The Trip Home

Last week we spent the week in Texas for our niece Abby’s wedding. You know how much we love her.

Which is why we went to the Texas heat in June. Later this week will be posts about the trip and the wedding, but this one is about getting home yesterday.  It was an adventure….

So Saturday night, I got us home by 9:15 PM. The wedding reception was still going strong, but it was time to haul our butts back to the hotel. Luckily, Siri knew where we were and where we needed to go. Otherwise I would still be roaming the back woods of Texas….

Yesterday morning, Michelle woke up and checked her phone. There was a text from Alaska Airlines telling us that our flight was cancelled. They had rebooked us of course, but instead of a straight shot to Portland, landing at 5 PM, we had to go via Seattle and landed in Portland at midnight…

Michelle said “HELL NO!” and got on the phone….

We were rebooked at a 1030 flight to San Jose, and then getting to Portland at 430 PERFECT! But first we had to get to the airport.

We were both starving, so we hit up the local cafe, Spoons, for Omelets, and then off to the airport.

Once again, I had NO idea where we were, or where DFW (Dallas/Fort Worth Airport) was, but SIRI was there for us. We were Southbound and down. I may have been exceeding the speed limit a bit…

We were making GREAT time, and then we hit construction… We were stopped dead…

OK little known fact. In the real world, I am pretty laid back. Nothing much worries me. My Kryptonite though, is TSA and getting to the gate… I have a phobia of missing a flight. This was a the start of me starting to stress!

OK, confession time, at 645 AM when I heard we had a 1030 flight the stress was already there!

We got through the construction, we thought, and kicked it in gear!

Only to find our exit was closed!!! Suck ass!!!!

At that time I shut down our old GPS and busted out Siri. She took us to the airport, WHEW!!! We were going to make it!

Well first we had to drop off the rental…..

I took what I thought was the right exit, but at the first intersection, there was no sign….

We guessed, and I was wrong….

Luckily our old GPS was still still running and she looped us BACK toward the airport, and I saw a sign with an arrow:Rental Cars 4 miles”. I may or may not have stood on the gas pedal….

At 9:02 (after missing the lady trying to wave me in and backing up to the right path) We dropped off the car….

There was a shuttle bus waiting and we were at terminal C in 5 minutes….

Now anyone who flies Alaska knows you can sign in online, even with checked in bags.

Our new flight was with American Airlines. Yeah, no on line check in…

We tried the self serve kiosk, but it couldn’t find us, we were stuck in the never ending flight representative line at 9:20… Good thing there was no EKG or blood pressure cuff attached to me, or someone woulda called 911!

We got the desk and our rep looked like a school marm from the 1890s or a librarian from the same time frame. We gave her our Ids and told he our flight, and the look on her face was if she had bit into a over ripe sour lemon…In my head a voce said, “You are SO screwed!” I was honestly trying to ponder where the best place was to sleep in the airport..

Meanwhile the belt to convey the luggage was stalled. Even those who checked in wouldn’t be sure the hags would get there!

But just as despair was ready to envelop me and all hope was lost, the school marm found us and checked us in. Behind her the bags started moving… I saw a light at the end of a distant tunnel…

But ahead was TSA!!! The line that can strand us all! We had less than 90 minutes till the flight, we were SO screwed…

Somewhere though the travel gods smiled on the Valentes! Our line was so empty I had to ask if I was in the right place….

We dropped the car off after 9 AM, checked in and went trough TSA, all by 10 AM!!!!  We still had 90 minutes to spare!

Remember that blood pressure cup? Had it been attached, they might have thought I was dead. All stress was gone! Were golden!

I will warn you though, Starbucks in DFW is VERY slow. Only get in line if you have PLENTY of time!!!

Sadly we were not seated together.  It was the first time all week we were apart, but to get home, we dealt with it!

But the plan took off on time, and we were westbound and down! Regretfully ,I had no camera handy, but I was lucky enough, for the first time ever, to see the Grand Canyon! That thing is HUGE!!!

We landed in San Jose on time, but had to walk a mile, at least, to the gate for the flight to Portland! At this airport we decided to avoid the black hole that is an airport Starbucks line!

We were at the gate, and prepared, ready to go! We took off on time, our last leg of the trip!!

As we entered Oregon, we came closer to Crater Lake. I have NEVER seen it from the air.

Less than an hour later we were on the ground! Once again the travel gods smiled! Our bags were one of the first ones off the plane!

Our original flight had us in Portland at 530. With this one we had landed and we were an hour from home at 530!!!

I know, I know, can be paranoid about missing a plane. But when it all works well I am  happy man! After a week in Texas I needed the ocean!

As I sit here and type it has been. a perfect 48 hours! Even if I did include work and a wedding….

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