The {Real Life} Terminal

You've seen the movie The Terminal, right? When Tom Hanks lives in an airport for an obscene amount of time? Yeah, just call me Tom.

I flew to St. Louis this weekend for Lindsey's bridal shower. All was right in the world, it was super fab, blah blah blah. I arrived back at the airport at exactly 3:30 for my 4:30 flight on Sunday. Said my goodbyes outside to Hannah and Michael and breathed a breath of relief to see that my flight was still on time despite a little rain shower or two. Whew. I mean, if it's plastered over every flipping big screen in the entire airport, it must be just fine, right?

I breezed through security and found myself a comfy little spot in which to settle before they boarded our plane. Life was great.

And then.....crazy hooker flight attendant dropped a bomb on our butts.

"Ahem, attention passengers, some of you have heard the news already, but...." (you know right then and there things are headed south)...."your plane is stuck in Orlando because a lightbulb is out on a wing. It's a critical light and they do not have a replacement in stock. Therefore, your plane is not scheduled to arrive here in St. Louis until at least 8 pm. I apologize for any inconvenience."

You can guess what happened next, can't you? People lost their freaking minds. Yelling, loud sighs, passive aggressive comments....not to mention there was a three year old boy running around like a wild banchee throwing shoes at innocent bystanders and telling his parents to flat out 'SHUT UP.' It was basically Armageddon, you guys.

I tried to take a deep breath and relax a bit. There was absolutely nothing I could do to get home any faster. I now had 4.5 hours to kill without anything to occupy my time. My, what a great time to get rid of internet on my phone, eh? Fabulous move on that one, tight wad.

So I splurged on two gossip magazines and treated myself to a little Quiznos. I soaked in my surroundings and found that people watching in airports is probably the most entertaining thing you can do when stranded in an airport for ungodly amounts of time.

This one lady almost gave herself a stroke while screaming "THAT IS UNACCEPTABLE" into her cell phone with one finger in her open ear. From what I could gather this lady was talking to a different airline about a different scheduling that doesn't occur until the end of this month. Hey lady, I got news for you, there are bigger fish to fry at the current moment. Your uptight behind ain't going anywhere for a good 4 hours because of some chaos in present day. Why not let the poor dude on the other line catch a break, so that you can focus on the current dilemma.

You see, not only was my reject flight stuck down south because of technical difficulties, but the entire Atlanta airport was on a ground freeze---no planes in and no planes out. So the other folks patiently awaiting their flight to Atlanta were also in a bit of a tizzy. Americans who are in a traveling nightmare do not behave like civilized adults, you guys. It was like a social experiement of some kind, I swear.

So all of a sudden it's 7 pm and crazy hooker attendant says, "For my Milwaukee passengers, the good news is that your plane is getting ready to take off right now. It's a 2 hour flight up here with a 30 minute turn around. So I'm hoping to get you out of here by 9:30." Okay, that is just great....another 2 plus hours of mind-numbing boringness. I took it upon myself to get ANOTHER magazine and some PB M&Ms because gosh darn it, I deserved them both.

Please note the times on the screen.

I have never once in my 28 years completed an entire crossword puzzle, but Sunday was a first in many aspects of my life. I finished one AND I did not leave Lambert Airport until 11:15 pm. Please take the time to calculate this for a moment, my friends: got there at 3:30, flew out at 11:15. Nearly 8 miserable hours spent inside the jail cell known as Lambert.

Which means I got home at 12:30 and almost vomited from fatigue (is that too dramatic? I can't decide). It was even worse when I had to get up at 6 for work this morning. Gouge my eyes out with a spoon, please. Nate was so happy to have me home, of course, since I was the epitome of a delightful wife.

Trying to be a Pollyanna during this highly dreadful event was kind of fun. I mean, Milwaukee is absolutely gorgeous at midnight when all light up. The view from my tardy plane was enough for me to snap a really blurry pic. I kind of like it:

Milwaukee at Midnight take two
So yeah, that is how I morphed into Tom Hanks this weekend. Love how it is only a 6 hour drive but I spent 8 in an airport and one in the air.

