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Home Again, Home Again, Jiggety Jig

Holy time warp, batman! It's already Wednesday?! I am so behind. This week is crazy. It's the kids' last week of school, work is finally picking up for me, John's busy season has kicked in with weddings and bookings of all kinds, and we have all sorts of extra evening events like baby showers and end-of-the-year school performances to attend, not to mention things like GROCERY SHOPPING so our kids can eat (since nobody bothered to do our shopping for us during our vacation, those lazy bums). Headless chickens, we are.

We were even MORE like headless chickens on Monday night as we tried desperately to return home from our amazing vacation. I knew everything had gone way too smoothly, but I thought for once that fortune was smiling on us. Besides, there was that under-the-fingernail paper cut I got on our way out of town (ever had one of those? John thought I'd been possessed by a demon as I writhed and kicked and shouted obscenities while the blood gushed from under the very fingernail I use to help me floss my bracket-covered high-maintenance teeth), and those watered down margaritas we broke the bank for while waiting for our first flight out - I thought maybe those were going to be the worst things about the trip. But, no. I failed to account for the fact that we would be going through the airport from hell on the airline from hell on our way home.

First of all, after getting on the skylink going the wrong way and after John listened to me complain about how RIDICULOUS it was that the signs weren't more clearly posted and how STUPID the entire layout of the airport was, and how LUDICROUS it was that passengers were FORCED to ride the skylink and couldn't simply WALK to their terminal, and for the love of god, WHY was the airport designed this way, IT IS JUST SO RIDICULOUSLY STUPID AND LUDICROUS, the agonizing (for John) 20 minutes ended and we were deposited at our fateful terminal. There, we discovered, via one of those nifty big screens with all the helpful flight information, that our flight home had been delayed, with no gate identified.

I checked in at the original gate (and that is important, so remember it), and confirmed that the flight was delayed and the gate would not change. I asked why it was delayed and was told, "I don't know." Okay, great. THAT makes me feel secure. John and I walked to the closest restaurant (about 30 feet away) and ate dinner, then returned to the gate 40 minutes before the new departure time. I checked in again, because the flight number wasn't displayed at the gate; a different flight number was. I talked to the same airline representative, who looked at me strangely when I gave her my flight number and said, "what was your last name?" and after I told her, pushed her nifty computer buttons and said, "that flight's closed. It left on time."

Wait. WHAT? I HAD JUST CHECKED IN WITH HER 40 MINUTES BEFORE THIS, PEOPLE! I'm pretty sure their fancy expensive systems tell them if all the passengers are on board when they decide NOT to delay a flight 20 minutes after telling someone it's been delayed. A pilot was standing right next to her and said, "usually they make a PA announcement and they check the system to make sure everyone is on." Well, not this time!! As the volcano in my head exploded onto the wide-eyed airline representative, she stuttered, "I'm sorry, you can talk to my team lead" several times, and I moved my demon wrath over in her direction while John pretended they had let me out of the asylum too early and started the process of getting us on the next flight. While she was doing that, someone came and whispered something to her, and she looked at us and said, "the plane you were going to be on is de-boarding now because something is wrong with it, so you're probably getting out of here sooner than you would have if you'd gotten on!" Oh, okay, then. Cheery-oh! About two minutes later, the poor saps who had just boarded our original flight started shuffling off, miserable.

We ran back to the hated skylink and got to our terminal about 20 minutes before boarding our new flight. While we were standing there, a horrible revelation hit me: "Nobody mentioned our luggage." I fretted about it for the entire flight: I had to be at work the next morning, all of my toiletries were packed in our checked bags, nobody was going to be delivering any luggage to our stupid house at stupid midnight in our stupid town, and that was IF our stupid luggage wasn't completely lost or sabotaged by the airline representative I'd exploded on, etc. John thought since some of the other people from our original flight had managed to make it to our new one in time, that maybe the airline had been on top of their game and had managed to get our luggage on our new flight. Damn him for getting my hopes up. We got home and the throngs of happy people grabbing their appropriately located belongings cleared out of my line of vision just as that final harbinger of doom rolled onto the luggage claim area: the empty, upside-down black tupperware-looking container that says, "that's all the bags we could find on this here plane." We filled out all the necessary forms and drove home while John again listened to my tirade about my most hated airline and my most hated airport and how I'll NEVER use them again, I don't care HOW I have to get around it, IT WILL NOT HAPPEN.

Because of all the delays, the kids were exhausted when we got home, but that didn't stop both of them from uncharacteristically running up to us and smothering us in hugs and kisses, smiles, "Happy Mother's Day!"s and "Did you bring us presents?"s. I picked Quinn up to hug him after we all got inside, and he laid his head on my shoulder and said, "I want to go to bed." So much for quality time with the kids after getting home, like I had originally planned. The rest of the night was spent cleaning and fretting about our luggage, until John finally decided to go back to the airport so I would stop my incessant nagging already. An hour later, he was home with our luggage.

So I guess in this case, all's well that ends well. I didn't show up in sweats and with unkempt hair at work the next day, the kids went down peacefully, and I even had time to vacuum the dog hair that had somehow been multiplying in hordes during our (and the dog's!) absence before going to bed that night.

Oh - and John is working on the pictures from our trip. They're coming later this week.