Saturday, September 1, 2012

Homeward Bound

Our flight didn't leave until 6:30 PM, so we had a leisurely breakfast and almost contemplated jumping in the pool one last time before I posed what I like to call 'an organizational question'.

'Hey, Angie - what time do we need to check out?'

'We fly at 6:30.'

'That wasn't my question.'

'We fly at 6:30.'

To make a long story dumber, Angie had assumed that checking out shortly before dinner was all part of the 'all inclusive' package. I walked up to the front desk to check and made sure to flash my wristband.

'Hey, what time do we need to clear the room?'

Apparently, the power of the blue bracelet runs out on the day you fly out. The guy behind the counter looked at his watch and yawned.

'In five minutes. There's a fifty dollar late check-out fee if you would like to....'

I ignored the concierge and immediately whipped out my alpha male hat. In the middle of shouting very important orders, Angie had the audacity to put on her Sunday hat and inform me that she needed at least twenty minutes to color coordinate the clothes before packing.

I checked that I had put on the right hat. I had, and I even pointed at it vigorously so that Angie could see that I was wearing the alpha male hat. She cackled politely and continued with her lackadaisical folding. I then invoked the frustrated-alpha-male-dad rule and went into the other room and began shoving shit into cases of any suit. That worked.

Seven minutes later, I slapped my room key on the checkout desk and stood slightly out of breath, but ready to pounce if the guy so much as glanced at his watch. Instead, the checkout guy checked out my coconut biceps and made the right decision.

'Thank you Mr. Johnson. You can still have free drinks at the bar until the shuttle arrives.'

I almost hugged the guy. Instead, I followed his advice. It had the added value of annoying Angie, who for some reason was refusing to partake in the pre-flight drinkery. Instead, she repeatingly responded that our shuttle left at 5:30 to which I repeatedly responded by pointing to my beer bracelet. This viciously funny circle went on for several hours. Eventually, the shuttle arrived and we packed wild animals into the underhead and shuttled ourselves to the airport.

The first thing I noticed was that there was a really long line for one of the flights. I also noticed that the other flights had really short lines, so I kept my hopes up. Angie brought the aforementioned hopes back down to Earth with a simple statement.

'This is our line.'

Thanks, O Great Bearer-of-Crappy-News. As we waited, the guy next to us picked up his phone and started what I would call an interesting dialogue.

'Yeah, sorry to call you. I just realized that I forgot my boots at your place.'

I checked out the guy's feet. He was wearing flip-flops.

'And I can't find my jacket. Can you look behind the sofa?'

I was so ready to high-five the guy, but Angie broke my eavesdropping and pointed to the main counter.

'Check out this guy. He's been arguing for fifteen minutes and is totally holding up the line.'

I checked out the guy and agreed with Angie's assessment. The jackass was holding everyone up because he had apparently ignored the weight restrictions on suitcases and was dead set on proving to everyone that he was a maroon.

After coming up with several witty nicknames for idiots with heavy luggage, we moved on to waiting for our plane to actually take off. As we were herded into the waiting room, the reason why Greece's economy is in the shitter became clear.

The room was packed full of airport staff who were just standing around chitchatting. There were ten gates to choose from, but not a single one had a sign or any other indication as to which flight was departing from which gate.

Angie and I asked ten or twelve staff members where the gate was for the flight to Germany. All of them looked annoyed that we were interrupting their gossip and simply pointed towards the gates and shrugged.

'It'll be one of these, but we don't know which one.'

'Yeah, but there's ten of them. Could you narrow it down for us?'

They didn't hear me over the laughter that erupted as they continued 'working'. We finally gave up and I resorted to pacing up and down the hallway waiting for gates that started to board.

The flight itself was surprisingly nice. The boys behaved. Angie did, too. The food sucked, but we had expected that and had eaten sandwiches shortly before boarding.  As we landed, we flew over what looked to be the longest traffic jam in history. It stretched as far as the eye could see and we had the aerial view. Enough foreshadowing for ya?

The boys managed to stay awake, which was good. It was two hours past their bedtime and we still had a three-hour car ride that was now guaranteed to be quiet.

We got out of the airport at 10:30 and took the shuttle over to the hotel, where we picked up the car. After loading sleepy kids and correctly weighted luggage, it was 11:00. Great! Off we go!

The first two streets were okay, but as soon as we tried to get on the highway, my sneaking suspicion was confirmed. Two things happened as we entered the traffic jam from hell. First, all three boys starting snoring. Next, Angie turned to one side and wiggled snugly.

'Hey, you don't mind if I zzzzzzzzzzz.......'

After 45 minutes of bumper to bumper, I discovered from a radio update that we were almost halfway through the jam. Since the rest of the ride was boring as hell and only included two hundred unexciting pit stops for coffee, I'll just skip ahead.

We got back home at 3:00 AM. I was dead tired, but the boys were so happy to be back home that they started to wake up. I slapped the snooze button on those plans and spent the last of my dwindling energy on getting them back to sleep. It was nice to be home, though. --------------------------------------------
Ladder Talk: [No Ladder Talk - Papa was too exhausted]
1) What was the best part of your day?

2) What was the worst part of your day?

3) What would you like to do tomorrow?


  1. Haha, thanks, Tom. Sadly, it's one that I could easily use every night. :-)

  2. Nice one Steve, The power of the Blue Bracelet:)


  3. Thanks, Jim! Now if only they had a bracelet that worked on wives... :-)