As promised...the Christmas recap. I've never been good at being brief. Be prepared. (I'll explain the blinding blur of red in a minute.) My mom, dad and I all flew up to the Great Pacific Northwest for Christmas this year. Even though it resulted in the above picture, it was so much fun to be able to hang out with my sister and her crazy kids for the holidays, but oh my goodness, getting there was a freaking joke. It's a good thing Betty-Lou had us at the airport 3 hours early!
To begin with, for one of my finals at CSUN we had to complete the application for the National Board Teacher Certification. Part of that super-fun process was turning in a copy of your drivers licence along with the packet. Needless to say- for a good two weeks, I have been driving around sans licence and didn't notice until Brenda, the dear old ticket agent, asked for it. As it turns out, a social security card, gym membership and Costco card will get you on a plane.
Then, Brenda informed us that even though I made a reservation, and called to confirm 4 times, the dog could not be checked as cargo on my flight. Apparently, we were on an Express Jet that seated less than 50 people. The cargo hold is not pressurized or heated. If the dog didn't explode, he would freeze to death. Thanks for that pretty picture, Brenda. She was as nice as she could be, but I nearly lost it when her 'go to' explanation for how this happened was that I must have gotten the "dumb ticket agent" when I called.....all four times.
There were no other flights available and we live nearly 2 hours from the airport, so taking the dog to one of my brothers wasn't really an option. Freddy is a miniature schnauzer...so when Seniorita Super-Helpful asked if he would fit in a carry on I believe my response was something along the lines of, "At this point, he will." Maybe there was an explitive and tears here...I cant' really recall.
Moments after she sold me the bag for $80 and charged me the standard $75 fee to carry the dog on she said, "Oh wait- come to think of it, I don't even think pets are allowed in the cabin of the express jets at all." Three phone calls, a supervisor and a mysterious 30 minute disappearance later, she said that they would make an exception and let me carry the dog on. Nice of them, huh? We made it to the gate just in time to get the dog in the bag and get on the plane. My dad folded the dog, nearly in half, and got his body in the bag. I shook him down and shoved his head in while my mom zipped it shut. He took it like a champ.
There we sat for a good 45 minutes before they made an announcement that our pilots have not yet boarded the plane. The flight they were on hadn't even arrived at the airport yet. Super! Once they finally did show up my dad noticed that the ground crew started tossing all of our bags off the plane. Apparently- someone put too much fuel in the tank and we were too heavy to take off. They told us that we either would have to remove passengers or bags. They chose to toss bags but no worries, we would be able to pick them up the next morning. They would 'be sure to get them on a flight later that day.'
Wondering what the dog was doing all this time? Drooling and farting. It was some of his best work. The WHOLE flight!! I was gagging. Most of the people around us were fairly good sports. However, the guy behind me did start coughing at one point and asked, "What in hell's name do you have in there?!?" Luckily, the flight attendant was a fairly disgruntled employee and let me unzip him so he/we weren't miserable the entire time. We eventually got to Portland...and sometime around noon the next day, so did our luggage.
They offered to switch my flight home without a fee. I could leave Portland, stop in Salt Lake, switch planes in Vegas and after about 18 hours of traveling, arrive in LAX. Ummm no. They refunded me a whopping $100 for my flight home and I had to spend $270 to fly home on Alaskan Airlines. It was basically my most expensive Christmas on record, but Alaskan gives you fresh cookies...so that ain't bad.
As for the ridiculous blur of red....that is my sister's idea of cute. I understand it on people under the age of 10. They are so dang cute in their matching PJ's. Adorable, really. I am just not sure if it keeps it's cute in adult sizes. King size, if you will. There is a near life size Mickey Mouse on my back, just FYI.
Brendan was really worried that Freddy would try to eat Charlie, their new cat. I am proud to report that Freddy was a perfect gentleman the entire time. Suck on that Caesar Milan!