Monday morning, I wake up at 4:30 am like any other human being trying to travel across the country and arrive home by noon, like flying across the country is just no big thing.
“Oh me? Just jaunting to DC this weekend, no big thing, business per usual on Monday!”
Sunday night, we discussed our airport options. Probably take Uber, since the metro is a pain in the monkey with luggage, and I just want to sit in a car with a foreign francophone and discuss French history in French. The only time I speak French is in Uber cars in big cities.
Monday morning at 4:30, there are no Uber cars. We go back to bed.
Monday morning at 4:45, there is one Uber car. HALLELUJAH! Except this Uber is 3.4 x the normal rate. Sigh.
It’s fine, totally fine, CJ and I will just walk the four blocks to the metro in the freezing cold of 5:00 am and I will be fine, just fine, because I’ve traveled the world and I can handle an American metro with signs in English with an iPhone on full battery and everything will be fine.
The metro. Smoothest part of my day.
Monday morning, 6:30. Get on the plane, snuggle in to my 22B seat, checking out the old guy on my left and the old guy on my right who will alternate being my pillows for the flight, shrugging me off back and forth like a pin ball in a pinball machine. Damnit I was so tired.
Monday morning, 7:20. STILL sitting on the tar mac.
“Ladies and gentlemen, we just have THIRTY THOUSAND MORE GALLONS OF FUEL to put into the plane, then we will be on our way! Thank you for your patience.”
At first, I was like "You're welcome for my patience." And then I was like.. UMMM I HAVE A 37 MINUTE LAYOVER. And we have been sitting on this tarmac for 50.
You do the math. 37 minutes minus 50 minutes = aldkjalkj3aufldjalkj3lkjtad.
No tengo patience, lady. Ain't nobody got time for your DAMN THIRTY THOUSAND GALLONS OF FUEL.
I mean, it’s fine, totally fine.
Monday morning, 7:42. We lift off. MY GOD.
After pinball sleeping, I wake up and try to figure out if my iPhone adjusts for time zones in the air, if Phoenix and SLO are in the same time zone, also try to do math like “If I leave Phoenix at 10:30, that’s 9:30 in SLO, or is that 11:30?, and that’s like 1:30 in DC, not that that matters, but anyway where am I, who am I, what time is it?!” This is all hard to do with no wifi. Not like actually hard but it just feels hard like
HOW AM I SUPPOSED TO TELL WHAT TIME IT IS WITHOUT WIFI.
I ask the guy next to me. And he tells me matter of factly that it is indeed ten thirty, because he has a Samsung and apparently Samsungs can tell time in the air and iPhones cannot.
And then I have a FREAKING HEART ATTACK.
IT IS TEN EFFING THIRTY?! I START BOARDING AT TEN THIRTY AND WE ARE NOT EVEN TOUCHED DOWN?! AM I ON ROW TWENTY EFFING TWO?! AND IS THERE ONLY ONE ENTRANCE ON THE WHOLE PLANE? AND IS IT IN THE FRONT?!
Yes, the answer to all of these exclamatory questions, is yes.
I ask the flight attendant what gate we’re landing at, which makes me feel like an extra savvy traveler like “Ohh, we are landing in Terminal B? Perfect because there’s a Starbucks in the High B’s, just enough time for me to go to B5” blah blah blah.
Except, in reality, I was like “WOMAN! Where are we landing TELL ME NOW!”
And she told me we were landing at B4- HALLELUJAH PRAISE JESUS- because I was departing from B5. My hopes were high.
My hopes were not high enough to calm my body down, though, so I was sweating and my heart was beating visibly through my eyeballs, so the kind old guy next to me got up before the plane had stopped moving, so you know breaking like INTERNATIONAL LAW by moving when the seatbelt sign is still "lighted" (I feel like this is truly not a word), and got my backpack (heavy, heavy backpack) out of the overhead bin so I could book it out the plane.
But his gesture was all for naught. Because did I mention I’m in 22B? Did I mention that means there are 21 rows in front of me? Did I mention there IS NO BACK OF THE PLANE EXIT?!
DID I MENTION MY PLANE IS BOARDING AT THIS VERY MOMENT?!?!?!
Let’s just take a break here. Why do I need to be home at noon? Because. Because because because. It’s the principle here. Do I have anything to do that can’t be moved? NOOOO. But good GOD I WANT TO BE HOME. I want to be home with my boyfriend and eat lunch and take a nap and see the SUN. I missed the sun. Please get me to SLO.
