Sunday, March 27, 2011

Airline Adventures

Originally I had quite a scenic route for my California trip. Went from Cody to Salt Lake to San Diego. That one is a Delta flight. I got to the Cody airport relatively early as the Governor was scheduled for a ribbon cutting for the new terminal. Found a nice parking spot close to the arrival door.

That one was ok although the Cody plane was half an hour late getting in. I had an hour and a half between planes so that one was cut down to just an hour, but not a problem. I decided to take everything I needed in a carry-on bag and didn't need to check luggage. The kids were right there to meet me and it all worked out very well.

My return trip was scheduled on a United flight which went from San Diego to Los Angeles, to Denver, to Cody. Was to arrive in Cody at 8:30 p.m. so could get back to Meeteetse before too late and Gma would still be up. Scenic route.

As it turned out I didn't get that scenic route, but I did have a bit of an adventure. Had to be at the airport two hours early, so we left Murrieta around ten-ish as my plane left at 1:00. Weren't sure exactly which terminal we needed, but took a chance on the commuter terminal. That was the right one. The line wasn't very long and other people there were on the same flight. Called Mary to let her know I was in the right place. She was headed to Katie's. There were two automatic machines there, but one was out of order and the other was slow. The first man was having trouble getting it to work right for his boarding pass. By the time an attendant came to help he got it. The next guy was getting impatient with the first one, who kept apologizing. When the second guy got his turn the machine wasn't cooperating with him and he really came unglued. The attendant came to help him and he ranted and raved some more, but finally got his boarding pass. The next lady was worried she'd miss her flight, but the attendant stayed to help her too. The machine was just slow and people got in a hurry and pushed the buttons too fast. Ended up having to start over. With the attendant there it worked better as she pushed the buttons and waited the appropriate time. She also helped the next lady. When it was my turn I asked her to " Please don't go away" . She helped me too. Called Mary again after I went through security and let her know I was definitely in the right place and set to go.

Wrong!! The 12noon plane was an hour late and the 1:00pm plane was also a little over an hour late. They called me to the ticket counter and told me I wasn't going to make my connection out of Los Angeles in time to get the Denver one to Cody. Hmmm. They could get me on a direct flight from San Diego to Salt Lake which would connect to Cody, but I wouldn't get there until 11:00 p.m. OK, I'll take it.

Was afraid if I asked to go the next day I'd have to pay extra for changing my schedule. This was their arrangement and it would get me where I needed to go. They gave me paperwork for that flight on Delta and gave me directions on how to get to that terminal. There is a shuttle bus outside every five minutes, go to the second stop. They were very kind about it and showing me where to go. Even the bus driver was helpful when it was my stop. The United guy said I might be able to get an earlier flight to Salt Lake, but would have to go stand-by.

When I went to the Delta ticket counter that man checked everything and I was all set. He did check out the earlier flight and said "oh no, that one is really full". I took that to mean they probably already had all the stand-bys they could handle. By this time it was 1:30 and this Delta flight didn't leave until 6:00.

Went through security and found my gate, then called Mary around 2:ish
(Me): Where are you?
(Mary): I'm in San Diego at Katie's. Where are you? In Los Angeles?
(Me): I'm in San Diego too.
(Mary): What!!!!!

So I explained it all to her and she offered to come and get me for awhile. Not a good idea. She had three little kids to strap in her car and by the time she got back to the airport and we found each other we'd just have time to circle the parking lot before I had to check in again. Have to check in two hours before take off. Besides I'd already gone through security and really didn't want to have to do it again.

I had a good book to read. Got some lunch at a MacDonalds there in the airport, read, wandered around the little shops, read. Actually wasn't all that bad and time passed relatively fast. They have nice rocking chairs there. Called Gma to tell her the change of plans, so all was well, just made a longer day than anticipated. Think next time I'll just skip the United thing and go with Delta. Then I can have breakfast or lunch with Katie too. Or else I'll go with Billings flights as they have bigger planes. These little "puddle jumpers" are propellers, not jets.

Cody only has two afternoon return flights, one at 8:30pm with United through Denver and one at 11:00pm with Delta through Salt Lake. Think there is one from Salt Lake on Delta that comes in at noon, but I would have had to leave San Diego at 6:00am. That means getting up at 2:00am to get ready to leave Mary's at 3:00am to get to the airport by 4:00am to do the two hours before flight time thing. That one is too ungodly to even think about.

Anyway I got home safely without any more problems. Gma did wait up for me although she napped in her rocking chair before I got there. Now I'm glad I didn't wait another day as it was snowing Tuesday. Might have been delayed longer somewhere along the line.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

California trip - March 2011

My trip to California was absolutely GREAT!!!

The immediate Schumachers were at the airport to meet me. I had to exit at the baggage claim area and asked for the terminal number before I called Mary to tell her where I was. She told me to go out and stand by the stop light. I barely got out the door and they were right there. Perfect.

We met Katie at a "South of the Border" place. Gracie was having a sleep over with Katie and had her bag all packed and in the trunk. Had a good dinner and then Gracie and Katie left and the rest of us went home. Libby had her choice of car seats and she chose to sit right behind me. She talked all the way to Murrieta. The strangest part was that I understood most of what she said. Yay!

