Never Leaving Home Again, Part I

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Mostly YA Fab Author Summer Extravaganza (MYFASE) has been so awesome. Thank you all for participating. I’ve extended the deadlines for all the entering and such until Sunday Eve, July 17, 2011, the Year of Harry Potter. So if you haven’t entered in the individual post drawings for giveaways by Nicole O’Dell, Erynn Mangum, Kristin Billerbeck, Sandra Byrd, Stephanie Morrill, and Lisa Tawn Bergren, there is still time to secure the win. Also don’t forget, if you comment on all six posts, you’re additionally in the running for Monday’s giveaway of a $25.00 Barnes and Noble gift card PLUS a signed Advanced Reader Copy of There You’ll Find Me, the spin-off book from Save the Date.  (Also There You’ll Find Me is currently at an el cheapo Amazon pre-order price the likes of which I have never seen. And if you order within one hour, you’ll also get a ShamWow, a PedEgg, and a private concert with a Justin Bieber look-alike. Offer will not last long…)


So I have been bloggily absent as I was in Ft. Lauderdale, then Quito, Ecuador with Never the Same, a mission trip for teens by Susie Magazine. More on that later, but next year the group is going to Panama, and teens, you should totally consider going. It’s one of the neatest experiences you could possibly have.

Anyway, I have been gone exactly 100 days sixteen days. It was a great experience, but getting home…not such a great experience. Allow me to illustrate. (You might want to grab snacks and get comfortable.)

My Trip Home
Written by Jenny B. Jones

So the night before we leave Quito(technically morning), I get to sleep about midnight. My alarm goes off at two a.m., blasting music from the Latino Rob Zombie. I don’t know what the artist is singing, but he’s angry. Very, very angry. I am in the lobby at 3:00 a.m., and we roll out to the Quito airport. I pass through security no problemo. Then there’s a bonus security check point in our waiting area for our plane. (I would call it a gate, but it was so not a gate. It was a room. With chairs.) Anyway, they check out carry-ons using their hands, pointed questions, and mind-control.

“Do you have any liquids in that bag?” The gentleman doesn’t even check.
“Yes, I have hand sanitizer.”
“Is it in a plastic bag?”
“No.” Because I’m a rebel. You cannot contain my wild tendencies.
Quito Security Man looks worried, pauses, but says nothing.
“If it’s a problem, you can keep it,” I say. I’m home bound I don’t need the stuff. Plus, statistics show it doesn’t really work and we’re crawling with bacteria and organisms anyway.
“Thank you.” Man takes out sanitizer from tiny zippered compartment of my bag, the only compartment he’s checked. Was this really a security hazard? No. I just think he was enamored with the Sweet Pea-scented alcohol. “Do you have any other liquids?”
“No.” Senor Security does not even look. Just takes my word for it.

After passing Honor System Security Test, I go sit down. I enjoy the free wi-fi, because apparently the crap airports have this, including my own hometown mini-airport. The same is true for crap hotels, but that will come later.

I decide to get a water for the plane. I go out of the waiting area, buy a water, and they stop me on my way back in. It went a little something like this. . .
“You can’t take that in here.”
“Why?”
“It’s a liquid.”
“Yes. It’s a liquid I just purchased IN YOUR AIRPORT after going through a few rounds of security.”
“It’s a liquid. You must drink it outside of the waiting area.”
“What if I put this in my bag and we never speak of this again?”
“No. No liquids.”
“I’ve never heard of any airport in the world doing this.” (Because I’m such an international jet setter…)
“You cannot have the water.”
“Fine. I am going to go stand “over there” and drink my water and talk badly about your policy. Out loud.”
“Anything else?”
“There will be Stink Eye.”

So knowing I’ll be deprived of my newly purchased fluids, I down 20 oz. of water in 30 seconds, 5 feet away from security in the designated “drinking spot” with 4 other people  like we’re at some invisible bar. I then spend the four hours of the flight to Miami ticking off my sleeping seatmates by peeing every 30 minutes and cursing the Quito TSA.

