Monday, September 2, 2013

Implode

I'm assuming you'd like to hear the story of my first trip into my new home state, right?

Any objections?? Speak now....(**crickets**)

Okay good. Here we go:

It was a Tuesday. I flew Virgin America and had an uneventful flight from NY to CA:

In hindsight, that may or may not have been smoke from wildfires...at the time though, all I kept thinking was "oooooh....pretty mountains!" 

When we landed in LA, all I could think was, "Where are the palm trees? Wait, is that--I think I see them!!"

Even though I've been MIA from InsideOut for a while, I'm lucky to still have my celebrity buds standing by to help with the messy disembarking, decompressing, ear-popping and endless claiming of one's bags. And so, I was elated to see my good friend George waiting for me in the terminal:
Yeah, I know....he looks annoyed. That's because he tried to meet me at the gate and therefore had to navigate security...and all they really wanted was his autograph. Whatever. Being famous comes with some inconveniences, right? It's not my fault.


We then had to walk REALLY FAST to the baggage terminal, as if we were being chased by wild boar! I have no idea what that was about but I spent the entire walk chatting at his back about my uneventful flight, my lunch and how airport security had confiscated the hotel-sized grape jam that had mysteriously appeared in my bag.

When we reached the baggage carousel, George immediately sat down, blending into the crowd and started casually flipping through some newspaper. I noticed he'd donned a baseball cap emblazoned with the slogan, "I don't need a recipe. I'm Italian!" on it. This is when I'd realized I was on my own retrieving my bags.

Sigh.

S-l-i-d-e.....CRASH!!!.....round and round they go. I'm waiting patiently at first...people-watching, "Is that Gaga? Nope...just an 8-year-old girl. Is that the guy who played the mean guy on The Office? He had an unusual name...'Snowblower'? 'Hail'? Now I remember...it was 'Rainn-something'? No, wait. That man looks to be in his 80's...never mind."

All of the above took place over an extended period of time and I suddenly realized that there were no bags left to claim. Now, my bag was MIA, as was George
...who'd decided to head for the airport bar to wait out was was sure to be a laborious lost-luggage process.

I dejectedly headed into the Virgin America office, eyes darting to the corners of the room for any sign of my black, overstuffed bag. The woman behind the desk inquired as to my name and upon hearing it, she replied (somewhat snippily), "Yes. He's bringing its contents to you now."

Its contents? As in....the inside of said bag? WTF??

Sure enough, this guy rounds the corner by the baggage carousel and in his hand he is half-carrying, half-dragging a huge, clear plastic bag containing all my stuff. Prominently displayed are my undies, cosmetics and what I realize is an inordinate amount of Q-tips...all jumbled and mish-mashed together....quite the opposite I might add, to the neat, organized packing it took me two days to accomplish. 

I heard a tapping coming from above and glanced up to see George, attempting an Oscar-winning performance in his efforts to not burst into uncontrolled gales of laughter...
and failing miserably. I'll deal with you later, GC.

I turn to the airport guy:

Kathryn: "Seriously? WTH?"

Airport Guy: (Sheepish) "Yeah. I know....go figure."

K: "What the hell happened? It's not Samsonite, ya know. You can't be all throwing it around like it's made of Kryptonite, or something."

A.G.: "That's Superman. Superman has Kryptonite. You're thinking of the monkey who threw the luggage around in those ancient teevee commercials."

K: "I DON'T CARE! What happened to my luggage?"

A.G.: (Sniffs) "It seems to have imploded. No-one knows how or why these things happen...they just do. Kind of a freak of nature....like heat lightning...or those sneakers designed to look like human feet."

K: "So...with no human intervention whatsoever, this piece of perfectly good luggage just...'imploded'...out of the blue, throwing my unmentionables all willy-nilly?"

A.G.: "Uh huh. And an inordinate amount of Q-tips as well, I might add."

K: "Where's the suitcase itself?"

A.G.: "Oh, it's in there. See the bits of black material? I think I got it all."

At this point, I sat on the floor next to my plastic-bag-luggage and wondered how the hell I was going to exit the airport with this thing in tow. This goes waaaay beyond embarrassing...even for me. By this time, the area was virtually deserted and George decided to join me to survey the damages. When we opened the bag, we discovered that miraculously, my black bag was still intact....just inside out. After many tugs and pulls and other sophisticated suitcase maneuvers, we managed to right it and after several tries, we even got the zipper to close after dumping all my crap back into it.

