WARNING...this blog contains the occasional f-bomb and other not-so-ladylike words. Should these words offend you, please do not read any further!!!
First stop, Williamson County Regional Airport in Marion to catch my flight to St. Louis. Now, I have not flown out of Marion in a while, and as he's leaving, Jeff mentions that these planes are REALLY small....HUH? You mean small like what we've flown in before, right? No, he snickers, smaller....SEE YA.
So after all of the security screening we get ready to go out and board. The lady says to the guy in the front of the line to go to the front and then the rest of us fill in behind him, front to back. As I climbed in and ducked to avoid konking my head I realized that the poor sap in the front of the line was now sitting NEXT to the pilot. Holy shit...bet he didn't even get a co-pilot's discount.
This thing was tight, folks. I think it seated 11 or something total, and that included the pilot. Now, I am seated in row 3, behind the pilot. As we sit there I think "Hmmm...this is what it must be like to ride in the back row of the minivan" except of course, the pilot in that case is flying down Rt. 13 and not through the air! Now, onto the pilot...
He was a big guy...in fact, had I never seen his face, I would've SWORN he was Big Mike from our TD friends. So, for this blog, I will refer to said pilot as Mike. Well, Mike is pulling on levers and flipping switches and there is more than one occasion that it looks like he struggles and then just gives up.
Oh shit...I am going to die somewhere between here and St. Louis. I normally am not scared of these small planes, but this one was seriously too small for me. I started to imagine that perhaps I should've begged Keith to just fly me. I mean, if I'm going to die in a small plane, at least it should be someone that I KNOW flying the damned thing.
So, I now do something that I rarely do (hate to admit it, but it's true).....I pray. I prayed HARD too. I'm begging God to please spare my family and more heartache and let me get to Vegas safe and sound and have fun and then return home safe and sound and then I'll do all kinds of good things and really be an outstanding human that he can be proud of....PLEASE. PRETTY PLEASE....Remember my kids....they need a Mom!
We taxi to the spot where it's time to rev up and hit the gas. I'm praying.....I'm begging really. When, much to my relief, we have a beautiful, textbook-really, smooth as silk takeoff. Hmmm...perhaps this is not so bad afterall. It's pretty loud, so I whisper a thanks to Jeff to loaned me a pair of earplugs that I stashed in my purse.
Pretty soon it's time for the dreaded descent into St. Louis. Again, I'm feeling a bit nervous as Mike pulls on some levers, flips switches, and prepares as his "co-pilot" watches with fear.
And once again, Mike comes through like a pro....he glided that baby down with barely a bump. SWEET! I can now fly to and from Marion without having a panic attack!
Now it gets interesting....Cape Air, which is the carrier out of Marion, does not have Codeshare with many airlines, including US Airways, which I am flying to Phoenix and then on to Vegas. So, being in the D terminal, I RUN to the A terminal. At security there, the guy tells me I have to go and get a ticket, because Marion only gave me the boarding pass for their leg of the flight. Now I run upstairs and the LOVELY US Airways woman says, "Well, you're too late. You MUST check in 30 minutes before the flight. I will book you on the next flight to Vegas, which leaves St. Louis at 2:40 pm."
FUCK. Sorry, but that's about all I could say. If you're reading this, you know me, and you've seen me. I just frigging RAN.
I R A N.
Mind you, it is about 7:04, and the flight leaves at 7:30.
So, I grab the boarding passes for the 2:40 flight and run again to security. This BITCH in front of me says no, she's not in a hurry, but refuses to let me go ahead of her since I have 5 minutes to spare. Then as she's leisurely getting her stuff from the security bins, I decide enough is enough, so I push her stuff forward and grab my own stuff and try to shove it all into place for my quick exit. Grrrrrrr.....
After making it through security I once again RUN for the gate. Ha ha beyotches....I made it. I made it....I made it. I'm about to have a frigging heart attack, but I made it. Sweeeeeet! Then as I sat there and tried to catch my breath I started worrying....what if me missing the plane was God's way of keeping me safe. Oh SHIT....I ignored my cardinal rule....NEVER run, even if you're being chased by a guy with a gun....
Now I'm starting to panic again. I messed with fate and now fate is gonna kick me in the ass. Ugh...see what I get for running. DAMN. Then, to add insult to injury, the pilot comes over the PA and announces that due to loss of "auxiliary power" they're going to have to fire up an engine at the gate and then hopefully the other one will fire up when we taxi for takeoff. I look out my window and see a dude with jumper cables...now, admittedly they were probably not for starting the plane, but I was a bit irrational at this point.
S H I T
Messed with fate....here we go....careening through the sky to imminent death. And, I don't even have a spare 3 minutes to text Jeff and the kids and profess my undying love and devotion. They already had the "No Electronic" devices light on. S H I T
Well, as luck would have it, this flight also takes off and lands without a hitch. In fact, I even dozed off at one point...not too long though, 'cause I woke myself up with a horribly loud snore! OOPS....sorry to the poor guy sitting next to me!
And so my adventure ends. From Phoenix to Las Vegas there is no interesting news to report. We even landed about 20 minutes early!
Dad and I got checked into the hotel, did a little blackjack playing, had a cheap-ass primerib dinner (and I mean price, not quality) and then did a bit more gambling. I was able to hit the roulette wheel for a while and now I'm $57 ahead. Tonight 11 was a very lucky number, and happens to be my birthday and a number I faithfully play.
What a crazy adventure and day! Since I was up so early I'm off to bed at a decent time and then I will let the fun begin again tomorrow. Thanks to Jeff for making this trip possible and holding down the homefront while I'm away!