Getting up at three in the morning is not a happy thing, especially when one had gotten no sleep the night before. However, as the getting up was a precursor to my trip to NOLA I bounced out of bed with all the enthusiasm of a five year old on Christmas morning. (Not really, but I did not growl at the pooh. So I am going with enthusiasm.)
Off to the airport we go. Check in is a breeze (thank you Charlotte International Airport!) that is until one of the attendants relays to me that it is an oversold flight and I may not have a seat.
“Excuse me?” I say bewildered and clutching my prepaid receipt in my hand.
“Yes, Ma’am, those confirmations are not a guarantee that you will get a seat on the flight. You better hurry. Have a great day.”
Hurry. Looking at the line that weaves out of the security checkpoint I am engulfed by quiet panic. I think; I am gonna miss my flight, and they will reroute me through seven airports. I shall arrive in Nola just in time to get back on a flight here. Or worse, I will end up in Finland and have to survive on herring or smelt. Gods and Goddess I will die!
I turn to Pooh to relay this and he does what he does best.
“I am gonna miss my flight.”
“No you aren’t. I got you here in plenty of time.”
“She said the flight was oversold. I am gonna miss it. They‘ll bump me.”
“They won’t bump you because if they try I will come up in there and shoot someone’s ass.”
I am somewhat mollified. Peace and calm settle through me for I know, that if they indeed try to bump me, The Pooh will swoop in and open a can of whoop ass. So with a smile on my face I wait in line for 20 minutes, secure in the knowledge that, one way or another I am getting on this flight.
On the plane I am wedged between two rather rotund persons of the male persuasion. This made for a somewhat uncomfortable and rather apologetic fight, the person on my right kept elbowing me in the bosom as he was apparently having some issues with his laptop, while the person on my right was almost certainly inebriated ( peeps, he smelled like a still) and kept resting his head on my shoulder. I did not mind so much as I am sure he was a nervous flier and I am all for giving comfort where comfort is needed. (I am sweet damnit!)
We land in Alanta! Yay!!!! Half way there. I sniff the air cautiously, what is that I smell?? STARBUCKS. I take off with all the enthusiasm of a wildebeest thundering through the African plains. Pacified with my double shot peppermint mocha I sit and wait.
Apparently, peppermint is not soothing to the tummy when mixed with espresso and chocolate. I haul out the Dramamine, pop two and the rest of my flight is a blur. We land and I look at the time. Three past Ten, well goodie, out comes the phone and I call the Glamazon (AKA Karen) arrangements are made to meet at her baggage claim.
“What are you wearing?” I ask so that I may be able to pick her out in the crowd.
“Black print shirt , black skirt and heels.” She replies, graciously omitting the designers as she knows this only confuses me.
I hang up the phone and stow it, only to have to fish it out again. Is Jenn. And the conversation went a lot like this.
Chackle hiss pop “…..You?”
Somehow we manage to communicate- sisters you know- is a magical thing. And it is agreed that she and Nee shall pick us up at the airport, how exciting!
I grab my bag and head over to find Karen. On the way I note a quite bewildering array of women - and one person I am sure had an Addams apple- dressed per her description. I am smart and clever however and like a bloodhound scenting a prison escapee, I look at the floor examining shoes left and right, there in the corner I spot my prey, impossibly high and stylish heels. Tis Karen for sure.
“Karen?” I squeal.
“Meme” she squeals back.
Hugs all around. Folks let me tell you, Karen is beautiful and blessed with an hourglass figure Mae West would have envied. I am jealous sorta.
Phone ringing breaks up the huggles fest and it is Jenn again.
Crackel hiss pop “…Are you?”
Finally, after about ten calls in as many minutes we collect Ange and after schlepping ourselves and our luggage up and down baggage claim finally make it to the correct door and exit nearly being mashed by oncoming taxis. We scurry across to the passenger pick up and look for Jenn and Nee.
Nothing. Turning, I spy a woman in a van and one standing beside the van, it looks kinda like our Jenn but I wait, sure enough she opens her mouth to say something and I know.
“That’s Jenn.“ I say.
“Are you sure?” Karen asks.
“Yep. I can see her big mouth from here.”
The trip was quite fun, Karen commandeered the very back and sat like Queen if All She Surveys. I sat next to Ange and terrified Jenn by shouting multiple directions to Nee who did, at one point growl; “DO NOT make me stop this car.”
I was scared. I really was. But we made it in one happy, loud and hungry piece!
Coming up Part Two: The Hotel Lasalle