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February 25, 2006

The Grouch is...

A. That green dude on Sesame Street.
B. A great but under-appreciated Green Day song from the “Nimrod” CD.
C. Me during the last 32 hours of my trip home this weekend.
D. All of the above.

Correct answer is D. Here’s how my return trip home went down…

5:00 PM ET: arrive at Orlando Airport, wait 70 minutes in security screening line.

6:45 PM: board flight from Orlando to LA. Arrive at assigned aisle seat, agree to switch seats with woman who requests to sit closer to her family, move to her aisle seat at rear of plane.

6:46 PM: arrive at newly switched seat, agree to switch seats again so a family of three can sit together, settle in for 5-hour flight. Take my seat next to very large woman chugging a 1-liter Diet Pepsi.

7:00 PM-12:00AM ET: Spend next five hours listening to screaming toddlers behind me, climbing in and out of seat 3 times so obese woman next to me can use bathroom. Have I mentioned that I hate flying?

9:45 PM PST (12:45 ET): board second plane for flight to Monterey, looking forward to returning home.

11:15 PM PST: plane is turned around after circling Monterey Airport, unable to land due to heavy fog. Plane returns to LAX.

12:15 AM PST: wait in line to make seat assignments for return trips on Saturday, wait in separate line for hotel vouchers to get a few hours sleep. Luggage is unavailable to passengers so airline can load it on the planes tomorrow morning.

1:00 AM: begin 20-minute wait for host hotel shuttle.

1:30 AM: arrive at hotel, informed that there is no vacancy.

2:00 AM: check into hotel across the street.

2:30 AM: finally fall asleep. Considering that I woke up the previous morning at 5:30 AM EST, I was awake for 24 consecutive hours.

6:30 AM: receive wake-up call for return trip to airport.

6:45 AM: shower and dress - no shaving, no deodorant, no toothpaste, no hair product. Put on same clothes from previous 24 hours.

7:45 AM: arive at LAX, wait 45 minutes for security screening.

2:00 PM: plane touches down in Monterey. Luggage nowhere to be found.

So it’s been a long couple of days. Obviously I haven’t run since early Friday morning. And since my running shoes are in my lost suitcase, and I have no idea when the jet lag and sleep deprivation will catch up with me, tomorrow’s run is currently listed as “questionable.”

But none of that mattered when I pulled into the driveway and saw all of those special faces. It’s nice to be home.


backofpack 2/25/06, 4:50 PM  

You lived every airline passenger's nightmare! Glad you finally made it home - get some rest and hydrate!

olga 2/25/06, 7:56 PM  

It's nice to be home indeed...

Anne 2/26/06, 6:00 AM  

I've lived through your kind of ordeal more times than I want to remember. For future reference, the airlines customer service area should have a toiletry kit so you can at least smell better the next morning if you are separated from your bags. If it's a really cheap airline like Southwest, then don't bother. In that case, the hotels around LAX should have similar items for free during check-in. At least that's been my experience.

angie's pink fuzzy 2/26/06, 11:36 AM  

oh man, that's horrible! glad you are home safely.

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