Thursday, March 18, 2010

On the ground

We made it.  We have arrived in West Palm Beach, Florida in one piece...or three if you count Corey's busted luggage wheel floating around somewhere over Georgia by now.

I don't like posting pre-flight.  I'm one of those people who constantly thinks, "Were those my final words??"  So I didn't want to get all poetic and insightful on you because, honestly, unless it's a poem about pee splatters on a toilet seat or something else entirely inappropriate, it just isn't me. 

I also knew I would be a rambling mess.  Folks, I get so stinkin' nervous before I fly I practically collapse once I'm off the plane for good from sheer exhaustion.  You can imagine my energy is not being spent making sure I am forming complete and coherent sentences.

But here I am.  Alive.  Coherent.

I'm not going to lie to you; both legs of the trip were awful.  Terrible.  I almost peed my pants and slugged a few people.  Not only am I nervous, I am incredibly irritable.  Corey tried to talk to me during take-off, I yelled at him and curled into a ball.  The kid across the aisle played with his brother, I considered digging my nails into his dad who was sitting next to me.  The lady behind me, I call her "smarty-pants-know-it-all," pointed out every single thing she saw on our descent.  I was plotting her smack down in the terminal.

Then there was this guy:

"Excuse me sir, you put your bag in my overhead compartment."

"Uh,yeah.  There's no room back here."

"Yes, but this is above my seat and now there is no room for my bag.  You need to move your bag."

Thank you Corey for saying what I was thinking:
"Are you kidding me??"

Then there was this girl:

"(to the little old lady in her seat) I have the window seat."

"What deary?"  (I don't think she really said 'deary,' I'm just trying to illustrate that she was a sweet, little old lady, it matters here)

"You are in my seat."


"That is my seat.  I have the window seat."

"Oh!  I'm sorry dear, I'll just move over."

"You want me to climb over you?  Unbelievable."

Little old lady gets up, crawls out of the aisle, the nasty hippie walks by rolling her eyes.  I was plotting something extra special for her.

But then we landed.

I wish that was the worst of it.  We had technical difficulties on both planes.  The first, midway through the flight there was a sudden burst of cold air, like the door flew open.  My eardrums felt like they exploded!  It was over in a second, so obviously the door was still very much attached.  The captain came on, "Sorry folks, we had a bit of a pressure problem."

Then, after I sampled some biscuits in the Charlotte airport (we were in the South, and where else can you get a better biscuit than in the South?), we took off for West Palm.  As we prepared to land the pilot made a sharp turn back out to sea, in the opposite direction of the airport.  "We, uh, are having issues with our flaps.  We're going to go through our checklist and land in about 5-10 minutes."

The flaps he referred to were on our side of the plane.  We could see them.  And they definitely were not working.  They never started working after one circle 'round the ocean.  We landed anyway.  Came in hot, used up the entire runway.

But we survived.  And now I am looking for train tickets to take me back home.

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