Monday, February 19, 2007
So Long, Vegas!
Our last day in Vegas was just as worrisome as our first. Both our flights left around the same time, but through different airlines. We headed out 2 hours before our flights were scheduled to leave. We dropped the car off at Alamo first, then took the shuttle to the airport. My stop at the Southwest terminal was first. The line for baggage check-in was long, but that was to be expected. So I lugged my 2 bags to the back of the line. About 2 minutes later, Perry called and informed me the Southwest line was much longer than it appeared. It was nearly 3 times the length of the terminal and I was at the very back. Just as she informed of this, 2 security officers walked by to inform us the average wait was 5 hours. That meant I was not going to make my flight. If I had had just a carry-on I would have made the flight. Unfortunately, checking in one large duffel bag had me stuck in the middle of Erykah Badu song. "Bag lady, you gone miss your bus, you can't hurry up, cause you got to much stuff!" Then on top of the wait, the weather temperature dropped considerably. Our entire time in Vegas, the weather was really nice. But Monday it was cold and windy. When it began to rain, I cursed aloud. I was cold, hungry, and frustrated…a bad combination for traveling. Not to mention, the wait in line to check-in one bag was longer than the flight itself. A call to Southwest only further frustrated me because there were no more available flights until Tuesday, according to the representative. I would have to fly stand-bye. Of course, the thought of staying a day longer in Vegas and missing work, sent another couple of curse words into air. During my tirade, Perry called. When I told her my dilemma she suggested getting another rental and just driving back to LA. It didn't seem like a bad idea until I saw myself stuck in traffic on the 15 for long hours. But since I had already paid for the flight, flying back was what I was determined to do. So, quietly I had "Just a little talk with Jesus" then called Southwest back. Surprisingly, some flights had miraculously come available. So I booked a later flight. Right when the rep was about to give me the confirmation number, the call dropped. FUKC! Of course, when I called right back and a different rep told me again there were no flights available. As politely as I could, I explained to her that I was just on the phone with them literally a minute before and was going to be given a confirmation number when my cell lost reception. She informed me that flight was now gone and my only option was again to fly stand-bye. Before I began cursing at her, I ended the call. The option to drive back to LA was looking better. When I told Perry—who now was chilling at her gate—how I lost my chance to change my flight she said to call them back. I told her it wasn't going to change anything, but she insisted I call anyway. When I did, another Southwest rep informed me my later flight had actually been booked and that the confirmation number was indeed available. Now, why the last rep couldn't see that I don’t know, but thank God for small miracles. I was to fly out of Vegas at 5:05 pm.
The extra 2 hour wait in the cold was becoming a hot mess 'cause people were trying to get ahead of others. Airport security caught several of them and sent them back to the end of the line. I was so happy to finally get on the plane for a mere hour flight I could have cried. It was the end to a weekend marked with challenges from the very start. My first NBA All Star Weekend was not all I thought it would be, but I wasn't mad about it. For me, just to get out of LA and see and do something different was good. Although technically, what I saw in Vegas could have easily been witnessed standing on the corner of Slauson and Crenshaw. Still, sometimes you do things in life just for the experience. So fade to black and roll credits. This is the end of my NBA All Star Weekend in Vegas