We stood up, released the handle that allowed my bag to roll out the door and as George handed me a coffee cup (actually filled with a vodka tonic, which made all forgiven), he smiled...and said, "Welcome to Cali, Kathryn!"

The next day, I replaced the luggage.

Happy Labor Day, all!

xoxo

Gigi said...

You have no idea how happy I am to find you popping up in my feed!

Moving is stressful, particularly across country!

Happy Labor Day!

kathryn said...

Gigi: Aw. I'm glad that you're happy to see me! It feels SO GOOD to be able to share my thoughts & experiences (from my perspective, of course). Yes, moving is stressful but I feel this will totally be worth it.
Happy Labor Day to you too, sweetie!

J9 said...

Welcome to my home state! Good to see you back to blogging!

Jayne Martin said...

Hysterical! And may I add, yet another reason why I don't fly. Although, for a George sighting...? Welcome to California!

Alicia said...

It's nice to know that the good things in life never change, and you are one of the good things and you haven't changed a bit, still brilliant as always! As GC says, Welcome to Cali! (What the heck took you so long?)

kathryn said...

J9: Thank you! I am unbelievably happy to be here. (Both in Cali and here in Blogville)
Jayne Martin: Thank you, my dear. And yes...flying is far less of a bother when Clooney's around. It's still a pain, though...
Alicia: Ha! You are such a sweetie! I honestly don't know what took me so long...once I realized this is where I wanted to be, it all seemed to make perfect sense. It is sooooo beautiful here, I can't stand it!

Lauren said...

I went to Germany this summer. To get in to Germany, I flashed my passport to a bored looking dude in a booth and was waved through. I collected my suitcase, that was it. To get back into Canada, where I've lived for 24 years, I had to fill out a form, carry that form to a line, put the form in a machine that copied my form, get in another line, present my form and be interrogated by some woman, get in yet another line, collect my one freaking suitcase, get in another line and present that damn form again. After that, I was free! My first order of business, shrug off hugs from my parents in favour of finding a bathroom. I HATE AIRPORTS! At least you had George...

sage said...

You can take an inconvenient mishap and spin a funny story! My first visit to California included a riot (I later picked up a second riot in Berkeley). The story about my LA riot:
http://sagecoveredhills.blogspot.com/2008/01/travel-memories-flying-to-japan-and-la.html#comment-form

Cathy Olliffe-Webster said...

You moved across the country! So did I! Only my stuff didn't travel in a clear plastic garbage bag! Hey, I hear it's the new Samsonite, though.

Happy trails! And pass me a Q-tip.

Angelina said...

A much better story than mine.

A few years ago all luggage on our flight from Sidney, Australia to New Zealand was left in Australia. Of course, they failed to tell us until we had landed. Did they not notice how light the plane was? I can't tell you what a zoo it was with almost 300 people waiting in line to fill out forms some of them more than a bit perturbed. Were was George then with that coffee, I ask?

wendy said...

So glad you found your luggage. I've only flown once in my whole life, but I have to imagine the whole luggage thing could've been way worse. It was so nice of George to stay there with you. He seems wonderful :)

Collette Palmer said...

So glad to have you back in bloggyland! I hope your new home gives you all sorts of things to blog about. Welcome Back!!!

kathryn said...

Lauren: Wow! So, I guess Germany doesn't really give a crap whether you visit them or not...is that the moral? Canada obviously cares SO deeply about you! And yeah....at least I had George....
sage: Oh, boy! I just love me a good riot story! I'll head there as soon as I finish up here....I promise. Good to see you, sage!
Cathy Olliffe-Webster: Ha! Yeah, it's tres chic to travel with clear garbage bags these days...it's so much cooler than using paper grocery bags. Congrats on your move as well!!

kathryn said...

Angelina: Yikes. The airline forgot the entire plane's luggage??! I hope someone got written up for that faux pas. That must've been one quiet baggage carousel....
wendy: Thank you. I can't imagine how horrible it must be to never get your luggage back. I mean, how can you replace the neon-orange Crocs where one of your kids scribbled on one with a black sharpie? Irreplaceable, I tell ya!
Collette Palmer: Thank you, sweetie. I'm trying hard to find my way back...to find that all-elusive balance between what's just for me (Blogville) and the rest of life. Thanks for the sweet comment!

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Mark Price said...

Long Lost blog friend! Love the post and the pics. Have recently re-discovered the blogosphere and realized that I have missed it so much! Congrats on your move and the Clooney sightings. Your E-Mail has changed I guess cause i keep getting my messages back. That sucks cause one was really funny about a nigerian prince and such! Miss you!

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