Okay, now that The Terminal period of my life is over, I present to you project Bridal Shower.


Winos much?

bridal shower flowers

The lovely bride:
the bride

wedding flower inspiration

Lots of us, but not all of us. Probably the best turn out for a bridal shower yet:
Bridal shower

The bridesmaids.

Six more weeks until Lindsey's big day! And yes, we will be flying the same carrier in six weeks. Please Dear God, let any delays be less than 8 hours this time.

Let's hear some traveling horror stories. I'm sure you all have at least one, right?


  1. Okay, I have many travel horror stories, but most of them involve motion sickness. We are traveling to the DC area in January to visit my in-laws (I think), so I may have a horror story then. Involving a 7 month old. Yay!

    Sorry, again, that we didn't get to see you Saturday. It was not as good a time as last year to me, but I am pretty sleep deprived. I think your hubby had a better time than I did. :)

  2. My worst travel horror story happened while we were trying to get to Seattle from StL on standby. Yes, standby. They had us fly into O'Hare because there's a flight to Seattle every hour. No problem. Except the flights alternate between B and C terminals... We walked back and forth for something like 8 or 10 hours, dressed up for first class. It's a 4 1/2 hour flight. We arrive in Seattle around 12:30 their time. Our ride's car had a dead battery. By the time we found someone to jump us and found our hotel, we'd been up for 23 hours. Ugh.

    That experience is closely followed by losing A/C while driving through Mississippi. In July.

  3. I totally had a Terminal moment last year around this time.

    I had decided to fly from STL to KC to see my sister instead of the 4.5ish hr drive. My flight back was supposed to be at 5, so my sister and brother in law dropped me off around 4. Five minutes later, a ridiculously bad storm came through and I did not end up leaving KC (for the 45 minute flight back to STL) until almost 10 pm.

    Totally could have made it back in my car with several hours to spare. And let me tell you, you have not been miserable in an airport until you have done it at KC International. Their food, shopping, and most importantly bathrooms are all before you go through security. After security, there is just places to sit. Want your magazines or food or to pee? You have to go out of security and then back in! Dumbest airport ever- I will never fly through there again.

  4. Girl, I feel your pain! About 2 years ago I was in Indiana for work and was in the airport ready to come home. 10 minutes before our flight was supposed to take off there was NO plane present. I knew something was up. Sure enough, a flight attendant announced that our plane hadn't even left Milwaukee yet due to weather. I don't know how many hours I spent in that airport. Booooring.

    And then there was the time we flew back from Punta Cana....our baggage was left behind in Miami, and we were lost in O'Hare at 3 am trying to find a stupid shuttle back to our car. Oh and I had to be at work at 8am.

    Isn't traveling the greatest??? :-P

    But in all seriousness, I'm glad you made it home safely.

  5. Girl, I feel your pain! About 2 years ago I was in Indiana for work and was in the airport ready to come home. 10 minutes before our flight was supposed to take off there was NO plane present. I knew something was up. Sure enough, a flight attendant announced that our plane hadn't even left Milwaukee yet due to weather. I don't know how many hours I spent in that airport. Booooring.

    And then there was the time we flew back from Punta Cana....our baggage was left behind in Miami, and we were lost in O'Hare at 3 am trying to find a stupid shuttle back to our car. Oh and I had to be at work at 8am.

    Isn't traveling the greatest??? :-P

    But in all seriousness, I'm glad you made it home safely.

  6. So I was 18, going to see the hubs (then fiance) in San Diego. Mom dropped me off at the airport and left for an 1.5 hr drive home. I got bumped from my flight and there was one left to Houston for the day. I didn't get on it. Then they wanted to put me in a hotel or give me a free plane ticket. I was so p.o.'d and sick because I just wanted to get to SD. It all worked out. I slept at a friend's house and she brought me to the airport at 530am the next morning because I didn't even have a confirmed flight.
    I cried to the clerk and then got a little forceful. J had to sneak off the base for "lunch" to pick me up and then bring me to the hotel.

