Funny Hawaii Travel Story
Oh the Memories!
This story takes place 20 years ago when I was living in Southern California. I was in a pretty horrible car accident when I was 19 and still living in Colorado. I moved to Cali when I was 21 and it was another year and a half before the entire mess was settled and my surgeries were all completed. I promised my mom a trip to Hawaii when the whole mess finished if my settlement exceeded a certain amount of money because she had been supportive throughout. The settlement far exceeded the amount I mentioned and so we planned a trip for the following year in September (our favorite time of year to go ~ right after all the summer vacationers left).
She flew out to Orange County and stayed with we me overnight before leaving early the next morning for best friend's parents place in Los Angeles. Her dad worked for one of the airlines so they lived (and still do) next to the airport, so I was keeping my car with them while we were gone. Everything is going great, we get to Nik's folks house, have some tea & coffee and then head over to the airport. We check in, find our gate, check in again and we sit. Well start getting bored and a touch hungry so we see Dunkin' Donuts right next to the gate. Perfect! We go over and get donuts then sit right by the window to watch the planes. Perfect way to pass fifteen minutes until it's time to board the plane.
We're chatting about our trip, eating donuts (Mom's having more coffee since it's some ridiculous hour of the morning for her) and we are watching them load luggage onto the plane. "Wow, look, that's our luggage," my mom says!
"No way!" I exclaim. And sure enough, that's our luggage being tossed into the airplane. It's easy to see because we always travel with brightly colored luggage so it's easy to find come luggage claim time. We are thrilled, for some unknown reason, to see our luggage thrown into the cargo hold. Maybe we're just happy it's actually on the plane. At some point you would think we might ask ourselves, "Do you think it's time we should be getting on the plane with our luggage?" It's not like we'd never gone anywhere before. Both of us were experienced fliers and had even been to Hawaii when I was sixteen. Finally, when they were finished loading the luggage, I mentioned that I hadn't heard our gate called and maybe I'd better check.
I walked around this tiny three foot wall we were hidden behind to view the gate and it was basically empty, except for the gate clerks who were going through the boarding ticket stubs. Can you say panic? I yelled for my mom who about flipped her lid when were told our seats had been given away already, and the plane was about to pull away from the gate. My mom practically tried to break the door down before I told her I'd handle it. Anyone who is frightened of me is terrified of my mother.
Something to get you around!
As Luck Would Have It
Luckily I'd booked everything through American Express and their travel agency so I went down to the main American Airlines ticket office, changed the tickets and called and they fixed the hotels and connecting flights. The hardest thing was calming my mom down because we had to spend about 6-8 hours in Los Angeles. I knew some things to do though and Nik's folks were still home so they came and got us (and laughed at us) and I got my car and we did some stuff in L.A.
When we went back to the airport we sat AT THE GATE and didn't move because she was so paranoid. To this day it's the funniest story, especially if you know my mom and how she likes to tear things apart "brick by brick." Los Angeles is lucky they still have an airport. I'm lucky I make the best of any situation. Our luggage was held at the airport and easy to spot in the locked office (since it was nice and bright) and we had a wonderful trip with upgraded hotels on Hawaii and Kauai plus we had a gorgeous room on Oahu the first night we arrived. We left 4 days before Hurricane Iniki arrived, so lucky again. You know, I don't believe in luck, because really if I did, mine would be horrible for things like dumb luck and lottery tickets, but in life, luck is how you look at things. You can be upset for what you don't have or grateful for what you do have. You can be mad that you were dumb enough to sit at Dunkin Donuts and watch your luggage make a plane to Hawaii that you missed or happy that you made the next plane and were lucky enough to go in the first place. I choose the latter and to laugh at the mishaps down the road. We still get a laugh out of this one and so does everyone else we tell.
All's well that ends well and in the end, all was well!