Well... by the scoring at the top... I have one point (yay me), Sleep has 5 points (damn you sleep), and those pesky full flights almost have a whole point. There is some explination involved with all of this.
Over the past few days i took a vacation. I went out to Maryland to visit my friend Sarah. I had really been meaning to get out there for the longest time. Sarah and I talk online and on the phone for HOURS at a time. I've helped her get through some situations in her life, and she's done the same for me. So when it came down to visiting, we both wanted to see each other. Since i have to fly standby, i wanted to fly on the days that had the least number of people flying. As my parents informed me during the middle of the week, and Saturday were the least people flying. Thurs/Fri/Sat were nailed down, and I took the time off at work.
Well ... yeah. Foolish me decided to go and see the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen on wednesday night... the 9pm showing. *gah* BAD idea. Not only was the movie BAD but it was LONG. I still needed to pack my things to get ready for my trip. BUT my bed was calling my name... "tiiiimmm.... take a nap, you'll feel refreshed and you can pack when you wake uppppp" Like a fool, i listened to the siren song of my bed and proceeded to become dead to the world as my head touched my pillow (this was at about 1am). I knew that i had to be up at around 3 so i could finish packing, and get on my way to the airport an hour ahead of my flight (6:15am). Fast-forward about 4 hours to my dad barging into my room at 5:30. He yells at me to get up and that i'll miss my flight (Sleep got a few points here). Half asaleep i think to myself ... well i wasnt really thinking, i was more like *NEED SLEEP*, but getting out to see Sarah was more important. Hurridly i jump in the shower, brush my teeth and haphazardly stuff some clothes into my bag. Forgetting other clothes, my camera and other such things. Just as i'm rushing out the door my dad reminds me to get my flight passes. I really would have been in a pickle if i had forgotten those passes.
So i get to the airport late... but am able to catch the 7am flight to Houston. Somehow, i got on the very last seat avalible for this flight. (.25 points to Full Flights). Crammed into the airplane, sitting between 2 guys bigger than me... I shrug it off and proceed to read the little Sky-Mall magazine and the southwest magazine. Lots of pictures, that's for sure. Two of the things that i had forgotten to bring were a book, and my headphones. Not much i could have done at this point. Flight lands in Houston-Hobby airport, and I make my way to the ticket counter for my flight to BWI (bee-wee as my dad puts it). Second in line for the standby tickets, the lady at the desk doesnt seem too enthuiastic about me getting on the flight. It was WAY overbooked. but i HAD to get out to see Sarah... So i wandered around close by to the ticket desk and ate a complimentary Southwest Doughnut(tm). Time rolls by and they're starting to allow passengers from boarding group A on board, yet i still dont have my ticktet. I'm starting to get very nervous at this point. The Ticket agent tells me that if i cant get on this flight i can go through nashville and then to BWI. Not much of a problem, but i'd rather get to BWI sooner. Boarding group B is called onto the flight, and the ticket agent tells me that there are only 2 seats avalible. I know that i have the lowest standby priority, so if someone ... ANYONE else wants on this flight, they'll get ahead of me. Boarding group C gets called to get onto the flight. Someone else walks up to the ticket agent. I'm concerned at this point... 'cause i would like to get on my flight. Oh well, But as it turns out, it's the other standby person infront of me. No one else comes up to the counter, and the airplane is about ready to push from the ramp. So, the agent gives the 2 standby passengers their tickets (him and me) and i board my flight. (Full flights gets another .25 points here... for i was the last passenger on the flight). I locate a seat, and proceed to fall asaleep. Semi-Long flight, across the time-line, and whatever, i'm tired.
