I Missed my flight!…

My flight was scheduled to leave Wichita at 11:40 PM, so I thought it’d be good to leave the house at 10:30, since it’s a ten minute drive.  But just when it was time to leave, mom and dad started looking all over Ted’s & Diane’s house to find mom’s missing plan book for work in which she’d written the notes she used while speaking at Grandma’s funeral. 

IMG_8769(Mom, Buddy, and Andy waved goodbye to me from the security checkpoint.  This is the type of shot you get with no flash or diffuser is used)

I was a little stressed and thinking to myself, “Guys, I need to be leaving right now.” But in order to communicate properly, I said, “Dad, I’ve got to leave right now for the airport.  I’m sure Ted can take me if we need him to.”  Turns out he’d forgotten that I needed to catch my airplane.  One of the interesting things about communicating, is that we communicate differently with different people.  If I’d been with Holly, we’d already be out in the cars and on the way, and she’d have been coming back in the door to get me right about then and all three boys would have been securely fastened in their seats…

And none of the rest of this would have even happened…

IMG_8770(On the right is a picture of me and my mom getting our ‘goodbye’ picture taken.  Moms are awesome!)

On the way to the airport, I remembered that I hadn’t bought a card reader for my photography class, and I was in just the right place to get one.  You see, I wanted to get three types of readers: a PCMCIA Compact Flash reader for the older laptops, an ExpressCard Compact Flash reader for the newer ones, and  USB 2.0 Compact Flash reader that would work with the little MACs and figured we just had time to swing by Wal-Mart to get what I needed, as it was right near the airport.  On talking with mom and dad, dad suggested that I check-in first, (after we meet up with Andy’s gang) and that I then go to Best Buy or Circuit City.  Being the flexible intelligent guy that I am, I can realize when a better plan has been offered, so we headed straight for the airport, our first stop.

IMG_8801(I love these new headrests that American Airlines has.  But watch out as it is easy to fall asleep when your head doesn’t flop back and forth!)

As we pulled in at the American airlines curb at the Mid Continent Airport, Andy & Rhoda pulled in behind us and piled out with all their kids to hug me goodbye.  On hearing the new plan, Andy quickly snatched up my bag and carried it in to the counter.  At the scale, I paid the ticket agent the $15 for the first checked bag (the charge is now $25 for the second and $150 for the third) which weighed 48.8 pounds, then put a pair of corduroys into it to top it off at an even 50.0 pounds, and then we were off to the electronics store.  I don’t like wearing two pairs of pants anyway.

IMG_8798 On the way to the shopping area, we saw Best Buy first so we headed there.  Rhoda ran into the store behind me to help me find the stuff.  I interrupted a salesman trying to sell some suit a phone then set off running to the camera section for the card readers–duh.  When we got there, a skirt trying to sell a polo shirt a point-n-shoot, so I started cruising up and down memory lane looking for the card readers while Rhoda staked out the sales interaction for a pause in the diatribe..  I couldn’t find anything using both eyes, but in short order, Rhoda had the lady over next to me and we quickly snatched the item off the shelf and ran for the checkout line. 

IMG_8819 Up front, there were eight retail isles but only one was womaned (as opposed to being ‘manned’), so I started tapping my foot and looking around anxiously.  The line moved quickly along until she started to ring up my stuff and I had to tell her in No Uncertain terms that I did NOT want a Best Buy awards card, or whatever it she called it.

Back at the terminal, Mom wanted another round of goodbye pictures, so we did some grin-and-clicks, then Mom, Andy and Buddy walked me up to the security ramp.  While we were walking along, it occurred to me that I’d forgotten to download the pictures from her Canon G9 to my HD last night and I was tempted to stop and pop her card into the built in card reader on my Inspiron 6400, but thought better of it.

Going through security, I wasn’t really thinking, then I proceeded down the concourse to the end of the line mentally patting myself on the back as I went along for having accomplished so much with so little time on the way to the airport, when all of a sudden I realized there were no planes pulled up to my concourse and no passengers either.  I’d made a wrong turn. 


I did a 180 on my heel and set off at a lumbering jog with my sore left knee and a backpack full of books.  After quite a little jog, winded, I plopped my bag down and fireman’s jacket in Gate 5 and walked around a bit catching my breath and dissipating heat..  Thirty seconds later, they started the boarding call.


IMG_8835Here’s another thing that never would have happened if Holly had been with me…

In the DFW Airport, I found Gate D40 for flight 897, confirmed that I still had 2:15 in layover time, found a discarded ‘Smarte Carte’ (is that French) at an empty gate plopped my bags onto it and then went tup to the overhead train so I could find the J6 crowd and the Richters, which turned out to be an easy task. 

