The LowDown Part II

2004-04-29
The plane lands in Dallas and we have to climb down a tiny set of stairs, walk on the tarmac and then back into the airport. I have never had to do this before. It’s tres retro.

I arrive in the baggage claim and meet up with Gretchen and Jenn. Then we proceed to wait for my luggage, which of course, never comes. I go to that little office and get help from the Delta Baggage rep who tells me that he knows where my luggage is – so that it’s not technically lost, just delayed. Ok then – I say – thinking, hmmmm . . . now how would it have been if when I went to board the plane and the money didn’t arrive to pay for my ticket yet, I just said – Oh the money’s on its way – it’s not lost – just delayed.

A fit should have been pitched but it wasn’t. I was assured that the luggage would probably be getting to my hotel that afternoon – surely no later than 7:00. He took out a card and wrote 7:00 pm on it, then circled the time. He then laughed to himself - a little hysterically. The luggage arriving at 7:00 was like a big joke to this dude helping me. I walked out of the office bagless and went along on my merry way.

Gret and Jenn drove me past their gorgeous new home and “surprise” they had put up the sold sign on the front so they were really excited about that. They don't close until the end of next month. Then we headed to lunch. I was starving at this point (haha – yeah right me? Starving?) We dined at the Blue Mesa Grill. It was fabu. They had a brunch buffet and the food was wonderful - gourmet tex mex. PLUS it was all you could drink Mimosas or Poinsettias (which is cranberry juice and champagne –I had never heard of it, but I kept them coming – quite delicious!)

After stuffing myself, we left and they drove me through the Botanical Gardens in Fort Worth. SO beautiful!

Then we drove on to their house where we chilled out, watched a little tv, talked and had Irish Coffee. Now – I’d already had 3 poinsettias and the Irish coffee, so I was feeling no pain. I also got to meet their dog Linus – a very cute black and white beagle/border collie mix. Very sweet and attentive. We had lots of laughs over Linus.

At about 4:30, we drove to the hotel. Unfortunately, the bags had not arrived. I was a little peeved, but the guy did say they could be there as late as 7:00 so . . .

We all went up to the room. Tres nice!!!! Pretty good view.

We called about the luggage and got some silly message saying that it had been located and that if it hadn’t arrived in 4 hours to please notify someone.

Ok then - I wasn’t panicking.

Gret and Jenn and I said our goodbyes and then I freshened up a bit and went downstairs to meet up with the meeting people.

They were gathered on the patio, talking, mingling. I was instantly intimidated. When I walked out, I was immediately seized by what I thought to be their PR person who introduced herself and then lead me directly to the bar.

“it’s an open bar, so just get whatever you want – as much as you want”

I ordered a white zinfandel – which made me feel like a fool, but oh well. At this point, I was more concerned about taste and with all these bottles starting me in the face, I wasn’t sure what to order. Should have gotten a chardonnay, but wasn’t in the mood for the dryness.

Then she led me around to introduce me to several people. I met the guy that I’ve been talking to for months on the phone, Chris. One of the nicest guys on the PLANET, I’m convinced.

I made small talk with a few of the other guests, then Chris came over and said that he was taking a few of us to dinner and would I like to come? Sure, I said – I’d be glad to.

I thought – perhaps I should go upstairs and wait for my luggage. Perhaps I should get on the phone and call the sniffing dogs.

I decided to go to dinner. Better take advantage of all your opportunities, Ginger. Better be a good little conference attendant.

We went to another tex mex place – La Real. Delicioso. Another open bar situation, but I chose not to drink – was afraid of getting plastered and making an ass out of myself in front of a group of strangers.

Very interesting conversation going on at the table. I sat across from a former doctor who is now into holistic healing. Very very fascinating stuff. I didn’t say much – just listened. I wanted to ask him about cancer prevention, but I was afraid he would say something like – well the first thing you need to do is drop about 75 pounds – then you need to start taking these seventeen different herbs on an hourly basis.

I didn’t feel like going into it. I was tired.

When we arrived back at the hotel at 8:45 pm my luggage had not arrived. I then began to panic. I tried to butter up the front desk clerks by asking them if they had any contacts at the airport baggage claim. Of course they looked at me as if I were insane – why would they have baggage claim contacts?

I got an 800 number from one of them which I shoved into my pocket, then walked to the elevator to the room.

This was the first time I had ever had my own hotel room. All to myself. Pretty exciting. Except for the fact that I had no luggage and was growing more bitter by the moment. I dialed the 800- number and finally got a human being on the phone. He was very apologetic. No – my luggage hadn’t left on the next flight because it rained and the Baton Rouge airport has seizures when it rains. So it missed the next two flights and then it got on one but unfortunately that flight went to Atlanta, Georgia – so my luggage was in Georgia at a Braves game having beers and peanuts with a duffel bag it met on the plane. Ok great. Wonderful. I wanted to be mean, but the guy was being so nice and so empathetic.

So when will it get here? I asked.

Oh it should be there before lunch tomorrow.

Oh great.

There was nothing near my hotel and even still, I didn’t have the money to be buying more clothes.

I told him – if anything happens – if there are any miracles, please call my cell phone. I don’t care if it’s 4 in the morning.

We hung up.

I was crushed.

I went downstairs and bought a tiny tube of toothpaste for $2! Upon arriving back in my room realized that I had no toothbrush! Duh! Guess I would have to do the ol’washcloth bit.

I decided to sleep naked. I didn’t sleep well. I had nightmares about my luggage – nightmares that it was being used as a piñata by baggage handlers. I woke up every hour on the hour. When it was time to get up, I called downstairs.

“Any luggage arrived for me?” I asked weakly, giving her my name.

“Sorry ma’am, nothing yet.”

It figures.

More later.

5:47 p.m. ::
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