    It was horrible!

    You remember my flight'o'hell, right? I blogged about it last July. Up for 32 hours, only to DRIVE home from Atlanta!
    Gorgeous flower shots, and I love your dress!

  8. What is it about Air Tran?!? We had friends stuck in Chicago after visiting us that didn't get to leave the airport for about 10 hours (after, of course, all screens showed it was "on time"). Sorry to hear about your experience, but your recounting of it all was priceless!

  9. I had my first real travel horror story happen this year. Luckily I was not alone, my husband was with me, so we could entertain one another.

    We were coming back to Boston from Florida in February. Our flight was pretty early, so I want to say we were at the airport by 6 at least. Waited and waited through many announcements, there was some mechanical error with the plane, they'd let us know when it was going to be ready. They were slowly rebooking passengers, but of course our connection through Chicago was not until that afternoon, so they didn't bother with us.

    Fast forward to 11am, they say to get on the plane, it's ready to go, I am basically yelling at my husband that we are going to miss our connection in Chicago at 1:30 or so. We get on the plane, we wait for a few stragglers, because, as the pilot says, it's no biggie.

    Well we land in Chicago and our connection left 5 minutes ago. The cherry on top is that we did not fly out of Boston like we normally do (as we actually live there), we flew out of Manchester, NH because it was cheaper. So our next connection to NH isn't for another 5 hours.

    We promptly get drunk at the local Chili's, sleep it off, have our gate changed 10 times, and make it back to Boston at 1 in the morning, after driving and everything. So it was another case of it might have been faster to drive. AND my favorite suitcase was damaged by the airline.

    At least I complained and they gave us each $100 off vouchers, which we have yet to use.

  10. Ugh, sometimes travelling is such a pain. It once took me over 25 hours to get to Hawaii, and just this past January, we got stranded overnight in Denver (on the way to Aspen) after a huge fiasco with the plane.
    Glad you made it back and hopefully your next trip will be smooth sailing!

  11. So here is MY travel horror story...

    We were flying from London, England back home to Calgary, Alberta, Canada. It was a big plane, one of the 3-aisle-3-aisle-3 types. The fiancee and I are seated on the left side of the plane, right across the aisle from us is a (very) pregnant mom, her husband, and their toddler. I am already WELL aware that toddlers and Trans-Atlantic plane rides do NOT go well together, but when the little tyke fell asleep right after takeoff, we thought we were in the clear.

    We were wrong.

    An hour into the flight he woke up, and proceeded to have a screaming, fist-pumping, leg kicking tantrum when he was told he couldn't get out of his seat. He threw things at the row of passengers in front of him. He kicked his dad IN THE FACE, ON PURPOSE when his dad tried to discipline him into calming down (this occurred many times- dad would try to lay down the law and get the Spawn of Satan to calm down and behave, but mom was always there to go "Oh, it's okay baby, come to mommy". Anyway). He screamed at the top of his lungs for damn near 45 minutes without a break.

    Finally, an English gentleman from behind me got up and said "I have some NyQuil in my carry on [these were the heady days before liqiud and gel restrictions on planes], would you like some for your son?". The dad nodded, but the mom said "No, that won't be necessary". And, in that perfectly polite way that only British people can muster, the man looked at the mom and said "I don't think the other 300 passengers here would agree, miss". And that's when the mom looked around and noticed 300 pairs of eye-daggers aimed her way. Even I was saying to anyone who would listen that I would toss the damn kid out the emergency door...if it wouldn't bring down the plane.

    It was then I vowed to sedate my children every time they fly...until they're about 16.

  12. My travel horror story is long and winded, but it includes me on the wrong flight to Europe. Yep, good times.

    And the dress you wore to the shower is super cute!!

