(I started writing this on Monday. I wrote all this on paper while I had nothing better to do so that's why it's so long - this is just one day, remember! And don't worry, I won't be insulted if you don't read the whole thing.)
I got up a little after 5:30 yesterday and we left the house a little after six. We discovered in the car that 99.1 is already playing Christmas music again. We listened to it for a little bit but they were playing really slow religious music - organ music, at one point, which must have been a Sunday morning thing because they never play anything but that really smarmy contemporary Christmas music most of the time - and organ music at 6am was not what I needed to keep me awake so we turned my CD back on. Normally I won't listen to Christmas music until at least December 1st but since I'm doing the CD exchange I've had no choice. (And the CD exchange was my idea so I've got nobody else to blame for that.)
We stopped to get gas in LaMarque and then went across the street to eat breakfast at Kelley's. (Kelley's Country Cooking is its full name, if that gives you an idea of what kind of place it is.) I didn't really think they'd be open at 6:30 on Sunday morning, but they were. They have terrific breakfasts. I just had a "normal" breakfast - that's how I think of it - meaning bacon and scrambled eggs. Rob had pancakes and EggBeaters. They also give you hash browns and monstrous biscuits but I didn't eat much of either one of those.
When we left there we could see what looked like rain up ahead of us, but we didn't hit it for a good while. Before we did, the sun peeked out behind us for a little bit and we saw a double rainbow. It stayed for quite a while, as rainbows go. Then we hit the rain. It wasn't too bad, though - I was mostly worried about whether the plane was going to be able to take off in all this. By the time we got to the airport, though, it had pretty much stopped.
I learned on my last trip that the place to park at Bush airport is called the City Economy Lot. (My mom's boyfriend is notoriously cheap and if he says someplace is the cheapest I tend to believe him, because he also does his homework.) It was around 8 by the time we got there and there were a lot of people on the shuttle, and I got a little worried about the terminal being crowded - but all the crowd, and I mean EVERYBODY but us, got off at the Continental stop, and we were flying American. American is in a whole other terminal and it was practically deserted. So no problem whatsoever.
A very nice elderly man at the curb checked our two bags, printed our boarding passes and pointed out the way to our gate. And it wasn't a mile to the gate, like it was in the Continental terminal on the way to Vegas - I assume these differences have to do with Houston being a Continental hub, while DFW is American's. I also really liked the way American boarded people - back to front - and the fact that the seats on the plane (I think it was an A80) were only 5 across instead of 6, so that we were able to sit on the side of the aisle with only 2 seats and neither one of us had to sit in the dreaded middle seat.
I called Mom from the airport - from the plane, actually, while people were still boarding - and she didn't really sound too good. Apparently she had another "spell," so she said - I think that means another small seizure. So when I say she didn't sound good I mean that she literally was having trouble talking. But I guess she's still ok, more or less. (Anyway, what was I going to do? Get off the plane?)
Neither flight was eventful. We didn't get anything to eat on the plane but pretzels - not that I was expecting anything more. We had two hours at DFW, anyway, so we had lunch there. (Rob had something-or-other from McDonald's - a chicken sandwich, I think - and I had Pizza Hut.) A two-hour layover sounds long but it goes by fast. By the time you get food and find the right gate half the time has gone by anyway. And actually I ended up on a computer, surprise (for 25 cents a minute). I couldn't get to TUS for some reason so I played KoL - I had some adventures I wanted to use up anyway. I stayed online for a little over 15 minutes and it cost $4.25 - I figured that was less money than I'd have spent in the gift shop on junk, which is where I usually end up when I have nothing better to do in an airport.
We actually got to Columbus a little early, about 4:00 (rather than 4:15), which was good because it took us freaking forever to get the rental car. First they didn't give us decent directions about how to get to where you pick up the cars, then when we finally found the right place, there were no cars. When we walked up, there were 3 compact cars sitting there, but a couple ahead of us took one, there was no key in the 2nd one and the 3rd one was locked up. Finally a guy went to get us another car and about the time we were getting into that one, another guy drives up and says that since we had to wait so long we could have a free upgrade to a bigger car. So we got our stuff out of the Cavalier and went and put it into a Buick Century instead. I'm not used to cars with all that automatic stuff, and this one had everything imaginable - I couldn't even figure out how to open the trunk!
So we finally got out of the airport around 5-ish. It took us a couple of hours to drive to Bowling Green but we made it with no problems, a little after 7. Everybody else was already there - Guppy, Joy, Roseann, karen_d
& Mr Karen. (The only no-show was Shel, and she hadn't been heard from in a while so I wasn't really expecting her.) We stayed for a couple of hours. Some people had to work on Monday so I didn't figure it was going to go late. The food was sort of so-so - my experience is that Mexican food in Ohio is invariably bland - but the margaritas did the job. I had a couple. (We had already decided that Rob was going to be the designated driver since he's not much of a drinker anyway.) I was so tired that I'm not sure I was very coherent even before the margaritas, but oh well.
We (finally!) got to Rob's hometown about 10pm or so. Rob's mom was still up, of course, and Rob's dad (who always goes to bed very early) got back up for a while, too. They are very nice people, even if my mother-in-law does drive me crazy. (She's just a tiny bit anal.)