Thursday, April 12, 2012

I'm Leaving On A Jet Plane (I Hope)

Our flight to San Juan, Puerto Rico, departs tomorrow at 4:10 PM.  Kellie and I have yet to agree upon what time we’ll leave for the airport.  I’m not comfortable unless I’m seated at the gate at least an hour before the scheduled takeoff.  When determining the precise time to leave our house, I take into consideration the length of the drive and the expected traffic conditions, then I’ll add some buffer time for contingencies such as accidents and mechanical breakdowns. (OCD is a wonderful thing.) Kellie has a different perspective, of course.  For Kellie, unless we’re the last ones to board the aircraft moments before the agent closes the gate, we’re way too early.  Naturally, this disparity in viewpoints is a constant source of irritation whenever we fly.  And we’ve run into some problems in the past.
Margaret & Jonathan Davis
Last September, we had to fly to New York for my sister’s wedding. I was very surprised that Kellie agreed to leave for San Diego Airport a full two-and-a-half hours before our scheduled departure because the airfield is only 45 miles from our home.  She also promised that she would be ready to go by 5:00 AM.  I would have preferred 4:30 AM, but there’s little traffic at that hour, so I felt there was adequate margin.  
The next morning, at precisely 5:00 AM, Kellie walked out the front door as promised.  I was very proud of her.  She walked over to the car trunk to load her suitcase.  “I need to look at the tickets,” she announced.  “We may have a problem.”
“What problem are you talking about, my dear?” 
“I don’t think we’re flying out of San Diego.  I think we’re flying out of LA.”
It would have been nice if she had had that revelation the previous evening when we were making our departure plans.  Kellie books all the travel, which is why I never have a clue about our itinerary, and I simply abide by whatever she tells me. The problem we were then facing is that Los Angles airport is 90 miles from our home and the morning rush hour commute around LA is horrendous.  To make matters worse, I didn’t put gas in the car the night before because we had ample fuel to reach San Diego, but making it to LA was questionable.  We didn’t have time to get gas if we were going to have any hope of making our flight.  
We hit the road; I started bitiching about the screw up and Kellie started bitching about my bitching.  There was a whole lot of bitching going on. Forty miles from the airport, the low fuel indicator light on the dashboard illuminated.  This was all just getting better by the minute.  I got on the phone to check what it would cost to change flights immediately versus what it would cost us if we missed the flight.  Given our location, trapped in traffic on the I-5, the agent said that we would never make the flight.  She thought that even if we reached the airport in time, we would never get through security quickly enough.  I should have never passed the agent’s assessment to Kellie.  She took it as a direct challenge.  “No one tells me I can’t do something,” Kellie declared. 
Kellie was going for it, traffic and low fuel indicator light be damned.   Unfortunately, while I was on the phone exploring other flight arrangements, Kellie missed the split to get on the I-405.  I was convinced that we had no chance of making our intended flight.  I had stopped bitching since I was already planning my, “I told you so,” comments for later.  
We somehow made it to the airport without running out of gas, but I never saw the low fuel light burn so brightly.  Apparently, the indicator's intensity increases as you get lower on fuel.  I wonder if it shoots you in the eye with a laser just before you run out of gas.  I could have used something to put me out of my misery.
We had to leave the car in the $30 per day parking across from our terminal instead of the $12 per day remote parking.  Luckily, we checked in online and printed boarding passes the night before.  We grabbed our bags and ran straight to the security check point. There was not another passenger in sight when we got there and we breezed through.  These sort of lucky breaks always seem happen just when they're needed in Kellie’s World.  We got to the gate just as they were making the first boarding announcement.
“You owe me an apology for being such an A-hole in the car,” Kellie demanded.  “I didn’t give you any grief when you lost the passports in France,” she continued.  I was still fairly annoyed over the whole wrong airport fiasco and I’m not sure my apology was very sincere.
“See, we had plenty of time,” Kellie bragged. Just to drive home the point that we made it with a few minutes to spare, Kellie sauntered over to Starbucks to get a Venti Caramel Frappuccino.  Great, after beating the odds and making it to the gate on time, Kellie was going to risk missing the flight for an overpriced coffee drink.  I boarded without her.  Had she missed the flight, I would have been lost since I had only a vague and fragmented understanding of our vacation plans.
Kellie says that our flight tomorrow departs from San Diego.  Yeah, right, like I’m going to believe her this time.  I’m gassing up the car just in case. “Show me the tickets, baby.”

And a couple of minutes for dad's too...

Ultimate Blog Party 2012


  1. Joe,
    Kellie will always catch the train, get to the store just before it closes, grab the very last ticket to the "sold out" event and be served the extra drink after last call. It's these folks that gnaw at our convention and laugh in the face of our righteous and seething wishes for justice. Is it better to beat them or join them? For me, jury's still out. But for you, my friend, I hope you choose wisely on your quest and as they say "May the odds be ever in your favor"

    1. Karen,
      The odds will never be in my favor; Kellie plays with loaded dice. I surrendered a long time ago and joined the Borg - resistance is futile.

    2. ... and succumb to a lifetime of nail biting close calls. Good thing adrenelin is marked amongst the legal and politically correct obsessions of choice!
      Resistance is not only futile, it's counter-productive.
      double cheers,

  2. Joe ask Kellie about the time I was taking her to the airport in San Fran from Roseville, You will never belive it. It's just Living In Kellie's World
    This from some one who knows her to well

  3. LOL! So my entire family is like Kellie and I am like you. I have actually project managed my sister's wedding, my group vacation to Las Vegas and now I'm project managing the family vacation to Maui next month. All I can say is that when I project manage everything, I get a lot of compliments and yet I'm practically a nervous wreck. I have already scheduled all the dinner reservations for Maui and I am a month ahead of schedule.

  4. Yikes, what an "adventure" you had! My wife is the travel planner, and she's also the one who insists that we be early to the airport "just in case".

    However, she is also the one who purchases the plane tickets, so she knows where and when we're going. I, like you, have decided that resistance is counter productive, and let her have her fun.

    That way, I don't have to stress about it and she doesn't have to stress about not being in control of everything travel related.

    I stopped by thanks to #UBP12, so hello! :D

    1. Thanks Zen. Made it to San Juan, tired and wet.

  5. Hi! Stopping by from #UBP12! And since you're really into travel - wanted to let you know that we have the secret to great vacations on a budget - hope you get a chance to stop by our blog, too!

  6. Just a little #UBP12 fly by from McKinney Mommas. Come visit us when you have the chance!

  7. Just stopping by from UBP. I am the other half on our family blog and thought I would just connect with all of the Daddy bloggers out there. It’s great to read from a guy’s perspective. We will be following! Check us out when you get a chance. Click on the tab This is a Man’s World!