So the night before leaving I could not sleep of course. The anticipation was killing me but yet I felt numb. I sat up watching television and talking on the telephone until about 2 a.m., until I tell myself to finally go to sleep. I set the alarm clock on my cell phone for 4 a.m. as my flight was leaving at 6:30 and had arranged to meet my sx buddy at the airport at 5:30, being that we pre-checked in. Needless to say, my alarm never went off, I rolled over at 5 a.m. jumped out of bed in a panic, it would be me to over sleep after all of this time. I live approximately 30 minutes from the airport, and being that I'm all packed and ready to go I should be able to get out of the door in 15 minutes right....WRONG! My nerves finally hit me and guess who get a bad case of the bubble guts....um yeah me! After sitting on the toilet for far too long I wake my 19 yro up and we go racing across I20 praying to God I don't get pulled over. I jump out of the car and run to the nearest Kiosk to get my boarding pass, its 5:50 a.m. I know I'm pushing it but I can still make it right?....wrong. The attendant at the kiosk tells me I have to get in line to see a representative at the desk. *sigh* Of course it would be these two slow older ladies gently sipping their coffee savoring the flavor as they give each customer their undivided attention despite the fact that the line is growing and flights are departing. When I finally get to the desk I am told that I would not be allowed to depart because bags have to be checked in at least 45 minutes prior to flights and would have to be placed on standby for the remainder of my trip. The next flight would be leaving in an hour and 55 minutes, and then there would be a 3 hour lay over for the next flight after that, I only had a 50 minute layover on my current itinerary so you know I was pissed right. Needless to say with out any choice, but a real nasty attitude, I changed my itinerary accordingly. I call my sx buddy who had been texting me crazy to inform her of my mistake and told her to proceed on and I would meet her in DR.
Now those who truly know me know the one thing I hate about traveling is going thru TSA I HATE TSA. So I get to the 1st post and there's this handsome TSA agent, normally I would've flirted a bit, but he was the enemy and I was already annoyed so I looked right past him. I guess I caught the eye of another TSA agent because he kindly made his way over, must've noticed the annoyance in my face and asked me if I was okay. I snickered I would be it I could get through this line faster. It was clear I had an attitude so they didn't bother any further. Although as I (slowly) proceeded through the line it was evident I was being watched. I finally arrive at the conveyor belt put my stuff through the machine of course it stops, the TSA agent stares at his screen real closely and then removes my bag and places it on the other side. An older West Indian woman comes along and asks who's bag it is and takes me off to the side to search my bag. Now I'm super annoyed because my bag is packed precisely and now I'm going to have to deal with trying to get my stuff back the way I had it. She opens my bag and her eyes brighten up as she looks at it, I'm looking down at my bad thinking what the fuck are you looking at lord please don't let them start no shit. And then she says "I've never seen a bag packed so neatly, everything is nicely placed". Lady are you serious, you over there admiring how I packed my friggen bag!!! Let's get this going already. So she gently shifts through my stuff trying not to disturb anything, thank god. Only to discover that the culprit was my baby wipes *sigh*. So so goes, oh this is it you can go. Finally, as I sit and try to put my stuff back together (the little that was out of place). I look up to notice the handsome officer walking past me, we catch eye contact for a minute and he winks. Now once again, normally I would've been flattered, but today all I could think was "if you though I was so damn cute you should've given me VIP access through this damn line!"
So 7:55 arrives and I start off great, guess who was selected to get on the flight, I was number 3 of the 3 open seats. YAY!!! okay so I'm a few hours behind but things are turning around.....yeah right. So everything is going smoothly until we arrive in Miami, now this is supposed to be an hour and a half flight and I notice its been two hours and it doesn't look like we're anywhere near landing. Finally the Pilot gets on the overhead and informs us that there is a storm in Miami that we have been flying over it waiting for it to clear but are running out of gas and will have to re-route to Ft. Lauderdale to gas up and return to Miami when the storm passes *sigh* I knew things were too good to be true.
We get to Ft. Lauderdale and there's a sea of airplanes so yup we sit on the tarmac for an hour just waiting. In the mean time I text my sx buddy to inform her of what's going on and she replies telling me that they lost her luggage, *slaps forehead* the plot just keeps getting thicker and thicker. Finally we get the okay to return to Miami, the Captain assures us it will only take another 30 minutes to get us there, which he was correct he got us there in 30 minutes, however the plane that was at the gate prior to us apparently was having mechanical issues. Yep, so there's another hour of just sitting on the tarmac. Now anyone else would've looked at this as a sign not to go, but not me, this is just the story of my life, nothing ever comes easy, EVER!!! My life is just set up to have to battle all kinds of obstacles just to accomplish the simplest things. We are finally exiting the plan, but guess what the next flight leaves in 20 minutes, so what are my chances my next flight departs at the next gate or a few gates down, ABSOULTELY ZERO!!! I depart my flight and began looking for a notification board, of course there's none in my immediate area, after I walk down the corridor for what seems like forever I get to the board to find that my flight is departing from a gate on the other side of the airport.
