“You’ll Never Make It’

I’ve never like being told that there’s something I can’t accomplish. After the fun in the Denver airport last Wednesday, I landed at the Las Vegas Casino/Mall/Airport. I thought about wasting a couple bucks at the slot machines, but it just was not to be… there was a “you can’t do it” moment waiting to be conquered.

When we landed in Terminal C (or maybe it was D), everyone departed the plane and I started looking for my next flight. Nowhere was my flight listed. I finally found a map that showed you where to find the tram to the other terminals and headed that direction. My spirits were high as I headed through this uncharted territory (remember… I’m always up for something new…). Things didn’t stay benign for long, though as I found the line for the 1 tram shuttling people back and forth. Some construction had the other line closed – so the tram wait took twice as long as normal.

No problem, though, I had plenty of time.

So I got out of the tram, and found another departures listing that had my flight listed. Of course it was all the way on the far end of Terminal B, so I started to think I better hurry. Problem was… more construction! Or maybe it was the same construction causing multiple issues, but the bottom line is – one single file line snaking through thousands of passengers and their luggage.

Still, I was optimistic. There was a clearing up ahead and I was sure I could shoot the gap and get out into the open. I made it, and began my mad dash past slot machines, security guards, and lots of old people flushing their children’s inheritance – only to be met by another line waiting to go through security. But I’ve already been through security… Too bad. The single file detour had taken us (without any choice of our own) outside the secure area so now everyone and their poodle had to go back through security. Yippee… my flight leaves soon – they just started boarding – I better hurry.

So I started to go through the line to security… but wait, “you have to have a boarding pass.”

“I just got off your plane, to get on your other plane, how could I not have a boarding pass? Here you go.”

“No, that’s your ticket, go to that line over there and get your boarding pass.”

I quickly moseyed (can one really mosey quickly?) over to the line and headed for the no-line computer check in. It won’t work. Since the ticket I bought ONLINE with my computer was mailed to me as a paper ticket (which I did not ask for), I could not use the no-line electonic check in. By the way, my suitcase is already on the plane. So I get in line. The line slows down. The line pretty much stops moving. Time does not. I have 10 minutes before the plane is supposed to leave.

I am nowhere near the front of the line, but I am near an off-duty airline employee – whom I ask for a little help. He sends me to another employee, who’s gettting paid at the moment to watch people stand in line. She sends me to another desk, who sends me on another flight.

“Is there any way I can get on this flight?”

“No. I just rebooked you on the one in a few hours.”

“No way at all???”

“You can try, but you still have to go through security. There’s no way.”

Flight is scheduled to leave in 5 minutes. So I sprint (did a lot of running in the Las Vegas airport/mall/casino) to security. Breathlessly ask the nice lady at the beginning of the queue (I always liked that word) if there was any way to get through security really fast because my flight leaves right now. She looked over at another guy standing nearby. He gives a nod and shuffles me over through first class security, where there is no line. Yay. So I get through security pretty quickly, despite a hold up with the guy behind me in line. When his bag had to go through the scanner with a little extra attention, my bag was still on the treadmill, dangling precipitously close to the rollers tuanting me… “you’re not gonna make it, you’re not gonna make it…”

Finally squelching the jeers of my backpack – I once again ran. Run Forrest Run! I got to the gate before they stopped boarding, squished past all the annoyed transports who knew I should have been to my cheap seat in the back of the bus BEFORE they got comfortable with their champagne and hot towels (just kidding – it was only like a 45 minute flight, so there was none of that), sat down next to the window….

And waited.

For about the next half hour, we went absolutely nowhere.

Finally took off, got here, and I’ve pretty much been in class ever since.

(Except a little time off that I filled by going to Rock Harbor, Mariners Church, Saddleback, and Mosaic – but I’ll leave those stories for another time!)

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