Why, oh why, do we fly?
Seriously - anymore, flying on a plane is worse than a root canal, passing a kidney stone, and birthing a child - all at the same time.
This morning, we left our house in Ft. Myers at 7:00 a.m. Got to the airport at 7:30 a.m. All is well.
We get in line to go through security, where they have 200 people funneling through two x-ray conveyor belts and only ONE walk-through metal detector.
We choose one of the two x-ray conveyor belt lines - and we're a couple of people behind 101-years-old-if-she's-a-day Granny.
Nothing against Grannies. I love Grannies. But THIS Granny? OMG.
Granny is wearing laced-up tennis shoes, and it takes her all of 6 minutes to balance herself while bending over to untie them to place them on the belt. One at a time. One at a veerrrrrrrry sloooooooow time.
That accomplished, she takes off her black nylon coat, and places it on the belt. Underneath that, she has a puffy ski vest. She removes that and places it on the belt. Just when I think she's done, I realize she has on a fleece track-suit jacket. Which she then removes. Three layers and we're finally down to clothing that she doesn't have to remove. I think.
Thank God. We were all getting worried on how far she'd go. I guess she gets cold easily.
There's nothing else for the rest of us in line to do at this point other than to watch the show. And it's not over yet.
She then struggles with her rolling carry-on suitcase - and manages to get it on the belt. I thought the man in front of me would assist her - but I think he had grown spider webs and lapsed into a coma by this point. Or he had died of old age from the wait and gone into rigor mortis.
She then slowly and methodically begins unzipping pockets of the suitcase in an attempt to find her 3-1-1 bag. Another few minutes - and success. Into a bin the little baggie goes.
She then places her purse on the conveyer belt and watches it go on through.
And for the finale? I kid you not - she had a laptop. A LAPTOP!!! That she had to remove and place on the belt.
What's Granny doing with a laptop? Keeping up with her peeps on Facebook? Blogging?
(And if Granny is one of my faithful readers - well, I'm sorry - but you Drove. Me. Crazy. Today.)
Holy Mother of God on everything that is holy, I have never seen anything like this in airport security. And I hope to never again.
Even the TSA smurfs were dumbfounded by this.
Anywho, once on the plane, we take off, and I soon discover that I have a 6-year old girl in the seat in front of me. And a 6-year old boy in the seat behind me.
Nothing against kids. I love kids. But THESE kids? OMG.
They were both rocking their seats and kicking my seat the entire duration of the 2-hour flight to Baltimore. The girl in front of me rocked her seat so hard at one point that my iPad went flying off of my seat tray and hit the floor. Lovely.
When she wasn't rocking, he was kicking. When he wasn't kicking, she was rocking. On and on and on. For two hours.
In Baltimore, we were supposed to have a one-hour layover. But our connecting flight was delayed, so we had a 2.5-hour layover. Of course.
Our plane finally arrived, and we were allowed to board. I made sure to not choose a seat behind or in front of any children. I had learned my lesson. Painfully.
After 3 hours, we land in Kansas City and we taxi up close to the gate. And we then stop. And sit there. For 15 minutes. In view of the gate, but not actually AT the gate. We're about 100 yards from it.
The pilot explains that a plane is currently at our gate, and we have to wait until it leaves, of course, before we can take it's place. And all of those empty gates we see? Huh uh - not for us. We must wait. On the tarmac. For 15 agonizing minutes.
We eventually roll up to the gate and they roll up the little tunnel-thingie that gets you from the plane to the airport.
Everyone is standing up and removing their overhead luggage, but it becomes apparent that they're not letting anyone off the plane.
The tunnel-thingie wouldn't connect to the airplane door - it was about 4-5 inches shy - and the ground crew spent 10 minutes trying to get the two pieces connected.
After 10 minutes of frustration and anxious, impatient passengers who needed to catch connections, the flight crew finally gave up and announced, "Fine. Forget it. Go ahead and get off but don't fall through the gap."
We all very, very, very carefully stepped over that 4" gap so we wouldn't go plunging 10-feet, down to the tarmac below, and sue Southwest.
By this point, I would have gladly taken the plunge just to put myself out of my misery.
Do I sound bitter?? Ya' think?
I was never so happy to be home.
Next time? I'll walk.