Saturday, January 8, 2011

Part 1: Goin' to Miami

Yesterday Arnie let me leave an hour and a half early. So I went home and double-checked that I had everything packed, and sat around folding laundry I stayed up doing late last night while I waited for Josh to come home. When he did, he asked if I was ready and I pointed at my suitcase.

Josh shook his head at me. "You need a carry-on." I do not understand this. I thought the whole point of a suitcase is to put all your shit in it. So why would you take another bag with other shit? We went back and forth a few times and then Josh said he didn't have time to argue with me but our flight would be over three hours and we could talk about it the entire time if I wanted. But while he was saying that he took my messenger bag, dumped it upside down so all my usual stuff fell out, and started stuffing things from my suitcase and our room into it.

While we were on our way downstairs Josh told us to look in the trunk of the town car, saying it would be deep enough to stuff a couple of dead bodies. All three of us giggled, but we also all looked into the trunk when the car arrived. Josh was right. He asked the driver to wait as we took off our jackets and gave them to Alex & Danielle to bring back upstairs.

On the way to the airport Josh told me that the driver would bring our suitcases to the curb and then we'd have to rush through check-in and security. He told me I absolutely could not make any jokes about bombs or guns or terrorists the entire time we were in the airports. We got stuck in traffic on the way to Queens and I got scared they wouldn't let us on the plane if we didn't get there an hour before takeoff.

When we got to the airport it was 54 minutes before our flight was supposed to leave, and I kept trying to hurry Josh along even though I didn't really know where we were going. He finally pulled me close and whispered that he had to tip the driver first. When we walked inside it was crowded and chaotic, and I was surprised. The picture I had in my head was like a crowded yet quiet library with lots of long lines.

Josh had me take out my picture ID and we waited in a long line with our suitcases. I was getting so stressed out about the time. Finally when it was less than a half hour before taking off, Josh flagged down someone who worked there and told them about our flight. The woman opened the rope and pushed us to the front of the line. We lugged our suitcases to the counter and I started to put mine on the silver thing next to Josh's, but he stopped me and explained it had to be one at a time so they could be weighed. Nobody had told me there was a weight limit and I panicked. When I started to ask Josh what was going to happen if my suitcase weighed too much he shook his head and kind of gestured at me to shut up.

The desk guy threw Josh's suitcase on a conveyor belt behind him, and I put mine up. Two minutes later he threw my suitcase on the conveyor belt too, and said he was calling the gate to let them know we were on our way and to hold the plane for us. We said thank you and rushed off towards the gate. On our way to get through security Josh explained that when your suitcase is too heavy you take stuff out of it and mail that stuff, but he knew mine wouldn't be, because he knew I didn't pack a lot.

We got to security and it was another long line. Josh joked that this was good practice for me to get used to the lines we'd deal with at Disney, before he flagged down a security person to tell them our flight was leaving soon. Again we were pulled out of the line and brought to the front. I looked at the people in line to see if they were angry, but nobody seemed to care. Josh said they do it all the time, and everyone understands that different people have different departure times. I had no idea how little I knew - there is this whole ton of information about vacations I knew nothing about.

As we waited to walk through security Josh had me turn off my cell phone, and said if they pull me aside to do a pat-down, I am to tell them I want him there as a witness. Josh took my shoes from me and put them in a bin with my cell phone and messenger bag, and then put his bin behind it. I wanted him to go through the metal detector first, but the security guy told me to go, that my bin went first. So I stepped through and then stopped. The guy nodded at the bins and mumbled I should have a nice flight. I grabbed my stuff and shoved my shoes back on, and then went to grab the stuff from Josh's bin. Immediately a security guard was right in front of me, asking if that was mine. I said it was my boyfriend's right as Josh came over and thanked me, and the guard backed off.

We raced over to the gate and got in another long line. I asked if I had to take off my shoes again but got told no. So I asked if Josh was going to tell someone our flight was leaving soon and it turned out we were in line to get on the plane. Josh stayed in line and directed me over to a wall of windows, and when I stood there looking out, I could see this huge airplane, and Josh said that was our plane.

