15 January 2009

Frontier Flight 666

Here's Cyrus laying around the Denver airport with half of Seattle (Seattle ppl not pictured)

So, we are ready to leave for our trip to California. It's -20 outside, not counting any wind chill. But we're brave. We live in SD. We have to suck it up, right?? So, the car starts. This is good. We drive. And drive. Frost forms on the inside of the car. This sucks. A lot. Turns out the car just never really got hot enough for the heater to kick in. It was awful. 2.5 hours of AWFUL.

We get to the airport. Rejeanne is shaking. I've never seen her shake before. I felt so bad for her. I was really cold too. So, we cuddle up in line to check the bags. I ask Lee for his ID and then reach for mine. It's gone. We stopped for gas in Vermillion. Lee used my wallet to buy gas. All the sudden, I am just horrified that we are going to miss the plane and have to drive another AWFUL 2.5 hours home and scour the Coffee Cup Fuel Stop for my stupid wallet. Luckily, he only left it in the car. Lee takes the shuttle back to the long-term parking to retrieve my wallet. He gets back just in the nick of time. We nearly run to security. We futz around with shoes and baby bottle explosives testing and bolt to the plane and get boarded at the last minute. We settle in SO THANKFUL to be on the plane and not calling Lee's parents with bad news.

We're really, really settled after a half hour. That's when we find out the plane is frozen. Huh. Amazing, eh? *sigh* Don't worry though, just have to wait for the front water lines to thaw and the back lines are running. *30 more minutes* Don't worry folks, the front lines are thawed! (Now we have to wait for the back to thaw) Huh. I thought those were fine. Guh. *30 more minutes* Alrighty folks, lines are good, we just have to load the bags into the plane and de-ice and we'll be 1 hour 15 minutes to Denver. (THANK GOODNESS!) *30 minutes goes by* Rejeanne is now stripped down to her diaper and scrunched under the seat in front of us howling. I know how she feels. The plane is ready to rock. We roll out from the gate and the pilot kicks on the engine and...wait...ENGINE? This plane has TWO engines!

Pilot says only one engine is starting. We have to wait for maintenance to come out. *30 minutes later* Don't worry folks, the starter valve is frozen but never you fear, we can send a guy out there to MANUALLY start it.


I'm not about to fly the friendly skies in some hoopdy that needs a push start. Besides, my kid is nearly naked and I'm not a fan of airplane bathrooms. Additionally, isn't it only a 6 hour drive from Vermillion to Denver? Do the math: 2.5 hours driving + 3 hours waiting = Closing in on Denver by car, eh?

I look around me. People are just sitting all chill. No one is saying "We're all gonna die in this plane, let me out". Well, no one but me. Not particularly caring if I get banned from air travel for the next 10 years, I get up and say "This plane is clearly broken. Since we're rolling back to the gate, we want off of this plane." So, I'm proud of myself for not having a panic attack or dropping an F bomb, but both were on the horizon. Luckily, they let us off the plane and I had my panic attack in an Omaha bathroom on the GROUND!

Apparently lots of crazy people fly, so Frontier gave us new tickets and some meal vouchers. The rest of the trip was good and I had the opportunity to discover that when traveling with two small children, long layovers are actually a good thing. So, every cloud has a silver lining and I only had to apologize to one flight attendant and didn't knock anyone out. Guess all that anger management is paying off!

Oh, I almost forgot the near death experience! When we flew into Orange County, we were in a thunderhead, which I LOVE!! Lee was turning a little pale with the turbulence and lightining flashes, but I love that stuff. Pretty much, if the oxygen mask ain't danglin', it's all good. I'm diggin' it and crackin' jokes and then I start noticing some red flashes and a quick ascent when we are supposed to be landing. Since I've nearly collided in the sky before, I had a feeling those red lights weren't part of our plane...

We land safely and the pilot says "Sorry about that fast ascent but you never can tell with those LA pilots so we thought it best to just get out of the way. Enjoy your stay in Orange County. *chuckle*" Yeah dude. Very funny. So, we're alive. Good news!!!!

We've decided we're kinda more roadtrip people...

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