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.
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!