Local blogger and lovely friend, Christine Koh of Boston Mamas has been known to tell me that I have good karma. It’s something I strive for, but there are just those days where I’m not so sure. The final day of my BlogHer journey was one that brought me to the brink and then helped me come around full circle.
It started before I even left for BlogHer. I felt like I was catching a cold and then went to bed far too late to get enough sleep. I never managed to catch up. In fact, if you met me during BlogHer and asked how I was doing, I probably told you I was tired. Damn, was I tired. And when you factor in the sheer number of people time for someone who’s as introverted as I am, it’s amazing I could form a coherent sentence.
I planned to call and change the time for my shuttle. It was supposed to pick me up at 8am, but my flight didn’t leave until 11am. But, by the time I got back from my weepy farewells in the lobby, it was far too late to talk to an operator. I decided to suck it up and try to get some sleep on the plane.
I was up very late sorting and packing swag. I had brought an extra bag, but I ended up needing two. I managed to finish most of the packing by about 2am and tried to fall asleep. Let’s just say that 6:45am came too early! I threw my last minute things into my bags and looked around to make sure there wasn’t anything I had missed. My roommate was just waking up, so I managed to pull this all off with very little lighting. Of course, that’s with one very heavy main bag, a duffle and very-full carry-ons. And, as I went to close the duffle that I had decided to pack, the zipper broke. I had no duct tape (I will have to add that to my always-pack list) and no other bags big enough to hold the stuff, so I decided to head off to the airport and hope that I could find a solution there.
I had a lovely trip to the airport, but I have misplaced the card for the blogger I chatted with (if you read this, please leave a comment!). When we pulled up to terminal, I realized that my ID wasn’t in my purse. No big deal… I had pulled it out for a party the previous night and had left it out on the desk with my primary credit card. I was fairly certain I had grabbed it on my way out of the door. I checked my pockets… nope. I checked my laptop bag… nope. So I settled in on a bench at the airport and started digging through all of my bags. Nothing. I called my roommate about a hundred times before she answered her phone (Kathrin, what’s up with your always-full voicemail?!). She had already checked out, so I called hotel security. In the meantime, I put out a call on Twitter for a blogger who was leaving the hotel shortly to head to OHare. I found someone (Thanks, MomNoir) but the hotel called back to say that they couldn’t find my ID.
When I approached the Northwest desk at the airport, I was pretty close to tears. I explained the situation to the attendant who kindly assured me that it would all be fine. She checked me in and found tape and plastic to help tape up the bag. But, since it had to go through the X-ray machine first, I couldn’t tape it up. The woman at security was a bit reluctant at first, but after my desperate plea, she taped my bag up for me. I can’t say enough good things about the people at that terminal. The thing that really saved me here was that I had booked a first-class ticket (using frequent flier miles). I got two bags (including one that was overweight) for free. So, just when things were looking bad, I had that to hold on to.
For those who are curious, you can get through security with no ID. If you have anything with a photo, that helps. They also asked for things with my name/address and, in particular, a prescription bottle. In the end, they had to call their database and ask me a number of questions to confirm my identity. I passed with flying colors, although I will say that I could certainly have had some trouble. They asked what county I live in and Massachusetts isn’t a place where we identify very closely around county lines. It’s a small state… we don’t need to divide it up too much more.
Right as security was clearing me, Jenn Fowler walked by. She’s lucky I didn’t smother her in kisses, I was so happy to see her. We grabbed drinks (where the Starbucks barista gave me the wrong food item – sigh) and had a nice chat at the gate. My flight to Minnesota was nice. I swapped places with one member in an older couple so they could sit together, which made them happy, and was happy to sit by the window in first class. Getting to the next flight was a bit confusing, but I made it all without too much trouble.
The next flight wasn’t quite as nice. It was another tiny plane (3 seats across) and first class isn’t nearly so cushy in a plane that size. Honestly, it’s almost exactly like coach, but with a flight attendant. Unlike larger planes, there is no wall between first class and coach either, so I was less than overjoyed to be sitting immediately in front of a family of 5 with a nearly newborn, older baby (he looked like 10 or 11 months) and a little girl who seemed to be about 4 and who NEVER STOPPED TALKING. The kids were reasonably well-behaved, but they generated a good share of noise nonetheless. I didn’t get the much-needed nap I had hoped for, but at least we got some food. The one real perk of first-class on that plane was a lunch service.
I landed in Manchester airport exhausted, over stimulated and extremely happy to have a car service waiting for me. Only I didn’t see a guy standing around with a sign with my name on it. So, I claimed my ridiculously heavy luggage and wandered over to the front door. Now, Manchester is a relatively small airport, so it wasn’t like there were thousands of people milling around this area. No car. I called the dispatcher who told me to head down the escalator. Uhm. I’m on ground level! And just as she’s telling me to go outside and walk and walk, the sky opened up and dumped buckets of water to go with some thunder and lightening. I started to cry. I seriously considered calling my husband to come and pick me up at the terminal (apparently the car service wasn’t allowed to meet me at the door). Instead, I hauled my luggage through the airport and out the door where my adorable car driver was waiting. He was so sweet and worried about me that I instantly felt better. After a few miles of silence where I tried to recover from the day, he told me about his college graduation and his trip with friends. We talked about twitter and blogging conferences and I had a really nice ride home.
During the ride, my driver pointed up at the sky and said, “Look! It’s a rainbow!” And it reminded me that with all of the bad things that had gone on during the day, I had been given just as many good things. I’m going to choose to remember those instead.
If you’re curious about my family’s reception for me when I got home, here goes. LadyBug just sort of stood there and stared at me. Bug, said, “Mama! Did you bring home something fun for me?” And Big Guy flopped on the floor in exhaustion. Yeah, it’s nice to be home.
P.S. If you want to know what happened to my ID/credit card, you can find out here.
P.S.P.S. And I do realize that, in the general scheme of things, it wasn’t so bad of a day. That was kind of the point.