Flight lands in BWI Airport (Baltimore Washington International). And i'm so nervous. I've known Sarah for the better part of 9 years, so there's no reason to be nervous. But i was. So i start walking out to the terminal, and looking for someone that is looking for me. Sarah recognizes me before i see her. I saw her looking at me with that puzzled *Are you tim?* sort of look. So i give her that same *are you Sarah* look back... and *TA-DAAA* we meet. I gave her a small hug and we were off. At this point i was somewhat un-easy and nervous. I knew her voice, and how she talked and all that, but i hadnt really seen pictures of her. So we talked on the way to her parent's house and that totally reassured that she was the same person that i had talked with for so long. So, we get to her house, and she introduces me to her mother and step-father. Her dogs take an immediate interest in me. One of them keeps barking and pretending to be ferocious. He nips at my shoes and i just kind of ignore him untill he calms down. The other dog seems much more laid back, and just wants to be petted. Things calm down, and i put my stuff into the guest room. Sarah and I talk for a little while and she comments about how i look sleepy. So i take a nap. She says she has a few things to work on, and will wake me up when it's time to go to class. 5:30 rolls by, and her mom tells her to wake up, she'll be late for class. (sleep gets 2 points here... 'cause we both were sleeping).
Sarah is taking a summer class to get credits for a degree. Before i came out i told her that i'd go to her class with her. So we get to her school, and it's really nice. A brand new building, with brand new computers in each of the rooms. Today for her class the professor has alotted time for them to research somethings that they are writing about. So i boot up one of the computers and proceed to surf. Some people kind of look at me strangely , but it's ok, i'm there with Sarah, and things are alright. The Professor says it's time to go to the library for everyone to continue their research. So we all walk to the library on the other side of the campus, This building was much older, but still had many computers for the students to use. I found one, and continued my surfing. After a short while, i got bored, and went back to sit by Sarah, and look through some of her books. The Prof. had dissappeared, and no one knew where he went. Some time later he re-appeared and was answering questions for the students. I spoke with him for a little bit, he asked where i was living and how i met Sarah... Those kind of things. He seemed alright i suppose. Sarah and I left class a little early, and proceeded to Ft. Mead.
The guard checks our IDs and waves us onto the Post. Sarah drives to the Barracks, and i meet 2 of her friends that are also MPs (Military Police). It was cool meeting these people, we got ready for dinner, and Someone invited some other people. So we have to wait for a little bit for the other party to arrive so we can all drive together. I meet some more people, and we're off to go get some food at the Cheesecake factory in Baltimore. We drive by raven stadium, and where the Baltimore baseball team plays. I get to see the harbor, and some big ships parked out there. We park in a garage, and proceed to go to the resturant. After a great dinner, and conversation with everyone (party of 8), we leave. I think that they were trying to kick us out because it was like midnight at this point. We walk back to the parking garage, and pay to get the cars out. People pile into cars depending on where they were going. Sarah and I got into hers. We drive home, talk more on the way there. We say goodnight, and i lay down for bed.
ok, VERY VERY Early friday.
Sarah is called by one of the people that we had gone out to dinner with, and told that her wallet was in the back of Sarah's car. The Key to her room was in her wallet, so she couldn't get into her room. I tell Sarah that i'll go with her. We get onto the post, and find our way to this house where Becky was (wallet owner). Shit was in the process of hitting the fan. Amber and Wain (i think that's how you spell it) are married, and were having some fight before she had to go to work. Things weren't good. Amber ended up being slightly late for work, and crying. I really didn't want to get into the middle of all the drama, being an outside person that no one really knew, except for Sarah. So people are talking, and i play with the dog and cat and listen to what the people have to say about what's going on. 5am rolls by, and there seems to be agreements on both ends, so Sarah and I go back to her house, and crash. (i'm not going to go into details here about the argument, because even I shouldn't really know anything about it).
Friday afternoon Sarah wakes me up (i think). And I take a shower and get ready for the day. We both eat our leftovers from the night before, and prepare to take on D.C.
