|Boarding plane at Buffalo Niagara International airport yesterday - the blond tattood girl to the right had the assigned seat right next to me on the plane - small world!|
I'm home folks! And what a trip it was.
My flight was scheduled to leave Buffalo, New York at 5:45 PM. We were going to leave Toronto at around 1 PM for the two hour drive to Buffalo. Pat did want to take me to see the inauguration of the new Toronto streetcars but I decided we didn't have enough time. We decided to leave early (about 11:30 AM) and then take time to visit Wegmans for lunch and hang out in Buffalo until my plane left. Good decision!
|Me taking a selfie while waiting to board the plane|
Why? Traffic out of Toronto was backed up a good forty to fifty miles. Bumper to bumper, no exaggeration. We couldn't figure out was going on. A Bill's (Buffalo Bills) game? An accident? We saw signs that said construction was being done on the road but we didn't see any construction.
So we inched out way to Buffalo, taking about three and a half hours for a normal two hour journey.
Arriving in Buffalo, we sauntered into Wegmans at 2:45 PM for lunch was a bit late. There were some buffet lunch items left over so we made do.
After lunch we headed for the Buffalo Niagara International Airport with the help of Pat's Tomtom GPS. We couldn't find the airport! I saw the airport to the left but he didn't know how to get there. Some tension in Pat's little Fiat. Pat and I don't argue but we were approaching that hitherto unknown territory between us.
Somehow we managed to get to the airport (don't ask me how).
I wanted to be at the airport at least an hour before flight takeoff in order to give myself enough time to jump through the hoops that is now airport security in this day of The War Against Terror.
After some confusion as to where to print out my boarding pass and going through security I arrived at the gate where my plane was to take off. After all that rushing around, wouldn't you know the plane was late coming in? Of course it was. And also wouldn't you know I could hear a screaming and crying baby among the passengers waiting to board the plane? Of course you do.
Waiting and waiting. I asked the woman at the boarding gate "Where is an outlet where I can charge my cellphone?" She gives me an annoyed look and says "I don't know, there has to be one around here. Look for it." Seriously, that's what Miss Hospitality said. I was so exhausted from our three and half hour drive that I didn't want to get into a confrontation with her. What was the point?
I found an outlet, two inches above the floor where another passenger was laying with his iPhone plugged in and getting charged, and plugged in my charger. And I waited. And waited.
I was cold. The only clothing I had on besides my underwear and socks was my "It's All Good in the Neighborhood" Mr. Roger's T-shirt and shorts (and my baseball cap of course). I had dressed for the weather forecast that day of heat and humidity but in the airport, it was Air Condition Cold. I was freezing.
|Happy me on another adventure|
And I waited. And Waited.
Finally, the boarding of our plane. I usually wait last to board the plane. What's the point of rushing on first? The plane isn't going to take off without me is it?
Everybody boards the plane. Then me. I look at my boarding pass seat number . . . . 9A. Okay . . . . . I look at the numbers above the seats on this very small, propeller driven prop plane. 1A, 2A, 3A . . . . I hear the screaming and crying kid way in the back of the plane. I continue down the airplane aisle, hunched over. This small propeller prop driven plane only has a ceiling height of about 5 feet, 8 inches. I continue to look at the seat numbers listed on the overhead carryon compartments. 7A, 8A and …….OH NO! My "9A" seat is all the way in the back on right, exactly next to a tall and heavy blonde haired woman. I feel bad for her because she knows she's going to crush me. I felt like "Elaine" on that Seinfeld episode where Jerry gets First Class and Elaine opted for the Coach Class and is promptly squeezed into next to a heavy guy. But folks, the worst revelation about my seat is that I am in the SAME ROW AS THE MAN AND WOMAN WITH THE SCREAMING BABY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Can you believe it? OMG!!!! (ten time over).
I squeeze in and prepare myself for my latest torture, enduring that kid's screams for a good hour. Then, a miracle happened. The stewardess came back and said to the girl next to me "We have empty seats up front. If you would be more comfortable up there you can take one of those seats." So of course she gets up and squeezes her way past the Screaming Baby and moves up front. Guess what? I did too! Yes I did. I moved all the way up front and got the empty seat right behind where the stewardess sits. I surely did. Out my window I could see the propeller. And yes, I could still hear the screaming baby but at least I wasn't next to IT.
I settle in for take off. The forecast for Philly is thunderstorms.
Oh great. But let's just take off and get out of here.
I can't stretch my legs because I'm right behind a wall that has the stewardess's things. I see her legs stretched out. If I stretch mine she may think I'm playing footsie her so I keep my daddy long legs bended.
I'm cold. The plane's air conditioner is on full blast.
As the above photo shows, I'm not happy. Let's just get this flight over with. But our problems were just beginning.
For the one hour and thirteen minute flight, we took two hours and eight minutes until we touched the tarmac at Philly International. Why? Because of the thunderstorms. We were in a holding pattern (flying in circles and yes, with the Screaming Kid who now had to have her diaper changed - oh yes - dad gave the heavy wet diaper to the stewardess right in front of me - nice touch) for over a half an hour.
I was thinking "This flight is taking forever to get to Buffalo" when I heard the stewardess say to another passenger "We're on the never ending flight from Buffalo to Philly."
My left leg was so cramped. I took at chance and stretched it, slightly touching the stewardess's leg, hoping she wouldn't accuse me of sexual harassment. You know, the old creepy guy in shorts and a Mr. Roger's T-shirt and white beard playing footsie with her. Thankfully she saw my dilemma and moved her dainty, blacked stockinged shapely foot.
"When is this plane going to land?" I'm thinking. I can't text Bill to tell him of my delay because I don't have service on my iPhone that high up. I know my ride has been waiting at the airport for me for at least an hour (bless her heart). My co-worker Robert finally got a text through to me that said he was monitoring my flight. Hmmmm…. how does that help me get off this plane? And all this time, the dad with the screaming and crying baby is walking up and down the center aisle holding his little princess. Occasionally he stops near me and looks in my direction, cradling his noisy Bundle of Joy, causing me to feel guilty because at least I don't have to contend with a babypoo producing screaming baby. Only my cold arms and cramped legs.
Finally, after what seems like an eternity, we LAND! I start to unbuckle but the stewardess tells me "We're not at the (I forget the name) yet. You have to stay buckled."
Another fifteen minutes passes by. "When will this end?"
Finally, we pull up to our gate. I unbuckle. And, since I am up front I am the first to GET OUT OF THERE. I open my overhead compartment, get out the lady across from me bag and give it to her and then get my bag. And I'm out of there!!! By now my ride Monica is texting me "Where are you?" "Ron! Are you there?"
We deplane (is that a word or a quote from the old TV series "Fantasy Island" where Michou Pichou hollers in that pinched voice of his "De plane! De plane!")
I get off and then head for baggage claim. Now this is where I think I am really being punked. I swear, the U.S. Airways baggage claim is at the complete opposite end of the terminal than where my plane landed. I must have walked a good two miles throughout that air maze of passageways to find my $25 per ride bag. But find it I do (thank God). I know, I know. I'm not religious. "Thank God" just comes out of me automatically when I get a break. Way I was raised I guess.
Monica continues to text me "Where are you?" I know she's having a problem because vehicles aren't allowed to stop at the terminals to pick up deplaning passengers which raises the question, how does one pick up the passengers? Just another Question for the Ages.
Anyway, I pick up my "Thank God" luggage and get outside on platform E which I inform Monica.