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Old 10-05-2012, 08:19 AM   #1
Principessa_di_Fata
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California Dreamin - The Live TR

And thus begins the live TR... It’s been an eventful morning so far, and it's not even 8am! I didn’t go to sleep until just after 1am… I was so tired but so keyed up, too! Meri came into my room at around 2am, and went back to sleep, but we were both very restless. Finally at a few minutes before 4am, I got up and puttered around. We left the house at 415am, with Meri feeling tired and whiny. However, by the time we got to the airport, she had eaten a cinnamon streusel muffin and was chattering away non-stop.

Mom dropped us off and we breezed through security – shocking, considering all of the junk we had to unload. I had two gallon sized ziplocs with our liquids, a laptop (they didn’t make me take out the DVD player this time), my shoes, two sweaters, and a few other things. Needless to say, it took a few minutes at the end to sort it all out, but I managed to stay out of everyone’s way and not hold anyone up. After years of flying, Meri and I have the process down to a science!

We got to the gate, and Meri entertained herself watching out the window and coloring until it was time to go. Boarding started about half-hour later. We were SO CLOSE! There were two no-shows, and we ALMOST got their seats, but one showed up just a few minutes before the doors would close, leaving only one open seat, and two of us! The gate agent was so cute – she was so disappointed. She said she knew it wasn’t right to be disappointed or to even have an opinion, but she was really rooting for us to get on the plane.

With three hours to kill (ugh) Meri and I walked over to the next terminal to get Starbucks. Yes, there was a Starbucks right beside our gate, but we needed to kill time and stretch our legs. We parked ourselves in the corner of the Starbucks and ate.



Meri had an apple and water, and I had a croissant and a latte. Some guy came over to compliment me on how pretty Meri was, and how charismatic she was. She was making eyes at him, apparently, lol. He was pretty cute, so I can’t say I blame her. After we ate, we headed back to the gate, where we have set up camp.

Meri has been settled in a little space in the corner playing with her little Pooh friend, coloring and listening to my iPod, while I booted up the computer and have been surfing the net… and watching Avengers, of course.





The 9:03am flight looks REALLY bad. At this point I am not sure I expect to get out until 3pm, which would mean absolutely no time with Tammy. I'm hopeful that if we don't get on the 9, we'll get on the 12, which would at least give us 3 hours with Tammy. No sight-seeing, per se, but we'd get a good meal and fabulous company! Tammy and I have been texting all morning and she's been keeping me laughing. Thank you so much, Tammy, for your flexibility!!!

The wifi here is AWFUL so I can't get the photos uploaded to photobucket to put on here... I will come back in and add them later.

They'll start the boarding process in 25 minutes, and I should know in 35-40 minutes if we're going to get on the plane. It's really not looking good, though. *sigh* I've promised Meri that if we don't get on this plane, I'll take her to Lenny's Subs to get something to eat. Really all I want to do is take a nap. I'm so tired!!!
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Old 10-05-2012, 10:16 AM   #2
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Ok so... we didn't get on the 9:03am flight. Laurie - how's your heart doing?

And get this... this is what makes me grumpy as all getout... there were 3 available seats! BUT it was a "weight restricted" flight. That means that the plane was at a certain weight already and couldn't take anymore passengers or baggage. Meri and myself together would have been about 210 lbs with our luggage, and I guess that's just 210 too much!

The way I understand it, typically a flight is weight restricted because of either baggage or because they take mail with them.

So I'm frustrated by that.

I'm skeptical that I'll get on the 12:02 flight, but I guess you never know. If we do, I'll still get 3 hours with Tammy. If we don't... then there are still 2 flights left that will allow us to connect to the Cali flight... but we won't get to see Tammy. BUT, Tammy and I have back-up plans that we'll possibly be able to see each other on Wednesday if we don't see each other today. So that will be fun!

