The Traveling Day From Hell

So as some of you know, American Airlines grounded 500 flights yesterday (Tuesday). Mine was one of them. I happily boarded my plane in Salt Lake City and flew to Dallas/Ft. Worth. The woman at SLC was so nice and moved my seat so that my 20 month old could have a seat to himself. Oh, the flight was great, he did great. Woohoo! We get to Dallas, and just before we deplane an announcement is made that all the super 80 planes are grounded due to something… I thought, surely that’s not me, I’ve never heard of a super 80 I must always fly on 7__7 when I go to Floida (where my parents live). So, I get off the plane and check my flight… CANCELLED. Oh man…

I look behind me, there exists a line of at least 100 people with one person helping. I walk down a few gates, same situation. So, I go back to the original gate and get in line. My son sat nicely in his stroller. They make an announcement that we should try to call and rebook over the phone. I do so, and they say the next flight to Ft. Myers is 6pm tomorrow… Uh… Anything to Miami or Tampa? Miami at 7:30am… I‘ll take it. What about hotel accomodations? You’ll have to wait in line at the airport for those. Dang. So, I keep standing in line and the people around me are nice enough to push my stroller along the non-moving line so that I can chase my son around the airport… who would pitch a fit every time I said no to the escalators, revolving doors, etc. Needless to say I was at a point where I didn’t really care what anyone thought of my son’s behavior nor my parenting. I let him pitch the fit, and he’d get over it.

Three hours later I’m at the front of the line. They give me a voucher for the Gaylord Texan… I think, great a hole in the wall. They give me vouchers for a taxi and I’m on my way. I arrive at the amazingly beautiful hotel/convention center and there’s an hour long line. I decided to go get something to eat at the restaurant in hopes of the line getting shorter, but after hearing there’s a 35 min wait, I decide against it. So, I go back and stand in an hour long line.

While in line my roommate from college from calls me. Great timing, since I’m not going anywhere. It’s close to 9 pm, my son hasn’t napped and I’m about 10 people to the front of the line. John finally starts screaming. The lady in front of me continues to turn around and give me and my son dirty looks. I make sure to tell my friend on the phone, loudly, yeah, John’s upset after sitting in his stroller for 3 hours. He’s got food, a drink, and he wouldn’t want me to hold him, and he’s too heavy for me to do so for long. He’s just tired and wants to move around. So, I hang up with her and all the people in front of me are either giving me dirty looks or looks of sympathy, and yet no one thinks about letting me move to the front of the line so that I can get my screaming son to bed.

So, I finally get to the front of the line. I get my room assignment and some toothpaste and a toothbrush and I’m off. (And the line is no shorter… thank goodness for not eating dinner.) On the way to my room, I pass a gift shop for kids. I get a t-shirt for my son and myself so that we have something to wear tomorrow. I also buy a 20 oz Dr. Pepper which turned out to be $3.25!!!! Sigh. I go up to my room unlock the door, walk in, and…. there’s open luggage, shoes, hairbrush, glasses, etc. all over the place. I call the front desk. They tell me the people asked to change rooms and they’ll do their best to locate them…. ha! I respond I don’t think so, I’ve been standing in 4 hours worth of lines with my 20 month old son, its 9:30 at night, all I want to do is eat dinner and go to sleep, and I have to wait until who knows how long for these people to come back and get their stuff. No. So you want another room? Duh. Yes. So 1/2 later the bellhop finally shows up with my other room key and promptly delivers the crib to my new room. I get settled, order room service, eat my $20 cheeseburger, and then go to sleep.

I wake this morning early, throw on my new shirt and throw my hair up using a pen. I am 2nd in line for the shuttle but didn’t realize the man had to take your name, so the crowd of people mob the driver, and I decide that I’m thankful for my taxi voucher and grab a cab. I arrive at the airport and get dropped off for my gate D17…. well, I double check, its C22? is that what it is C22? So, I take the tram to C22 only to realize its C2 and its 2 minutes until boarding and I haven’t eaten breakfast. Walk quick quick quick. Whew… at the gate on time. John’s screaming, more looks of pity and annoyance, I’m about to scream.

I get on the flight, and squeeze into my seat. I sit. My son falls asleep during take off. Whew. Thank you Lord. I look up and realize the flight attendent has passed me without asking if I wanted something. I try to wave him down, (he’s a row behind me) and he doesn’t see. So the nice lady right next to him tries to flag his attention with no success, so she taps him on the shoulder. He jumps out of his skin and says Oh no, you don’t touch us, you simply need to wave to get our attention. She points me out. He comes back to me, points to the button and says, you need to use this next time. Yeah, I can’t reach it. I would just like… No, I can’t help you right now you need to wait. He serves someone a tomato juice. They scoot the cart back a row to let someone in their seat. I look at the guy. I would just like…. no you need to wait I’m letting this man into his seat. Right… like you’re doing a lot of hard work by holding the cart. Finally he asks what I would like. A Dr. Pepper, but I don’t need the can. You don’t want the can. No, I don’t have a place to put it, motioning to my sleeping child. So, he comes back and hands me just the can saying its easier to put in the pocket of the seat then a cup, is that ok. Sure. Whatever. I grab the can… its luke warm, I open it and take about 4 sips. Gross. My son wakes up, it spills… thanks mister the cup would have been gone by now. A few minutes later they come by with the trash cart. Here’s this, I don’t want it. Do you have milk for my son. Yes, but you need to wait, because its in the back. Right… since the woman just walked back there to accomodate someone else. I wish my son was pitching a fight right then like he was when they were 10 rows in front of us. Fast forward. My son, hits my ear, the back of my earring flies off, and I’m reduced to teary eyes… Are you kidding me?

We land. Oh thank you. My son is soaked because I couldn’t change his diaper. He’s now pushing the stroller through the airport in a t-shirt, diaper, and shoes with his blankie on his head. Lots of laughs. I walk about a mile to almost the baggage claim and look for my brand new phone. I can’t find it. I RUN back and ask a lady to go look on the plane. I decide to look again. Found it. Nice… Feeling sheepish, I walk the mile back again, finally my parents. Amen. Two hours later, home. Ahhh..

Look up my baggage status. The flight it’s coming on CANCELLED…………. I need a Dr. Pepper.

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