Wednesday, March 19, 2008

The Trip...

The Plan: A visit to Bubbi's(the girls could not pronounce Grandma, so we went with Bubbi, a Yiddish term of endearment for Grandma, even thought my Mom is their Irish, not Jewish grandmother): Wake up at 6:00 Saturday morning(check)leave the house around 7:15 to drive to the airport in Jacksonville(check), arrive at the airport before 10:00 a.m for our 11:50 a.m. flight(check), plane takes off at 11:50, girls are well behaved on the plane, plane experiences no mad turbulence, arrive in New Jersey around 2 p.m., get to Bubbi's by approximately 3:30 p.m(che---well, not so much.) What's that ? you would love to hear the nightmare tale of our trip to New Jersey ?

Well, pull up a sack of potatoes and have a seat, my friend.

Okay, we arrived at the airport in plenty of time and while we are checking in, we are told that the plane is about an hour and a half delayed. The scheduled takeoff time is now 1:10p.m. I immediately start whining about the airport and the airline and everything else, because I'm helpful and positive like that.

We decide to make the best of it and realize that we can now have a more leisurely meal in the airport.Goody goody !!

The meal is actually quite uneventful, and they finally load us onto the plane around 1:00 p.m.

Now, the girls were relatively well behaved(for 2 and 1/2 year olds, anyway), and we had them excited for getting on the plane. we had watched planes take off, and we kept telling them that the plane would take us to see Bubbi. This seemed to work until we got to the doorway of the plane. Then, both LAB and RLB decided that "Me no like it". Oh joy.

We each pick one up and drag them onto the plane. The dirty looks that started as soon as people realized that these two children were on their flight only intensify as the screaming starts. I avert my eyes, and we get the girls to our seats. we all sit down, and we get them somewhat calmed down.

The plane pulls away from the gate and we take off. Oh wait, no that's not how it happened. The plane pulls away from the gate, and then the Captain come on and tells us that the weather in New Jersey is very bad, and that at 3:00 p.m., Air traffic Control will tell him WHEN we can takeoff. He then proceeds to tell us that he's going to keep us on the plane, just in case we get to take off early, or if they say at 3:00 that we can take off at 3:00.

At approximately 2:30 or so(time is a BIT of a blur, to be honest with you), the Captain comes on to announce that Air Traffic Control has informed him that our takeoff time will be at 4:50 p.m.(for those keeping score at home-that's 5 hours after originally scheduled). We are going to go back to the terminal this time.

At this point, my daughter LAB breaks my heart, as she turns to me and says "All done ?", and all I could do was look at her and say, "No, my dear, we are really far from all done."

We all get off the plane, and I go and purchase two sandwiches and two bananas for 30 motherfucking dollars, which we decide to hold onto and use to calm the girls down on the plane. While I am on line with LAB, one of our fellow passengers tells me that she has a 3 year old at home, and she sympathizes with our plight. I tell her I appreciate that, but that I think we may need a police escort off of the plane by the time that the flight is over(long day+ no nap+ on a plane they don't want to be on ?= cranky, loud 2 and a 1/2 year olds). She says that they're kids, what do people expect ? That made me feel a little better, at least we might have one ally.

We wander around the airport some more, and look out the windows, and it is finally time to get back on the plane. the girls were better about getting on this time. I noticed something the second time we boarded the plane that i did not notice the first time. Ron Duguay was sitting in the seat in front of me. Who's Ron Duguay, you say ? This is Ron Duguay:

I recognized him because I am a pretty big Rangers fan, and he played for the Rangers in the late '70's/early '80's. He's married to Kim Alexis:

I was even wearing a Rangers T-Shirt on the plane, but I thought I saw him recoil a bit when he saw my shirt, so I guessed he did not want to be bothered. Now, there is a point to me telling you that Ron Duguay wason the plane, there's no reason for the picture of Kim Alexis, I just think it's a nice photo, especially the beautiful water in the background.

Back to our tale. The plane took off somewhere around 4:20(heh-heh), I think. the takeoff was VERY bumpy. I do not like bumpy in airplanes. The girls actually handled it rather well, though neither of them wanted to sit down. They were pretty bad(understandably so, really when you think about the circumstances)on the plane. The portable DVD players helped some,as they watched Winnie The Pooh. RLB had a couple of screaming fits(they were not really crying..She was screaming, almost like she was having some sort of panic attack- I was actually a bit scared for her, but My Special Lady handled it well.), and LAB had her moments as well, but we did what we could do. I actually did a bit of singing to LAB(Yellow Submarine, the Winnie The Pooh song and 1234 by Feist) to calm her down.

