"...at its core....art is simply the language of the soul" -Robert Redford

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Thursday, May 28

Shelly and Andrew (aka Wonder Boy) go to Illinois

.....should be subtitled....Hey Andrew, did you know your Mom is a terrorist??

Are you SURE you want to hear the crazy saga of my trip?? I'll be sharing pics in the next few emails....feel free to skip them if they don't interest you!! :::Smiles::: okay, if you're sure......

So you know it was very traumatic for me to leave....not pretty, really. Andrew on the other hand is gleeful and giddy. Ack! Gag!! However, the big dodo is scared to get on the plane and fly. I found this comforting in my state of mind!! :::Smiles::: So, we get to the airport (think podunk....tiny....3 flights in and 3 flights out per day....one gate). So, how could we possibly have a problem right?? Not so fast my friends. We are traveling with enough electronics to fly the space shuttle. (Andrew's laptop bag, plus games, plus his PSP (play station portable) along with my digital camera bag, MP3 player, the wireless router and 2 cell phones.) Yes, we had 4-5 trays going through security. So, I send Andrew ahead of me with all of our gear. At this point he is walking through the detector. the lady looks at my boarding pass and drivers license and says you aren't getting on this plane!! Hmmm....sounded good to me at that point, but curiously I ask why. Stupid me.....booked my trip under Shelly, not Michelle. Yep....if you're ID and boarding pass don't match EXACTLY you don't fly, period. The law, btw, took effect on Monday the same day we chose to fly. Ugh!! So, what do I do I ask. Go talk really NICE to the Delta man. Okay....now keep in mind poor Andrew is now going through security ALONE with our 4 bags of shuttle landing technology. So, after a bit of explaining and 4 trips back and forth between terminals we finally get me a new boarding pass. John is running back and forth between Andrew and I trying to help, but unable to "cross the security lines". So, I finally get through security and find Andrew (Who at this point has a 'deer caught in the headlight's' look). What is the matter I ask innocently?? He says Mom, the guy thought you had a detonator in your purse so they had to search it. Hmmm....interesting. And here I thought I left all my detonators at home in the kitchen. WHAT?? Back story.....Andrew wanted to go to the Riverboat Casino while we were in Illinois to celebrate his 21st birthday. So, we have been saving our change. We keep it in a jar. When you want to cash it in in Georgia you have to roll them yourselves and then take them to the bank. I know....odd. In Illinois you take it in a bag and they have a magic machine that counts it for you.....anywho......I had taken all of our change in and exchanged it for bills. Well, that is, except for that one last roll of quarters I had found at the last minute. So, I tossed it into purse. Yes, you know.....I left home my lighter, tape measure, swiss army knife and leatherman tool. (yes, I DO carry those in my purse). But silly, silly me left the quarters in there. Yes, TSA thought it was a detonator. :::Sigh::: Guess I'm glad they checked.....but poor Andrew was a bit off his game by then!! ROTFL......still with me?? So, we get on the plane and take off. Now, we are sitting on the wing, well inside the plane, but our seats are located NEXT to the wing. Andrew is on the aisle. He is very nervous. The landing gear retracts (and it is loud) literally right under his feet. Poor baby, nearly needed new pants. ....so we survive and land flight #1. Welcome to Atlanta.....more like a city than an airport. Keep in mind...we left from a one gate airport and now I am dragging Wonder Boy around Hartsfield. His eyes are still a little buggy at this point. We schlep down the terminal, down to the train, up to the next concourse and find our gate. We have a 2 hour layover.....so we have snacks and chill out. It's now about 30 minutes prior to boarding and they take OFF the time for our next flight, while sweetly announcing that maintenance will not clear our plane for boarding currently. Ugh....lucky lucky us. It keeps getting pushed back. Now, don't misunderstand...if there is a mechanical PROBLEM with my plane I would like it to be fixed. However, 3 hours into our stay at the airport we're getting a little testy!! LOL FINALLY we get to board.....45 minutes late. We get onboard and they tell us there was a stress fracture on the nose of the plane and they just wanted to make sure she was "airworthy"!! Yes, good idea boys. We had an awesome pilot....he says....get in, sit down, buckle up and hold on....he is planning to make up time. We were literally out of the gate in minutes. Wow, did he ever. It's a 2 hour flight and during those 2 hours he made up 30 minutes, we arrive only 15 minutes late!! Too cool. Andrew is now ready to kiss the ground and is positively giddy to be in Illinois. We find Mom and head to Manlius. And this was only the first 6 hours of my trip.

So, here is a brief recap of what we did on our trip:

Monday - see previous email
Tuesday - went to Hollies to play with my ART group, Andrew spent the night with friends so I went and visited with my Grandma
Wednesday - My best friend from Aurora and her daughter came for the day. we went shopping and for lunch.....great day.
Thursday - Mom and Dad took Andrew and I to the River Boat Casino. All he did was win all day. He came home with $168!! He was excited. He won $80 at one time....his eyes were a little BIG at that point.
Friday - Andrew and I went to Hobby Lobby and then to my Grandma's for dinner with her and my Aunt and Uncle.
Saturday - Big family open house party at Mom's.
Sunday - went back to my old church....sure was fun and sad all at the same time.
Monday - Just hung out at Mom and Dad's
Tuesday - Back to Georgia, as fast as lightning!! :)

Of course during all these days....we visited with many friends and family as they stopped by. It was a good time. But it was tiring. I don't sleep well away from home. I came home on Tuesday and took a 3 hour nap. I then went to sleep and 9:30 and slept until 8:30 the next morning. I was a tired little puppy.