We exchanged flight numbers, took some pictures, and made plans for lunch in Seattle, then I went back to the D concourse gates on the overhead train and got some lunch at the Golden Arches (McDonald’s).  I was reading through an interesting magazine article on the recent battle of the giants in laptop computer motherboards (powerful 3D GPUs (think Nvidia) vs. Faster CPUS with integrated GPUs (spelled Intel)) when I heard something that made my adrenaline pump like a fire engine.

IMG_8815c“This is the last call for Flight 1626 at Gate D40 with service to Seattle.  All passengers should now be aboard.” 

WHAT?  That was my gate ‘D40’ with a flight to Seattle.  I immediately dropped the magazine, ran out of the store, and started sprinting for the gate, pushing my ‘Smarte Carte’ at full speed and lengthening my stride as people leaped out of my path.  Thankfully I was at Gate D34 with not far to go and there were no small children anywhere in sight.  What was with the change in flight numbers?  I need to buy a watch!  How did this happen?

IMG_8853(Turns out there is a dedicated Croc’s store in the SeaTac Airport!  Cool.  I almost bought a pair for Holly.)

When I got to the Gate, D40, there was just one other passenger waiting in line at the head of the ramp.  The pressed suits and white shirts were eager to close the door and the fluorescent vests were doing one last look around.  I handed the white shirt with a scarf at the door my ticket and said, “I think I screwed up!”  She looked at my ticket and said, “Yup. Yours is flight 897 Seat 25” Then handed it back to me and looked away.  I looked at my ticket: confused.  My ticket said I was in seat 18b.

The suit at the counter said, “Sir, could you hand me your ticket.”  I walked over and handed it to him over the rope.  He looked at it and hit a few kes. “You’re at Seat 25 but you’ll never make it.  They just started boarding”. 

Now I was really confused.  The suit handed me my ticket and looked at me expectantly.

IMG_8873(Check out these high heeled crocs!)

Sadly, I started to walk away.

He called after me, “This plane leaves for Seattle and will land within 10 minutes of yours.  Yours is Seat 25.  You’ll never make it there now.”  He had a questioning look on his face.  I looked down at my ticket again confused, seat 18B it still said.  My shoulders dropped.

I stopped.  Lame.  I’d missed my plane.  I looked around sadly.  “Why am I in Seat 25?” I asked.  “Is it this way?” I gestured up the ramp to the overhead train.

“Not seat 25.  Your plane is boarding at gate C25, there was a change of gates.  You’ll never make it now.”

IMG_8870(Here’s the type of croc, I almost bought Holly)

“Oh. I see my plane got switced to Gate C25, and that plane is boarding, but I can’t catch that plane anymore.”

“Yes, sir.”


“No sir.  I’ve got room on this plane, and it will arrive within ten minutes of yours. Would you like to board this plane?”

“YES. Can I” I was excited now.

“Hand me your ticket.  We’re already two-and-a-half hours late right now.”

Cool.  So, I boarded a different plane and beat my original plane (and my bags) to SEATAC. 


IMG_8858(Here’s another surprising pair of crocs for your approval!)

The only thing that went wrong with that flight was this: When the flght attendants were pushing the beverage cart up the isle, I put the tray down in front of me and told the cart pushing attendant that I wanted some orange juice please and gestured toward my cup.  The next thing I remember was waking up with really cold fingers on my left hand, then having OJ all over the place.  Evidently, I fell asleep and then was awakened when I put my hand in my OJ: My tray was covered with a thin layer of OJ and the it was spilling off the edge on to my blue carhart fireman’s jacket as I sat and watchted it. I quickly righted the cup then slowly made the decision to push the little overhead button with the picture of the stewardess on it.  She said I was the third person to completely spill my orange juice on myself.  While cleaning it up, I found a fold in my jacket that held about half the cup–thankfully, I’d thought to put the jacket over my lap before I went to sleep.

IMG_8828Here’s a shot of Cliff & Betty at the food court in SeaTac.

When I got to SEATAC, I eventually met up with J6 (Jack, Jennifer, John, Joy, Joanna, and Jessica) and the Richters and we had a nice meal at the food court before I left on my Alaska Air Flight 69 with ser ice to Ketchikan and Juneau. 



More Croc shots I thought I’d include, just in case you’re like me and have never been to a croc store before.  I didn’t realize they have so many types of crocs.  Also, I came near to missing the flight here too, because I was having so much fun taking pictures of crocs.

IMG_8867IMG_8866 IMG_8865 IMG_8872 IMG_8862IMG_8861 IMG_8869