I left the Hard Rock Hotel at my leisure, thinking I'd leave myself plenty of time at the airport to relax and prepare myself for the long journey home.
And THEN... (ominous music)
Distracted for that critical moment at security, I left my passport in the plastic basket. Plus boarding pass, plus luggage receipt (which will become important at a later part of the saga). I only realised about half an hour later while I was lingering over lunch with Ellis Carrington, Kate McMurray and Damon Suede. I rushed back and luckily they had it to hand at the desk.
It was always going to be a tight connection at 46 minutes between ABQ and LA - to say nothing of people's raised eyebrows when I told them I was being sent 2 hours Westwards in order to catch a flight home Eastwards LOL - but I assumed because I was sold the flight package it was possible. I was still nervous! And of course my flight from ABQ was delayed for almost an hour. They made up some time (how do they manage to do that, do they take short cuts or break the air speed limit? LOL) but by the time I got to LA, I had 15 mins to make the connection.
I arrived at Gate 88 with the info board announcing my flight was BOARDING NOW at Gate 77. Now, I can't run (unless a zombie was after me, or something equally life-threatening). I'm asthmatic and was also nursing my horrible flu that felt like an elephant sleeping on my chest (no jokes about my bra size, please). So I just set out bravely to cover the distance as fast as I could shuffle.
88 ... 87 ... 86 ... all the way to gate 80, then turn the corner...
... to find it starts again at 70! AARRGH.
The tannoy announces "2 minutes to the doors closing".
71 ... 72 ... 73... floor's starting to incline...
"Passenger XXXX (me! me!) report to Gate 77".
I stumble across to 77 to find no one on duty, the entrance roped off. Other staff look at me like I'm a lunatic, or a (slightly) taller Macauley Culkin sneaking on to the wrong plane.
I just hopped under the rope and tottered towards the plane.
"Name?" someone yells from the (still) open doorway.
"XXXX," I yell back.
"XXXX is here!" comes the cry from inside.
Meanwhile I've slumped against the wall, wheezing and scrabbling for my boarding pass.
"No problem," smiles the attendant. "There's plenty of time!"
They were very kind to me in the end. They got me water and carried my luggage and upgraded me to Economy Plus so I had a bit more space in which to
I was that lone person standing by the Baggage Reclaim at Heathrow, after everyone else has collected their luggage and left for home, and as the belt goes round and round, with only an abandoned golf club and a tattered carrier bag left on it. No sign of my case.
Oh yes, they say with a smile at the desk. Apparently it's still at LA. We'll get that back to you tomorrow.
Obviously I shuffle faster than a baggage handler.
It was lovely to come home, though not so good to find the house the same as I'd left it but with more layers of mess. I live with 3 men and the endless "yes, I meant to get around to that" philosophy. Plus my car's battery has died and I can't use it to get to work tomorrow. And no one fed my fish. And there's no milk for cereal. BIG SIGH.
And today's final icing on that cake of jetlag: my credit card's been hacked again. The bank has caught them early and I won't suffer any financial loss, but they'll stop my card for the second time this year, and now I have to update all my subscriptions for a new number, all over again. ARRGGH and ARRGGHH.
The lovely Sue Brown, fellow UK author, also got delayed on her way home but found some great inspiration for future stories! I've just got the shopping to do, my luggage to worry about, a fistful of antibiotics and a hacking cough like I'm on 60 a day. I'm wondering how to weave a sexy HEA into all that ... LMAO.
Thank God for plenty of pictures of GRL online to cheer me up ♥