warning: if you are from Texas, this post may offend you. But as a west coast gal, I just can't help myself. There is a reason we didn't survive in Texas very long.
Eli and I arrived in Texas on Wednesday night, late. Our plane left Vegas around 5:15 pm. I didn't check any bags because, let's face it, I'm cheap. So I pushed Eli's stroller, with the car seat attached and wore him in the Ergo. I put my carry-on in the stroller and pulled my suitcase. I'm sure everyone thought I was nuts. I am.
I gate-checked the stroller and car seat. Eli sat in my lap for the flight. As we loaded the plane, I carried by bag and my suitcase. When I got to my seat, I was hoping that someone would help me put my suitcase in the over head storage, considering I was wearing a baby and all, but that didn't happen. In fact, the guy sitting in my row just stared at me as if I had 17 eyes. Good thing I'm strong enough to lift a suitcase over my held, while wearing a baby.
Anyways, we landed at DFW around 10. And as if that airport isn't confusing enough, they have most of the exits out of the terminal blocked off that late at night. I must have walked almost the entire C terminal before finding the only set of round-about doors to get out. Now just imagine me, pushing a full sized stroller, wearing a baby, pulling a suitcase trying to fit into that turning door. I fit it all in with centimeter to spare. Seriously, centimeters. And then to get it to turn, I had to inch my way. It probably took a good 3 or 4 minutes. The whole time an airport employee is just staring at me, as I look at her with a face as to say, "seriously? there isn't another door I can go through?" It was ridiculous.
And so, my first impression being back in Texas was, I'm starting to remember why we weren't so fond of this place.
From there I found the elevator downstairs so I could catch the shuttle to rental car. But once inside the elevator I discovered that no floor was labeled. I had no idea which button to push and where to get off. So that was fabulous. Thankfully a nice man was standing at the doors when they opened and he kindly escorted me to the shuttle pick up location.
We picked up our rental car. By now it was nearing 11:00. I was tired. Oh man, was I tired. As we exited the rental car area, I had no idea where I was going. That airport is so poorly marked. The sign that said exit had an arrow pointing me back into the rental car place. So I know I looked like a mad person making u-turns, trying to find my way out.
And on top of that, when I finally got out of the DFW airport (for those of you not familiar with it, that place is basically a small, or decent-sized city, and it's confusing, especially at night), I was completely turned around. One thing I struggled with a lot in Texas is that because it's flat, there are no major landmarks to use as reference points. In Las Vegas, we are surrounded by very distinct mountains. Don't know where you are, find a mountain that you can identify and re-orientate yourself. But in Texas, in the dark, there is nothing. Just lots of trees and flatness.
So I drove for quite a while, going the wrong direction, my phone being absolutely no help. The freeway is under construction, because it always is, so all the entrances are blocked and the signs are no help. And generally, I have a really good sense of direction. I hardly ever get lost and I don't generally need a lot of guidance or direction to find a place. But in Texas, that all goes out the window.
I told Ben later that night, there was a point that I almost just pulled over and cried. It was late. It was dark. I was alone with a baby. I had no idea where I was or how to get to where I was going.
But instead of crying, I sucked it up, I pulled up google maps. I did a serious map study. I found some landmarks, mostly restaurants, and re-oriented myself. At that point I realized how far southwest I had gone. I needed to be on the northeast side of the airport. Awesome.
After finding a place that was open, to pick up a bite to eat, we made it to the hotel some time before midnight. We checked in, set up the pack 'n play for Eli (thank you Lauren!!) and settled in. I ate my dinner and called Ben to report we had, in fact, made it safely, and then crashed for the night.
I told Ben on the phone, I was reminded, within minutes of being back in Texas, of all the things we complained about when we lived there. It's funny how when you've been away from a place or a person, even, for a while, you forget all the bad. You mostly remember the good. That is, of course, until you meet again.
But don't worry. My trip wasn't all bad. In fact, it was mostly good, mostly awesome. My purpose and reason for being there could not be thwarted by all the Texas-ness I encountered. And I promise, I'll share how fantastic the National Right to Life Convention was, because it was awesome.