On May 17th and 18th I had the opportunity, with my friend Michelle, to attend Bloggy Boot Camp in Charlotte. I wasn’t really sure what to expect. As I’m fairly new to blogging I’m still trying to figure out the basics, I kept wondering: was I going to be in over my head? Was I going to look like a beginner? The only thing I knew for sure was that I was going to have to set aside all my insecurities and make the most of this opportunity. I’ve got so much to say about the content and the value of the event I’m going to have several posts about it. But this isn’t one of those posts, this one is about the event I’m going to call “getting to Bloggy Boot Camp.”
Our trip began, or was supposed to begin, with a drive at 1PM from Connecticut to JFK to catch our flight. Michelle had a meeting so our departure got pushed to 1:30-1:45. I run out the door about 1:48 to pick her up, get halfway there and realize I forgot to grab my boarding pass off the printer. Turning around as quickly as possible, I race up the driveway and sprint into the house reaching my printer only to find the “out of paper” symbol blinking. I jam a stack of paper into it and wait. And wait. My printer, at this point can’t stop searching for my document. After about 4 minutes I decide I have to cut my losses figuring Michelle could print it from her house.
But I forgot to call her and ask her.
So after squealing up the road to her house, I hop out and ask, “Can you print my boarding pass, my printer wouldn’t do it.” She’s literally just shut down and packed her Mac. Now it’s about 1:58, our flight is at 5PM and we have approximately two hours worth of driving to do, with no traffic. Considering it’s Friday afternoon – there’s pretty much no chance we aren’t hitting traffic. She gamely pulls out her laptop and starts it up.
May I just say, I am known for overloading my Mac, at any given time I easily have 15 safari pages open, 7 programs working and my email open as well. I’m used to maybe having to wait a few seconds for a page to refresh or a program to start. But I have never seen anything quite like Michelle’s computer. Seriously. At 2:08 we were about to call it quits because the start up was taking so long when we were finally able to get into one of her many email boxes and print my boarding pass. In the car by 2:11, we were on our way.
We hit some significant traffic. The Van Wyck was pretty much a parking lot and we inched our way to JFK. I drove while she tweeted. I tried not to let on how concerned I was about whether or not we were really going to make our flight, I said things like, “oh, it’s just 9 miles” and “we’re fine, this will clear up soon.” Michelle must have believed me because she wasn’t swearing at the other drivers like I was, and she wasn’t sweating through her shirt – oh yeah, I only had one shirt, the shirt I was wearing, for the cocktail party that night. I drove “dressed,” I was packing light, it was gonna be fine. Whatever. I will never again only have the shirt on my back for my travelling day. Ever. Baby needs a back-up and deodorant in my carry-on.
At 4:10, we were parking the car and unloading our bags only to start the sprint to security. I only asked one lazy sidewalk rider to move so we could run/walk by her. And I tried really hard not to give her that disgusted “are you kidding me? This isn’t a Disney ride” look as we passed. She wasn’t trying very hard to hide her disgusted “RUDE” look. Probably lucky for both of us that Michelle and I were moving so swiftly she didn’t hear all of my comments about people who take up both lanes, and ride along as if they are on a magic carpet, with no regard for people who actually have someplace to be in the next 5 minutes before their plane boards and they miss their flight.
Yes, I understand it’s my fault we were late. I get it. That doesn’t mean I can’t take it out on strangers when they can’t hear me.
When we get to the security line, we breathe a little easier, it’s 4:25 and the line isn’t too bad. Until we get to the security guy. The one that checks your license and asks you your name, you know that guy? You know how they alternate sides, taking one person from the right and one person from the left? Well, Michelle got to go through, and the person on my right got to go through and as the security guy is asking me my questions another guard closes down my lane pulling the band across the opening so I can’t go anywhere. To be fair, it wasn’t just me, they weren’t letting anyone across, but I look up to see Michelle standing in the line to scan her belongings asking me (mentally and by distorting her face – but I’m a good decipherer) “What’s going on? Why are you stuck over there? Why aren’t they letting you through?” Pretty much matching my out loud questions of, “What’s going on? Why are we stopped?” And the biggie, “My flight’s at 5, am I going to miss it?”
My security guy was pretty decent and nice. He said I probably wouldn’t miss my flight, not to worry. And that Michelle was going to be in line a while, too. The scanners were backed up and they needed to catch up a bit before anyone else could go through. The fact that I was with her and we were both very late held no sway. I was staying put.
Once they let me pass we were really seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. Literally. The light at the end of our tunnel was a little bit of daylight peeking through as the flight attendants were removing the connecting pieces from the plane that attached it to the walkway.
We saw, we ran, we made it on the plane. Barely. We were the last to board (surprised?) but we got a spot for Michelle’s suitcase, found our seats and we were off. We had a mere five minutes to spare before takeoff but it was all good. We had an easy flight, got to Charlotte early and started a whole new adventure…
Now I’m just curious, when the car rental receipt says your car will be waiting at the curb…do they mean the curb at the airport? Or are we supposed to take the shuttle to the curb at the lot? We should’ve just taken a taxi.
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