So, we are heading back to the airport....are you feeling nervous yet?? Do you think I can make it through security this time like a normal person?? Of course not. I left much of the things I traveled with in Illinois and Dad is shipping them to me. (I wanted a lighter bag to schlep around). So, my carry on is full of my Hobby Lobby bags of yarn and such. I thought about the crochet hooks but they are still sealed and approved for carry ons. Should be fine I think. The nice TSA man says, I need to search this bag ma'am. :::Sigh::: Help yourself.....but I left my last detonator in Illinois, really. Why, may I ask, are you searching this bag I ask?? Because it looks like you have a suspicious liquid in there. Ummm....okay.....but it's nearly ALL yarn I say. So, he ruffles through for a bit....keeping in mind there 15+ skeins of yarn squished in there. Then I have a lightbulb moment. Um sir, could a tube of glue be what you are seeing??? So, he lets me get out the E6000 glue. Yes, that's it he says. Okay dokey I say.....do you want it?? At this point I would have given him anything I owned to get on the plane. No, he says....you can keep it!! Wow......such a deal. So we get on plane number one and land uneventfully (this should be a clue) in Atlanta. Now, when we left our gates were 2 numbers apart on the SAME concourse. Yippee......we only had 40 minutes between flights.We had been held circling Atlanta for 15 minutes due to weather. Stay with me here.....40 minus 15 is 30. When we deplane we see our next flight is on time but they have changed the gate. We had walk the entire length of one concourse, hop on the train, go all the way around to get back to where we needed to be and schlep all the way down another entire concourse. Yes, we were running. We arrive at our gate with 6 minutes to spare. Ugh!! Wonder Boy is nearly dying from the run!! LOL Then, they delayed our flight.....for MAINTENANCE again. Aren't they supposed to take care of these planes during NON-flight hours?? :::Sigh::: So Andrew decides he is hungry and goes in search of food. He has the speed of a sloth. He is gone for a LONG time. They are now boarding our flight. I call him....tell him to run. He is walking and eating. I may kill him. Our plane is overbooked and they are getting ready to start giving away seats. I call him again....and say I'm leaving and I have your boarding pass either run or stay here. Wonder Boy can run if his life depends on it!! We make it onto our plane, finally. The pilot says there was an issue but it was fixed. Awesome. He says we have 27 minutes of flying time to our destination. Cool. We are a bit late, but hey....I was going HOME!! I'm easy at this point. Could it be this simple??? No, no, no. We literally drive like 5 miles around the airport, getting to the Delta runway. Pilot, "We are 17th for takeoff". Now, it is HOT on the plane, I mean HOT. Turn on my air nozzley thing....nothing but a trickle of HOT air. Now, Shelly is a bit claustrophobic. She LOVES to fly, but isn't crazy about not being able to open a door for air. So, the little air coming in the nozzle keeps me calm. Again...no air. Yes, I'm silently freaking out. As soon as we take off, it will get better, right? Um not so much. Pilot again, "We are # 2 for takeoff". Just breathe. We begin accelerating......and then :::Insert engines winding DOWN sound here:::: and then we are hitting the brakes and turning OFF the runway. Yes, OFF the runway. Argh!! We are NOT heading to the terminal thankfully, but are now back in the takeoff line. Pilot, "There is a problem with our air conditioning, which you understand PRESSURIZES the plane. We're going to "try" to reset it. It "hopefully" won't be a problem." Um yes, please do keep the plane pressurized. So again we get up to take off position, engines wind up and off we go. Yippee......but still no nice cool air. Yep, we survive the flight but it was not working right at all. It was terribly hot. When we landed there was all this white smoke/gas venting form the system. Needless to say.....we deplaned as quickly as possible. Hopefully it wasn't toxic and in a few days I won't grow a 3rd eye or something. Geesh. We arrived an hour late and VERY happy to be back in Georgia. We spent an hour in the plane on the runway and 27 minutes flying. Geesh!!

So, anyone want to take a trip with ME???????


Diann said...

You were missed, Shelly, so I'm glad you are safely home. Yes, I'm about to fly again too and I'm nervous, but your descriptions made me really laugh when I read them - of course, I know you and Andrew didn't think it one bit funny! Welcome back! Diann

Barbara Hagerty said...

Well Shelly, I'm really glad I read this!! Sorry for your misadventures with airports and airplanes, but you have done me a great service. I have been moaning and groaning because I have waaaay too much work to take a vacation this summer, and you just made me happy to stay home!!! LOL! XOXO

Susan said...

ROFL! Sounds exactly like some trips I've had. We should make a note - never fly together! Glad you're home safe and sound.

brspeer said...

Wow, Shelly! Funny I can totally picture all this happening to you and Woody. The details were crisp-I could see Woody walking slowly eating food and his eyes bugging out at certain points. Oh how I miss you guys! ~Brandi

Anonymous said...

Hi Shelly,
I just "met" you via Penny's ART group and I read your story of your trip to Illinois which I thoroughly enjoyed. I use to have to fly two or three times a year on 5 hour + flights so as I read I completely knew what you were describing. I now prefer the train. :O) Thanks for sharing. Your site is now bookmarked and I look forward to getting to know you more.