Late yesterday afternoon Muffin and I left our cozy home while the temperature registered 112 on the car thermometer and 108 officially. We headed east just as a thunderstorm rolled into town, so we missed all the excitement of cooler temperatures and moisture for a brief time. Driving to Dallas we met our darling baby child for dinner at a fabulous Mediterranean restaurant and ate till we almost cried "Souvlaka!" or something like that. Muffin and I spent the night in his apartment, and he drove me to the DAL airport early this morning for his Father's Day present. Not really. Well, I really went to the airport, but not for his present. I flew to Kansas City, MO on my way to Ottawa, KS for Early Childhood Education Suzuki training this week.
It should have been easy--arrive at airport with boarding pass, check in at curbside with giant suitcase (I had to pack bedding for life in the dorm this week.), go through security check and wait for plane. Wrong. It took almost 50 minutes to just get to security. The line had nine switchbacks with people standing in line the width of the building because there were only two people checking boarding passes and ID's. By the time I got to the gate I had 10 minutes before boarding. The flight was nice, with plenty of room in the seat and only 2 of us in a 3 seat row. However, there were about 30 high school forensic team members returning to Kansas City as winners in the national forensics competition in Dallas. And they were all carrying trophies and plaques and were pretty loud for the first part of the short flight. When we arrived I went straight to baggage claim and waited, and waited, and w.a.i.t.e.d..... because each of the 30ish students had packed tubs and tubs of files for their debate events and they were slowly being spit out of the carousel pit onto the carousel with duct tape flying off, all mixed with luggage and golf clubs. That only took 35 minutes.
Finally boarded the shuttle to car rental terminal where I expected to quickly pick up the car we reserved online--paperwork in hand. Entered the terminal and there was no line at all at the Budget desk. In about 2 minutes I was out the door and packed into a spiffy red KIA and off to the kiosk to check out of the airport area. That's when the worker found, for the first time today, that my TX drivers license had expired in April. TX always sends notices for renewal and I never received one. Budget refused to give me the contract and sent me back to the desk to see the manager, who also refused. BUT, and I do mean BIG BUT.... I had the key to their car and all my stuff locked in it! So, I sat down and renewed my DL online and took screen shots on my iPhone and showed it to them. And NO, still they wouldn't print it or write a contract. They politely offered to take the key away from me and I refused until I made other arrangements, but did it very sweetly. I called Muffin and he prayed. I went to the ladies room and I prayed. And on my way to the Alamo desk, the Lord said, "Go to the Enterprise desk." And I did it!
At the Budget desk a very nice young man named J. told me I could email the screen shots to his personal email and he would print them for me. I did and he did and he was nice enough to tell me to go back to Budget with their key in my hand and their paperwork in my hand. The Budget manager still refused to write the contract. So, back to Enterprise. They couldn't have been nicer. Contract written, a very nice young lady, C., escorted me out to my silver Fiat that matches my hair, and pulled my giant luggage herself. She even hoisted it into the teeny weeny trunk where it had to be turned "just so" to get the hatch closed. Paperwork signed, more money spent, cell phone map app opened, I headed for lunch. At 2:30ish I left a McDonald's in the area and drove southwest to Ottawa.
Arriving here I went to the building where I was directed by email for registration and room assignments. Closed. Locked. Signs on door to walk to different place. Arrived there and my name tag was literally the very last one at the bottom of the very last pile. It had a key, an entrance badge, and a sticky note with the room number. However, no one knew where to park the car or where my packet was. I waited another 30 minutes while they made calls and learned that for some reason, I don't get mine until tomorrow. Back to car. Drive to dorm lot. Unload all possessions, move in, only 30 minutes until dinner is served.
After dinner and a visit with old and new teacher friends I headed to Wal Mart to purchase bottled water, fruit, and a pillow. Found everything quickly and headed for the express checkout where a couple was just finishing. Their card wasn't just declined, it was making the scanners whine and cry and throw tantrums. Seriously, it would refuse the PIN, then say it was waiting on the customer, then refuse the PIN again, then tell the checker to do something, then refuse the PIN. I had already unpacked my basket or I could have moved to another line quickly. Finally the lady ahead decided to write an electronic check and that required yet another out-of--the-ordinary process from the checker. Trip to Wal Mart--almost 1 hour. I'm headed for the shower.
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