My eyes flew open and I felt the blind panic of early morning disorientation. What time was it!? It was still dark out, but at this time of year, that didn’t give me any clues.
I flailed around until I found my phone in the dark. Two missed calls from my dutiful husband, who had promised to call me between 4 and 430am to make sure I was up for my flight (I set my alarm for 4 and wanted to leave by 430 or 5 at the latest). I was dumb and left my phone on vibrate, so here it was 4:55 and I was still in bed!
Luckily I had done 99% of my planning and packing the day before – so I grabbed my travel outfit, my phone, and my bags and rushed out the door, fingers crossed that I had everything I needed.
I flew down the empty highway, thinking back to the last time I drove this road. Coincidentally, I was also driving 75mph that day and praying as hard as I’ve ever prayed that I wouldn’t be late. My company had just spent tens of thousands of dollars on putting together a package of qualifications for a project that would collect millions of dollars in fees if we got the job. I literally ran in to submit the proposal with 1 minute to spare before the deadline – if I had gone slower, or gotten pulled over, or encountered traffic, we would have been disqualified. Thank God I made it in time, and we eventually got the project!
But maybe it’s just something about that stretch of highway – I always seem to be running late. I was much less stressed this time around… if I missed my flight it would cost me a few hundred dollars to get a new flight – not millions of dollars in revenue!
The security lines I normally use at the Baltimore Airport for Southwest/Airtran were well over 100+ people long – so I took a chance and looked for the third “secret” security line someone mentioned the last time I flew.
It’s not really a secret, but it is downstairs from the two main security gates. I was excited to see exactly one person between me and the ID checkers! I went through the whole process in less than 5 minutes (that includes time to sign my passport -oops!- and get secondary screening for a candle I was carrying for my friend).
Now that I was through security, I had an hour until my flight left, so I indulged in my traditional pre-flight cocktail. It was still only 7am, so I went for the screwdriver over my usual margarita, followed shortly by a stop at Starbucks. While I was waiting for my drink, I heard them announce boarding for my flight! So I hightailed it to my gate and boarded the flight.
My heart was still racing from the adrenaline I’d needed all morning, so as we hurtled down the bumpy runway and the wheels left the tarmac, I felt my stomach drop.
Finally, 30,000 feet in the air and exhausted from my morning’s mad dash, I nodded off and got some of that much-desired rest.
We landed in San Juan a little early, so I had plenty of time before my next flight. The first thing I noticed was how wonderful the airport smells! It is pleasently perfumed and I immediately felt myself relax further.
Now I’m enjoying a cold beer and a light lunch at the airport’s Margaritaville before I board my next flight for my ultimate destination – St. Kitts!