Letter #370: Flight Antics (The rest of the story)…

Earlier I began this letter…here’s the rest of the story!

Flight takes off and you seem to be going as planned. I’m headed to Texas and by golly I now have my boots on! Dallas, I’m coming! We’d been in the air for about 25 minutes, and I began to notice we were descending quickly. My heart starts to race a bit, I am looking fervently for huge buildings and a city below me large enough to be Dallas. I can’t find it. There’s no way 25 minutes gets an eight seater to Dallas. My heart’s beating a little faster. Nobody else seems to care, but I am literally making peace within myself that if it’s my time then it’s my time. Long story short…..ummmm hello, nobody informed me we were stopping in Hot Springs, AR!!!!! I legitimately saw my life flash before my eyes. All was well. I switched planes in the midst of a Charlie Daniel’s concert being set up on the runway, and they even let me back on with my three bags. Again, zero security!

Next flight was a breeze. I get to Dallas where I don’t expect a grand welcoming. I was in an eight passenger plane. The pilots, no longer the young, cute ones, inform us we will now have to go through security since we’re at a larger airport, so we should follow the signs to receive our bags. The signs take us through parts of the airport customers are never supposed to see. One large, cement room after another. After a good seven minutes, we open a door and sunlight hits us. No more signs. I am standing in a parking lot. Where the heck could my bag be?

About a minute later a luggage cart (yes, the kind they drive around on runways to fill planes) barrels around the corner hollering at us. “Are you Seaport Air?” At this point, I’m dying laughing, anticipating my luggage being dropped out of a luggage cart in a parking lot in the middle of nowhere. I might as well have been a tarot card reader because this is the exact series of events that played out. I asked man where I am supposed to go for my connecting flight. He gave me very ambiguous directions, and there I stood alone in a parking lot with a 34.5 pound rolling suitcase, three carry-ons and my cowboy boots. It’s also 97 degrees. I can see the arrival area of the airport, but it is a trek away.

Thus I begin the hike. Two miles later I arrive at the Southwest terminal. At this point I’m feeling good. First order of business…ensure the 50 pound bag limit. I confirm this, find a seat to sit in and immediately begin repacking my suitcase. Once again, shoes changed in the middle of the airport. Cosmetics back in the suitcase. I even reorganized to put my purse in my suitcase so I only had two carry-ons. I was in the big leagues now. Three carry-ons will get you kicked off planes. I finally got situated and headed over to check my bag. Type it all in only to read, “You cannot check-in more than four hours prior to boarding.” Oh, I forgot to mention I had more than a five hour layover. At this point all I can do is laugh. Honestly, can this get any better?!

I end up posting up in McDonald’s for a good three hours doing school and life. There I sat with luggage abounding as I typed papers on my laptop, used Internet on the iPad and talked on the phone. Seriously, I am a walking Apple advertisement. To top it all off, I knew I’d be eating out a ton in the next 15 days, so I made it through this entire day with a sack dinner which I ate at my McDonald’s table. I know, I’m crazy.

After 10 hours of you, I made it to Houston and then in College Station around midnight. I ended up arriving having completed a great deal of school and acquired more patience in one day than my whole life combined!

Moral of the story: you get what you pay for. My flight may not have been seamless, but it was cheap, it got me there and it provided me with great entertainment! I’d recommend Seaport Airlines to anybody…50 bucks one way. Who’s coming to visit me?! True moral of the story: I really just didn’t want to forget this, but it also reminds me life is only what we make it to be. I could have easily been ticked the whole day. Instead I just chose to create great stories from it and laugh a ton. Wouldn’t trade you in this way for the world.

Bound to have a few crazy stories as much as I do you,

Hilarious traveler, adventure seeker

Letter #369: Flight Antics

Dear traveling,

You are always an adventure, and while I’m embracing my time at home I can’t help but laugh about a few of the hilarious moments I ran into during my first journey on you this year. Somehow in the midst of life and keeping up with blog posts I missed sharing this story. I think I verbally laughed and shared it so much that I just forgot. I hope you find this as funny as me…

If you remember, my last journey was 15 days ranging from 45-95 degrees and activities ranging from tailgating to interviewing. Thus, my typical carry-on suitcase wasn’t going to cut it for packing purposes. With a full size suitcase in tow, I headed off to the most bizarre airport I’ve ever experienced. You see, when I fly I look for the cheapest route possible and this time it just happened to be on Seaport Airlines out of Harrison, AR, which is 30 minutes away. Never heard of it? Don’t feel bad, it’s new to me too. Boone County Airport…smaller than the local gas station.