Get to Miami. This airport is the second layer of Dante’s Hell. If you study the Hebrew text, Ephesians 4:29 says “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths. Unless it’s about Miami International.”  I am traveling with author, speaker, magazine creator/editor, all-around fun gal Susie Shellenberger, and though we both go through security and customs at the same time, somehow we get spit out in different places. We both get lost. Which makes it hard to meet for lunch.

We both try to work the maze and get to Concourse D. I stop a woman and ask if I need to ride the SkyTrain. (Except I couldn’t think of the word “Sky Train” and asked “Do I need to ride the thingie?” then whirled my finger about like a rodeo queen with a lasso.)

“No, you no need the SkyTrain. We are doing construction. You need to go outside to the tunnel and it take you right to D.”
I put up my lasso. “I go outside?”
“Si. Right out those doors. Easy.”
“But if I go outside, won’t I have to go through security again?”
“No, of course not. Eees okay. Go outside.”

So I go outside, take the short tunnel, and there is D.
And a huge line for security.
“Can I help you?” Random man in uniform asks.
“Um. . .I need to get to Concourse D. Do I have to go through security?”
“Of course.”
“But that lady just said I didn’t.”
“Ma’am, you just came from OUTSIDE.”
I KNOW!” I try to bat my eyelashes, but the bags under my eyes get in the way. “Please, sir. I have to meet my friend. We are trying to get to Chilis. All I want to do is eat good in the neighborhood, for the love of all that’s holy!”
“Then I guess you better get in line.”
Slowest.
Security.
Line.
Ever.

And so concludes Part I.
Stay tuned for Part II on Monday. It only goes downhill from here.

Closing Credits
My Trip Home
Written by: Jenny B. Jones
Directed by: Jenny B. Jones
Produced by: I’ve Only Had 2 Hours of Sleep and You Don’t Want to Mess with This Productions

Music:
“Quito Airport You Are Ridiculous”
Original music and score by Jenny B. Jones
Performed by Jenny B. Jones, with guest T-Pain

“Miami Airport, Nobody Likes You”
Original music and score by Jenny B. Jones
Performed by Jenny B. Jones and the Miami International Sucks Band

“Chilis, I Didn’t Mean To Cheat On You and Go to Wendy’s”
Original music and score by Jenny B. Jones
Performed by Jenny B. Jones and some random dude behind her who plays a mean Spork

“Frostys Are Good Overture”
Original music and score by Jenny B. Jones

 

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32 comments

32 Comments so far

  1. Tiffany July 14th, 2011 12:41 pm

    Hahahahahaha!! Miami airport is always a trip! I’ve had a similar experience in the St. Lucia airport. A man with an AK-47 said I needed to buy a bag for a dollar to carry my chapstick on board. Then I had to move from one “ticket” counter to the next, basically door to door in a 20 foot room because our “gate” changed each time… oh the fab life of jet-setting the small airports. :D

  2. Katers July 14th, 2011 12:50 pm

    ohh nooooo. How horrible. I’m surprised you didn’t mention that your body was mostly “liquid” to begin with.. but that might have brought on a strip search so maybe it’s better that I didn’t bring that up.

    I can’t wait to hear more!

  3. Natalie July 14th, 2011 12:53 pm

    You need to write movie scripts. TOO funny. (You and your rebel hand sanitizer.)

  4. Helen Loss July 14th, 2011 1:15 pm

    Lol. This made my day!

  5. Christi Wiggins July 14th, 2011 1:30 pm

    I would love to hear Frostys Are Good Overture. XD Because there is nothing like taking a fry from Wendy’s and swirling it around in your Frosty.
    Oh, this really made me laugh.

