Airports, Gates and a Happy Surprise


Funny how things will come back to you. After not being in an airport, by myself, for years, once I got there I felt confident in how to find where I was to wait. This would not seem like a big deal to most people, but for me, it was a rare thing to be confident, alone, in a strange place.

My morning started at 4:15 am with a wake-up call and hustling to get dressed and re-packed to catch a 5:15 shuttle to the airport. Hotel room coffee is mediocre, even at a Hilton. My adrenaline was pumping enough to make up for it. When I looked in the fridge for a bottle of soda, on my way out the door, I gasped. My insulin was also in there and I had completely forgotten it. What a horrible feeling! Complete confidence buster for sure. I thanked God for my guardian angel who, once again, saved my butt.

I made the shuttle with 2 minutes to spare.

My flight to Dallas was crammed full and I boarded with the “C” Group, so I was surprised to see an aisle seat open, not too far back. A young mom, with a 2-year-old, had the middle and window seats and motioned me to sit there. I did. She laughed and told me that no one wanted to sit there because of her child. I said that I was a grandmother and children did not scare me. Aside from some turbulence when we climbed and descended through the clouds, the flight was uneventful. Exactly how I like them.

After landing in Dallas, my first priority was a restroom, then to find what gate my flight to Harlingen was departing from. No flights to Harlingen were on the boards yet, so I hung around gate 8 and checked the texts that I missed while in Airplane Mode. A couple from Maggie, a few hours ago that she had just landed in Dallas for a long layover.

Dallas? No way! How did I not know that her flight stopped in Dallas?

Her next text said, “Wait! I think we will be boarding in Dallas together! Text me when you get here.”

Me: “I am here in Dallas, at gate 8.”

Maggie, “I’m at gate 10, can you see me?”

Me: “Whoops! I’m at the wrong gate. The notice on the board says we leave from gate 19.”

Maggie: “Are you at the airport? “I’m at gate 19.”

Me: “Me too!”

I stood up and looked around the gate. I recognized her right away, she was facing away from me. I snuck up on her and stood right behind her. “Hey, Roomie!”

How could we have gone for months without realizing we would meet in Dallas and fly to Harlingen together? I was sure that after I booked our flights that I compared them. Apparently not. The one-hour and 15-minute flight (pardon the pun), flew by. We landed at 5 pm, got the car and our bags, and we were on the road to South Padre Island by 5:30.

The sun had not gone down yet but was rapidly sinking into the west and would be dark soon. When we saw a Sonic drive-in, we decided to have dinner there for old times sake and we were starving. We were going to get to the island in the dark either way.

To be continued…