Flying the Friendly Skies - Part Two

It was raining in Dallas when we arrived AND we saw that our connecting flight to Chicago was delayed about 50 minutes. So we had more time to wait. Oh goodie. I sat and watched the people milling about waiting for their respective flights to depart. I was surprised at how well behaved all the kids acted. I mean, sure there were crying babies, but on the whole, all the kids were pretty good. It was as if they knew Santa was watching them. I have to say, even the people didn't seem too crabby.

On our flight to Chicago, Jim and I lucked out - the window seat next to me was empty. I think it was one of the only empty seats on the plane. So I quickly scooted over and Jim and I shared the wealth. Aahh....

We had a family sitting in front of us - a boy around 5 or 6, a girl around 3 or 4, a mom, and a baby. The father sat across the aisle and they passed the baby back and forth. The mom seemed a little tired and cranky, and I heard her mention that this was their second flight. But she seemed a little tough with the kids - yelling loud things like "STOP IT", "SHUT UP", and the like. I was pretty tense and felt uncomfortable and embarrassed for her. She threatened to separate the kids numerous times, but didn't live up to it. I don't know why she didn't just sit in the middle and put one kid on the end, so the husband could partake in disciplining them. Although I really didn't think they were bad at all. I mean, if indeed it WAS their second flight, I'm sure they were tired. A little bit of kind words could go a long way. Why not read a book to them or something? The little girl peeked between the seat at me and poked her small hand out. I put my hand out and tickled her fingers. She giggled and then the game began. Soon her brother started peeking at me, first from one side, then the other. I played along for awhile, tickling the little arm, peeking at both of them, until I heard the mother growl, "TURN AROUND!" Now, if she thought they were bothering me, there was a better way of handling it.

I tried to take a little snooze so I turned off the overhead light. I felt a light touch on my knee a few times, knowing it was the little girl, but I kept my eyes shut. I must have dozed off because I heard myself emit a big snort that woke me up. Great! I caught the father glance back at me. Co-inky-dink? Hmmm....My husband didn't even stir. Could be one of three reasons: a) He's deaf; b) He's so used to my snoring it didn't even phase him; or c) You really couldn't hear me over the noise of the plane. I'm hoping it's C.

Before I knew it, we were landing at O'Hare Airport in Chicago. It was a balmy 32 degrees outside. I called my sister to let her know that we had arrived and to send someone to pick us up. She said, "You'd better take a cab. We've all been drinking here." Swell. They were having their "Secret Santa" party.

Jim and I walked outside to the area for cabs. There wasn't a long line waiting. In fact, we were the only customers. There was one cab in line. We hopped in, Jim told the driver the address, and therein was the problem.

"Bensenville, huh?"

"Yes," Jim said, and proceeded to give him directions.

The driver wanted to go way out of his way to jump on the expressway because he thought it would be faster.

"No", we both had assured him. "We've lived in this area. This way is quicker," I said.

He still sat there. Then he said, "You know, I MUST get back here within 40 minutes."

I told him, "No problem. It's about 15 minutes away."

Jim said to him, "Do you have a GPS?"

"Yes," he replied.

"Well, type in the address."

I had to tell him the address at least three times, and s-l-o-w-l-y. He still seemed to have a problem with this. By this time, at least 10 minutes had elapsed. I didn't seem to understand WHAT the problem was exactly.

I asked him, "What do you want us to do? Get out and take a different cab?"

"No, no!" He said. "But this is considered a short trip. You understand that you will be charged a fare and a half for it. It will cost you around $24. Okay?"


He finally put the damn cab in gear and off we went! It is such a racket for all the cab companies working at the airport. They would prefer the longer cab rides, and "punish" the patrons who only need short rides by charging them 1 1/2 times the rate. What can you do? The only way around this I guess, is to call a local cab company from your town, and wait for it to arrive. But after traveling all day, that was the last thing on my mind.

As it was, my day was still not over when I arrived at my sister's house. I had to make one more leg of the trip. I needed a ride over to my brother's house to pick up his vehicle for our use while in town. So my niece gave me a ride over there. I didn't get back to my sister's until 10:00 p.m. Central Time. It was a long day.

There is snow on the ground and a definite nip to the air. We are home.
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