We’ve been vacationing….. I took a few days off with my book club members to attend the annual Lori Foster Author/Reader Weekend and then came home on Sunday to fly out on Monday to go to Florida with Stan and my babydoll. I had every intention of posting while away, even went so far as to pack my laptop and camera with cables for uploading my pictures. But alas, I didn’t take one photo at the Lori Foster event and just couldn’t convince myself that posting was a relaxing experience while I had the time away from responsibilities.
But now I’m on the plane returning home (with a lay over in Atlanta) and I just wanted to remark on my flying experience this trip.
The flight down had all the trappings to equal a great flight. We had a direct flight, it was at a decent time of day (early afternoon) so we had time to drop off the pets (my lovely Sasha-the Schnauzer and Leopard-the Gecko) run to the store to pick up a few things and still not feel super rushed. I didn’t unpack my electronics bag from my Lori Foster trip so my carry-on bag was ready and I had pulled most of the clothes I was taking with me out prior to leaving for the first trip. The problem came when we got on the plane. I have long legs…I’m not super tall only 5’10”, but my legs are long…I have a 35/36 inch inseam. I also have a crappy knee that will eventually have to be replaced, but I’m holding out as long as possible. I don’t know what it was but I swear those seats seemed a lot closer together on that flight than normal. My knee was killing me by the time the plane landed and that was with me sitting in the aisle seat AND trying to stretch it out most of the flight. (I just extended my knee again). I told my husband there has got to be a better way. We are going to have to become millionaires so that we can have a private plane and I can stretch out these legs better. I don’t even think first class had enough room. And I didn’t even have on really high heels; they were only about 2-inches compared to the 5 that I have on today.
We had a nice week together and our homtel was really nice. I was going to post about the room (I may still post) but I forgot to take pictures of it. We went through Bookit.com…
Now the flight back home has been a different experience and NOT in a good way. First we had to leave at 6:10 am. We thought we were leaving at 8:50. I’m glad we checked at breakfast the day before. Do you know what time you have to get up to catch a 6 am flight? From the Fort Lauderdale/Miami area? Stan set the alarm for 3:30. AND the alarm never went off! I’m a light sleeper and my mind and body knew that we had to wake early so I started waking up at 1:30 and then sleeping for half hour intervals. I’m tired ya’ll but I can’t sleep. Then we get go to check our bags and try to expedite matters by going to the kiosk to print our boarding passes ourselves. Did you that you still have to go through the same kiosk process all over again to check the bags? I really don’t like redundancy and backtracking and I had to suffer through it. We finally get to security and one of the TSA workers gives my daughter her boarding pass and says that she has to hold it. They send us to the family line which also happens to be the same line the pilots go through. Guess who has priority? It sure isn’t the people that have infants, strollers, multiple children etc.. So every time a pilot had to go through we had to wait. I saw four pilots go through security before one family made it through. I am not knocking giving pilots priority; I’m knocking giving them priority in the line that already has a lot of factors that cause more time to be needed. And having my babydoll hold her boarding pass was another mistake. She almost left it on the ground when she removed her shoes and started putting her stuff in the bins. You don’t give young kids there boarding pass, something they need to have to get on the dag-gone plane, and then send them through security where they are taking off stuff and putting stuff in bins and not expect them to forget them. Some adults have problems with this. Are you nuts?!?!?!?
Now I’m going to tell you about the kicker of my flight. The night before, we purchased a cup for the babydoll that had dolphins on it (we were in Florida so you figure right?) and it had a straw that you can bend into the cup. I believe they are called Bubba. I bought one first because I love having my cup of ice water with me all the time and this cup would allow me to have a snap closure and still have the straw. Why do I need a straw? So I don’t mess up my lipstick trying to drink from the cup. My babydoll saw my cup and decided she wanted one for the trip home. We found the dolphin theme and we had peace. She put her water in her cup and we got it in her backpack. Something told me putting the water in the cup first was a bad idea and I even suggested that she wait until later to place it in, but she said she was going to be drinking it and she wanted it there. When we go through the scanner part the TSA worker holds up the bottle and ask if there is water in it. I reply yes and she ask if it’s for baby formula. We have no babies, so I reply no. BIG MISTAKE. I should have lied, but I suck at lying so I don’t do it. She then tells me that I have to either throw it away OR be escorted out of the line to throw the water out then go through the security line again. WHAT-THE-WHAT!?!?!?!? Security lines in Florida are ALWAYS long. Going back through the line would have been a nightmare and they weren’t going to let me cut even though I had already been through. I asked the attendant to just throw the water out and give us the cup. She couldn’t do that. Why not? She knew it was water just pitch it and give my baby her cup. It was a no go people. We opted to pitch the cup, which I know someone is going to take that cup home; and the tears started falling. My babydoll stood there looking at the TSA workers and crying and we were hard press to get her to move. No amount of we’ll get you another one could make it better. Do you know how heartbreaking it is to see you child bawling and there is nothing you can do about it? It was made particularly worse because it was just water. In the past we have pitched a fit over them giving us a hard time about the babydolls drinks. In the end we have always won, but this time we were just too tired to fight. I’m angry that the government will let you bring a lighter onto a plane, but not a bottle of water. Which is more dangerous? Fire or water? I had a bottled water that had not been opened and I had no problem with them pitching it; but kids cups are different. They’re kids people and it’s WATER. I have replayed about ten different scenarios in my head of how I should have handled the situation and all of them end up with my kid having her dag-gone cup and not crying her eyes swollen. Stupid TSA/NSA and their wack-a-do water rules. I just want us to be smarter as a nation. IT”S WATER!!!!!!!!
The final straw to this horrible flight experience was when I went to pull out my headphones so that I could type this post and listen to more of book four in the Game of Thrones series – The Feast For Crows, and my headphones broke. These were a new pair. I tried to get something that wasn’t as big as my Skullcandy Hess (they are big and white and have great sound) and this is what happens. They weren’t sturdy enough to make it through security. I ‘m afraid of heights people…I need as many distractions on a plane as possible. Flying is only tolerable for me if I have all my stuff to keep me distracted from the fact that I am this high up in the air.
So I’m sitting here on the first leg of my two-part flight without music or Feast For Crows to keep my mind occupied typing up my sucky flight rant. I don’t know how closely they monitor blogs and I may get dinged/flagged; then again I may not. But I’ll say it again if you can bring fire onto a plane then you should be able to bring a cup of water that isn’t purchased at the gate especially if you know it’s some kids water. Water….really.
And I end this by asking you to tell me about your horrible flight experiences? Has TSA ever made your kid cry? What are your flying advice to make the experience smoother?