I survived the drive up to Ft. Lauderdale airport and was able to navigate the remote parking and the shuttles. I had a few slight freakouts due to the excess amount of ramps, signs, road closures and detours that I encountered, but I was able to overcome those obstacles and make it on to the plane without having a nervous breakdown. Most people would think that I'm a bit dramatic, but I tend to get very nervous when I have to drive myself (by myself) to a new place that I have never been. I get very tense and feel like if I'm going to get lost. I start to think of crazy scenarios that might happen to me and then that just freaks me out even more. I think there's something my mom's not telling me. I must have gotten lost as a young child or something to warrant this strange behavior. When I first got my driver's license, it took me months before I dared to venture on to the highway....why? because I thought I'd get lost. I admire those people that can just take off to foreign lands by themselves with just a backpack and wander around without a destination in mind. Brave people.
Speaking of wandering, it appears I have wandered off of my subject. The flight was uneventful and we made it to Tampa in a jiffy. Fortunately Ayleen had warned me that there were trams in the airport...and that I would need to board one to get to the main terminal. Otherwise, I don't know what could've or would've happened. You can't throw a monkey wrench like that into my travel plans. I need to know what to expect at every turn! Ha ha. Ayleen was running late (actually, the plane was early) so she wasn't waiting for me at the trams like she had promised. I sat down and began to feel like a lost puppy in a strange city. Won't someone please adopt me? Then the brainstorming began...Where is she? Am I in the wrong terminal? Is this some cruel joke and she's not really going to pick me up? Is she asleep at home? Fortunately, just as the scenarios were getting more and more graphic (and not to mention, impossible), Ayleen came out of the elevator. Thank God! Once she picked my sobbing fetal position body up off the floor, we headed downstairs to baggage claim to get the kayak, ice skates, trapeze and racquetball racquet that I told her I would be bringing. We were half way down the escalator when it occurred to me to mention to her that I had not checked any baggage after all.
We spent most of the weekend chatting it up like 8th grade girls (which is coincidentally when we met) and laughed at long forgotten adventures from the past 17 years (oh crap!). We shared stories, talked about sexy beasts, went out to lunch, bought scrapbooking stuff, rented/watched two and a half movies and collapsed with great exhaustion at the end of each evening. I had a great time reconnecting with my old friend and I think the visit was quite therapeutic for the both of us.
On the last day, we were running late for my flight. I threw my clothes into my bag and we sped off towards the airport. I checked in quickly and proceeded to the special trams again. Since, I knew of them beforehand, my stress level remained in check. That is, until I reached the security station. Wouldn't you know it, there was a freaking long line. They were taking away everyone's drinks, toothpaste, makeup, liquids, aerosols and gels... how retarded. Anyway. I had a bottle of water with me that I hadn't even opened. It was still sealed from the factory and the fools took it away. Me thinks these security measures are a bit over zealous. I love feeling like I'm protected, but they're taking some things a bit over the edge. I wonder if at the end of the day, the employees have a huge trash picking piñata party:
What did you get?
Oh, I scored some great MAC cosmetics, just my shade too!
Aw, I just got some toothpaste this time, but last week I got a whole cosmetic bag. I had to fight Mary for it though, so I also got a black eye in the process.
Ouch. I heard Linda got a huge bottle of hair gel yesterday.
I'm thirsty, I'm gonna go check the counter, I heard some dorky girl brought us an unopened water bottle today.
Once I got over the loss of my costly water bottle, I managed to notice a machine that I had never seen before in the security area. It looked like a little phone booth and they were putting people in there and spraying them with air (one at a time). Grrrreat. Just what a nervous traveler needs. I noticed that not every one was being put into the Puffer machines though, only random terroristy looking types with facial hair and turbans: old burly men, young burly men, big burly women. I guess I qualified for the last group because guess who got randomly picked. That's right, you guessed it, yours truly. Perhaps I should've shaved my face and left my turban at home. Oh well, it was too late now. I stepped into the tank and the guy told me to hold my shirt down because otherwise it would fly up. Joy.
Girls Gone Wild in the airport! Order your video now through this special internet offer!! But wait, if you order within the next 5 minutes, we'll throw in a bottle of hair gel absolutely free!
I conquered the Puffer and went on my merry way to the Starbucks that was calling out to me. It was 11:45, so I figured I had time until my flight left (12:10). I took my time in the line, getting my coffee and leisurely strolled over to my gate, only to find that there was no one sitting there. I asked the nice ticket man if they had already commenced boarding and he said "yes, everyone is on the plane already". Ay ay ay. I stormed on to the airplane and was given the look-of-death by the passengers and flight attendants as if to say "so you're the one that's been holding up the flight". Hee hee, my bad.
The actual flight portion went well, until I had a mishap with my tray table that is. In trying to prevent the leftover coffee in my cup from spilling, I accidentally let the tray table come crashing down on to my diet coke. The soda landed right on my lap, in the book that I was reading. The book then funneled the drink right into my crotch, creating a cool chilling, sensation, only rivaled by the one I got that time I sat on a York Peppermint Patty.
Yes, traveling with me is definitely an adventure. I'm going to Orlando tomorrow. Anyone want to join me?