Friday, April 6, 2012

Reader Discretion Advised: Worst flight of my life!

Arizona {lower portion of Grand Canyon}
Idaho {who says it isn't beautiful?}  
 Utah {Sunday walks in the canyon}

These are a few pics from my wonderful road trip from Arizona to Idaho and Utah, and the following is the terrible story about my short flight back… 

First let me preface this story with this, I kind of pride myself on being a double black diamond traveler, if you are not a skier/boarder that means dangerously fast, efficient, and well, legit. I travel often. I travel light. As soon as I reach security my suitcase it up, my shoes and jacket are off, my laptop and prepackaged liquids are out, and I am through the metal detector before the worker can say, “Have a nice flight.”

Well, with that in mind here is the experience from my last flight:

I got all packed the night before only to realize my flight left the day before. Huge mistake, even my husband didn’t catch it because I had been telling him for weeks that it left on Wednesday.

My birthday is in a few days and my family surprised me with all sorts of sweet and thoughtful gifts. I was so grateful, but when half my carryon is occupied by camera equipment and my laptop is my handbag, there is no space to spare. So my sis made a makeshift purse—aka laptop bag inside gigantic canvas grocery bag, as well as four pairs of shoes and all other extras—throw a nice sweater over it and a smile and I could get through anything she said, yes, even airport security. Five seconds after I pulled the giant bag’s tiny straps over my shoulder my fingers started tingling then went numb because of lack of blood flow. Still couldn’t fit everything so I wore every sweater and jacket I brought, “Oh, and where are you headed—the Arctic Circle?” Me: “No, actually, Arizona. It sure can be chilly this time of year, cough, cough.” Really should have just paid for a check-in now that I think about it. Darn you, cheap instincts!

You would think the three day flight from Germany would be my worst travel experience ever, but no, it was the 27 minute flight from Pheonix to Tucson.

First flight went okay besides spending 40 extra minutes on the tarmac, which happened to be over the amount of time I had between connections. When we arrived I once again put on all of my sweaters/jackets, grabbed my suitcase, pulled on the heavy shoulder bag, and started running to my next flight. My shoelaces were untied and I was getting blisters, but I was determined to not miss another flight. I reached the gate one minute before the flight left. I was panting, hot, and my giant “purse” wouldn’t fit in the overhead.

I shoved it under the seat and after a minute, my speedy flight across the airport started catching up to me. I was coughing and couldn’t breathe because of asthma. I apologized between gasps of air to the nicely dressed business man sitting next to me—then it happened. My nose started, I would say bleeding, but gushing would be more accurate. Everyone around me started giving me strange glances or tissues, both attendants rushed over with a large stack of napkins and soon returned with cold water, asking if I would be okay for take off. Still couldn’t breathe, but managed to nod my head. I was saturating each napkin before I could get the next one to my face. After a short time it was down my shirt and on my book, I looked like a zombie victim or, more likely, the zombie after eating its victim. Pretty soon the sophisticated business man handed me the barf bag to put all of my tissues in.

My nose bleed continued most of the flight. I was still having a hard time breathing, so I just laughed, smiled and waved when worried or judging glances would come my way, thinking to myself: “Times like these keep you humble, VERY humble.” The guy next to commented on my good attitude, I just told him between gasps for air that it will be a good story—probably an even better one for him. He flies nearly every day of the year and started related to me the worst things he has seen to make me feel better; I couldn’t help thinking “bloody nose girl” would soon be on the top of his list.

When my husband picked me up I told him about my flight from hell, and if the vivid details weren’t enough my nose started to bleed once again as if on queue—we stopped by McDonald’s and pretty soon I was sitting comfortably with a large stack of napkins to my face and an ice-cold water. Life is good.

Do you have any good travel stories?? And by good, I of course mean terrible. 

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