Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Sweet Home Alabama, Part 1

I'm home today, but oh, it was so hard to come home! It's always hard to come home and be away from Robin, but this trip was just so especially fun, and Khy so especially cute, and he's growing up so fast... it kind of broke my heart because I knew that the next time I saw him he'd probably be crawling (or walking - the little guy is practically doing backflips already!!!). They grow up so fast and it kills me to be so far away. I guess I am a little upset today. :(

Anyway... as I said, it was a terrific trip and I'm alway amazed at how much we manage to cram in to these weekends!

On Saturday, I arrived at the airport in plenty of time for my flight, and then they announced that my 8 AM flight was going to be delayed for an hour and 45 minutes. I only had a 50 minute layover in Tennessee, so I went to the Delta desk to ask if they could arrange another connection for me. I handed the agent my boarding pass, and she told me I wasn't on the 8 AM flight. ???? She said my flight - the 8 AM flight - had been rescheduled for 6 AM, so I'd missed it. However, the 10 AM flight had also been rescheduled for 8 AM, so she said she'd put me on that. But it was still going to be delayed for an hour and 45 minutes, so I was still going to miss my connection, I pointed out. (I realized later that since the 10AM-turned-8AM-turned-9:45AM flight was going to Atlanta, instead of Tennessee, I was actually going to miss my connecting flight no matter how late my flight was delayed, but neither the agent nor I actually realized this. Although I have an excuse, since she hadn't handed me my new boarding pass and I had no way of knowing that I was going to Atlanta instead of Tennessee). This seemed to puzzle her. She finally booked me on a flight that left for Huntsville at the same time my original connection would have taken off. I thought that this was stupid, since mathematically, there was no way I was going to make this flight. Anyway, the agent said there really wasn't much I could do about it, I "might make the connection" and if not then get the agent there to help me. Okay...

The flight was delayed EXACTLY 50 minutes; we touched down, I grabbed my bag and ran. There were about 5-8 of us on the flight who had extremely tight connections, and we flew down the entire length of the Atlanta airport trailing our bags. This airport is big - you can take a bus from one end to the other. I ran it and pulled up just as the flight pushed back from the gate. The agent there was extremely nice - he felt really bad for me and said they'd waited for us as long as they could. :(

I called Robin to tell her not to come get me, as I had missed my flight. My best friend is getting pretty used to this routine, sadly. I went to the Delta help desk and the agent there found me a seat on a 1:40PM flight to Huntsville. Originally all she could find was a 4:30PM flight, but I started babbling on about how how it was my best friend's birthday, we had plans and were going to go to a music festival that night which would be impossible if I didn't land until 4:30, etc, etc, and either through pity or whatever, she put me on the 1:40 instead. Because I picked up an hour, I landed at 1:40, still almost three hours later than my original flight but WAY better than 4:30.

I sat in an airport cafe for awhile, reading a magazine and drinking really bad iced coffee, and then went to board for my final flight.

At D.C. I actually took the trouble of putting my bag into one of those "check it, or check it" bins, because even though it's an overnight bag, it's soft-sided (I have my eye on a hard case for my next bag) and I tend to overstuff it. It fit, no problems, and I hadn't had any issues on the flight down, but it either shifted from being carried on its side or this airplane was smaller, because I would not fit into the overhead bin. Not even close. The steward watched me as I lifted it up and then couldn't get it into the bin, and when I turned around to ask "What now?" he snatched my bag from me and started ranting about "all you who don't bother to check your bags and then expect us to fix it for you, blah blah blahblahblah." And he basically disappeared with my bag. I was a little stunned. I expected him to bring me a pink valet tag, and he never did, so when I got off the plane I asked the other stewardess where to pick up my bag.
"They'll bring them to the top of the ramp," she said. So I went to the top of the ramp and waited. And waited. And waited. Finally I went back to the agent. "Are you sure they'll be here?" I asked.
"Oh, they'll take them around the corner," she tells me. I'm ticked now. "You said they'd bring them HERE!" I pointed out.

"Well... here around the corner."


By the time I made it around the corner, the bags had come and gone, and my bag had gone to unclaimed baggage, which was exactly what I DIDN'T want to happen. Since unclaimed baggage is beyond security anyway, I decided to go ahead and find Robin and then my bag.
So I start walking towards baggage claim and as I come down the stairs I see a crowd of people, holding a "Welcome" sign. This is cute., I think. And then...everyone sees me and starts yelling "Welcome to Alabama, Sarah!" and giving me hugs... except I don't actually know any of them. :) Turns out a family from Robin's church was also at the airport to pick up their daughter, so they decided to help welcome me, too! It was quite a surprise.

We had planned on going to see the new treehouse exhibit, and then we were going to meet Robin's brother, Jesse, for a music festival, but by the time I got in, we were all so hot and tired that a girl's night in with a movie and snacks sounded 100 times better. :)
We stopped for lunch at Chick-fil-a, then stopped in at the grocery store to pick up diapers and snacks (lol, I can't honestly say that I saw THAT combination in our future!).
Poor Rachel had graduated the night before, and then gone to a late graduation party, so she was pretty exhausted. :)
At home, I got to hang out with Khy, who was a little leery of me at first but warmed up fast, and watch episodes of Whose Line Is It, Anyway? I think we disturbed Khy a little bit with our hysterical laughter. :)

Mrs. Shaffer cooked the most scrumptious lasagna for dinner... Seriously, I thought I was going to die! Lasagna is one of my favorite dishes and it's the one thing I can't really get out in town, and can't make at home because of the food allergies of my family. Since Robin's birthday was on Friday, we celebrated at dinner and had some delicious cake. :)
Robin's dad - now "Grandpa!" - lights the candles on Robin's birthday cake.
Khy wants some birthday cake, too!
"Aunt" Rachel, who is photographing the event, takes a moment to play with Khy.
The birthday girl blows out her candles!

I got to snuggle more with Khy after dinner, then when he went down for the night, Robin and I curled up on the couch to watch The Blind Side. I was really poised to hate this movie, and the first few minutes did grate on me just a bit, but I have to say that I'm actually a fan now. Definitely a great movie!

We rolled into bed around midnight, excited about the next day. :)

To be continued...

1 comment:

Elizabeth said...

Were we like separated at birth or something? I have refused to watch The Blind Side, I love Whose Line Is It Anyway (when it's clean-ish), and while I generally have GREAT experiences traveling, I had issues this last trip. I'm getting creeped out! ;)