  13. Got another Airtran horror story. A huge group was in Atlanta for a conference during grad school which no one had money to go to but the professors "strongly suggested it". So we are all sick of each other because we have been five to a hotel room all week (again no money) and just want to get back to KC. So we all get to the airport and after getting through security and waiting an hour, they announce that our flight is canceled. Not delayed but canceled and that they would SEE if we could get onto a flight tomorrow.

    I would have been upset anyway but this was a disaster as my fiance (now husband) was supposed to be picking me up at the airport in KC at four and we were going to have to drive to St. Louis to meet with the priest that was marrying us at 9 the next morning. This was the last time we could do it because all the Catholic churches requirements in terms of timelines. Long story short, tons of tears and begging and $150 got me on an 10pm flight into KC. So we hit the road for STL at midnight and drive through the night to get there. And to top it off they broke my suitcase. It was an awesome trip....

  14. Yikes. I have been pretty luck on my travels (knock on wood) but these comments are making me thinking twice about ever booking on AirTran ever.

  15. You poor girl! What a yucky situation.

    When I traveled to FL for work last year, I waited all day, about seven hours at the airport since we'd gotten off the ship in the morning and my flight wasn't until late afternoon. My flight was delayed, then I missed my connecting flight (despite running through the airport like a crazy person like in the movies), so I had to stay overnight and get a flight out the next morning. So it took me like 28 hours to get home from when I got off the ship. SO LAME!!

    That's my story. :)

  16. UGG that is horrible. I have been pretty lucky and just had minimal delays but I have had my doozie of seat mates...

    One guy that sat next to me on a flight to Florida was HUGE. I mean I really didn't think both of us were going to fit but we did. Snacks we passed out. I took a bite of my cookie and didn't like it so I put it back down on my tray and closed my eyes for a nap. About 15 mins later I feel this guy poking my arm so I open my eyes and give him this look like are you kidding me... He says "hey the flight attendants are coming around to pick up trash. You didn't finish your cookie. Do you want it?" I say "no." Wondering why this guy cares if I eat my cookie. So he then proceeds to pick up my cookie off my tray and EAT IT!!! I kid you not he ate my half eaten cookie and acted like it was totally normal. GROSS!!!!

    My other awesome seat mate was a Russian camera man who worked for the United Nations. Interesting you would think...Well he had his gigantic camera with him and it would not fit overhead so he stuck it under the seat and it was sticking out. The Flight attendant came by and told him this would not work b/c it was blocking my walkway in case of an emergency and that he was going to have to check the camera. He flipped out. Screaming at the woman that this was a $15,000 camera and he was NOT checking it. He said he would pick me up and carrying me if there was an emergency so that I would not trip over the camera in case of evacuation. Very nice of him to say he would carry me to safety but odd and uncomfortable at the same time. They told him he could not carry me out of the plane and that there was nothing to do but check it. More screaming until finally they found a place in the front for his damn camera. We are now flying to NYC and he turns to me and pulls out a flask and says hey you want a sip?....
    DEAR GOD get me off this flight and away from the crazy now drunk Russian!

  17. Wow. Sucks. The return flight back from our honeymoon was delayed 9 hours, so believe you me, I feel your pain. Glad you made it home safe and sound. The pics are great, as usual (....yawn). Love the blurry one too, and lurrrve the flower bouquet. Gorgeous.

  18. ha! As I started to read your post, I thought, "Hey, I was in Lambert Sunday too!" I was on the airtran flight delayed from Atlanta (yeah, spent an hour and a half on the tarmac--no a/c--next to a very chatty man and right in front of some women that must have been related to the one you saw, who told me, the flight attendants and everyone within earshot that their seats--last row--were UNACCEPTABLE! Sigh). Bet I passed you on the concourse ;-)

    Glad you made it home safely!

  19. Ugh, what a pain!

    I travel often enough that it's pretty much GUARANTEED that SOMETHING will happen. I've been stranded and overnighted in so many airports it's not even funny. I always travel with a toothbrush and at least some clean undies in my carryon at all times now. People think it's weird, but I've totally learned my lesson. Sorry you had to deal with it!

    On the bright side, the shower looks awesome!


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