It’s only fitting that the perfect ending to a weekend too perfect for blogland was imperfect.
It began ominously with the announcement for pre-boarding followed immediately by “we will not board right away because there’s a minor problem they have to fix on the plane.” Minor or not, that man should have said that they had not finished prepping the plane. On Boxing Day/Kwanzaa/Hanukkah/the day after Christmas, when holiday travel is at it’s peak, that’s not the best announcement to make.
We boarded within minutes from the announcement; some of us boarded much more efficiently than others and those who were forced to wait due to stupidity were patient. But twenty minutes after they closed the doors we were still parked at the gate. The pilot announced that they still had two more carts of luggage to load and that the delay would be brief. (Clearly someone went overboard with their Christmas shopping.)
We were not the only ones travelling with a young child and anyone that has done so knows that a mother’s schedule for her baby travelling well is even more precise that the job done by an air traffic controller. On our end we held off on snacking and drinking so that he could do so during take-off and thus relieve the pressure in his ears. But twenty and thirty minutes after getting on the plane he was getting more than a little anxious –no one blamed him for that, and he really held it together well.
Because of the heavy turbulence over the Rockies we had to take a southernly route through Arizona and New Mexico and then come into LA from the 29 Palms area, which added on at least an extra half an hour to the length of the flight from our flight out and didn’t, in fact, save us from the heaviest turbulence I had felt in six years.
I knew we were nearing the end when I saw as the horizon the orange haze of the megalopolis that is Southern California. As we approached the city (the city of Southern California) we saw that the orange illumination from the street lights mixed violently with the smog, and stopped abruptly with a couple of clouds that held it all in. The closer we got the more disgusting the sky and city looked and now I understand the inspiration behind all the apocalyptic movies that Hollywood produces. As if on cue, as we decended into the surprisingly dense smog, my baby regained the same residual cough he’s had for three months.
And then we saw the red forks that cut through the city: the clogged freeways.
Landing was no comfort because we flew into LAX so there was a half hour lag before we even saw our gate (and another ten minutes to park.) By the time we were finally able to take off our seat belts we all had had more than our share of time on the plane. Little Red vocalized what we all felt and he was met with sympathetic smiles from the fellow passengers. My body half numb, I awkwardly grabbed the diaper bag and put my baby in the sling and got out of there as quickly as I could.
But I couldn’t shake the feeling as we walked through the airport that I had forgotten something. The sippy cup? No, Paul had put it in the diaper bag. The book? No, I remember zipping it into the bag and seeing the sippy cup there. I had an empty feeling but I was so eager to get on our way that I suppressed the feeling until we got to baggage claim and I put my stuff down.
Yes, I, super-anal-triple-check-and-then-check-once-more-Heather, had left my purse containing my wallet-with-green-card, passport, and son’s birth certificate, on the plane.
They found it without problem and brought it to me even before my husband had collected all the bags, but the spike in my blood pressure took an hour to ease and spikes again as I recall the events.
With all of our belongings we went outside to wait for our ride in the fresh Los Angeles air.
Our flight home was exactly what we needed to keep balance in the cosmos; our weekend had been that perfect.