Last weekend, my brothers & I flew to Seattle to surprise our Dad for his birthday. The way our flights were scheduled, I was supposed to fly to Vancouver, then wait 4 hours before flying to Seattle. My brothers were not excited about this, as it meant they would have to wait 2 hours for me to arrive before the 2 hour drive to my parents’ house. In the weeks before the trip they kept telling me I should try to find an earlier flight, but the only one I could find would only allow for a 20 minute layover, which would not be enough time since I would have to go through a security check & customs in between flights.
My first flight was scheduled to leave Charlottetown at 6am, so I set my alarm for 4:45. We live about 5 minutes from the airport, & I had checked in online, so I figured that would be enough time. Inexplicably my alarm went off at 5:20 instead! I quickly changed & woke PChad up, & he drove me to the airport. The desk agent was not pleased to see me arrive so late, but I explained that I had already checked in, & just needed my boarding passes printed. She printed them off, but told me I was too late to check my luggage. That was fine since I had only a carry-on!
My next hurdle was security. There were 4 security people, & I was the only person going through. However, I was randomly selected for a second check, but it was simply for a hand swab, & it came back clear. I made it on to the plane without incident & looked at my watch. It was 5:35. Incredible, but I don’t think I will press my luck like that in the future! There was another passenger who came on the flight after I did, so at least they weren’t all waiting for me!
I flew through Toronto to Vancouver, & we had a good tail-wind & arrived 10 minutes early. It was 10:50am. I thought I’d try to make the 11:20 flight so I wouldn’t have to sit around for 4 hours, but I had to walk through a construction zone, security & customs yet.
Once I had made it to customs, I was surprised to find there was no line up of people waiting to speak to a border officer. I quickly filled out my form & immediatly was called forward. He asked where I was going, & where I had come from. When I said, “PEI” his response was, “What’s that?” So I explained that it was “Prince Edward Island”, & he told me to have a nice day! I felt like running! I’d never made it through customs so quickly & easily before! Then I remember I DID need to run!
I made it to the gate for the 11:20 flight at 11:15. I begged to be allowed on the flight, & the gate agent told me they they had not done a head count yet, so if I didn’t have any checked luggage, I could be put on the flight! Wow, I’m not used to my flights working out so well! I arrived in Seattle 2 hours before my brothers did, so they didn’t have to wait for me at all, which they were very happy about.
When we used to go to the airport with my parents, we always drove right past a Taco Bell, well I should say, we always STOPPED at the Taco Bell, because we rarely drove past it! Since it had been airport tradition, we had all thought about delicious Taco Bell tacos, & we were all craving them at this point. But, since we had rented a car, we left the airport a different way, so there was no Taco Bell in sight. About 1/2 way home we remembered there was a Taco Bell off the freeway, so we stopped for a late afternoon snack.
When we pulled up the house, Dad had been mowing the lawn. He had stopped for his every-afternoon-at-3-o’clock Mello Yello, so he & Mom happened to be in the garage. Dad asked, “Who just pulled up in a red car?” Mom knew that we were coming, but she didn’t know what time, so she said, “Maybe it’s Nick & Candy, they have a red car.”
Then, between the vehicles, Dad saw Brian come out of the car, then me, then Kurt. At that point Dad was thinking, “That’s not Nick!” He was shocked to see us. Despite almost spilling the secret a few times, we all managed to surprise him!
We had a nice dinner of salmon & asparagus, then we walked to the beach. One of the things we always do at the beach is flip over rocks to look for crabs, so since we aren’t about to buck tradition, we flipped rocks for crabs!
Then we went back home for angel food cake to celebrate the birthday boy!
Happy Birthday, Dad!