Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Oooo, good plan

OK.  So.  I went on vacation this weekend.

To New York.

Blizzard of '06.  THAT New York.

Good plan.

'Course, I didn't see it coming.  I'd checked the weather in advance on weather.com, and it had simply said "snow."  I mean, it could've said "SNOW!!!!" or "Blizzard" or something else to alert me to the fact that the little white wet flakes falling from the sky would be falling in such great quantities.  And pretty much sideways.

Any time I tell someone where I went, they're surprised I made it home.  What they should be surprised about is that I made it there.

Flight was at something like 8:00 in the morning.  Requiring me to be at the airport by around 6:30, so I had to leave the house at 5:30.  Wake up at 5:00.  Aieeee.

So, I did that.  I'd been up till about 1:30 or 2:00 packing the previous night, so I was operating on Not Much Sleep.  And, in the course of my packing, I'd taken my office keys off my key ring as there was no need to haul all of them all the way across the country and back.

OK, who sees this coming?  I didn't.  Not until the next morning, after I'd grabbed my luggage, hugged the cat, and slammed the door behind me.  Only to discover that I had my work keys in my hand, not my house keys.

House keys would've been a good idea.  House keys include the key to the garage.  Where my car is.  So I can, y'know, drive to the airport.

Little known fact about my door.  As long as the deadbolt isn't set -- which it can't be, when I lock my keys in the house -- the lock can be opened with a laminated card.  A credit card is too inflexible.  A paper-ish card is too weak.  But a card that's been through a laminating machine -- like my old Blockbuster Video card -- that can open my door. 

I used to joke that I should keep my old Blockbuster Video card stapled to the bottom of my welcome mat.  Locked outside my door at 5:30 on Friday morning, I wish I'd done that.  I looked through my purse -- no Blockbuster Video card.  I tried my Disneyland Annual Pass (why was I taking my Disneyland Annual Pass to New York anyway?) but it was too thick.  Tried my health insurance card, but it was too thin. 

5:45.  I've now bent my health insurance card into a new and exciting shape, and I'm still no closer to the garage key.  It dawns on me that, without the key to the garage, I can't use the elevator to get to the garage, but I can maybe bounce my suitcase all the way down the stairs.  Luckily, before I try this, it dawns on me that the door at the bottom of the stairs also needs that key.

There's nothing for it.  I have to wake up my neighbors.  The ones who have my spare key (because they're going to feed the cat while I'm gone).  I knock on their door.  Many apologies.  I need the key to get my key to get out of here and go the airport.  A sleepy neighbor goes off to his kitchen to get my keys.  I follow him.  I forget to close the door behind me, and my neighbor's dog runs outside into our courtyard.

Great.  Now we've got to get the dog back.  Neighbor goes to chase after his dog while I go upstairs to find my keys.  Dog found; keys retrieved; spare keys returned to neighbors; more apologies.  I hit the road a good twenty minutes off schedule.

I do, eventually, get to the airport.  Curbside check-in is $2 per bag, but it's 7:00 a.m. and my boarding pass (downloaded around midnight the day before) says I've got to board by 7:30.  I pay the two bucks.  I run inside the terminal and join the security line....

.... which runs all the way down the hall and back.  It's moving and all (I ultimately find they've got 3 of 4 x-ray machines running), but it isn't moving as fast as I'd like.  I keep telling myself the plane isn't leaving until 8:00, so I've really got a bunch of time.

Riiiight.  I make it out of security right around 7:30.  Put my shoes back on; put the laptop back in the bag.  Hike to my gate.  (Furthest from Security.  Natch.)  I get to the gate at 7:34.  It is deserted.  There are no people here.  They are all on the plane.  I look panicked and the gate agent waves me over.  She scans my boarding pass, and I make it on board.  We push away from the gate at 7:50.  Word to the wise, people.

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