Off to Italy! – Pittsburgh International Airport

Let’s continue along on this journey to Italy…….

Monday, March 1, 2010 – 11:30 a.m.

Pleskin (a friend of Chris’) dropped us off at the airport in Pittsburgh to catch our first leg of the trip — a short 30 minute flight to Dulles Airport in Washington, D.C. Nothing could go wrong at this point, right? We did a double and triple check to make sure that we had everything before leaving, so I felt more calm now than I had felt in the past two days.

“Should we check in at the kiosk?” I thought that was a fairly intelligent question coming from me. Chris looked at me with that, “You’ve got to be kidding!” look. I hate that because I feel like a mom asking her kid what to do. Kids are always supposed to ask their parents what to do! “No, we’re going to the ticket counter because we have bags to check in, remember?” Whatever. I guess he’s the man in charge at this point. I’m just happy that I’m on my way to Italy, and I’ll be even happier when I get that boarding pass in my hands!!!

Off to wait in the line……I can still feel how hard my heart was pounding at that moment. Would I get to show my passport now? A passport!!! I still couldn’t believe it. “Step up to the counter, please. Where are you heading, and how many bags do you have to check? May I see your passports?” It’s REAL!!!!!

“Place your driver’s license into the kiosk and it will print out your boarding passes, sir.” No problem with that. Chris slid that driver’s license of his right into the slot, and then it happened. ERROR! ERROR! ERROR! Umm……..please don’t tell me we didn’t really get booked. No….nothing can go wrong at this point! There is absolutely nothing that is going to go wrong!

“Sir, let’s try again. For some reason this is not reading your information. Where are you headed? Rome? What is the time of your flight?”

With that, a slow smile (kind of the “Hey dorks. You gotta be kidding me. You’re flying to Rome?” type of look) came over the face of the person behind the counter. “You have made a slight mistake, sir. You’ve booked your flight with a different airline. We’d love to have you fly with us, but……not this time. Please take your baggage and clear the way for those who are boarding with our airline. You need to find your airline which is located on the opposite side and at the far end of this floor.”

Now who was the one who was going to be flustered? I loved it!!!! It wasn’t me who made this mix-up happen. It was Chris! But, did he care? Heck no! He stepped out of line, sat down his luggage in the middle of the ticket area, and said, “It’s hot in this place and I forgot to put on my deodorant this morning. I need to find that and get smelling pretty before we leave for Italy.”

I thought I was hearing wrong. I really, really thought I was hearing wrong! But that isn’t the end. Much to my surprise, and much to the surprise of all of the people now staring, Chris dug through his stuff, found his deodorant stick, pulled up his shirt and began smearing his armpits as everyone stood and watched. Yep, that’s the one who is going to take care of me in a foreign country. He’s the one who is in charge and he began by taking us to the wrong airline. He’s the one who is making us late because he’s finishing his shower in the middle of the airport! He’s the one who is soon going to cause me to have a mini breakdown!

After that little fiasco, we did indeed get our boarding passes, I got to flash my passport not once, but twice, and then the countdown for the first flight began. It was 1:30 p.m., and we were to leave for Dulles at 2:00 p.m.. You guessed it! The plane was delayed! Does Chris care? Are you kidding me? While I clutched onto my boarding pass and hung onto the desk at the gate where we were to board, he went off exploring the airport. I knew at that moment that this trip was NOT going to be an easy one!

Note to self: Keep reminding yourself that kids really don’t want to make you go crazy. They just want you to have a sense of humor even if it means you must first have a mental breakdown in order to get the sense of humor!

Finally, finally…….the announcement came, “All those boarding at Gate 9 for Dulles Airport may now board the plane.” Those words will never be forgotten. And…… neither will the deodorant exhibit in the middle of the airport be forgotton.

Just as an aside, for those of you who think that I’m fibbing, exaggerating, or just plain telling a lie….I’m NOT! My son, the one sporting that strange looking Rat Tail and that under-the-pants fanny belt (that he wore on the outside of his pants) did every one of those things, and in his mind it was all NORMAL!!!!

Stay tuned for the next stop…..Dulles Airport. There are more surprises awaiting!

Clara Hinton – aka “Bella”

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