That’s right, it’s over. I had such a delightful time while staying with Chiara and Tom and the two girls; I wish I could have spent more time with Finley which is what they expect me to say. However, I spent considerable time with Francesca; We read, we drove to school, we looked at 245 Halloween photos three times. I made her a rubber band bracelet, dressed her, undressed her and brushed her teeth and hair. We had several chats about this and that and silly questions were answered and I have been trying all day to remember what some of her destinations and professions were for “This little piggy…”, because they were clever!
I had to blow a kiss goodbye to Chiara because she was in bed and insulated with baby on her left and a crib and cat on her legs. Last night was a rough night for Mommy, Fletcher did not want to go to sleep! It might have been the birthday cake!
I left Tia in charge and headed off to the airport with Tom and the girls. Good thing I packed last night! We made it to the airport in good time; Tom had checked me in last night. I mentioned that maybe I would check my bag outside but Tom quickly dissuaded me with the tale of Chiara’s missing sunglasses. When we got to the airport, I noticed Tom was heading towards Terminal A to drop me off – No, he was going to premium parking and he and the girls were going to walk in with me. Everybody out and we are in a part of the airport, I’ve never seen. We’re headed up the escalator to the concourse level and Tom asks me if I just have these two bags? Two bags? NOOoooo, I have 3 bags, where’s my computer? In the car….YIKES! Tom says, “no worry, I’ll get it”. He directs me to turn left at the top of stairs and head to what I think is going to be the Jet Blue counter.
I have a suitcase, handbag and two little girls in tow and walking and walking and walking. Francesca is distracted by the gift shop that is selling Minnie Mouse dolls and the fountain with the Lion’s head spouting water. I am wondering why I’m passing restaurants and stores in an area where the check-in counters are? The answer is you are NOT in the area where the check-in counter are, you are now at security. I only have to wait a few minutes before Tom shows up with my computer bag. I tell him that we’re at security and I wanted to check my bag in. He says, “Why, you can take this one onboard”. “I can’t because then I have 3 bags and I can only get with two”. Tom: “They won’t care”. Lori: “Yes they will, they are very strict about this”. So Tom says: “Well put one of those bags into the suitcase”. So typical of a man, just solve the immediate problem. I’m concerned my glasses will be crushed as he jams my handbag into the suitcase. It’s getting hot in the airport or I’m getting stressed and sweating. I think it was the latter.
I wend my way through the zig zag maze of stanchions and black tape up to the first checkpoint, dropping my scarf along the way (thank you sir). As soon as I get to the counter I realize I don’t have my photo ID. It is in the g__d purse which is in the suitcase. Flushed with stupid embarrassment, I tell the Officer that I forgot it’s in my handbag in my suitcase. I plop the suitcase down on the floor and fumble with which end the zipper pull is at since it is one of those which open at either end! The lady behind was NOT happy. The gods must have been smiling down on me because I was able to unzip, reach into the handbag and actually put my hand on the case with my license. Check! Next, off with the shoes, put the computer in one bin, the case in another with my scarf, and shove the suitcase up onto the conveyer belt. I have to tell you I DO NOT LIKE putting the computer through the scanner and then finding out there is only ONE line going through the body scanner. I am straining to lean over and keep an eye my stuff, “Please raise your arms over your head”! I step out and am about to go over to pick up my computer when one of the TSA people say, “Excuse I have to pat down your shoulders, please put your arms straight out”. My shoulders? I don’t even had shoulder pads on!
When you’re already stressed and sweating you can rest assured that the Gate you’re supposed to go will be the farthest one away, the last one in the concourse and of course mine was! Did you know that the Starbucks in the West Palm airport does not carry those very important green picks? The ones that protect your hand from being burned by hot coffee as it bounces out thru the sip top while you are walking the mile and half to your gate? Yes it’s true.
Aha there was an upside to this long walk. I figured out way to get my suitcase checked in. The seating area was filled and there was no one at the Jet Blue counter BUT there was a man at the entrance of the jetway and I marched right up to him and threw my son-in-law under the bus – Sorry Tom I had to do it. I told the man that my son-in-law thought we were late so he got us to the concourse instead of check in to save time but I really didn’t want to carry on this suitcase, can you help me (big smile)? Of course he could and probably would have done so even without my fabrication. Again, sorry Tom!
Finally at the door to the plane and what do I see but this very tall man dressed in a ground personnel uniform standing there with my suitcase. I ask him if that bag is going to be checked and he asks me if it is my bag? I say yes and he tells me I can take it onboard if I wish – NO I do not wish! THEN he asks me what I have in the cup and immediately I wonder if one is not allowed to bring coffee onboard. I look a little startled and say: “Coffee” – he smiles and says: “You could have gotten Dunkin’ Donuts coffee onboard and for free”. Music to your ears, Tom?
Dunkin Donuts logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
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