Lexie and Charlie came over Sunday morning so I got quite a bit of snuggle time with Charlie. He's sure a cutie. Really gets around now. He isn't really crawling quite, but he does get his knees up and rocks, then scoots. He'll get it figured out one of these times.

Left for the reception around 1:00 and got there in good time. Got hugs from all the relatives and also from the husbands. Not sure the husbands know exactly how I fit in the family, but they have seen me enough to know I'm one of them. I invited them all to Wyoming.

The "Family Blessing" was a really neat thing. The actual wedding had been the night before, but at this ceremony they said some different vows and included the two boys. Rob's sister read a poem about fatherhood that was very poignant. There was a "sand ceremony" where each one had a small bottle of colored sand. Each one picked a color that meant something to them and they poured their sand together into another container with a lid to signify combining the family and sealing it. Very nice. Meghan read her version of Dr Seuss "Oh the Places You'll Go". It was suited just for their family. Very nice.

There were several games for the kids in the lobby, including bubble blowing (big time) outside, and a lemonade stand. Waiters came around with trays of popcorn and lemonade. The bar didn't open until after the "Blessing Ceremony". There were circus type performers milling about. Then the dining room was opened and we entered the "Big Top tent". The centerpieces on the tables were all different circus themes. Each food station had some circus animal performing picture. The food was geared for all ages. They had pizza, popcorn, french fries, cold cuts, cheeses and crackers, shrimp and clams or oysters in a shell, two different kinds of pasta, roast beef (prime rib, I think) and chicken on a stick, a couple of dessert stations, and a fruit station with a chocolate fountain to dip the fruit if you wanted. So the food covered all ages as well. The DJ was really good. He played music suitable for all generations and did a lot of interaction with the audience. Gracie got to be his partner right up on his stage for the macarena. The entertainers included jugglers, a unicyclist, a magician, balloon shaping.

When it was over it felt like it must be midnight or later, but it was only 5:30pm.

Between potty stops, saying our goodbyes and thanks, we lost Keith. Gracie said she'd find him and off she went. She went right in to the DJ and had him page Keith. Keith was already outside at the car. All rounded up we were off for home. Took a tour by the new house on the way home. Mary told me I don't need a map now because I've been there and can find it. What a dreamer she is. I need a map.

Monday Lexie and Charlie came over again. Mary was babysitting that day as Lexie went to work at 10:30am. We started out for the airport at 9:45 and got to Temecula when Mary discovered she didn't have her cell phone and she needed it. So we had to go back, but we had time. I needed to be there at 11:00 as my plane left at 1:00. It was 10: 00 when we started out again. Did well until we got to Escondido where we got slowed to nearly a stop for traffic jams. Then away we went again and got into a bit of hard rain, but it didn't last long. Got to my terminal at 11:15, not bad. As soon as I found out I was in the right place I called Mary so she could quit circling the parking lot. After I got through the check-in and through security I called her again. She and kids were off to Katie's. We made it!

We did a lot in just a day and an evening. And enjoyed every minute of it.

Monday, March 14, 2011

I'm behind

Gosh, its the middle of March and I haven't written any updates since Jan. Good Grief!!!!

February is birthday month. My Hardin kids took me to lunch on my birthday, then our Mtse friends took me out for dinner at the Elkhorn and then a card fest, with cake and ice cream too.

Kevin, Katie, and Jen also have birthdays in Feb. What a good month this is.

The weather cooperated for me to go to Hdn the first of Feb, Stormed after I came back to Mtse, but that was ok. The Church people from Cody couldn't come down the first Sunday because weather was bad, but we had coffee and goodies anyway, The Cody lady had brought her goodies down the week before, just in case. So the local lady helping her put everything out.

We haven't had a great lot of snow this month, but it just keeps coming and coming. It melts and makes ice. I've used up one twenty five pound bag of salt since December. I had a bag from two years ago that I finally finished in Dec. Then bought this one and its gone already. Had to buy another one last week and I've used one vasefull of it. Doesn't melt the ice, but it pocks it so it isn't slick.

March came in sort of sheepish. I got back to Hdn the first part to pay bills and got my hair cut. Yay! I can see! Got back to Mtse before it stormed again. Those first three days were nice though. No wind, no snow, just cold.

The first Sunday in March kept the Cody church people home again, so no goodies. We got them (the goodies) last Sunday. Weather has been warm and melting all the snow. Get wind in the afternoons so the snow is really going. My back up space is nearly normal again. Today I chipped ice from in front of our backdoor ramps. Its really thick but the salt hollowed out part of it so made it easy to chop with the crow bar.

Sunday Gma and I went to the Cody airport to check on my flight schedule. I'm in their system so all is "good to go".

This is going to be a busy week. Monday and Wednesday are Senior lunches. Monday we had a motorcycle group join us for lunch and also had an entertainer who sang Irish songs during lunch,. Wednesday is the birthday lunch. Thursday the bus isn't running as the driver will be gone and the alternate driver is going to Lunch Bunch. That group has a program from a sort of local fellow that has been teaching in Uganda for 6 months and is back. He will have a short slide presentation and talk about what he was doing. Should be interesting. Then that evening we are going to Cody for dinner with our usual birthday friends. Friday the Senior bus will run. Then Saturday I fly out of Cody for my whirlwind trip to CA. Gma will need a rest by then. She'll be glad to get rid of me for a couple of days.

Its a short trip, but will be filled with fun things. I'm ready!!