My alarm went off at 4:00 a.m. I think it safe to say that most mornings, I would not bounce out of bed at that hour. I wouldn’t be out of bed at that hour at all. Period. But, this particular morning, I rose willingly (if not eagerly), because I was catching a plane back to Connecticut to see the family – which has gotten bigger by +1 in the last couple of weeks.
As in, past tense. And yet, I write this from a location only a few feet above sea level.
The morning started out well enough. My awesome neighbor works not far from the airport, so he offered to give me a lift on his way into work. How awesome is that, right? Who can say she lives next door to someone who will chauffeur her around at 4:30 a.m.? I wheeled my carefully packed, weighed, zipped and TSA-approved suitcase down the driveway, hopped in the car and enjoyed a relatively traffic-free ride into San Francisco. From there, I caught a train from downtown to the airport. It cost me a whopping $8 instead of $200 for parking or $75 for a shuttle. Sweet.
While I was on the train, I double-checked the status of my flight. On time. I can almost taste a Dunkin’ Donuts coffee and a Munchkin (or 12).
I got to the airport just as the terminal shuttle pulled up. When I rolled up to the Southwest counter, there was no one in line. I glimpsed the security line on my way through the terminal, and that looked like an expressway, too. It was 6:05 a.m., leaving me enough time to check in, get through security, grab some coffee and maybe even answer a few emails before takeoff.
Of course, in retrospect, the emptiness of the airport might’ve been a clue. But, I try to think positively before I fly so as not to cause flight attendants to hand me brown paper bags while kindly imploring me to please release my grip on the nice passenger unfortunate enough to be seated next to me.
In my happy oblivion, I entered my reservation number on the check-in touchscreen just as my phone buzzed at me. When, the check-in screen kept insisting it couldn’t find my reservation, I looked down at my cell phone as one might look at a puppy that just peed on the carpet.
I slide the bar over and opened a this:
Me no go bye-bye. I tried to rebook my flight using the link in the text message that I’ve cleverly blocked from your view. That was an exercise in futility, because the link doesn’t work. So, I called Southwest and spoke to the polite, witty and way-too-awake-at-this-hour-of-the-morning, Erin. She helped me book my flight for tomorrow, and we made a pact to get Mother Nature’s anger management issue under control. We women need to stick together. (Also, Erin, you sounded genuinely grateful that I was polite to you, which leads me to believe you spend a lot of your time at work talking to people named Grumpus McRumpus. I’m sorry about that. I doubt it’s fun, and you seem like a super nice lady, so you should have all the fun – at work, even. Just know that karma pigeons are everywhere, and whoever yelled at you this morning probably just had his car washed, okay?)
So, here I sit in the airport, going nowhere. I’m killing time until I can catch a train back home that will get in after the kids are already at school so that my husband can pick me up from the train station. At least there’s coffee here and, of course, free wi-fi — the gift that lets me share all this morning glory you, my awesome readers. Also, isn’t airport-people-watching the best? For all this, I am thankful.