Literally, I walk in, show them my license, zero security or lines and am ready to weigh my bag. My connecting flight was Southwest which means 50 pound bag limit. Little did I know Seaport had a 35 pounder. The lady takes my bag and quickly informs me I will need to pay the extra weight fee. 42 pounds. We all know I’m cheap, so I wasn’t having any of this $35 extra. Without hesitation I took my bag back, shuffled all toiletries and appliances into my purse, exchanged my cowboys boots for my flip flops I was wearing and re-zipped in hopes of a seven pound differentiation or at least for it to be close and for the lady to show me grace. I handed over the bag for round two, and with $35 on the line held my breath…34.5 pounds. BAM! Can we readdress the fact that I straight up changed shoes in the middle of the airport?!

At this point I’m thankful for the 35 bucks I just saved. She then asks to weigh my carry-ons. Side note: I’m convinced they need to know the weight to know how much gas to put in the plane. Oh no. I look down to see my purse filled with cosmetics, my Mountainsmith with my school books and another bag with work, laptop, iPad, etc. I had three bags carrying a good 25+ pounds. This was not looking good for me. I glanced at my bags and debated how I was going to handle this. I decided on complete honesty. “Ma’am, I’m going to be gone for 15 days, and I have to bring school and work with me. I realize I have an extra bag, but would you be willing to weigh two as one?” I’m convinced I found favor with this lady because of how I treated her from the beginning because she graciously agreed.

I proceeded to take my 25 pounds worth of bags to the plane. Oh, did I mention it only holds eight passengers?! I lug my stuff up the two steps in takes me to get into the second smallest plane I’ve ever been on and realize I can’t even stand upright inside. No big. The pilots were cute, it was cheap and I was excited to get to College Station. I call myself out from the beginning on being a complicated passenger, so everyone (all five of the other passengers including two pilots) is laughing at me. I kindly place my belongings underneath my seat to stay out of everyone else’s way. Oh no, I’m informed the oxygen masks are there so I can’t block them. Thank goodness the plane wasn’t full because the pilot who doubled as the stewardess proceeds to seatbelt my bags into two seats. Seriously, I was that girl. Not to mention the other “empty seat’ on the flight had a dog zipped into a carry-on bag buckled in. We hadn’t even taken off and it was madness!

(I’m committed to keeping my posts brief, so tune in later today for the rest of the story…)

Letter #214: Dancin’ in Branson

Dear Branson,

You sure did show off this weekend! Flooded walking trails and camp. Rainy, damp and cold. You brought out your A-game! Regardless of your flaws, you provided the best weekend for reuniting friends!

Bria, one of my best friends from college and life, flew in from Memphis on Friday for our first legitimate weekend to hang out since college. It wouldn’t have mattered if it was -10 degrees and snowing, we would have made the most out of you. Friday night, we went to a local favorite, Danna’s barbecue, for dinner. Then, Bria was a trooper and spent hours at an engagement party with me where she knew nobody. Now this is a good friend! She did get a glimpse into the community I live in and is now convinced I live in a village…gotta love the K-World! Late night conversation just like old times ended the night…if only we’d have had two twin beds in the same room like our days in the annex?!

Saturday, Bria finally got her first experience of Kanakuk and you. Because of the flooding we didn’t venture out to K-West, but we walked through the Branson camps. I told way too many camp and Institute stories, and she graciously listened as I shared one of my favorite aspects of my life. I think she might understand me a little better after six years of camp!

The afternoon began with Rubylena’s Tea Room. Love this place, but girls, it’s not really a boy kind of place…there were only woman and we were the youngest people by decades! Of course we had to hit the outlets, but not without driving down the Strip! We got tons of laughs from the eccentric nature of you. Highlights: indoor waterpark and the amount of go-cart tracks, the ridiculously large number of tattoo joints, King Kong on the Wax Museum and our newest restaurant with the largest chicken in the world! Again, Bria finally understands the reality of my stories!

Saturday evening, in my opinion, is the epitome of a night on the town…remember it’s Branson! Pizza by the Chef, the best pizza, and Noah the musical…it just doesn’t get any better! Bria was impressed with her first, and hopefully only the beginning, of your shows! Noah really is solid. Visually stunning. Quality talent. Theologically sound. Live animals! I’d recommend it for sure!

In front of the theater...

You were dreary on Sunday, but we made the most of you. A little church, Starbucks, Chili’s to watch the Thunder game (rough showing), Branson Landing (the water’s receding!!!) and a trip to Harrison, AR in the midst of a storm to Seaport Airlines made for a great day…8 passenger plane in a storm?! She made it alive, and I guess we can’t really complain for the $100 roundtrip flight you provide!

All in all, you were a blast. We probably could’ve sat at a Starbucks’ table the entire three days and still had fun. We were just excited to be in the same place, laugh a ton and have great conversation. Bria, thanks for coming…Can’t wait for my Memphis debut! Seaport Airlines, thanks for cheap flights! Friendship, thanks for lasting a lifetime if we work at you.

You’re a funny place to show off, but I love ya,

Thankful for solid friendship