Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Mishaps & Endorsements

I guess no Christmas travel is complete without its adventures, even if is a non-Christmas-early-December-attempt-to-avoid-travel-excitement trip.

Well to be honest, we (and by that I mean Aaron) only had one, pretty major, travel mishap. The other mishaps happened after we (and by that I mean I) got home. But I am going to use this forum to get sympathy for them as well. :)

Mishap #1: Aaron vs. Airport security - When Aaron got to work last Thursday and told a co-worker that he had lost his license she asked "What did you do?" She apparently was a bit scarred from being a passenger while he was driving them around Philadelphia on a business trip. He clarified that he had lost, as in "misplaced" it - not lost as in "had it suspended".

The timing of this was rather unfortunate. You see, Aaron returned to MA from ID a few days before I did via the 4:10 am shuttle to the SLC airport. At 8:45 am I get a call from him with the question "Have you seen my driver's license?" I insta-panic for a second before I find out he was already through security with an hour to spare before his flight.

However getting through security involved the following:

  • A phone interview between some unseen security guy and Aaron, through the ticket counter guy. Various semi-random questions were asked that would come up on a quick background check and then what we assume was confirmation by the ticket agent that Aaron fit the description on his drivers liscense photo...which we assume is available to high level airport security via the inter-web.
  • Removing an extra 7 lbs of luggage from his overweight suitcase (which he shoved in his carryon).

  • A rigorous security screening which triggered a positive for nitroglycerin (2nd time this has happened to us...anyone with insight why?) and resulted in an even more up close and personal search of his person (clothes stayed on in case you I did. I believe the phrase Aaron used to describe it was "just shy of invasive").

Moral of the story - it isn't the end of the world to show up at the airport without ID, but it is definitely better to check for your drivers license before you leave the house.

Non-mishap #1: Emily vs. travel with a toddler - Luckily Aaron was our weathervane for bad travel luck on this trip and despite my extreme anxiety about weather conditions and behavior (of both Tessa and I) our trip home was a breeze.

Related Endorsement #1: This was the first time we flew Southwest and I am a big fan because -
A) We got a screaming deal.
B) you can reschedule your tickets if you want (which makes total sense to me and I think other airlines are real ninnies for being so strict with their policies).
C) The flight crew attempts to be humorous.
D) the seats are unassigned and parents with children under 4 get to board very near the beginning of the group.

We had to use a smaller airport, Manchester, NH, which was only slightly farther away than Logan Airport but so much friendlier. And parking was even cheaper than we'd thought so perhaps next time we'll just suck it up and pay for parking (shocking) - Thanks to the Browns for letting us park our car at their house!

Related Endorsement #2: Southwest uses the Chicago Midway airport and in this airport they have a restaurant called the Potbelly Sandwich Works. I was drawn in by the reasonable prices of their sandwiches (even cheaper then I'd expect to pay in the "non-airport" world) and then as an added bonus because I had a baby with me an employee took my order and I didn't have to wait in line. I got teary-eyed at this. Seriously.

Mishap #2: Aaron vs. writing a check - First thing in the morning, after returning to "real life" at home I get a phone call from our local bank branch.

Turns out our mortgage check wasn't going to clear without over drawing our account by $1000+. Once again insta-panic...but for longer than a moment. The bank manager said if we could transfer the money into the account he would process the check after we did that...but what money would I transfer...and HOW did this happen? I had just gotten paid before we left, we didn't spend much money on the trip, and Aaron had just gotten paid that past Friday.

I asked the bank manager (whose name is Chad) if I could call him back...I checked the balance via the 800-number and we had more than enough to cover the check...what the...? I called Aaron...he hadn't written any big checks (I'll admit, I was a bit disappointed to find out I wasn't getting a mink shoal for Christmas)...there really must have been a mistake. So I call the bank back (after confirming the phone number Chad gave me was legit and I wasn't being scammed...I am so cynical), told Chad I was really confused, explained why, and somehow in the course of the conversation realized that, although Aaron had assured me that he "could handle writing a check" he had in fact written one from my "business account" which, sadly has no money in it, instead of from our joint account. WHAT A RELIEF...a quick transfer of funds and problem solved.

Related Endorsement #3: Sovereign Bank, Essex St. Salem Branch & Chad. True, we have unknowingly bounced a check (or two) with no phone call - but I was sooooo incredibly relieved that he called to solve this issue. They actually did a similar thing a few years ago when a huge check had initially cleared but 7 smaller checks didn't. Without a phone call they swapped the order and saved us $231 in over draft fees. AND when we refinanced our home equity loan the same week Tessa was born the manager at that time (Rhonda, I believe) was incredibly helpful. And of course it also helps that they haven't collapsed.

