I'm writing this from our hotel room in New Orleans (free WiFi! w00t!), after arriving here on a flight that left Rochester on time at 6:05am. That it left on time is not miraculous, but the fact that we were on it is.
We were the picture of organization last night. We dropped the kids off with their respective friends, packed our bags, printed out our boarding passes from the web site, charged the batteries for all devices (phones, cameras, computers) and set the alarm for 4am. We figured we'd get up, shower, grab some food, park in the satellite lot, and be at the airport by 5am. Good plan, no?
Slightly after 5am this morning, Gerald shook me awake, telling me that the alarm hadn't gone off. "We'll never make it!" I shrieked. "Why not?" he responded.
I resisted the impulse to slug him (I've never been much of a morning person, even in the best of circumstances--which this clearly wasn't). Instead, I jumped out of bed, crammed my toiletries into the top of my carry-on, pulled on the travel clothes I'd left at the foot of the bed, ran a comb through my hair (not that it helped; I look like Medusa in the morning...Gerald quite wisely offered me a hat), grabbed my computer bag and a Vanilla Diet Coke, and followed him out the door.
We pulled out of the driveway at 5:15, and pulled into the airport parking garage at 5:25 (this is one of the many times I'm deeply grateful that we live in a small, easily navigable city). Normally we'd park in the $3/day satellite lot, but time didn't permit that--insted, we found a decent spot in the $8/day parking garage, a two-minute walk from the terminal. Since we'd pre-printed our boarding passes, we headed straight for the security checkpoint at the gates.
They seem to have ramped up the security procedures at ROC, and Gerald's CPAP bag came under closer scrutiny than usual. After repeated passes through the xray machine, they managed to unearth the tiny Leatherman tool that he'd tucked into his shaving kit bag many moons ago. He's flown twice with it in there, not even realizing he had it along. It's gone now, alas, but that was a small price to pay. (On a side note, after all the horror stories I've read in past months about rude and self-important airport security personnel, I was impressed with the courtesy and friendliness of the people we dealt with today; the man who unearthed the tool apologized several times to Gerald for having to take everything out--while Gerald simultaneously apologized for having put the tool in there.)
Despite the ten minute Leatherman-induced delay, we made it to the gate by 5:50am, where they accepted our pre-printed boarding passes even though they'd accidentally been printed on glossy label stock and were slightly smudged. (Don't ask; we don't know how the label stock got in the printer either.)
So here we are now, safely in the hotel, getting ready to nap, shower, and have some mandatory coffee and beignets at Cafe du Monde. Tonight we'll have our anniversary dinner at Alex Patout's, a restaurant that we ate at back in July of 1993, right after we were married.
So far as I can tell, the only things I managed to leave behind were my jewelry (other than what I'm wearing), my watch, my library copy of Mind Wide Open, and my newly-purchased Frommer's guide to New Orleans. Not bad, all things considered. Here's hoping that the rest of our anniversary--and our weekend--is as successful (but less stressful).