Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Stop that bus!!!

Last trip we took to Tennessee, we nearly missed our flight. Its an early morning flight which forces us to leave the house way earlier than we are usually awake, and we just got up and at 'em too late.

"Lets not repeat our mistake from last trip," I told David, "Lets leave plenty of time."

But when it was came time to decide when to set the alarm for, twenty minutes seemed more than sufficient to get up, get dressed, make coffee, put together last minute things and get in the car with our two young children.

"Yeah, that'll work," I said, "And it shoudn't take more than a half hour to get to Newark. Its a Sunday morning, after all."

David agreed: "Yeah, the problem last time was we didn't know how to get to that cheap ass long term parking area. But now we do. That'll be fine."

As it turned out, I'd had my days mixed up, something which commonly occurs since my post-baby-number-two lobotomy. We were traveling on a Monday, the which might have been OK if we'd left on time at 6:30 but wasn't so OK when we left at 7am, after stopping to pick up a dozen bagels to take with us to Tennessee.

"It'll just take five minutes to stop by the bagel place," David said confidently, "We'll still have time to make the 7:20 shuttle from the parking place to the airport."

"I think its too tight," I said,"And the next shuttle doesn't come for twenty minutes."

David prevailed, however, and I was soon I was holding a bag which stunk to high heaven of garlic bagels and having a small ulcer about the fact that we'd be screwed if we encountered any traffic or wrong turns or obstacles along the way.

Such as, perhaps, going the wrong direction on the New Jersey Turnpike. That was an unfortunate turn of events.

"Shit," David said, "I gotta get off this turnpike."

Getting off the turnpike was not as easy as one might think. Before we knew it, we were on the Garden State Parkway, whipping out our EZ Pass again and again, getting further and further away from Newark Airport.

The kids started whining that they were hungry.

"We need COMPLETE SILENCE in this car!" I shouted, "Daddy needs to concentrate."

It was 7:40.

"Well, the 8am shuttle should still get us on the flight," I ventured.

"IF we make it." David countered.

"IF?" I said, "David, we are making that shuttle. I am not repeating this horror show tomorrow morning AND paying change fees on four tickets."

At 7:59, incredibly, we were approaching the exit which takes us to the long term parking, albeit at a snail's pace. We were so close.

"I'm calling the parking place and having them hold the shuttle," I said in my ball-busting voice. The only people whose balls I should have busted were mine and my husband's but still.

The woman who picked up the phone at the parking lot said the shuttle had already left.

"But that's impossible!" I cried, "Its not even 8 yet!"

"Actually, it is 8:01."

"No, its actually 1 minute to 8."

Rather than continue this incredibly enriching debate, she said, "Hold on," and I heard her on her walkie talkie asking the driver to hold the bus.

"Bus left," the driver said.

"Can you hold it please?" she asked. I waited with bated breath.

"OK," the driver said, "We're holding."

"Thank you! Thank you!" I exclaimed.

"Just hurry please," she said, exasperated.

I relayed the message to David: "Hurry!"

He was exasperated, too: "What precisely would you like me to?'

"Change lanes! Do some fancy driving. Make this happen."

At 8:05 we were pulling into the parking lot and saw the shuttle parked in the main entrance.

"Its there!" I yelled, "We made it!"

I reached down to grab my bag on the floorboard and when I looked up again, the shuttle was gone.


By this point, the kids were so stressed out o they didn't even blink when I dropped the F bomb.

"Its leaving!" David yelled, pointing to the shuttle which was driving out the exit.

"STOP THE CAR!" I yelled, jumping out of the still-moving car and running in my trusty Frye-boot-knock-offs like a crazy person.

"STOP THE BUS!" I yelled, running directly in front of it, "WE'RE HERE!"

Everyone looked annoyed. I don't blame them. If I'd been on that bus, I'd have counter yelled, "DON'T LISTEN TO THAT EGOMANICAL BITCH!"

But thankfully, the only passengers were one tired airport worker and a quiet Asian business man. They weren't about to counter yell me.

"RUN FOR THE BUS, KIDS!" I yelled, as I darted inside to give the parking lot attendant my credit card.

We forgot a small bag and who knows what state the car was left in,but we got on that shuttle and then breezed through curbside checkin, through the monorail to the correct terminal, and through security. After a quick stop to Hudson News to buy me Advil for my POUNDING FREAKING HEADACHE, we hurried to our gate where our flight was boarding.

We got on. Seconda asked the person in the front row, "Is this plane going to Tennessee, please?"

It was. And now we are here picking honeysuckle and chasing butterflies.

All in a day's work.