Once we arrived at the Ixtapa airport to go home, I instantly wanted to be teleported home. Even though I was still in warm weather, I dreaded the next 8 hours of my life. Our 1st flight was landing in Phoenix and we had a two hour layover before our flight to SLC. Just enough time we thought. We shouldn't have been so optimistic.
Our plane was 1 hour late and by the time we took off, we feared the worst. As we landed, the stewardess came over the speaker and asked everyone who didn't have an immediate connection to wait in their seats and let the people that have close connections get off first. She said, "there is a family from London trying to make it back home and their plane leaves in 10 minutes." I wanted to say, "Lady, those foreigners aren't even going to be through customs in 10 minutes!"
Before I knew it, the Londoners were running down the aisle pushing people out of their way. The mom yelled out, "CHILDREN.. HURRY! CHILDREN, CHILDREN!!!" (just imagine that in a British accent) Soon the aisles were clogged and half the kids from London were still stuck in the back. All hell broke lose then. London mom yelled back, "I have children! Let my children through!" Another random lady yelled out, "Well, I have kids too!" And I sat there smiling to myself at the mental breakdown of two complete strangers.
We made it off the plane, through customs and managed to get all NINE pieces of luggage from baggage claim rather quickly. That's right... nine pieces of luggage for 6 people. Shocking. Those damned 3 sets of golf clubs normally hold up any quick escape my family might have.
Any hope we had on making our flight was quickly squashed when we got in line for security... and waited 45 minutes in line. By the time we got through security it was 8:53. Our plane left at 8:55. My mom stayed back with Bob and Jinny and the rest of us picked up our bags and ran. I believe I almost died twice on my sprint to the gate. This was no short distance we had to run.
Example A: We went through Security Check B (which is under the 3rd to the right large box above). Our gate was A24 (the far left box...at the end). This picture doesn't do it justice.
By the time we reached the gate, I felt like I had just ran a marathon. I half expected the gate agent to give me a metal and wrap one of those silver blankets around me and congratulate me on a job well done. But, he didn't. Damn him.
The four kids got on the plane while the ticket agent told my dad to wait outside for my mom and grandparents. There's nothing like running on a plane panting and drenched from my own sweat to make a girl feel pretty. Oh, and I hadn't showered that day either. Needless to say, my fantasy of meeting a hot, eligible bachelor and falling madly in love while on the plane was not going to happen.
The captain made an announcement and said he was waiting on a few passengers that were trying to make the connection. READ: my family. And that he would wait 10 more minutes. Five minutes later, they shut the plane door.
My sister Hailey grabbed a flight attendant and said, "My parents and grandparents are right outside. We can't leave them." Instead of running down the aisle screaming, which is what I would have preferred the flight attendant to do, he calmly picked up the phone in the back and rang the attendant at the front of the plane to inform him of our situation.
About a minute later, the captain came back on and said, "We have a situation. There are a set of grandparents outside the gate that are trying to get on the plane. If you could all be patient while we sort this out, it would be appreciated. But I am sure you can all understand that if it was your grandparents out there, you would want us to wait too. Thanks for you patience."
And with that, the plane erupted in cheers. People were high fiving, cat calling and whistling. I was tempted to stand and give a "thank you speech" to everyone on the plane. Ok, not really. But, people did cheer.
My parents and grandparents were finally let on the plane and we made it safely home. My family delayed the flight by 20 minutes. Makes for a memorable story.