansta in the hood. We ran through the lobby of the rental car terminal and into the loading area and to our luck there was a waiting shuttle. We might just make it to the gate in time to watch our plane push off from the dock. It was now 5:25 a.m. and I was glad I took the time to apply my Secret Extra non-sweaty. The shuttle driver took his time and waited until he was sure no one else was getting on the shuttle. Kahuna and I were both repeating under our breath let’s go, let’s go. Finally Jose got the bus in motion. We were in attack mode and practically jumped out before he got the door all the way open. We ran across the 4 lanes of traffic and into the terminal. Thankfully we had pre-boarded the night before and had no bags to check so all we had to do was make it through the security the line that was 8 miles long.
We were standing in line and it was now 5:45 a.m. I had officially started my hyperventilating OH SHIT I’M LATE panic attack and it was in full meltdown mode. I was trying to breathe and make my heart beat steady. I looked at Kahuna and he had that same deer in the headlights look. I spotted the TSA agent over at the elevator and told Kahuna I would be right back. I walked up to the TSA agent and asked her “Is there any way we could take the elevator? We were supposed to board at 5:30 and we are still standing in this line?” She smiled her knowing TSA smile patted me on the hand and then in the spirit of the season said “No. Get back in line.” So much for the season of giving.
We made it through security line and up to the second level to have our anal probe and throat exam. Since we travel with two computers it takes a little longer to unload our stuff to be scanned. We each grabbed a bucket unloaded our belongings into the buckets and then stripped down to our underoos in preparation for the full body scan. Except we hit a roadblock. There stood a woman and a small child. She was trying to coax the child through the body scan machine but the child was having none of this silliness (smart child). She pled, she begged, she bribed and she commanded but our wee child was not going to go until she decided she wanted to. I was thinking and not trying to say either go through the machine or get the hell out of my way. I am in a hurry. Okay so maybe I didn’t just think it. Maybe it did come out of my mouth or maybe not I’m not admitting to anything. It is now 5:55 a.m. I started singing “Silver wings shinning in the sunlight, roaring engines headed somewhere in flight. Their taking you away, leaving me lonely, silver wings slowly fading out of sight.”
Just then the heavens opened up the sun came shining through the big picture window and the way parted. We rushed through the anal probe machine past the mammogram past throat exam and ran cramming our laptops in their bags carrying our shoes and trying not to lose our pants through the terminal hoping beyond hopes they had not closed the gate and pushed back. We ran up to the gate just as the agent pulled the cord across the walkway and her co-worker was closing. She saw us and we yelled STOP! She looked at us like we had just escaped the Cuckoo’s nest and said “You just made it we were closing the gate”. Kahuna took a moment to put on his shoes and I finished dressing and we strolled down the jet bridge whistling “Oh What a Beautiful Morning”.
So how did your day start?
1 week ago