We were a little over an hour away from home with just under two hours until our flight departed, when Kevin realized he’d left his passport at home.
With the feeling of dread roiling around in my belly at crisis proportions, we parted company with the intentions for him to try to get home and return, and for me to finish the check-in procedure and wait. On his way out of the airport, he came up with the absolutely brilliant idea of calling my son to try to make the journey in to the airport instead. Matt was thrilled to be of service, even though he wasn’t home and was suffering a hangover when he got the call. His twenty mile race back to pick up the passport and get it through the hour and ten minute trip to the airport began., while I was frantically trying to figure out ways to delay our boarding. I’d been considering upgrading to first class, faking a seizure or blowing the captain, when Kevin made it to our gate with six minutes to spare. I barely avoided vomiting gallons.
We raced on board and took our seats, trying to stop the relentless surge of adrenaline that was coursing through both of our bodies, only to be hit with a fifty minute flight delay. The captain announced that we needed de-icing, then that we didn’t need de-icing. Now, we were waiting for some kind of ground delay. As we started moving forward after the ground delay was cancelled, he then told us there was a mechanical difficulty that meant we would have to disembark and reschedule our flights. Of course, we were freaked once again, as we had a connecting flight to catch in order to make it to Ft. Lauderdale in time for the scheduled departure time of our cruise. Once the plane started moving back toward the terminal, we were told the mechanical problem cleared itself and we were scheduled for take-off. I insisted on my complimentary parachute.
We arrived in Charlotte, and absolutely ran on the people movers, dragging our four carry-ons, in an attempt to make our flight. We once again had just minutes to spare with no possibility of stopping at a restaurant for even some kind of fast food sustenance. We raced to the correct gate and boarded, only to be met, this time, with a forty-five minute delay due to the weather.
By this time, we were both frazzled and completely sure that we weren’t going to make the departure time of the cruise. The fact that our luggage was among the last pieces off of the carousel just reaffirmed that fact.
Due to the skill of the speeding shuttle driver, we once again made our destination, just in the nick of time. We raced up the gangplank, dragging our carry-ons behind us with only ten minutes until departure. But we made it! We quickly found the elevator banks and punched the up button, to be met with…nothing. Standing there bedraggled and starved, we realized that there must be some kind of elevator malfunction. We decided to actually make the climb up to the sixth floor where our cabin was.
As we started climbing the stairs, we were met by all of the already boarded passengers walking down the stairs, wearing life jackets. I realized that the ship could very well be sinking, but decided that at that point, I didn’t give a flying fuck! All I knew was that I was getting to my mother fucking room and going down with the mother fucking ship!!
We made it to the sixth floor and dropped our carry-ons, which seemed to have begun to weigh at least thirty pounds apiece. We hadn’t eaten all day, my make-up was MIA, my hair was hanging in strings in my eyes, our clothes were plastered to our skin with sweat, our nerves were jangled, and my breath could have knocked out a prize fighter when I dove for the mini bar. I had just pulled out two bottles of cognac when we heard the knock on the door. Our cabin boy had come to tell us that the mandatory life boat drills were going on and we must participate.
The tears immediately fell from my eyes as I told him we’d just gotten on the ship, climbed the stairs to the sixth floor, hadn’t eaten all day, I needed to pee and that there was no fucking way in hell were we leaving to walk down the stairs for a fucking life boat drill and if he insisted, I hoped his CPR certification was up to date, because this old woman was certain to go into cardiac arrest!!
He agreed that it was a pretty good idea for us to stay in the room. He thought our attack on the mini bar was a spectacular idea.