Now this is not going any where near how I imagined it. Here I am in my pretty long flowing A-line sun dress, no bra, and bling sandals. I imagined myself on a nice relaxing flight to a tropical island on my way to returning a better me. But no time to dwell on that. I hike my dress up and knot it on the side, grip my bad firmly to my shoulder and I take off. Mind you earlier they asked me to check in my carry on luggage which I was reluctant to do, at that very moment I was glad I went against my original judgment because really didn't need the extra baggage. So here I am flying through the airport my 38DDD breast flying everywhere and me trying to hit it in these dainty sandals as if I were wearing a pair of Nike's. And of course when you're trying to get some where, everyone wants to move like snails. Finally all of the working out and weight loss I've been trying to accomplish the past few months has really been worth it cause I actually had some speed and I wasn't tired exhausted or out of breath. With approx. 10 minutes to spare, and stinging feet *note* those sandals are not made for running* I make it to the gate as they are boarding. I go immediately to the desk and told her I was to check in with her, and thank God for the few people who do their jobs, she looked at me and said "Williams?, I've been calling you, here's your boarding pass" and with a smile at that "whew" and with a returned smile I replied "thank you so much".
Thankfully, I was able to text my sx buddy who I'm sure was pissed with me that I would be there shortly.
My plane to Santo Domingo was a damn bus, I haven't seen a plane that large since pre 911. No wonder the flights to DR were so spread out, cause they drop off a thousand people with each flight. After such a long day I decided to try and relax, I wrap myself up in the blankie and get comfortable and try my best to fall asleep but nope it wasn't happening, although it wasn't going the way I planned I was almost in DR. I layed there and tried to relax as much as possible because my life was about to change.
I arrived in DR and tried to remember all the instructions I was given by Lesley as well as the advice I read on RS. I had my $10 bill USD handy for my visitor's pass, which is basically a tax just for coming to DR. I walked down the corridor following the signs to "immigracion", and don't worry if you get a little confused its obvious to the staff that you are and they will point you (and I mean that literally because chances are they don't speak English) in the right direction. I arrive to the area where you can purchase your visitors pass and just as I was walking up there was some sort of large group who arrived at the window prior to me, then I noticed 2 kiosk on the side and decided to use those, and within a minute I had my pass and was free to proceed. I finally get to baggage claim, and this is were I realized I have officially developed Adult A.D.D. DR's airport is really small, so as I read the board I realized that they had THREE different flights of luggage being dispensed from the same conveyor belt. I couldn't help but think no wonder they lost my friend's luggage, I know there is no type of organization at all down there. It took approximately 30-45 minutes before my bag came across the belt. My transition through Customs to get my 1st stamp went fairly smoothly. Nothing like the armed officers with dogs who have you lined up waiting to be sniffed like I imagined lol. I continued down the last corridor trying to remember what Lesly told me. I go through the 1st set of double doors and as it opened I was overwhelmingly surprised, there was a sea of people waiting for their loved ones, but as Lesly said I continued past them down the ramp and looked for a gentleman holding a sign with my name on it. I was praying he was there because my cell was officially dead, but I didn't have to look far there was my name in big bold black print and this 6'1" man standing there......I have officially arrived!!
I walk up to him and tell him my name, he looks at the sign with my name balls it up but is left with one. He tells me that he's waiting for someone else who was on the same flight, and asked me to have a seat we will have to wait. Hungry and with a full bladder I had no problems with it, I told him I was going to the bathroom and would grab something to eat. Thank goodness I already I had my pesos, that was one less thing I had to worry about. So I proceed to the restroom and then stop at a stand a grab me a empananda, which by the way was the best. However, we sat there for an hour. Naper (the driver) would apologize for the wait but was resilient on not leaving until he found the other girl. I watched him make and receive calls back and forth and it was apparent he was talking to Dr. Almonte's office, possibly Lesley, trying to figure out the location of the missing girl. Although I was annoyed because I was ready to go, it brought me comfort that he was so concerned and determined to wait for her, that should something go wrong he wasn't going to leave us alone or stranded. After about an hour he finally gets a phone call that she missed her flight so we could go.