Day 6: Friday
My day to fly out to California.
No one else had started barfing yet so I got the go ahead to leave.
My flight left at 11:50.
I had a doctor's appointment in Los Lunas (where I live = no commute time) at 8:15. But it was only going to take 5 or 10 minutes. No sweat. I'd even have time to fill the prescription I needed.
I could easily help Allen retrieve the POCV from the shop.
I had to return the rental at the ABQ airport, too, so I planned on getting there 10 minutes earlier than usual.
I only had one small bag and wouldn't need check any luggage so that would make the trip even easier.
Once I landed in CA, I was going to head straight to Tracy to meet the property manager and see the house.
I figured that the normal door-to-door from the Oakland Airport to Tracy is around 50 minutes. Knowing the Bay Area, I planned on traffic and gave myself over 2 hours to get to Tracy. With that big of window, I could probably even get some lunch.
I had it worked out so I would enjoy a stress free travel day. A kids free travel day.
But this is how it really went:
The doctor's appointment? Took over 30 minutes to even get in the room.
And for some reason, all of the folks who needed a consult with the pharmacist were in line ahead of me.
It was 11:05 when I arrived at the rental return. I breathed a sigh of relief, jumped out and locked the doors of the rental.
With the keys and my bag inside.
You read that right. I locked the friggen' keys inside. With my luggage.
No problem they said, we'll have OnStar unlock it from their control station in the sky.
Five minutes later: Um, it seems your car isn't registered with OnStar. We're going to have to send "the guy" up to unlock it. No, we don't know how long that might take.
While I'm begging the OnStar gods to somehow work a miracle, I realize something. Something that will make this situation even worse.
I did, indeed, have to check that bag (if I ever got it out of the rental car). I had dangerous contraband such as liquid foundation and mousse and mascara in there! There's no way I would make it through security and keep my record felony free.
Eeegads! It's now 11:15 and my flight leaves in just over 1/2 an hour. And I have to check the bag!
And "the guy" hadn't even shown up yet.
Suddenly, the car unlocked. I grabbed my junk and started run-walking (or ralking as it shall be called from this point out) to the shuttle.
Two stations were open at the airline check in (the sky caps were not faring much better). However, there were quite a few "self serve" kiosks available.
It was also painfully obvious that most travelers are not mentally, physically, or emotionally prepared to operate such kiosks. Those "devil machines" were confusing everybody.
Finally, at 11:25 I was ralking my way to security. I raced through the security lines as fast as molasses in wintertime and saw
flashing next to my flight number on the information monitors.
Eeek! I have blisters on my feet from my apparently lethally "cute shoes", I'm sweating, and I'm talking out loud, to myself, in a public place like a paranoid schizophrenic.
As I see my gate, relief seeps into my mind.
Until, for some reason, I wondered about my boarding pass.
I opened my purse to check for it. But it was not there.
It was gone.
I must have left it in the stupid grey bin they make you put all of your dangerous paraphernalia in for the xray machines.
Do I go on without it? Go back? Go on? Go back? Which one!
Go back. I'll just run through the back side of security and grab it quick.
Backtracking, I see that there IS NO back side of security. I would have to go all the way around and go through the lines and the xray machines and, if I was lucky, find that stupid pass.
Fighting the urge to sit down and cry, I ralked myself to the customer service desk at my gate. I held up my baggage claim sticker and my license and said, "I'm supposed to be on this plane, but this is all I have to show for it."
Before I could begin to explain, she handed me my pass.
I walked up the line of passengers, asking what number they were. When I found my place, I looked up and saw the Southwest employee looking at me expectantly. I handed him my pass and walked on board.
I'd made it. By the hair on my chinny chin chin.
I was pretty hungry as all I'd eaten all day was a banana. But, I should have plenty of time to grab lunch on my way to Tracy.
We landed. I got my rental. I had plenty of time to spare.
Until I came up over the hill before Dublin and saw this:
It took me 2 hours and 10 minutes to go less than 60 miles.
I did not get lunch.
But, I did get to see our new house. And I really liked it.
I had dinner with my Dad.
And I got to sleep in a nice, quiet hotel room.
Finally, things were looking up.
And then Allen called.