I'm not sure how much the other passengers wanted to kill us. I know the girls were annoying the guy next to me, but he got his revenge, as he stood in the aisle for about ten minutes with his SMELLY(and I mean seriously smelly) ass in close proximity to my face.

The flight was bumpy...VERY BUMPY,and at one point, while we were approaching Newark, I was pretty sure that we were going to die. And Ron Duguay being on the plane was not helping me any, as I figured he was JUST famous enough to be a bit of a story if he died in a plane crash.( I am not always rational when flying is involved). Also, the guy sitting on the other side of the row in front of me was watching "Lost" on his DVD player. NOT a great choice,as far as my irrational mind was concerned.

And the last thing that convinced me that we were going to crash was that voice of the flight attendant. Normally, when a plane hits turbulence, one of the ways I make myself feel better is by looking at the crew. 9 times out of 10, they are not noticing the turbulence at all, and that makes me feel better. HOWEVER, on this flight, the flight attendant comes over the loudspeaker in a panicked voice saying that this is obviously the weather that the Captain was talking about, and how normally she would come through the cabin to pick up the trash, but it was too bouncy, and since we were all going to die anyway, who cares where the trash is ?

Okay, I added the part about us dying, but the rest is true, though My Special Lady has since informed me that the Flight attendant did not sound panicked to her. Anyway, we get through the clouds, and we can see Newark, and suddenly...The plane starts to rise again...Great, I think, Godzilla(or Cloverfield) has now grabbed us. But that was not the case. apparently, there was a plane on the runway, so we had to circle around again.

As you may have guessed, we did finally land safely. And we made our way through the airport, scored a free cart for our bags, and made our way to the airtrain to go to the rental car place.

The airtrain was another nightmare. the train arrived, and the floor of the train is about 6 inches taller than the platform, so I had to get enough momentum to get the wheels of the cart over the lip of the train car..It sorta worked, and then I helped My Special Lady get the stroller on.

We wait about 5 minutes, maybe 10, and then they announce that the train is out of order, we have to get off of it. So we get off, and then have to do the same thing to get on the next train. I will spare you the specifics of the train ride, but let's just say that I would guess it covered MAYBE a mile ? And it took about 40 minutes.

Thankfully the Rental Car place was not crowded. however, I could not hook up my iPod in the car,s o we had to listen to the radio. You want to know how bad the voyage was? I was HAPPY to hear "Her I Go Again" by Whitesnake on the radio. That was a HIGHLIGHT of the day.

Think about that, Crimestoppers.

What time did we finally pull into Bubbis' driveway ? Right around 9:00 p.m.


Zoooma said...

Holy cow, my friend ... wow. just wow. there's water in that picture of Kim Alexis? I hadn't noticed! But seriously I'm sittin' here just mostly going -- wow, and feeling really sorry for you. Generally I'm one easy going bloke, only I'm not English or Aussie so I'm not really a bloke, but I'm still easy going, comes with being a Deadhead, well, at least this Deadhead is one laid back dude, right? But that hell you went through, crap, man, that woulda driven me freakin' nuts. Congrats on not leaping to your death from 30,000 feet to escape the inside of that plane. Wow. You're a strong man! And now that I have Whitesnake and Tawny Kitaen sprawling over the hood of a Jaguar on my mind, you can go to hell! ;)

P.S. have a good time in Jersey.

P.P.S. Rangers suck. Go Devils!!!

Paticus said...

Zooma- Believe me, I am surprised as anyone that I did not lose my shit at some point. i think the only reason that i didn't start secreamibng during the turbulence was beceause I was afraid I would scare the crap out of my daughters. But my mind was screaming, I can gaurantee you that.
I apologize for the Whitesnake, and I accept your damnation.
As for your comment on the Rangers- i will simply say I beg to differ.

Michele said...

That is one hell of a story, Paticus. I hope you and the lady had some stiff drinks that evening? With all of that turbulence I was waiting to read about barf bags, and am glad to hear it never reached that point!

Paticus said...

Michele- Thank the lord barf bags were not involved. Ay-yi-yi !!

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