So. Anyway, back to the plane. I’m in 22B, slowly, so slowly, trying to squeeze past everyone in my big ass back pack and, well speaking of that, with just my big ass, and my huge laptop bag, and then the guy ahead of me is like “My plane is leaving in ten minutes.”
In my mind, I was like “BITCH. MY PLANE IS LEAVING NOW.”
Ludacris and I have never had so much in common lyrically. If you don’t get this reference, it’s fine, we will move on.
So I get off the plane like THE LAST PERSON OF THE WORLD, and are we at B4? Is my beautiful B5 gate just right next door, patiently waiting for me to arrive smoothly, waving like Princess Diana, settling in for my short 40 minute flight to SLO, the land of my heart and happiness? Haha, NO.
We are at A19. A FREAKING NINETEEN. And guess where my plane is leaving from? B9. BEE FREAKNIG NINE. NOT EVEN IN THE SAME GOD FORSAKEN TERMINAL.
Cool Phoenix, pilots, US Airways, all the people involved in this switch, REALLY COOL OF YOU.
So, I do what every savvy traveler does when they are about to miss a flight. I RUN.
Also, did I mention, that I am coming from DC which is negative fourty eight degrees, so I am wearing a beanie, gloves, a scarf, a pea coat, leggings under my jeans, four inch thick socks, and knee high boots, did I mention that? I also have a travel backpack on my back, and my huge laptop bag, which is BANGING against my knees while my backpack plummets into my back with every effing step, like how I did not fall is beyond my understanding of physics and gravity.
I never want to see video footage of this run, ever.
I have to run down four corridors. This is not a joke. I also run on the walking moving thing (have you ever been to the Phoenix airport? GOOD GOD.), which is such a dangerous creature and a lot of time I try to avoid it but then I get SO PISSED when I see people walking on it at the same pace as I am and BEATING ME. Those walking things really do work. They work better when you run, I found out.
I find the gate. The God blessed beautiful gate to San Luis Obispo. B9. My favorite combination of letter and number that has ever existed. Until I look at the clock. The clock that reads 10:53. And then the words under the clock. The words that say “Door closes at 10:50”
I’m sorry DID I JUST MISS MY FLIGHT BY THREE EFFING MINUTES?
Monday morning, 10:53:
- I drop my back pack, my laptop bag, strip off my gloves, my hat, my scarf (all things that didn’t fall off in the run, how?), my jacket, my top shirt. Everything but my pants. In straight defeat. In horrible agony that three minutes has defined my day and at this moment MY WHOLE LIFE. Also, zero regards for my laptop and camera which are in the bag that I just slammed onto the floor.
- I put my hands over my face and I SOB. In front of all the passengers waiting for their next flight. I SOB and SOB like I missed a freaking funeral or something.
- I sob some more.
- I call John.
- I go to Customer Service, I cry at the desk, they put me on the next flight. Which is in FOUR HOURS.
- I call John back.
- I have John Google where the Starbucks inside the airport, which is in the “high B’s”, damnit I hate all B gates, and I finally get off the phone with him, which I was too scared to do earlier like I might just have a MELTDOWN because I have to spend four hours not in SLO.
- I find the Starbucks. AND THEN. This is the moment, ladies and gentleman, that has made the running, the sweating, the crying, ALL WORTH IT.
I find this beautiful baby:
Now I never have to go to Arizona EVER AGAIN. Thank GOD. (I collect these babies, because Starbucks has manipulated me with their voodoo marketing magic and now I need every one of these that has ever existed. This cup is like gold to me.)
- Get direct flights.
- Call your airport ahead of time and tell them IF THEY DO NOT PUT FUEL ON THEIR FREAKING PLANES THAT YOU WILL HAVE THEIR HEADS.
- Don’t say that, actually, bad idea.
- I will never go to Arizona ever again. Except to Antelope Canyon. Google it.
- Always sit in the rows closest to the front door.
- If you have a layover, wear running shoes.
- Actually, running to your gate is not worth it.
- I need to travel less.
- Haha, just kidding, I’m going to Orlando in 19 days!! Direct flights, baby.
- Starbucks is a sign from God that everything happens for a reason.
- Those walking moving things are called people movers. Just learned that. Fun fact.
- I hate Arizona.
- Everything is fine, totally fine.
p.s. I will shoot reenactments of all my blog posts from now on because shooting these pictures and then putting them up on this post is making me laugh OUT LOUD in Starbucks. Starbucks aka Where The Magic Happens. Magic = blogging, don't be gross.