Today, I bring you a treat.
I am cross-posting. It’s kind of a cross between cross-pollination and cross-dressing. Or not.
My good friend, Kelly (who blogs at Dances with Chaos and Writing with Chaos) and I are posting on each other’s blogs. You can read me ranting about my twins when they were in preschool HERE. Go visit. And comment.
But first, allow me to introduce Kelly, whom I instant message most nights (we save each other’s writing souls).
Kelly grew up in the Midwest but now makes her home in Texas with CG (her husband), the Tackler (her four-year-old son), and Lil Diva (her 20-month-old).
Besides having gorgeous kids, Kelly is a person who makes me laugh, makes me smile and makes me breathe a bit easier. She is a good woman who has a good heart and a good family. She is Midwest Best. (In case I’m painting her as perfect, I’ll have you know that she is a reluctant house cleaner, a compelling fiction writer, and a dancing machine. And sassy).
Just days ago, Kelly packed up her two kids and flew with them back home to visit her family. What follows is their airport disaster.
The cosmic stars wanted to align for a cross guest post. I told Leanne, “I’ll definitely use your guest post for Dances with Chaos on Friday for “what the frak.” If for some reason I have a major “WTF moment” to share, I’ll just guest post over on your blog.” She agreed to the brilliant plan.
It began with a typical Up Way Too Late the Night Before Leaving as I double and triple checked lists.
I finally crashed around 1:30 AM.
Naturally, my body woke me around 4:30 AM, refusing to allow an uninterrupted night of sleep, in true traveling fashion. I eventually dozed off, silencing the brain’s last minute “to do” list.
The annoying iPod alarm marimba’d in my headset, tossing me into a state of confusion.
Just a second before, I’d been furiously packing, carrying grocery bags, watching the time tick away until I was certain we’d miss our flight. Not only that, Jamie Oliver had to get to the airport with his violin and we were his ride.
It took a few minutes for the packing panic to fade as I realized it was only a dream.
Blurry eyed and half-dead, I ate a muffin and hopped into the shower.
I executed repeated attempts to wake up CG, who had issues falling asleep the previous night.
I finished the last minute packing and tossed about tasks for him to help me with.
Lil Diva awoke in time to eat, and I nudged the groggy Tackler awake, with just enough time to get dressed and eat his Eggos in the car.
“Honey, I need you to load the car. The bags are ready.”
We were a whirlwind of activity. I helped carry some of the bags downstairs, collected socks for the kids, and quickly perused to make sure all charging cables and electronics were packed.
I almost forgot my earphones.
“Did you get everything? The stroller? The rolling carry-on?” I asked again, climbing into the car.
“I have everything.”
7:15 AM – running fifteen minutes late
We drove to the airport, a bit slow thanks to rush hour. Still, we pulled up to unload about 7:50 AM for our 8:55 AM flight. Plenty of time.
I grabbed the diaper bag, backpacks, and carry-on bag as CG unloaded the back of the van. I quickly loaded a few bags into the stroller.
Something was wrong.
I saw a stroller, all of our carry-on entertainment food and supplies, and a green suitcase belonging to my mother I planned to leave in Iowa; it only held shoes and diapers
The main bag? Missing.
“Uh, honey, where’s the black luggage?”
“The black luggage we ALWAYS take on a trip.” Panicked, I glanced into the back of the van.
WHAT. THE. FRAKKING. FRAK.
“I loaded everything downstairs.”
My heart raced, ready to explode. I entered a state somewhere between “nervous breakdown” and “meltdown”.
“YOU DIDN’T GET THE BAG? THE ONE THAT HAS EVERYTHING? ALL OF OUR CLOTHES, BABY MONITOR, NIGHT DIAPERS, TOILETRIES, PAJAMAS….. EVERYTHING?”
“It wasn’t there.”
“Did you not notice something was off? The green bag hardly weighs anything and everything else is carry-on? Do you really think I could travel that lightly with two kids for a week?”
“I only had three hours of sleep.”
I stood there stunned, my brain already in a metaphorical puddle on the ground, lost on how to proceed with these unfathomable circumstances.
I might have cried.
Something. Just do something. Anything. MOVE!
I raced into the airport, leaving my husband and kids by the curb.
There was no curbside check-in for my airline.
I cut to the front. “Excuse me, I have a quick question. If I left a bag at home that has everything and I’m traveling with two small children. Can it take another flight without me?”
The attendant gave me an incredulous look, as if the simple suggestion certified me to be locked up. “No, you’d have to FedEx it to your destination.”
I fled back outside. I grabbed the only suitcase. I might have spoken, but I can’t remember. I ran away again, my husband utterly confused.
I waited in line.
A different attendant got me.
“Hi I need to check in, but my two kids are outside with my husband our car seats, and the bag I need to take with me is at home and it’s impossible to get it here in time. Are there any other flights today?”
She asked to see my ID and clacked away at her computer.
No flights today.
“What about tomorrow, the same flight?”
More clacking, a phone, a page completely unrelated to me, more phone calls and clacking. Seven minutes later, “Yes.”
In the interim, CG called, wonder what the frak was up.
“I’m trying to get another flight. You need to call FedEx and find out what it costs to ship an almost fifty pound suitcase.”
The clock ticked. Soon, I would have trouble maneuvering through security and to our gate before our plane left.
I had to decide.
“Forget it. I’ll keep our flight. I’m leaving my luggage here and going to get my kids and car seats.”
I fled from the attendant and found CG still by the curb. “I need the car seats. Now.”
Car seats which took an unfathomable amount of time to extricate.
I ran in, one seat and the rolling carry-on dropped off, returning a final time outside to get the second car seat and the kids. “I need you to ship that asap. I want it tomorrow.”
“That would be $300.”
“As fast as humanly possible without costing the price of an airline ticket. I NEED THAT BAG.”
By the time you read this post, it hopefully will have arrived – two days later (I wrote this in the car as my brother drove us from Kansas City to Iowa, as my children napped together for the first time in… like…ever – a small payback for Wednesday morning).
I see a Target and a sizable donation to their bottom line in my future.
Just when I think Murphy can’t top himself… what the frak, ya’ll?
Do you have a luggage horror story?
Or other travel horror where Murphy targeted you?