What a day. Traveling just has a way of wringing you out.
The day started out smooth enough. One of the nice side benefits of flying our of small airports like Pasco is that the TSA folks seem like actual human beings. Heck...they close the whole 'security check point' up for 30 minutes every two hours. Very mellow anal probing.
Then, due to windy conditions on the coast, our first flight from Pasco to Portland was delayed 20 minutes.
Did I mention we only had 50 minutes scheduled layover in Portland? Scheduled. The reality is that we got off the plane 34 minutes before our next plane was scheduled to depart.
A mad dash through the airport ensued, the only positive being that I wasn't tempted to spend too much money for a beer in an airport bar, while my daughter looked at me sadly across the line. We did get to the plane in time...heck, two parents were still struggling with strollers when we got there. Plenty of time.
When the plane arrived in San Francisco, I figured we were in for another challenge. As we walked up the sky bridge into the terminal, we had 38 minutes until the next plane departed. Not started boarding...departed. But heck...that 4 minutes more than last time...we might actually get to pee. The only issue was that my boarding pass didn't list the gate, so I had to ask one of the helpful Alaska Airlines folks, who told me 'oh, that flight is run by American Airlines...you need to go out past security, and then it's a quick 5 minute walk into Terminal 2, where you can find that gate'
I almost swallowed my tongue....and he wasn't kidding. To make our connection, we had to totally LEAVE one terminal building, and the go back in through the security line at another terminal building.
Somehow...someway...we made it. We made it because I drug my daughter along by the wrist, and I didn't bother to put my belt back on after we made is past the cavity search. We ran the last 50 yards...me holding three bags and my daughters wrist in one hand, and keeping my pants up with the other, as they announced 'last call for boarding', and named us personally on the final warning.
We then sat in the plane for 20 minutes before it started moving.
Through it all, my daughter was a champ. Luckily she had a bowl of cereal for breakfast, because due to our rushed connections, she had to make it the rest of the day on just a little bag of snack mix. Even as we waited in line at Dollar Rental Car for 64 minutes before getting our rental, she was a trooper.
It's amazing what monkey bread can do to turn a day around.
I suspect we are both going to sleep good tonight.