Sunday, December 28, 2008

If a man drives 60 miles an hour, how long will......

It was a good idea. Well, I thought it was. We go to Phoenix every couple of years. My brother and his extended family come up from Texas and our family meets them at my sister's house in Scottsdale. It's like a mini-reunion. I thought that it would be too hard on my two youngest grands (Gavin - 3 yrs and Madison, almost 2)to sit in a car for the 6-hour drive from San Diego to Phoenix. I convinced my daughter-in-law to take the 55 minute flight with me and the 2 smallest kids. My husband, son, and 6 year old grand could drive the car with the luggage and gifts in it. It did not work out the same in reality as I had planned it in my head.

First, we drove to our son's house, loaded up the car and the "big boys" took off for Phoenix. Dana, the 2 kids and I drove to the airport. Well, that is where things started to go wrong. I went to 3 different satellite parking lots and they were all FULL. I finally threw myself at the mercy of one attendent who allowed us to double park on the lot as long we we left our keys there. Okey, dokey.

The shuttle took all of us, including 2 car seats, to the airport. We cleared security, no problem and went to the gate at Southwest thinking that we would be able to pre-board so we could set up the child seats and put us all together. Our boarding passes were A45-A48. Well, the rules have apparently changed on Southwest. No pre-boarding of families.

What??? The gate agent was too busy to explain other than "Get in line with your boarding pass". So does Southwest think that eliminating pre-boarding for families is supposed to be faster? I assume that their metered pole positions (A 1-59, B 1-59) is an effort to improve their old reputation as running a cattle car airline. But the wheels seem to have come off the wagon when it comes to their thinking about traveling with children. It takes a few minutes to setup a car seat in an airplane, buckle 2 separate seatbelt systems and get the kid in the chair. Hopefully all that can be done BEFORE the rest of the passengers are standing behind you waiting to find a seat. The child safety seats must occupy a window seat so we had to sit on 2 different sides of the plane, though thankfully, in the same row. And of course, a crowd always brings out the worst in a Terrible 2 year old and a Tumultuous 3 year old.

I found out later, that families are allowed to board between the A group and the B group. Of course, that means that as many as 59 people get on the plane before you do. Oh, and if it is a continuing flight, then there are already people on the plane before anybody on the ground starts boarding. So, would my grand-daughter end up sitting next to some stranger?

I also found out later that Southwest now has a Business Select class ticket. For a small fee ($18 on a $148 ticket, so 12%), you are given a low numbered A boarding pass so you get to board before the rest of the coach travelers. Hmmm, so essentially family pre-boarding has been sold out for pay-to-pre-board. Shame on you, Southwest Airlines.

OK, rant complete.

I googled directions from the Phoenix Sky Harbor airport to our hotel. My son, flying in from Oakland, and we planned to meet him so he could ride with us in the rental car. Phoenix has moved their rental car to an off-site location. Well, really it's an off-off-off-site location. So we grabbed the rental car shuttle to the off-site rental location and off we went. I wish that I had known that the rental car location was 3 miles or so from the airport. Yeah, those google directions were a waste.

So I called my sister for directions. Unfortunately, she was at the store and I had to try to get directions from my brother-in-law. Why do men say things like
"Go north on University..."

Me: "Oh, let me check my handy dandy compass to make sure that I am going north. OK, we are on University crossing 24th street near the 202 freeway. "

He says "Great, jump on 202 and you'll be here in, blah, blah, blah..."

By then I was screaming into the phone, "202 East or 202 West"

"Huh" he says.

"I'll call you back" I said thinking that I would just wait until my sister got home and call back. I pulled into the first business I found which was a market in the barrio. I went in and got directions. And yes, I was the only weda (white woman) in the place.

We missed a couple turns and had to back-track but we finally made it to the hotel.

Standing in the lobby were my husband, son and grandson. Sigh.

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My life has changed in the last couple of years - some bumps, I retired from quilting, and then I moved to Texas. I'm anxious to see what new adventures await me in the next phase of my life.

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Ramona, California, United States
I started quilting when a quilt shop opened in our little town in January 2004. I have been hooked ever since.

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Books I"ve read lately

  • The Help (Kindle)
  • The Appeal by John Grisham
  • Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd
  • Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen
  • To Kill a Mockingbird (again) by Harper Lee
  • Bleachers by John Grisham

This is called Fruit Cocktail

This is called Fruit Cocktail
It is all batiks