I took the day off Friday to combine with the holiday weekend to give me a four day mini-vacation, and I bought a ticket to fly down to see my family in South Carolina. I got up on the ass-end of the sunrise at 3:30 AM in order to drive to BWI for my 5:30 AM flight down to Charlotte. It was either fly out at an unreasonable hour or pay $200 more. You'd think it'd be difficult to put a price on a good night's sleep, but apparently it's less than $200.
The drive to the airport was like a small vacation in and of itself. There was almost no one on the roads, save the tractor trailers and the occasional insomniac. I got incredibly lucky on this trip. There were several factors that could have kept me from making my flight. First, when I got to the long-term parking lot, almost every single space was full. It took me a while to find one, and I was able to jump on the shuttle bus right after I parked the car. Any longer, and I would have missed it.
One wouldn't think there would be many people at the airport at 4:30 in the morning, but when I got there it was PACKED. The ticket line alone was at least 150 people deep, and I had less than an hour until my flight. The only reason I even got my ticket before the plane took off was that a lady came down the line and pulled people for my specific flight to the front of the line. Problem solved, right?
After I got my ticket, I went to get in the security checkpoint line. It didn't look too bad at first. It was just backed up down a side hallway. I walked to get at the back of the line, and as I turned the corner, I just about swore. Actually, I probably did swear. The hallway stretched back a good fifty yards where it turned yet another corner. As I overheard one man say, "Stop when you get to New Jersey." So I dejectedly walked down the hall and turned the corner, where the line stretched back out into the main hallway. I got in back, looked to my right, and saw where I had just been standing in the ticket line. I looked at my watch: thirty minutes to departure.
I feared the worst, but there was no reason to. If there is one thing that BWI is efficient at, it is the security checkpoint. They blew through some 300ish people in about twenty minutes. I've never seen such efficiency in an airport. It was all so... unnatural. I managed to get to the gate and walk directly on to the plane. It took off less than five minutes later.
I had a great time with my family this weekend. Mandy picked me up at the airport, and we had a great time catching up on the way home. We stopped at Burger King for some breakfast and then headed to the house.
Julie is doing phenomenally! She's made some great strides since I last saw her. She is able to feed herself and drink from a cup all by herself. She was barely eating solid food at Christmas. She's also able to pull herself up out of her wheelchair, and she's able to walk very slowly with help. Her main problem is balance issues and moving her right leg, but she was barely even standing when I last saw her. She's also started to talk a little bit again. Her speech is not enunciated very well, but I could understand almost everything she said. She was barely making noises in January.
We played a bunch of Uno, and we all went to see Shrek 3 and Pirates 3 at various points during the weekend. Both were enjoyable movies, but neither were as good as the ones preceding it. That's Hollywood for you, though; just milk a franchise for all it's worth.
The airport wasn't nearly as bad on Monday morning, but I guess most people wouldn't be travelling on the actual holiday. I made it through ticketing and security with tons of time to spare and was able to get a quick breakfast in the food court. The flight, however, was the most uncomfortable flight I have ever been on, and I've been on a LOT of planes. First off, this was a little commuter jet, with only two seats per side. That in and off itself is usually not so bad, but I got stuck beside this enormous (not fat, just HUGE) guy who was taking up half of my seat. I looked to see if I could switch seats, but the flight was full.
Also, to make matters worse, the flight attendants would keep hitting my left shoulder with their asses as they walked down the aisle. There was no reason that they should have been running into me, as they could easily turn to the side; I was not that far out in the aisle. I started to wonder if they were, in fact, doing it on purpose. It wouldn't have been so annoying if they were hot, but they weren't. I think the days of hot flight attendants are long gone. 'Tis a shame.
I spent the rest of Monday with C. We went to get some lunch at Chick-fil-a, and I took her to get some ice cream later in the afternoon. I spent the majority of the rest of the day driving all over the place to try and find the Starcraft Battlechest. For some reason, I just never got this game, even though it's immensely popular (some people make a living playing it in South Korea). Every single store I went to was sold out. They were most likely bought up after the recent announcement for Starcraft 2. I eventually found a copy yesterday at a Game Stop I didn't even know existed. I managed to score the last copy in the store and, most likely, the entire state. I just about laughed in the kid's face that tried to get me to pre-order Starcraft 2. Normally, this wouldn't bother me at all, but this game is still in the pre-alpha stage. They aren't even to the point where they are testing; Starcraft 2 is at least a year off. I pointed all of this out, and all the kid could say was, "well, that's true." Nice try, buddy.
Courtney did an awesome job cleaning and organizing the condo while I was down in SC. The place looks amazing, like we had just moved in. She repainted the bathroom and the vanity and totally reorganized all of the rooms. The place seems more spacious now. Courtney wins at life!
Well, I think that's all I have for now. My procedure has finished running here at work, so I'm also out of time. Also, I need to eat lunch.