When it was almost our turn at the front of the line, there were only two people behind us. Josh told me to take out my ID again and handed my ticket to me. I made him go first because I got nervous. So he handed his ticket and ID to the woman, and she kind of gasped and said, "You could have pre-boarded, you're first class." Josh told her we hit traffic on the way to JFK and she nodded and said now she remembered, she got a call about us at the front check-in, but we could relax now, because we made it.

The woman looked at my ID and ticket, and told me to have a nice trip. I thanked her and followed Josh on to the plane. We sat down and Josh told me to make sure my cell phone was off, and shove my bag under the seat . He took gum out of his bag and put his under his seat. Someone came over to ask if we wanted a drink, but I didn't. Josh started explaining everything about the plane to me, and as he talked I was looking out the window, and then all of a sudden the plane was moving. I saw the runway right before we turned onto it, and it looked really pretty lit up. When the captain said we were next in line, Josh offered me gum. When I said no thanks, he laughed and told me to take a piece, that it wasn't that kind of offer. I whispered asking if he was saying I had bad breath, so Josh explained my ears would pop as we climbed and chewing gum would make the pressure feel better.

He also said that when we went from Miami to Orlando we were going to fly coach, so I could see the difference between that and first class. When I asked why we weren't flying coach to come home Josh kind of laughed when he told me he only flies coach for shuttle flights, or ones that are really short. Um okay. The bathroom was really tiny, and while I was in there, I wondered if a really fat person has ever gotten stuck. During the flight a flight attendant came by and offered me a rolled up towel. Josh had taken one, so I said sure and she gave it to me with tongs. Right as I reached my hand out Josh warned that it was hot, and thank god he did because it really was.

I gotta be honest - I don't really understand the point of the hot towel treatment. It was kind of nice, but ... ? Josh told me a lot of people nap on flights. He put in his earbuds and napped. I couldn't nap. I looked through my messenger bag to see what was in it. I read a magazine the airplane lets you borrow. Pressed all the buttons to see what they did. Looked at the other people. Changed Josh's songs to see if he'd notice while he was sleeping (he didn't). When Josh woke up, he told me the plane was going to land soon and gave me another piece of gum. I could sort of see ocean and beach. Looked pretty cool.

It was really scary landing. Josh tried to explain how you pull up on a throttle to bring down a plane but I didn't really get it. I didn't like when I looked out the window and could see the runway rushing up to meet us and kind of wanted to just fly forever without landing. Nobody else looked terrified, just me. After we landed I asked if we had to go through security again and Josh shook his head no, but warned it was still best to not make any terrorism jokes in the airport.

We got off the plane and Josh brought me down an escalator. I asked how he knew where everything was. Guess you start to understand what all the signs mean when you travel a lot. We waited in front of a thingie and eventually it buzzed and started moving and suitcases came on it. I was really exhausted and wanted to sit down. It makes no sense though, since I sit all day at work and then sat for like three and a half hours on the airplane. I asked Josh if he was tired. "No. I napped on the plane. I'm excited - I'm on vacation with my girlfriend." Pwnd.


Anonymous said...

Hope you have a wonderful time. Keep us posted, if possible!!
ps. made me anxious hearing about the hassle of getting on the plane. I'm not a calm traveler.

Anonymous said...

As I read your post, I was thinking about all of the new things you'll be encountering and experiencing on your trip. I liked your description of how the airport was different than you expected (not like a crowded and quiet library). Traveling is a great education in so many ways. Hope you'll be able to relax and have a great time on your adventure. Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us.

Lyndsay said...

Have a wonderful time!!
I would have been freaking out in the airport. I always get there crazy-early because I'm so afraid of missing my flight.

Kizz said...

Yay! You did it! Hope you're having a good time down there.

Yankee, Transferred said...

Yea! Look! It's Sam on vacation!
Relax and enjoy. It will be great.

girlseven said...

I truly enjoy your blog...I hope you have a wonderful trip!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the long post! :D

Have a great trip. And a calm trip back.

~C~ said...

I'm so excited for you, Sam! I haven't gone anywhere too exciting myself, but I love to travel. I like the hustle and bustle (as long as I'm not running late) and the takeoff and landing. Have a wonderful time!

Anonymous said...

i also think the hot towel on the airplane is weird. i don't know what to do with it, but i feel obligated to take it. you're not alone on this one!