Anyway... so there you have it. Meri is being such a good sport. I'm really proud of her. We've been here since 445am and she's been really well behaved and only got a little teary when we didn't get on the last one (with three open seats). LOL I'm a little grumpy STILL about that. I suspect I'm going to be grumpy about it for a while, lol. Gotta have a sense of humor though... and a lot of patience (which I don't exactly have in spades).

Ok, well, going to go park ourselves back at the gate. We just ate brunch at Lenny's. I'm trying to save myself for 59 Diner with Tammy (because I am determined that I AM going to eat there today, lol)... We have an hour and 20 minutes until the boarding process. If you don't hear from me by 1230pm (central time) then that means I made it on the flight, and we're going to be cavorting with Tammy! In that case, I'll check in from the airport in Houston before we board for CA, since they have free wifi there.

BTW, I'd like to add that I'm doing a really great job of hydrating myself, so maybe I'll luck out and not get a migraine tonight! Between the water, tea and caffeine, I may be hitting every bathroom between here and LA, but I won't get a migraine! Though if I do, I've got 12 handy dandy fast acting migraine pills!

Thanks for reading along!! I know this is the boring part, lol! Bear with us, it will get better!
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Old 10-05-2012, 10:51 AM   #3
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Pixies for getting on the 12:03 flight.
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Old 10-05-2012, 11:50 AM   #4
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so hope that you are able to get on the 12 o'clock flight
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Old 10-05-2012, 12:03 PM   #5
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I hope you're able to get the flight you want!
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Old 10-05-2012, 01:03 PM   #6
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You haven't posted again, so I'm hoping that means you got on the 12noon flight!!!
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Old 10-05-2012, 01:27 PM   #7
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Just saw on FB that Melanie is still in Memphis, hoping for the 3:15 flight, giving a 56 minute connection to the Cali flight.
How ya doin', Laurie?

Mel, hope you get the 3:15, and make that connection!!
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Old 10-05-2012, 01:32 PM   #8
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*sigh* Nope. Missed it by 2 people. Blargh. In good news, we are almost definitely getting on the 3:15pm flight. I had a long chat with the wonderful gate agent (it feels like we're old friends - we've been sitting here together for the past 8 hours - she came on shift at 5am, and we've been here since 445am). Of course now I probably jinxed it...

We discussed a few options such as rerouting through Chicago or Denver (they have earlier flights than the next Houston flight), but with the weight restriction issues, she thinks that those will be impossible, too. *sigh* So we're sticking with Houston. I'll have a 56 minute connection time, but that's a piece of cake. I've made a 20 minute connection time in Chicago's O'Hare airport, going from terminal F to terminal C, so I sure as heck can make a 56 minute connection! Easy peasy. Again, I probably just jinxed it. *sigh*

In bad news, we aren't going to get to see Tammy. I'm pretty disappointed about that - but we're working on a plan B, for us to go home through Houston and see her then. We'll see how the flights go. I was so excited to see Tammy today, and it is all that Meri has been talking about.

So, I got to spend my entire day off sitting in an airport. I could have worked half a day, picked Meri up from school after lunch, and then gone to the airport for this flight. But who knew? That's the "fun" of standby. You just guess. And if people hadn't overpacked... ... we'd be hanging out in the middle of a big park with Tammy and Grayson right now.

Ah well. Meri is still in good spirits and is being a good little trooper. She's a great little travel partner. She's eating like a vacuum cleaner, though. It's kind of insane! I think we're both going to pass out cold on the flight to Cali, I can tell you that much...
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Old 10-05-2012, 01:34 PM   #9
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I had to go to my volunteer job this morning, and had no internet, but I was SO hoping you'd get on the earlier flight. I was so sure you'd made the noon flight, but now I AM having palpitations for the 3:30 one. So sorry you and Tammy will have no time (and no great diner meal), but hope it works out for you on the return journey. Good for Meri being so well-behaved and entertaining herself and beaming her sunny charm. You couldn't do this with a whiny, needy child!
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Old 10-05-2012, 03:40 PM   #10
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I was so hoping you would make it on one of the morning flights! I'm hoping that as I type this you are on a flight to somewhere!
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Old 10-05-2012, 06:14 PM   #11
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Old 10-05-2012, 07:28 PM   #12
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Hope you're somewhere besides an airport now !
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Old 10-05-2012, 07:29 PM   #13
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Hope you were finally able to get in a flight!
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Old 10-05-2012, 07:46 PM   #14
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The good news is, we got on the 3:15pm flight. The bad news is, it left at 4:50pm. So we missed the 5:56pm flight to Orange County that was wide open for us. *sigh*

