Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Please wait, the Harris family is on their way

I love traveling. I love seeing new places, different cultures and just getting out and exploring the world. I do not however love the process of traveling. Airports are evil.

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.


Diania said...

If I was on your plane I would have thrown rocks at you. Well maybe one of those airplane pillows since rocks might be a little hard to find.

Nicole said...

that is hilarious. i especially like the "well i have kids too" lady. i'm not entirely sure what her point was. i also quite like the idea of the captain worrying about your grandparents wandering around the airport like they're alzheimer's patients or something. too funny.

oh and by the way, in answer to your question about the other boleyn girl, i am ashamed to admit that i am about one sentence into it. life has been just a wee bit crazy this week (see my blog for details). but i'll let you know what i think when i have a chance to actually get into it.

Jinny Snow said...

Your Mom and Bob and I were standing at the desk with our boarding passes when they closed the door on Kim. ..........only 30 ft. to go to door of the plane.

I am taking lessons in sprinting.

Anonymous said...

You do not disappoint Natalie...I love your stories!

and, thanks to Jinny, we now know that is was infact your Dad who was the final passenger.

I've got a mental picture of Mrs. Weasley yelling "Children, Hurry Children" and fighting Mrs. Malfoy to get their kids off the plane, Remember when we went to see HP#1 and the audience starting chanting "tow it, tow it" when they announced someone's car was parked illegally? Their is nothing like a little comradery(sp?) of total strangers.


Oh woe is you! I really truly feel for you. You poor dear. Let me get you a hot towell and an ice cold juice box to calm your fears. My heart goes out to you... not to poor starving children, or the homeless, but to you. I just hope you can make it through this ordeal. I'll keep you in my prayers!

The Beck Family said...

Dealing with a screaming child all day, I was thrilled to read your blog and have a huge laugh. What a great story. Just when I thought I read the best paragraph, there was still more!! Thanks for the laugh. Time to get back to the child screaming behind me!!

Vic, Linds, and the girls... said...

How funny!! You always have the funniest stories. Thngs you will never forget. Looks from the pictures that your trip was AMAZING!

Anonymous said...

Okay...so if I were to read a bit further! Wow Nat, quite the adventure to and from. I hope you had some down time in between girl!