I have been going non-stop since yesterday morning. Well, that’s not exactly true. It’s been more like go, go, stop, wait, go, go, stop, wait . . .
Yesterday morning I woke up in rainy Minneapolis. We’ve only had one sunny day since we’ve been in Minnesota. Since we had a late flight, we had most of a day to fill but we really couldn’t go too far. So even though we hate malls and shopping, we decided to go to the Mall of America. After all, when you tell people you’ve spent time in Minneapolis, that’s the first thing they ask you – “Did you go to the Mall of America?” I hate letting people down.
I also hate fibromyalgia flare-ups. So I agreed to go to the mall with one major stipulation: my husband had to push me around in a wheel chair. He agreed. I knew if I walked around that mall, I would be out of commission for days. And I have too much going on this week to be out of it. It was a wise choice! That place is huge. It has an amusement park (albeit a small one) in the middle of the four story mall. The stores range from a Dollar Tree to designer stores to Sears. But, when all is said and done, it’s still a mall. If you’re into shopping and love malls, you’ll love this place. If you’re not, then like me, one quick ride through will be enough.
They did have one thing I liked. We had lunch at the Twin City Grill restaurant. The food was really good and the service was even better. Food served from the “proper side” and plates removed from the “proper side.” Our plane was scheduled to take off about 6:30 PM, so we were having our main meal of the day. It was relaxed and pleasant in the middle of the biggest mall in the country.
We brought back the rental car and checked in to the airport about 4:30. We figured that would give us more than enough time to check our luggage, get through security and get to our gate. Baggage check was easy. Security – well, the line moved quickly enough. But they change the rules all the time and just when you think you’ve got it down, you find out you’re wrong. We had the 1 qt zippered plastic bag with what we thought were all our liquids, under 3 oz each – the hand lotion, the inhaler, the Epi-pen, etc. Unfortunately, my husband hadn’t thought about his 8 oz cranberry preserves being “liquid” when he packed the sealed jar. So he had to toss the preserves or go back to check the bag. This carry-on bag holds my CPAP machine, the gizmo that keeps me breathing when I sleep. I can’t take the chance that it will be damaged by being tossed around in the checked baggage or lost – I need to have it with me and intact so I can sleep when I get home. So he tossed the preserves but boy, was he peeved. Then they came up with another new rule. Now they want you to remove the CPAP machine from the suitcase and put it in a plastic bucket separately, like you do with a laptop computer and its case. Only they don’t tell you that until you get to the x-ray machine! When we traveled just a couple of months earlier, we weren’t required to do that. I already pack the mask and water reservoir in separate plastic bags so they can paw through it without my getting their germs on items that go on my face and into my respiratory system. Now I have to take out the machine in the middle of the airport and hope they don’t bounce it along the belt as they stop and start it to check other things, like shoes.
It really is getting ridiculous! I’m a fat, aging woman who wants nothing more than to be able to breathe when I sleep, have my Epi-pen if I encounter a wayward peanut and not have to try to tie my shoes in front of everyone in the airport (no, I can’t wear loafers – I tried, but between the weight and fibromyalgia, they don’t offer enough support – I need athletic shoes).
We finally got to our gate and sat down to wait for boarding time. I know they don’t make airport terminal seating intentionally uncomfortable, but with the fibro, there is no chair that’s comfortable for a long time. We sat right in front of the gate so that we would be able to “pre-board” – that gives the slow fat lady time to get to her seat without being run down by the more able bodied. We flew Northwest Airlines this trip and I swear, I did not see one pleasant gate agent. Pleasantness and smiles are free, right? I guess they don’t get paid enough to smile.
When the plane that should have been ours arrived at the gate from LaGuardia in NY, the passengers all disembarked with the exception of one handicapped gentleman, who had to wait over half an hour for assistance to get into his electric wheelchair, which had been brought up promptly by the baggage handler. The skycap was really kind to the young man, unlike the gate agent, whom we overheard saying, “There’s no one here waiting for him. What are we supposed to do?” with enough sarcasm that it really made me angry. I hate it when people mistake physical disability for stupidity! Talk about someone who needed sensitivity training!
This gate agent, the one who never smiled, kept giving people the brush off instead of information. She was like Sgt Schultz in the old sitcom … I know nothing … The crew for our flight showed up, went down to the plane and came back up. That plane wasn’t going anywhere – it was broken. That’s the word they used – broken. How reassuring. They took off to eat instead. After a while, we were informed (by the message board, not the gate agent) that our flight would be delayed while we waited for another plane to come in for us. So we moved to the new gate, which gratefully was on the same concourse. And we waited. The incoming plane was due in at 6:10 PM and they initially told us we would be departing at 6:17 PM. Anyone who has ever flown before could tell you there is no way the plane could arrive, all passengers be cleared out, the plane fueled up and cleaned out, stocked with supplies and new passengers boarded in 17 minutes.
So we watched the time change … and change … and change. 6:17 . . . 6:25 . . . 6:43 . . . 6: 48 . . . 6:58 . . . 7:10 . . . 7:17 . . . 7:25. We finally boarded and took off. Talk about exhausted! I find I get more tired sitting around like that than I do with physical activity. By the time we got to Hartford and got our baggage, with the time change, it was after 11 PM. Then we had to get the car from the parking garage and drive a little over an hour to get home. It was actually today when we got home.
It felt good to sleep in my own bed. This morning I unpacked, went through a week’s worth of mail, got an assortment of small tasks done and started the first of 4 loads of laundry. Nothing like coming home from vacation to make you ready for the next one! I downloaded my photos and started working on editing them. I still have a long way to go, since I also had all the pictures from the wedding we went to in August.
My son agreed to go to bingo with his grandparents on his day off (he is an incredible good sport about things like that), so all of a sudden there was just going to be 2 of us for supper – and I didn’t feel like cooking. So I called my husband at work and asked him to bring home Chinese instead.
After supper, I finally got to relax a bit. I didn’t get to see the Dancing with the Stars competition show again this week – something about being on a plane above Green Bay at the time, I think. I did get to see the recap and elimination on the Results show tonight. There were some incredible performances that I missed. Floyd and Karina were eliminated. Sabrina and Mark scored a perfect 30 last night, the first one of this season. I suspect Mark and Kym will be the next ones to go.
I should get to bed. I was going to say that I have an appointment with the “shrink” at the weight loss center tomorrow, part of the “discernment” process regarding possible surgery, but that wouldn’t be true. Because it’s after midnight – so that appointment is today! I am going to go get some sleep, so I can wake up in time to get to the appointment. It wouldn’t do to keep the “shrink” waiting! Good night!!