We take the Metro into the city, and I want to go see the Air/Space Museum. So we start wandering up and down the Mall to find it. There are SO many museums in DC it isn't even funny. So much to do, it would take more than a month to see it all. So our measly few hours won't even put a dent in it. But we try. We finally locate the Air/Space museum, and enter. As sarah fondly calls me a Geek, it's ok though, i totally geek out in the museum. Airplanes, and Rockets, and History (Oh my!). It was quite cool beign able to see all that stuff, I could have spent a whole day in there and not seen it all. It was kind of funny, on 2 displays there were either models or pictures of airplanes that my dad has flown (me geeking out again).
After we leave the museum, things were staring to close. It really isnt a good idea to be in D.C. without armed bodyguards after dark... but it wasnt approaching sunset quite yet. We wandered to the Washington Monument, then down past where they were building the WWII Memorial, to the Lincoln Memorial (all these monuments were SO amazing, it isnt even funny). We then went past the Vietnam Memorial. So many names on that wall. There were a lot of people standing there, looking at the names as well. Someone had left a bottle of JD. Other people had put flowers of little Flags.
It's starting to get late, and Sarah and I head back to the metro to get her car and drive back to her house. Sarah changes, and we decide to go out and play some pool. We both suck. Straight up. I won 1 game, and Sarah won 2. After pool, we drove around a little bit, and decided to go to eat at the olive garden. (mmmmm) Sarah calls Amber after we eat to find out what they're doing. They are going to some club (a country club or something, we really werent sure) But as it turned out Amber couldnt get in 'cause she was under 21. So Plan B is developed. We were gonna go to some Country bar, and have fun there. So we get in, and Wain buys a round of drinks for all of us. Wain and Amber dance around, and everyone watches. It was very entertaining. We end up staying at the bar untill about 2. We all drive back to the Post, and entertain Becky for a little while (she was on Guard duty at one of the remote gates). I say bye to everyone, and Sarah and I head back to her place. Unfortunately i need to be up at around 6'ish, and head off to the airport at 7. Leaves little time for sleep.
Fortunately Sarah put her alarm-clock in my room, and set it for 6am. It did the trick, and i woke up. Took a shower and woke up sarah. We left for the airport on time and i really didnt want to go. There was so much more to do, and i was having so much fun actually seeing and hanging out with sarah who i had known for SO long just as a voice and text. Good-byes really suck... especially so soon after they are hellos. Sarah walked me to the airpot termals and we gave each other a huge hug.
My flights back werent extremely full like the ones heading out to Maryland. First flight was to LittleRock. Not full at all, i think more people were flying standby/nonrev than not. I got my seat, and 2 young children sat next to me. Brother and sister flying home from visting family in Maryland. I was talking with them and played some card games with the little boy. He was telling me about how he went and saw Pirates (great GREAT movie). The flight went by kind of quickly. I gave the boy my cookies, he seemed appreciative.
Second flight was a bit more of an adventure. The ticket agent was overwhelmed by people. Someone had called in sick, and at one point in time she was taking care of 3 flights that were all leaving within 10 minutes of each other. There was a gentleman standing next to me that was a First Officer based out of BWI. He was headed to Dallas, and then probably to somewhere else. He had his family with him (like 4 or 5 kids, it was a miracle his wife wasnt going insane). So he was in a rush to get his family on the flight first so they could all sit together, But with all the crazyness of the 3 flights leaving at the same time he couldnt get his boarding passes soon enough. While we were waiting i told him to go ahead of me so he could get back with his family. He kept thanking me and what not. Asked what my story was with southwest (he had seen my non-rev pass). I told him that my dad was a pilot, and based out of DAL. Someone standing by us kind of perked up when i mentioned my last name. I didnt pay much mind to it at first, and then i mentioned something else... and come to find out that the other passenger was a graduate of the Airforce Academy, and my dad was one of his instructors! Small world... very small.
Ok, so my novel is closing here. I finally did get home. I passed out from lack of sleep. (this is why sleep won the game). All went amazingly though. I really want to go out and visit sarah again. I had so much fun meeting her and everything.
*NOW IS THE WINTER OF YOUR DISCONTENT*