Birthday Surprise Weekend (Part 3) ~ B’s First Flight in a Decade

De Plane, De Plane

After being groped and searched at airport security and hurrying through the phone call while waiting to board the plane; we finally boarded and found our seats, quickly settling in for the one-hour flight to Charlotte, NC.

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Pops & B, looking forward to an exciting weekend and the big surprise for the Florida family.

“B” was like a kid an a candy store.  She was so excited I thought I was going to have to administer Valerian just to calm her down (just kidding).  I know it has been many years since she’s flown, and a lot of “security” changes made, but the act of flying has basically gone unchanged.  I did have to remind her that people in flight generally like a somewhat quiet cabin as they pass the time reading or sleeping.  She quieted down as we were taking off.

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Ascending to cruising altitude. “B” thought this was awesome and the clear day made it even better.

“B” took tons of pictures of the plane’s wing and the beautiful clear sky.  As the flight progressed, I glanced over a couple of times and saw a concerned look on her face when we hit turbulence.  It was a “little scary” she said.

I’ll share a secret with you, I absolutely hate take-offs and landing.  Actually to tell the truth, I really don’t care to fly at all, especially when we hit turbulence  However, for quick weekend jaunts, driving 1,000+ miles just doesn’t cut it.

Before we knew it we were preparing to land in Charlotte, then would have to find the gate for our next flight to Tampa.  Wouldn’t you know it…we land at one end of the airport and our next departing gate was waaaaaay on the other side of the building, and getting there was atrocious with people everywhere (Part 4).  How can this be when we were flying the same airline?  Still haven’t figured that one out yet.

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Told ya she is a “nut”.

The second leg of our journey was just as the first, “B” was still excited to be flying and was especially hyped up on the wonderfully exciting weekend that was before us.  (I think she actually calmed down enough and snoozed a bit on the Tampa bound flight.)

Check back soon for Part 4~Moving Sidewalks

Birthday Surprise Weekend (Part 2) ~ The Phone Call

As we were sitting at the gate waiting to board our flight to Florida, with a plane change in Charlotte, NC, I received a call from my sister-in-law “J”.  Now we all know how loud and busy airports can be and trying to keep our impending surprise a surprise would prove to be most difficult if someone you were trying to surprise called you while waiting at the gate.

My Dilemma

PhoneCallMy cell rings and I’m trying to decide if I should answer it, you see…it was my sister-in-law “J”.  I guess I took too long to answer and the call ended up going to voice mail.  I decided to ring “J” back and I ended up going to into her voice mail so I quickly left a message and hung up .  Wouldn’t you figure, she called me back within a couple of minutes and I had no option by to answer.

Shhh…Its A Secret

Taking the call I tried to walk to a quiet place in the airport (like that was possible), so I could chat and not alert her to my whereabouts by any background noise she might hear.  She was telling me about the party she has arranged for my brother and that she wished we could be there.  Just as I was about to tell her that I’m sure everyone will have a wonderful time…a voice came over the airport loud-speaker announcing our flight was beginning to board.  I panicked and blurted out that I had to go into a meeting and would call her later.  I didn’t give her time to respond as I needed to keep talking so that she couldn’t make out what was being said in the background.  I quickly told her I loved them, hope they have a wonderful time and would talk to her later today, then abruptly disconnected the call.  WHEW!!

After hanging up I started giving my sister a quick overview of the conversation.  Then it hit me. OH NO!!! I just told “J” that I had to go into a meeting.  I don’t go into meetings, I work from home.  Did I just tip her off that something was askew?

Oh well, if she suspected something was up there is nothing I can do about it now; it was time to board the plane and turn off our cell phones.  It would all make sense tonight when we show up to the party.

Check back later for Part 3~B’s First Flight in a Decade

Birthday Surprise Weekend (Part 1) ~ CVG Airport Security

50th BD Surprise

Oh yeah…we’ve known for many years that 2013 would mark our only surviving brother’s 50th birthday.  Although several of us tossed around ideas of what to do for a celebration, my sister-in-law sent a text saying that she’s throwing him a surprise party on July 19th.  My sister and I promptly turned to the internet and checked to see if we could afford a “last-minute” flight to Florida.  After finding airfare that fit within our budget, we quickly reserved three seats, one each for us girls and another for dad (pops).  We decided not to let anyone know we would be there and keep it as a surprise for everyone.

After waiting two very long weeks, our departure date finally arrived.  We woke early to finish some last-minute things on our to-do list, the zipped off to the airport (a full 10 minute drive), with enough time to find long-term parking, hitch a ride on a shuttle to the ticket counter, file through security, and make it to our gate.  Once arriving at the gate, we had about 20 minutes before they started boarding.

But wait, I am getting a little ahead of myself; let’s start from the beginning.

Security, Police Wanna-Be’s, Whatever You Call Them

I guess I should start with letting you know my sister “B” hasn’t flown in almost ten years as it will help you better understand her craziness.  So, it started at the security check point.  I explained to her that you all but strip (or so I sometimes feel) to pass through security.  I explained the totes that you have to put everything in them and walk through the body scanner with nothing in your hands or pockets. (Talk about deer in headlight eyes.)

I walked through the scanner first and was asked to step aside.  The TSA “woman” felt up my hair and quickly learned the bleep they were alerted of was only my hair clip.  After being cleared to retrieve my belongings, I walked over to my bag and was greeted with “Is this your bag?”  Yes, was my reply.  I was then informed that my bag needed to be searched, was asked to step over to another table with the TSA agent and was instructed not to touch the bag while it was being searched.  I said “sure thing” and stood calmly while she searched the bag, knowing I had nothing to hide.

While standing there as my bag was being searched, I looked over my shoulder I saw dad exiting the body scanner and my sister stepping in.  She was told to raise her hands above her head and assumed the “position.”  Being the goofball she is her comment was “ready for my spray tan.”  Nobody other than dad and me thought her comment was funny and I was laughing my head off while standing at the all serious search table with the TSA agent.

The Official Search

I am standing there, my carry on bag being searched and after the TSA agent opened the bag she went directly to my brother’s birthday gift which was in six parts.  As she removed one of the items, the conversation went like this:

TSA: This is a non-allowable item.

Me:  What, really?

TSA: Yes, this is what we consider “slurry.”

Me:  Slurry?  It’s not slurry, it’s Dixie Chili

TSA: Sorry, we cannot allow it on the plane.

Me:  It is in the original sealed can, not opened or tampered with.

Sister:  Can we put our name on it and pick it up when we return in two days?

TSA: Sorry, we have to dispose of it.

Me:  Yeah, we know what y’all are having for lunch.

Sister: Dixie Chili

So needless to say, brother did not get his six cans of the delicious Dixie Chili for his birthday but he thoroughly enjoyed the story and found the events at CVG Airport Security rather humorous, as we all did. (We haven’t even started the 3-day weekend and already….adventures are starting.)

tsaOn our walk to the gate dad shared with me that not only did he go though the body scanner, he also got the hands-on treatment.  To my amazement he asked the groping agent if “they were buying him dinner or at least giving him flowers.”  Gotta love the witty old man and his sense of humor.

Watch out Florida…here we come!

Check back for Part 2~The Phone Call