Mishap #3: Emily vs. spoiled toddler - While we were in Idaho, in unfamiliar surroundings I had to rock Tessa to sleep each night in order to have any success putting her to bed. So of course she was pretty mad that I just plopped her in her crib when we got mad that she made herself vomit. Yeah...that was Tuesday night, Wednesday night Daddy was on duty (and he rocked her to sleep), so I am very anxious to see how Thursday night goes...

...just an update - I'm finishing this post during Thursday nap time and she went to sleep as she usually does (sans vomitting)...fingers crossed for tonight.

Mishap #4: Emily vs. Target parking lot - Picture me happily doing some Christmas shopping. Then picture me standing in the freezing cold drizzle trying to decide if I should have my car towed because it won't start or if I should just call a friend to get a ride home and let Aaron deal with it later that night. Don't worry, it all finally ended well when some amazing, wonderful, fabulous friends came by and managed to jump start our very very very dead battery. This was after a previous, unsuccessful attempt by a kind stranger who was parked in front of me. I was pretty much resolved that there would be a towing bill and a new alternator in my future...but that was not to be. After that I had some quality time with a box of chocolates...and I don't feel guilty at all.

Related Endorsement #4: Dusty and Crystal Pyne - who are amazing and wonderful (and have a really cute daughter). I am so grateful that in additon to a link to their blog I'm going to go ahead and link to the Chik-fil-a in the Northshore Mall. They own it, we love it - and if you order right it is very healthy. I do not - I order the chicken nuggets & waffle fries, which I coat in Ranch dressing, and a milk shake to top it off.


Aaron said...

What?! no pictures? Well I'm upset, I wish the airport guys could've taken a couple of shots while I was up against the wall spreading them. You'll have to do a second wave post of all the family Christmas pictures you took.

Sweet Em said...

I thought this post was long enough. Trust me, more is to come.

Jamie said...

I think it's funny that the first 2 people to comment on your blog is the two of you! Hee hee. Sounds like you're having some crazy luck. They cancelled school today because of all the snow we got last night. I won't tell you how much because I'm sure you'd just laugh and say, "That's not snow!" I'll just say it was multiple inches. :)

Sweet Em said...

We've got to communicate somehow... ;)

Tara said...

Some of these companies should pay you for your endorsements. . .thanks for the funny stories, I've dealt with the vomiting-because-I'm-so-mad thing a time or two, not fun but luckily, not fun for them either. And yes, I did make peanut butter things this year and then I remembered why it's been two or three years since I've made them--too bad you aren't here to eat some! ;0(

Ashley said...

It was good to see you and your little cutie. What a, what's the word,... adventure... you guys had. Thanks for the stories, they were very entertaining!

the Petterson Family said...

The keyword is that the Southwest crew "attempts" to be humorous. Our barely-speaks-English-flight attendant's job of explaining the emergency procedures was quite hilarious, however, I don't think ANYONE on that flight would have known WHAT we were supposed to do if there really was an emergency. I really hope that it was no ones first time flying, they were probably FREAKING OUT!! (Did she say to "po da re tag?" before or after you get out of the plane?!?) In the meantime, I did enjoy the second attendants Merry Christmas Song Version of "thanks for flying southwest"

MindySue said...

Mishap #1 - HAHAHAHA. I think that is hysterical. "just shy of invasive". Curt knows why your suitcase triggered nitroglycerin...and he told me...but i don't remember. ask him on IM next time. My suitcase triggered "explosives" one time in the IF airport. Nothing like a whole bunch of guys riffling through your UNDERWEAR and tampons to really get you off to a good flight.
Potbelly endorsement- I LOVE that they helped you because you had a baby. So many times people just sit there while you are struggling to manage a stroller and carry boxes to your car, etc. It's nice to know there are people who see someone having a difficulty..and actually help out.
Endorsement #3 - Wow, your bank sounds fabulous. Mine would just hose me w/ overdrafts. And yes, it helps that they haven't gone under.

Maria said...

What a funny post! :) I like how you laid everything out in such an orderly fashion!

Thank goodnes you're all three home, safe, and sans any major bank fees. (I really think it's better when just one person takes care of all the bills/check writing. It's just like medicating children, it's bound to go terribly wrong otherwise!!)