  6. Erin McFarland July 14th, 2011 1:38 pm

    hee hee :) i love your stories. and i too am baffled at the logic of our country’s airport security system these days. on a recent trip to Ohio, they made my 87 year old Nana get up out of her wheelchair, raise her hands above her head and try to stand in one of those super high tech x-ray machines. major fail! after Nana almost fell over from vertigo, they decided she could sit in her wheel chair for a pat down. REALLY!??? Oh man, if our security is being jeopardized by hand sanitizers and people that are almost a century old, then we have bigger issues than we thought!! ;/

  7. Emilee July 14th, 2011 2:21 pm

    Do we have to wait until Monday? hehe.
    To funny!

  8. Erin V July 14th, 2011 2:56 pm

    I know you better than to believe you were REALLY that sassy with the security guards! Did the trip provide lots of inspiration for a new novel?

  9. Breelin July 14th, 2011 3:02 pm

    Hahaha! that made my day! (: Glad you made it back to the states safley.

  10. Lauren July 14th, 2011 3:17 pm

    Lessons learned from Jenny B. Jones’s blog today:
    A) Miami International Airport sucks. Like sucks a lot.
    B) Security lines are ridiculous.
    C) Liquids aren’t allowed (and all this time…*shakes head*)
    Never Leaving Home: Security Line coming to theaters in everywhere but the Miami International. :)

  11. Annie July 14th, 2011 7:09 pm

    oh, Jenny, i’m sorry your traveling was awful, but you’ve written a fantastically hilarious post about it. this is probably my favorite of those you’ve written. and lauren’s comment made me laugh, too.

  12. Joy July 14th, 2011 7:53 pm

    I love it! I could not stop laughing!!! So, sorry about Part 1 of your trip-it almost brought tears to my eyes! (However, I am not at liberty to say if it was from laughter or not)

    Long live the Sink Eye :)

  13. Joy July 14th, 2011 7:53 pm

    Stink* Hahahah :)

  14. Richard Mabry July 14th, 2011 9:45 pm

    If I didn’t know better, I’d swear you were posting the script for a Saturday Night Live skit. Remind me never to have you in the travel party…to anywhere.
    Thanks for sharing this. I needed a good laugh. (Of course, if I had a scheduled layover in the Miami airport, it would give me nightmares for a week. Thank goodness for direct flights from DFW).

  15. Robin Caroll July 14th, 2011 10:05 pm

    LOL…you aren’t right

  16. Amy July 14th, 2011 11:47 pm

    Your awful trip home is cracking me up! So funny!!

  17. Kate Meyer July 15th, 2011 7:21 am

    It made my day :) Not your pain, but the way you talked about it

  18. christa July 15th, 2011 7:35 am

    Scary…you without sleep, that is! Glad you’re on home turf.

  19. Jenny July 15th, 2011 7:43 am

    My niece flew from Haiti into the Miami airport late yesterday. She had a 4 hour lay over there before heading to Detroit. I haven’t talked to her yet, but I will have to see if she shares your love for that airport.

  20. bookwyrm14 July 15th, 2011 9:57 am

    I laughed through your entire post. Literally. Like, rolling on the floor laughing. Honestly, you have a gift, Jenny…the gift of being HYSTERICAL!!!! :) :)

    I’m sorry your experience was so awful (I can relate to the agony of paranoid security people) but then again…I’m not sorry, because if it hadn’t been so awful, then you wouldn’t have been able to write such a HILARIOUS post that made my day! So I’m glad you had such a horrible experience! :) Isn’t my logic awesome?

  21. ashley July 15th, 2011 12:58 pm

    Ahahaaha, nice to have you back!

  22. Clare July 15th, 2011 1:28 pm

    This is hilarious! I loved the part with your bottled water! Awesome. :) Sorry that you had to go through all of that on only two hours of sleep, but I appreciate you telling it all in detail. Totally made me smile. :)

  23. Julie Arduini July 15th, 2011 2:50 pm

    Welcome back! I’ve heard the bottled water argument. They sell it ten feet before security and then deny you. Not right. Looking forward to Part 2.

  24. Deanna July 15th, 2011 5:01 pm

    Seriously, can we be friends? Thanks for the laugh at your expense. “For the love of all that’s holy” we really have to wait until Monday for part 2? Obviously it better be really good…no pressure, of course! :) Thanks again for the humor!

