Sunday, August 13

Home, Sweet Home

Happiness is when, right before your vacation, your son and husband disappear to boy scout camp, allowing you to finish redecorating the guest room and clean the entire house. Then, before the family has had a chance to mess it up live in it, the whole family travels to the beach. After a fun week with extended family, a 4.5 hour drive to the airport and many hours in the air you are greeted with a still-clean home.

Yes, we enjoyed a week at Nags Head with most of my siblings, their spouses and many nieces and nephews. We had fun. What we don't have is pictures. While we brought the camera, we just never thought to get it out. It was hot but we didn't melt. We climbed a lighthouse, kayaked in the (cloudy) moonlight and played in the surf. We played everything from Apples to Apples to Scattergories.

I made a second Booga bag and got lots of compliments on both it and bag one. I worked hard on Cinxia, and am almost ready to attach the sleeves. Photos of that to come.

Fortunately for us, the airport madhouse had occured midweek. We did check most of the bags to make the security check easier. All the knitting got checked. I had Cat's Cradle to read, Zach had a book and his Nintendo DS, Franz had a book. The DIY check-in kiosks made checking in bags very fast. Then security was a piece of cake. One PM on a Saturday during vacation season and there was no line at all for security. One of the security guys thanked Franz for having an easy bag. The woman who looked in mine commented on the Vonnegut, saying she'd reread it recently and wasn't it a great book? I agreed (I am rereading it also). Kinda surreal conversation though, since the story involves a dangerous liquid and has an apocalyptic ending (ok, liquid is debatable, but still...)

A woman right ahead of us was caught with about a half dozen tiny bottles of perfume in her carry-on. They tried to be nice to her and suggest she take them back to her checked bags, but she said she'd done curbside check-in over an hour ago, no way would the bags be conveniently found. So they had to throw them away. I don't get it. She clearly knew the rules, since there was no make-up, toothpaste or deodorant. Why the perfume? I wonder if it was expensive? Not being a perfumy kinda gal myself, I don't know how to tell from looking at the bottles, but I do know that sometimes those little bottles have big price tags.

Our flight from Richmond to Atlanta was delayed due to being overweight. (overweight because they added fuel due to some "weather in Atlanta." oh great, good thing I had taken dramamine.) Some bags were taken off the plane, but I don't know if that included ours. We made it to Atlanta just in time to run from gate C36 to gate A24 to catch the plane to Seattle. I was not surprised that our luggage didn't show up when we did.

Figuring I could be efficient --- why wait for bags that won't arrive?--- I went directly to Delta's baggage claim customer assistance and said that my bags were most probably not on this flight. She looked at the claim tickets and assured me that the computer had them listed on the flight. So we waited. While the luggage was being unloaded, a Fellow Traveler (an older fellow for whom English was obviously not his native tongue) told me he thought he had heard that bags from some connecting flights would be in later. I hadn't heard this, so went back to the counter to ask, Fellow Traveler with me. She told me no, she had only announced that some luggage arrived on an earlier flight. As I left the office, she said to another clerk "some people just do NOT listen!"

When it became clear that the bags weren't coming, I went back to the office. This time there were several folks following me, including the Fellow Traveler. I was first, but when I walked in she made a point of ignoring me. I tried to get her attention, but she brushed me off to go into the other room for just a sec. Not long enough to do anything, just long enough to show she could keep me waiting a bit longer. This time, however, she admitted that our bags were scheduled to arrive on a flight a couple hours later. She took down the descriptions and our address and said they would be delivered. At this same time, a second clerk had come out and was talking with Fellow Traveler. I did not hear the whole conversation, but did hear him ask if his bags would be delivered to him and for her to answer "no." I have no idea why we were treated differently. Perhaps I misheard; perhaps there was a legitimate difference in our situations.

This morning, after a good night's sleep in my own bed, I walked to the store for a latte, then found some old abandoned knitting to work on. Just a simple linen hand towel, loosely based on Mason-Dixon's. I contemplated the odds of the bags disappearing forever. I contemplated all that work on Cinxia. I contemplated losing CeCe so soon after finishing her. Then the phone rang and the Runway Express guy said he was on his way. Everything arrived. Everything had been rifled through by TSA, but all was intact --- not one stitch dropped. I suppose we were lucky to get them back so quickly though. The delivery guy said that this week had been chaos for baggage handlers and bags from over a thousand flights had gotten mixed and scattered all over the country.


Kathleen said...

Welcome Home! Glad you had a good time with our family. It's always the best time when the camera is forgotten! :) Sorry you had to deal with a luggage snafu and glad it all worked out!

Maryann said...

Bummer that baggage lady was so rude to you, but that's so neat that they delivered your stuff to your house! I am afraid that I've lived near Raleigh, NC for 6 years now, and I've only been to the beach once. Sigh...