I am going back to the Buff!! Not permanently--just for a week--but I am sooo excited. I love Buffalo with my whole heart and soul. I am looking forward to visiting Rounds Avenue, driving by the beautiful Forest Lawn Cemetery, eating banana cream pie from Wegmans, walking through the tiny airport (more on that in a second), driving around streets that are so familiar to me, seeing the rolling green farmland and colorful barns near Orchard Park, and most importantly, visiting some of the best friends I have ever had. I can't wait for everyone to see Noah!
I was actually supposed to arrive in Buffalo tonight, but I missed my flight. Yup--I missed it. It's a long and harrowing tale, but I suppose I'll tell it. I have nothing better to do tonight.
Okay, so we all know that I am a bit scattered and prone to being late to things. But today, I was actually ahead of schedule and feeling really good about myself. I had the bags packed, zipped up, and sitting by the door when Grandpa arrived to take me and Noah to the airport.
I wanted to get there early because I was feeling a little anxious about traveling with Noah. I've flown with him before, but he was a tiny baby then and much more docile and willing to sit in my lap and be snuggled; now he is a rambunctious nine-month old who would rather do just about anything but sit still in my lap. Plus, the other flights we've been on have only been an hour long, whereas the flight to Buffalo is about four hours long with a two-hour layover in Chicago in the middle (miserable, I know). So I stuffed my backpack with snacks and toys and prepared myself to walk up and down the aisle bouncing Noah for four hours if I had to!
We arrived at the airport in plenty of time, but this is when everything started unraveling. Have you ever been to the Denver International Airport? It is a monstrosity. It is the biggest international airport in the United States and the second biggest in the world (thank you, Wikipedia). To even get to your gate, you have to take a series of trains (the concourses are not connected to the terminal). And the airport is not just big--it's busy. When Noah and I arrived, the security lines were insanely long, but I still wasn't worried about missing the flight because I'd planned ahead and been on time for once. After quite a while, we made it to the front of the line, and I hoisted my backpack onto the belt, took off my shoes and put them in a bin, took Noah's car seat out of his stroller and put it on the ground while I folded the stroller and took off the wheel so it would fit on the conveyor belt; then I took Noah out of his car seat and put his 22 pounds of chubbiness on my hip while I lifted his car seat with one arm and put that on the conveyor belt (are you getting the picture that this was all a production? because that's what I am getting at), and then as I was walking through the x-ray machine, the worker said, "Ma'am, your cell phone is in your pocket." Silly me--with everything I'd been worrying about, I forgot to put my cell phone in the bin with my shoes. All of my stuff had already gone through the machine by that time and was waiting at the other side, but they insisted on putting my cell phone in its own little bowl and sending it through the machine behind several other people's stuff.
I went through the x-ray, got the car seat, buckled the baby in, unfolded my stroller, put the wheel back on, put the car seat in it, picked up my backpack, put on my shoes, put my boarding pass and ID back in my wallet...you get the idea. Can you guess what I forgot about again?? My cell phone was probably still making its way through the x-ray machine as I walked away pushing Noah. Can you blame me? I had a lot on my mind.
So what would you do at the Buffalo or Salt Lake City airports if you realized that you'd left your cell phone at the security check point? You'd turn around and walk back and get it, right? I had plenty of time, so I figured that's what I would do. The problem was, I had already gotten on the train toward the concourses by this time, so I got off at the first stop and got on a different train heading back to the terminal. Literally as soon as the doors closed and the train started moving, I gasped in horror as I realized my mistake: The train going back to the terminal does go to the same platform where I boarded--but the doors open to the other side of the platform...
I would have no choice but to go through security again.
Oh man was I mad at myself. If I were a swearer, I'm sure profanities would've been uttered at this point. I have been flying in and out of the Denver Airport my whole life--I should've remembered where the train would let me off. I was just so frazzled trying to get me and Noah through the huge airport as quickly as possible that I didn't think.
The story goes on...but I won't go into all of the depressing details. Airport workers and passengers were all very kind and let me go ahead in line, but things kept going wrong, and at the end of it all, I ran to my gate (which was in Concourse C, which means three stops on the train), and I was too late. My plane was still sitting there, but the door to the jetway was closed, and they'd already given my seat to a standby passenger. Our suitcases made it onto the flight, but we did not.
It was quite the afternoon. And all because of my stinkin' cell phone. Seriously, I think I should just get rid of that d@*% thing!!
So Noah and I will be heading to Buffalo tomorrow. I told him that today was just a "trial run" for the main event (we are really good at going through security now) and he assured me that he will be on his best behavior for our long day ahead. I just pray that he is because I don't think I can handle another airport debacle tomorrow!
As for Ryan, he is going to miss us, so he is thrilled that we are home for another night. I just heard him say to Noah as he was putting him to bed, "Thanks for coming back to see me." :)
Buffalo friends, I am coming!! I can't wait!