Monday, March 22, 2010

And you thought Friday the 13th was unlucky.

Last weekend I volunteered to escort my Grandma home to New Jersey. She's 90 and doesn't like to travel alone. So I volunteered - wait - did you get that? I VOLUNTEERED, yes volunteered, to fly up with her on Saturday the 13th, and then turn around and come right back on Sunday. The plan was set - Arrive at NJ at 3:30, Uncle picks up Grandma at the airport, I spend the night with my cousin (she lives the closest to the airport) and then fly home on Sunday at 3:30pm. Literally 24 hours in NJ. My cousin is so excited she tells me she has planned an early St. Patty's day party at her house. When I get there it will be in full swing. Just enough time to get in a few drinks and then get back on the plane. SWEET!
Unfortunately things went horribly, horribly wrong.....

Saturday 3/13

11:30
Throw bag in car, say goodbye to the husband and the cat, make like a baby and head out.

12:00
Arrive at airport for 1:05 flight. Right on Schedule! Meet Grandma and my mom at Burger King inside the airport. Mother informs me flight is already delayed 1.5 hours. Hmmmn. Suddenly not on schedule.

12:15
Order some fries to kill time.

12:30
I can see mom is starting to squirm. Her right eye is twitching. She’s eager to get back on the road. I finally relent and say maybe we should get to the gate? Mom jumps up and power walks away before we can say smell ya later.

12:32
HOLY SMOKES BATMAN this wheelchair is HE-A-VY and I have chosen the worst possible type of carry-on luggage for this endeavor. Somehow we make it through the security line.

12:45
At the gate, sure enough, sign says NOW DEPARTING 2:30. I look at Grandma, She looks back at me and says “Ok. So we wait.”

1:30
What? What....me? Yeah, did you say something? No I yawned. Oh.

1:42
My butt is asleep. I decide we need some movement. Ask Grandma does she want to browse the little shops in the terminal? She almost kisses me on the lips YES I would like that very much she says. I think she’s just happy for the distraction. I load up all our crap, and hobble off, pushing the wheelchair and my luggage, while blood flow slooooowwwly returns to my butt cheeks.

2:01
I know you’ve got people trapped here in the terminal, but seriously? 68 dollars for a scarf? A COTTON scarf? That my husband would most likely shrink in the wash? Grandma eyes the costume jewelry suspiciously and whispers to me, “This looks cheap.”

2:15
Back at the gate. OK! We should be boarding soon. No use taking that book out of my bag.

2:16
“Folks…. Uhh. It doesn’t look good. We have been given the word from Master Control that we aren’t cleared for take off until 6pm.”

2:17
I reach into my bag for said book.

3:45
After what seems like hours of sitting there reading, I ask Grandma is she hungry? She lowers her reading glasses and says what the hell! We’re not doing anything else right? I offer to take a look at the eating options and come back with a full report. She agrees that’s easiest.

3:46
I take the opportunity to call Dave and find out what he’s doing. He tells me he’s having a beer hanging out in the sunshine, cat is taking a nap, and he might do the same later. I am jealous and immediately regret calling him.

4:08
I plop down beside Grandma with a handful of menus, some very obviously NOT take-out menus. She eyes me over the stack, How did you get these? I stole them, I say. She laughs a humongous hearty laugh. Several people turn around to look.

4:10
We decide we want southwest eggrolls from Chili’s. Just then the little man who lives in the loudspeaker tells us our departure time has moved up to 5:30! Hooray! I hightail it back to Chili’s to get some food to-go.

4:40
We scarf down food. I am afraid Grandma will choke. I tell her she better be careful, I am not about to give her mouth to mouth if she chokes. She laughs and almost chokes for real.

5:00
ALL PRE-BOARDS CAN BOARD NOW. Don’t mind if we do!

5:15
WOO HOO! We’re on the plane!

5:25
Woo hoo! Everyone else is on the plane!

5:30
Hmm. Wonder why the door is still open?

5:40
This can not be good. The door is still open.

5:45
“UHH Folks, this your Captain. I guess you’ve heard… we will try to take off as soon as we can.” We all look around at each other – what is he talking about? I call my mom, False alarm, we are still on the ground, what does the website say? She looks it up and tells me we now have a 6:55 departure time.

5:46
Pick jaw up off floor.

6:30
They finally close the door and we start to taxi.

7-ish
Up in the air and on our way. I don't remember the exact time - Its hard to see your watch through tears of joy.

9:15
After an uneventful flight, we arrive over NJ, pilot informs us this will be a VERY bumpy landing into Newark. Please buckle up.

9:25
It is really bumpy. I mean REALLY bumpy! I am getting slightly nauseous. My stomach keeps dropping out because it literally feels like we're falling. A big wind gust pushes us sideways and a lady in front of us screams a blood curling scream. The cabin lights all go on. The 20 year old stewardess starts to freak out and starts yelling from her little backwards seat in the front "HEAD BETWEEN YOUR KNEES!! HEADS BETWEEN YOUR KNEES!!!!!" I am in shock and think omg is this it? Am I gonna die in a plane crash on a flight that I volunteered for? Grandma looks at me and says "What is she saying?" I say nothing. Just relax and keep reading your book.

9:30
Somehow we land. Everyone applauds. I say a quick prayer that this was not the end. Hey look at that? Not too too late for the party!!

9:45
Meet uncle at baggage claim. HI!! He loads up Grandma and I wave. Goodbye!! I load up into the car service that's been waiting for me and I call my cousin - I'm on my way Woohoo!

10:50
Car service is lost. These streets are all blocked off because they are flooded from the weather... I offer from the back seat to call my cousin to get alt. directions, he declines, "The GPS will eventually pick us up and help us... its just so dang cloudy." sigh. this day will not end.

11pm
Get to my cousin's house. She answers the door in her PJ's. I have missed the entire thing. Everyone is gone, or passed out. Dang!! She gives me a beer and some leftover food. We sit in the living room for a little chat before we call it a night. Her brother is passed out on the couch.

11:14
Suddenly he sits up. She says Are you OK? He nods and lays back down. We go back to gabbing.

11:15
He shoots upright again. She says Hey, if your gonna puke you gotta go to the--BLUUURRRGGGG!!!!!!! he barfs all over the rug. We run screaming into the kitchen for paper towels and a pail. HOLY SCHNIKIES I CAN NOT CATCH A BREAK.

11:32
He finally is awake after all the commotion, looks up at me from the couch, where he is holding his bucket-o-vomit and says "Hey! How was the flight?"

12:00 am
Lay down in guest bedroom, cousin promises to make me coffee and a fritatta in the morning. All I can think of is - I volunteered for this.

All was not lost. Sunday was nice. We had a lovely breakfast and I did get a few quality hours in with the relatives. It was just so incredibly short. By the time we cleaned up the table I had to get back on the road so I could catch my flight home....... which was... you guessed it.... delayed. But only by an hour and a half.

Peanuts!

1 comment:

Karen said...

Doesn't sound like much fun for you, but it makes for a great blog post!