Wednesday, September 23, 2009

SpragueFest Day One

Good morning,
I am here with my good friends Meg and Gail as we stumble around getting ready for the day. By Utah standards it is only 8 A.M. so it's still kinda early. We didn't get in until 12:30 last night.

Let's back up a bit so you can hear all the ADVENTURE I had yesterday.

It seemed like so many things were conspiring to keep me from Provo. And gosh DARN it I wasn't having none of that! Of course the flooding of 2009 in Georgia was the first obstacle. Schools closing because they are under water would be an obstacle for anyone. They closed school again on Tuesday, which turned into a brilliantly sunny warm day. Go figure.

Thankfully the flood waters had abated for the most part. So I leisurely ate lunch and read my book. Around 1:45 I headed to Gail's house. The first road blockage came at the on ramp to 285. The next came at the on ramp to I-75. Then Gail is calling me frantically because we can't find Bennett who was driving us to the airport. I arrive 15 minutes later than I expected and lo' and behold, there is Bennett waiting in his driveway. Ta Dah!

We head over to get Gail and hit another snag. The on ramp to 285 is closed here too. None of us has a GPS to reroute us. Bennett drives around on instinct and eventually finds us an entrance to the highway so that we can manuever to the airport. At this time it is about 3:30 and he casually asks, "When's your flight again?" Umm, at 4:25.

His eyes widen incredulously as he steps on the gas pedal (Gail's contribution) and manages to get us to the airport in ten minutes. We scramble out of the car and race over to the curbside baggage. They take one look at our tickets and tell us we are too late to check. Huh? What? Apparently there is a rule that says if you don't arrive 45 mins before your flight leaves, you can't check. Therefore you'll have to be BUMPED to the next flight which isn't for another two hours!!

He tells us to go to the gate with our bags and check them there. We make our way inside and start going through the security when one of the attendants pulls Gail aside and makes her check her bag in one of those overhead storage size thingies. Yeah, it doesn't fit. She kicks us out of line and back to the front desk. Standing around for a bit we manage to get to an attendant who tells us to just try a different checkpoint. Which we did. No problems until...

Gail gets stopped again for having liquids in her bag. They search it and pull out her toothpaste, hair spray, face wash, and various other accoutrements. And hand her back her bag. Glumly, we proceed to the terminal.

By now it is 4:10 and we hear the final boarding call. Racing up to the gate we hand in our e tickets and make it to the ramp as they close the doors. GAH!

Being the last person to board a plane sucks. Everyone has already had time to stuff all of their baggage and their grandmother into the overhead compartments. I have to go five seats back to find an open spot for my camera, and then another three back for my bag. Gail? We take her bag all the way to the back of the plane and find nothing. As we stand around wondering what to do, we heard this announcement, "Would the lady with the BIG RED bag please proceed to the front of the aircraft." Mortification sets in as I scramble past everyone with the offending luggage held over my head.

One bright point in all of this? There were TWO open seats right next to me, so Gail didn't have to sit in between two other people by herself. The flight was uneventful. Although coming in over the Rockies was a beautiful sight.

We land and have to wait for everyone to get off the plane in order to retrieve our bags. Not bad when you think we no longer have to stand around staring at that rotating torture device known as the baggage carousel. Carousel implies something fun and jaunty, right? Not so much.

Meg and Joan are waiting for us and we walk right out of the airport and drive up to Provo to drop our bags in the room at the Marriot. Meg is a glorious individual. If you don't already know this, then you will learn when you meet her. Guess what she had waiting back in the room for us? Sweet Tea Vodka and lemonade. Perfection!

We meet up with the other Spraguers in the lobby and pack into cars to head to Kari's old working place, The Training Tables, for their famous cheese fries and burgers. Can I just tell you that it is an experience to sit in a restaurant and eat when across the aisle sits Jessica Sprague, Candince Stringham, Ana Cabrera and Liv Esteban. I live the good life, let me tell ya.

Jessica is not feeling well these days. But that didn't hold her back from wearing super cute shoes and eating cheese fries. Get better soon!

Finally back to the hotel for the most amazing German Chocolate cake brownies and much needed sleep!
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