I should have known that it was going to be a rough trip when I hit the TSA officer in the face. (Yes, this happened) but I didn't catch on until many hours later!
To clear up the TSA incident, I was in the Alex airport and it was me and five TSA officers because it's a very small airport (but well protected from terrorists!). We were all chatting, about nothing in particular, as I was going through security and I got to the end of the xray machine and grabbed my shoes to put them back on. One of the officers asked about my trip and I was running through the list of what I'd done when it happened...my shoe got stuck on the grey plastic basket and as I yanked it up, too quickly, it flew out of my hand and hit the TSA officer in the side of the head, hard. I couldn't have hit him that squarely if I'd aimed. He turned around, quickly and mad, and I can only imagine the expression on my face as I mumbled "I'm so sorry..." then burst out laughing. (I know that was NOT the time to laugh but if you'd seen how mad he was you'd laugh too!) The other four TSA people also burst out laughing, because they'd seen what happened and knew it was an accident, then they explained to him how it happened-not a moment too soon either! I then told him "my husband is NOT going to be happy if I have to call him to bail me out of jail for assault with a deadly flip flop," and they all laughed with me!
I went on through security, unscathed, and waited for my plane. I was reading my book Confessions of a Prep School Mommy Handler (really good book!) when the plane got there, early! We boarded and left a few minutes early-awesome!
I got to Houston with a few minutes to run to the ladies room, powder my nose, swing by one of the gift shops, and pick of a couple of snacks for the next leg of the flight. Awesome! I get a great seat, right by the customer service desk, where I can hear all kinds of good stuff, and wait the next few minutes for my plane. I sort of tuned out everyone around me as I was reading but I start to notice the airport getting crowded. I check my fight status and it's been delayed about 20 minutes, not great but not unreasonable. I keep reading. The airport is getting even more crowded so I check my flight status again, delayed an additional 45 minutes, uh oh. I start over hearing weary travellers at the customer service counter, they were all so grumpy! It was like the guy behind the counter was personally responsible for the delays and he was sabotaging any hope they had to ever leave Houston, even though he was extremely courteous. I hear something about weather, I text Keith and Nicole to see what they can find online because it quickly becomes apparent that if I move I will lose my seat and any hopes of a seat for hours! I look at the radar and it's not good! There is a huge storm, stretching from Texas to Illinois, basically my flight path...see below.
The delays kept coming in, the stranded travellers kept getting nastier, but it was a great day for people watching! Speaking of people watching, I didn't tell this part of the night to anyone but Keith, but since I'm sure the guy who did this doesn't read my blog I'm going to share. I made a comment on my facebook status about men who forget to zip their zippers. Anyone who has insight on WHY this always happens, do tell! I see men unzipped all the time, they really are just big toddlers, but this particular night I was sitting in front of the flight status screens and I'd kind of made a game out of laughing a little at the men with unzipped pants. It all came to a screeching halt when I saw a man with unzipped pants who didn't have on underwear! Seriously! Gaping unzipped pants, nothing else! I got so embarrassed that I could feel the heat on my face and I buried my head in my book as quickly as possible. I wanted to tell him so spare him embarrassment but I couldn't bring myself to do it!
We eventually changed gates so I relocated to the other end of the airport to wait for my flight. I may have moved away from the customer service desk but I still heard plenty of interesting conversations (however, I didn't look for unzipped pants anymore! ugh!). I overheard old oilfield workers talking about getting jollies from the pat down at security, (seriously TSA, ya'll might want to rethink these) I over heard cell phone convos to all over the world, and I was lucky enough to over hear a group of soldiers talking about the security level at their base, I had to ask.
"I've been a little out of the loop this weekend, and I couldn't help but overhear what you said about security, what happened?"
The young soldier, who couldn't have been over 20, said "I don't know, I think we killed Kadafi's son or something." He said.
"Kadafi? I don't think Kadafi has that kind of fire power does he? Really?" I asked.
PFC Cutie then says "I don't know, it's all I can think of though. They have the base on the highest security level we have. They aren't letting anyone on and they're checking everyone."
I didn't have any other ideas so I just went back to my book.
A little while later I saw a man freak out at the ticket counter, I think we'd all had a few too many delays. We had a pilot, we had a plane, but we didn't have a flight attendant so we couldn't leave. I, so sincerely, told the pilot and gate attendant that I'd serve drinks, fill out paperwork, or anything else they needed if they would just take me home. I even agreed, on behalf of the entire plane, to forfeit drinks on this flight but they weren't having any of it. So we waited.
When the flight attendant finally arrived, looking frazzled, we all applauded for her! I have never been so happy to see a complete stranger as I was that night!
We were on the plane and nearing take off at 10:40! We got off the ground and had been in the air when the pilot makes this announcement.
"I don't know how many of you keep up with current events but all the major media channels are saying the state department is expected to announce that we killed Osama Bin Laden!" The entire plane erupts into applause and cheers! I got a little sick at my stomach for so many reasons. I know I play a hard nose republican but I can't help but think that was someone's son, daddy, brother, etc and it seems wrong to cheer that he's been killed.
This was the longest flight ever! Aside from the little fear that we were going to go down in a blaze of terrorist jihad, the weather was brutal! It was such a bumpy flight and we kept doing that thing where it feels like you're falling out of the sky. At one point the guy sitting beside me and I had both dozed off and woke up to what felt like the plane falling out of the sky! What is it about feeling like you're dying that makes you grab hold of the nearest stranger? Ugh! More embarrassment!
After the wake up scare, I decided to read some of my celebrity gossip rags till we landed. No more dozing with strangers for me! I'm deep into which of the Kardashian's is fat and how Steven Tyler has survived when the pilot makes the announcement, "looks like Indy is experiencing some pretty bad weather and we're going to have to circumvent the airport." That's when the tears bubbled over and I looked at the guy beside me and said "it's been a really long day, but circumvent means go around, doesn't it? I just want to go home to my babies!"
I did finally make it home, at 2:49am and I promptly went upstairs and kissed my babies!
Just an FYI, I could have driven and been home in 15 hours, I wouldn't have had to be visually assaulted, listen to profanity in every dialect, and I could have plugged my cell phone in! I chose to fly because it'd be a little quicker and safer, best laid plans, right! Ha!