I usually don’t blog about the trip home. Let’s face it, it’s kind of anti-climactic. The drinks have been drunk, the sights have been seen, the fun has been had. But we had quite an adventure. We woke up to pouring rain…yeah. Our ride was there as promised at 10:00 a.m. for the hour and a half drive to the airport. We had two vans that took us 30 minutes up the road to Governor’s Harbor, where I assumed that there would be two more vans waiting to take us on to the airport. You know what they say about assumptions. There was one van, 11 people including the driver, and luggage for 10 people, one of whom is Gina, who never met a pair of shoes that she thought should be left behind. I’m not complaining, because you could live out of her suitcase for a year and she’s saved my ass with something she brought that I forgot more than once. We had suitcases strapped to the top of the van. Did I mention it was raining? For some strange reason the Beverly Hillbillies kept running through my mind.
We arrived at the airport a couple of hours before our 2:05 flight. I wish our story ended there. We talked about the fact we had a 3 1/2 hour layover in Miami and thought we might get there in time to switch to an earlier flight, and if not, there is 200 shop mall at the airport. That was a pipe dream. As it turned out, we had a two hour delay in Eleuthera, which left us just an hour in Miami to catch a bus to the international terminal, clear Immigration with 15,000 other people, claim our luggage, go through Customs, re-check our bags, go back through security and race 20 gates. Can you detect a potential problem here? I think the Marines have a term for what we were experiencing and its called FUBAR. We literally sprinted through the airport as they were announcing a final boarding call for our flight, but we all made it. Unfortunately, Julia and Tres’ luggage did not.
The rest of the gang at least got to sleep in their own beds last night. The Midland contingent had to stay overnight in Dallas for an early morning flight. I’m happy to say that the Grand Hyatt was a wonderful experience in an otherwise dismal day. One of the hotel’s best amenities is that it’s at the airport and thus keeps you close to your next flight delay. It’s in the brochure.
We got up early to make our flight to Midland…and this shouldn’t come as a shock to anyone…things did not go as planned. Our plane apparently got struck by lightening coming in (how would you like to have been on that flight) and had “maintenance issues.” This, of course, necessitated a plane change, a gate change and a delay…all surrounding the Big Burrito Debate. Purchasing a burrito apparently takes a lot more thought than I knew. American brought two other planes in before they found one that would actually accommodate everyone, and after we were all loaded, with our electronic devices powered down and our tray tables locked and stowed… Hey, wait! Stop the presses! One of the tray tables won’t lock! We experienced what in my mind will forever be know as the Great Tray Table Delay. I kid you not, another hour maintenance delay for a broken tray table latch and there wasn’t even anyone sitting there. This is how AA fixes a tray table lock: Step 1, wait 30 minutes for a qualified union aircraft mechanic. Step 2, mechanic uses duct tape to secure the table (no kidding). Step 3, the pilot takes an additional 30 minutes to approve the maintenance log. But boy howdy, I felt safer. I would have been really uneasy with regular Scotch tape. Obviously, American Airlines doesn’t have the equipment necessary to pull off a 50 minute flight. Thank God it wasn’t an overhead bin or we’d still be there. It was kind of garbled so I’m not 100% sure, but I think the pilot said at the end of the flight, “Thanks, and please choose American Airlines for your next flight delay.”
One last thing. It was so humid yesterday that my BFF, Julia, bestowed upon me a new alias. From henceforth, I will be known as Kinky Hemingway, since my hair resembled that of Roseanna Roseanna-Dana. I just love my friends…who are more than happy to point out the obvious, in case I missed the fact my hair looked like I stuck my finger in an electrical socket. I’m thinking of having my name legally changed.
Over and out,