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Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Wedding Wednesday: Airport Disaster on the way to Meet the Family

So last week I told you about Jesse's relationship with my family - but what about mine with his? While I'm going to tell you that, I thought I may as well tell you how we got there in the first place!

After wanting to go to Louisiana and meet his family, I finally got the opportunity to go on May. We'd been planning it for some time and once Katrina had her last chemo treatment, we left the country two weeks later.

We? Yes we! I took my other best friend, also known as my Mum with me. I did this for two reasons - one because I wanted her to meet Jesse's family and for them to meet her (even though I wished my dad and sister could have come too, but that will happen!) and two, because I didn't want to be traveling 24 hours alone knowing how sick I'd been for the last couple of months.

We headed out of Australia via Dallas and after 16 hours of being cramped up in a plane, we were then stuck in the customs waiting line for 2 hours.

We had a connecting flight to Alexandria that was getting closer and closer - and we were still in line. It was the last flight of the day and if we missed it, there was no other option than to stay in Dallas overnight. When you tell that to someone who never sees her (then) boyfriend, she will only think one thing - that's one less day and that's not going to happen. When Jesse came in December, he had a similar situation in Los Angeles where his flight was overbooked and he had to stay in LA until he could catch a flight the next evening. He was mad, I was a crying sobbing wreck - you'd have thought he wasn't coming.

But back to Dallas. At this point we were looking at the clock watching the time pass and we weren't even moving an inch. We noticed that they were letting other people with connecting flights go through so I flagged down someone to ask. "60 minutes? noooo you have pleeeeeenty of time dear" - the answer I got wasn't what I was looking for. Keep in mind, at this point we hadn't gone through immigrations and we still had to get our bags, go through customs, check onto our next flight and then get to the domestic side of the airport to find our gate and board our plane - all in an hour and we had only moved about 50 metres in the 2 hours we had been waiting. 

A group of English tourists heard us talking to the woman and started saying "oh, you're not going to make it you know... there's no way... we may even miss our flight that's in an hour in a half... we've traveled here before you know..". I'm not a violent person and I'm actually really nice and polite and everyone comments on how well mannered I am - but at this point I wanted to scream at these tourists because they were only verbalising the fears I had in my head.

Another twenty minutes minutes passed and we finally got to the counter. The guy was lovely and while processing our papers, decided to have a little chat while his slow computer processed the information - lovely... but we now had fourty minutes left before boarding and I was growing almighty impatient, Mum too. 

Once we got out of customs, Mum told me to run because we still had to get our bags and get down to go through immigration - and it'd be a good idea to get there before the thousands of people that were behind us (though with only 4 people actually on the counters, we didn't have to worry about that).  

Now... I'm not a runner - never have been, never will be. I'm the clumsiest person on the planet and when I run I just look like an idiot. Take my failure at running and add one big bulky handbag and a carry on bag over my shoulder that kept hitting me in the bum and knocking me over every time I tried to "run". What came out of this was as graceful as a penguin's waddle. In fact, it probably was a penguin's waddle. 

So I waddled my way down stairs to grab our bags and thankfully by the grace of God our bags were right there. We grabbed them and my mum told me to run once more. Now... you remember my situation before? Now add in a big wheelie suitcase that weighed almost as much as me - so now I had a big handbag, a carry on bag hitting me on the bum every time I tried to walk, sore feet and a wheelie bag that kept running into the back of my ankles. If there had've been another flight - this is where I would have laid down on the floor and died. 

So we got into yet another line... 30 minutes to go. This line was full of people and there was no other way than to wait - regardless of whether you had another flight. 10 minutes ticked down and we finally got to the end of the line. "Oh Ma'am... would you mind coming through an extra security check" actually yes, I would mind... 

Thankfully that security check took all of two minutes (unheard of in an airport) and we were once again running waddling to get to the next point to check our bags onto the next flight. We got to one part only be told to quickly run another 100 metres and check our bags in there, once we did that we got to the counter and I frantically called Jesse to let him know we might not make it. While on the phone, my mum was talking to the guy who said "Oh.. you've already missed this flight" 

I just about died. 

Then he says "Oh whoops, I just read the wrong line... you have ten minutes... run". I didn't even have time to scream at him or punch him in the face (though I never would have!) and this time the penguin waddle took off at full speed. We ran through the doors, up the stairs, up the escalator (all while pulling those damn bags behind us and my carry on bag cutting up the back of my legs) and onto the skylink to get to where our boarding terminal was. 

Thank goodness that monorail went so fast it just about knocked me over. We got straight off and once again started running to our terminal. We got there with five minutes to spare. Thankfully because it was a small plane, they didn't have to board until the last minute and there was a slight delay so we were allowed to get on. 

I once again made another rushed call to Jesse... this time to tell him we were coming. We got onto the flight and I was exhausted and beyond nauseous. Combine stress with a whole day of traveling and already having GI issues - and it wasn't a fun event. But I knew I was only one hour away from seeing Jesse.

Once we touched down in Louisiana, Mum had to wait to get her carry on bag from the hold since they didn't want everyone's big bags in the tiny plane. She sent me off ahead to go find Jesse. 

I walked out, expecting it to be like Sydney domestic airports where you wait for the passengers right outside the gate. No Jesse. My heart dropped. I walked back towards the gate to my Mum to tell her that he wasn't here. She reassured me that of course he was here, I just must've missed him. 

What I didn't know was that all those people waiting outside the gate were waiting to get on their flight... not to pick up other passengers. We walked outside of the gate area and there was Jesse walking towards me. Right then, I knew everything was fine. 

We got our bags, got into his car and drove to the grocery store (priorities people! No one ever knows what to buy for me with all my food intolerances so it was go shopping or go hungry :P). Once we were finished shopping, it was time to go to his Mom's house, where we'd be staying. 

Next week I'll tell you about how I got along with Jesse's family! 

So tell me, have you had your own airport disaster? or do you have pretty good luck with airports? 


  1. Oh, man! That must've been so stressful! I hate airports - I can't even BEGIN to imagine how you must have been feeling! I have to admit I laughed at that penguin waddle though HAHA, adorable. I am so glad you guys were able to make it though! Can't wait for part 2 :))

    1. It was stressful! and I bet plenty of people were laughing at my penguin waddle with my ginormous bags - I was just in too much of a hurry to worry :P

  2. zomg what a saga!!

    Can't say I've had an airport disaster... or one that I remember! *touch wood*


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