So we're sitting here at the gate at the airport in Houston... we board in an hour... I'm sitting directly beside the ticket counter, facing it. Ya can't miss us. LOL! There are 11 open seats, 11 standby passengers. We are #5 and 6... so, in a perfect world, we will get on. As long as there's no weight restriction put on it... Jeannie is wonderfully flexible, and says she's not worried in the slightest as to what time she has to come get us (10:30pm ).

We saw plenty of things in our 12 hours (yes, 12 hours) at the airport in Memphis. Meri, of course, made plenty of friends, as she is wont to do. But the most excitement I had (Meri remained blissfully ignorant as I let her play on my phone and kept her shielded from the unfolding drama) was when a traveler missed his flight for whatever reason. He was VERY angry. I began to wonder if he had Tourettes or some other mild mental illness, because he was muttering and repeating the F word over and over and over. And over and over. It was quite odd. Never aggressive physically or threatening or anything. Just muttering and a somewhat raised voice at times (but never so overt that Meri noticed anything). I wasn't sure where it was going to end up but then the police showed up (on bicycles, which I found fascinating - bicycle cops in an airport? Really?) and they had about an 8 minute conversation with him - very calm, and then the guy disappeared and so did the cops. *shrug*

It was very interesting, and at least gave me something to focus on for a while.

The internet connection at Memphis airport was horribly spotty. It was a paid service via Boingo, and it was almost never on! I got very frustrated, and I do plan to write a letter. I'd have service for about 15 minutes, then it would disappear. Then it would be full strength, and then gone.

Anyway... as I said earlier, the 3:15pm flight was delayed, and delayed and delayed. And it turns out, it boarded at exactly the same time as the 4:20pm Houston flight did. It was pretty funny because we all left from the same gate (different doors, which were side by side - talk about confusing) and they were announcing both flights at exactly the same time. It was a complete and utter zoo, and I was just cracking up. Part of it was that I'm running on fumes, and part was just that it was absolutely a mess and hilarious all at the same time. But it worked out and we both left at the same time. They backed out, we backed out, and we followed them on the runway and up in the air.

Meri fell asleep about 30 minutes from landing, and I let her sleep until it was our turn to deplane. She was out like a light, and I fully expected a little girl with complete attitude when I woke her, but instead she was completely chipper! She was tired, definitely, and after a time, she asked me if I would please pull her suitcase, because it's so heavy. But it's so heavy because my laptop is in there. Her suitcase is the "entertainment" suitcase with the DVD player, laptop, coloring books, etc. Mine has all of our clothes. So I took pity on her and wheeled both suitcases.

We stopped at Wendy's to get her a (HUGE) burger, and to get me fries and a sweet tea. I was shocked at how cheap it was, considering how big the burger was, and how big the tea and fries portions were. Guess that's what happens in Texas, eh? Then we parked ourselves at the gate, which is where we are now, keeping an eye on the gate agents, lol. Boarding should begin in half hour. *fingers crossed*

I hope the next time I post will be from Jeannie's house!!!
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Old 10-05-2012, 08:35 PM   #15
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So many people holding their breathes, crossing fingers, and sending pixies for you to get on a plane, ANY PLANE! Hoping you are in the air and heading to your California Adventure!!
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