  25. capillya July 15th, 2011 6:59 pm

    Oh man. I don’t even…I still can’t breathe.

  26. Dakota July 15th, 2011 8:20 pm

    you’re so funny.

    just so funny.

    love it.

    sorry you had a rough time.

  27. D Elizabeth July 16th, 2011 3:51 pm

    Okay, just for the record, I have definitely had a similar experience at the Miami Airport.
    First off, I have titanium rods in my back. I had a major back surgery so now I can say I am somewhat of an awesome Hybrid like wolverine, but really at airports it gets obnoxious. Not usually at the small ones– they don’t have their metal detectors turned up high enough to make a difference but at international airports– oh brother.
    On a return trip from my 6 month stay in Honduras, CA, I was leaving the airport in San Pedro Sula, and set the metal detectors off. On the way INTO San Pedro I had set them off and they essentially strip searched me. Luckily I speak spanish so before they totally disrobed me I was able to convince them that I have titanium rods in my back and that THAT was what my card says (yes I have an id card from the hospital and everything with a picture of me and then on the backside an xray picture of my back). They let me go through.
    So on the way OUT of San Pedro 6 months later, the EXACT same security guard was working and he remembered me. And he STILL made me strip. The thing that made me mad was he was LAUGHING THE WHOLE TIME!! I was humiliated. My traveling companions never let me live it down. Well after the 4 hour plain ride back to Miami we get there and the SAME thing happens. Except I SHOWED them my card and explained and they still made me strip enough that they could see the 22″ scar on my back and run the stupid metal detector over it. Once they were satisfied it was my back and nothing else they decided to confiscate my bags and search THEM too because I guess they think if you have titanium rods in your back you must be a terrorist. All of my careful packing around the coffee, glass souvenirs I had purchased for my family was destroyed. And that is when they found the machete. My little sister BEGGED me to bring her back a machete, a real decorated one (because a machete is as common as a kitchen knife for practicality in Honduras), and being an awesome older sister, I complied. That was when the drilling began.
    “Why do you have this?”
    “I bought it in Honduras.”
    “Why did you purchase this?”
    “For my little sister.”
    “What purpose do you have for it?”
    ” I just told you I bought it for my little sister.”
    “And how do you plan on it being used?”
    “I’m not sure. On my end it’s a gift. And my little sister obviously isn’t here to tell you how she plans to use it so….”
    “Do you plan to use this as a weapon?”
    “No! I already told you that! The people in Honduras don’t even use them as weapons! They use them to cut open coconuts and do household chores.”
    “Calm Down ma’am.”
    “I’m perfectly calm. I’m just explaining to you that while that thing looks like a decorated sword, it’s no more menacing than a butter knife.”
    “I don’t appreciate the disrespect.”
    “I apologize. I’m not trying to be disrespectful sir. I’m tired. I’ve been in a plain a total of 7 hours today. I’ve already been strip searched twice today. You have my underwear all over the table for God and everybody to look at and you aren’t listening to anything I’m saying.”

    At this point a WOMAN security officer came over and appraised the situation, apologized and let me go. I re clothed myself, shoved everything back in my bag and exited the security area.
    What did I do next? I took my traveling companion to Chili’s and strongly considered ordering an adult beverage. Not kidding.

  28. Liv July 17th, 2011 7:35 pm

    Would LOVE to make that a video!!!!!!!! :-)
    Too funny

  29. jen July 18th, 2011 8:16 pm

    wow. so…just sayin’ Colombia airport in Bogota (where my flight’s layover was on Sunday) does what Quito does….and, since I had a lovely cold while in Otavalo and was in the great stage of the cold where I have a constant dry, tickle-the-back-of-my-throat cough…I was downing cough drops like crazy because I didn’t have water…so, in Bogota, I decided to be prepared and bought two outrageously priced bottles of water to take on the second plane ride since we had gone through security (after getting off the plane…not before!). I guess they are crazy anal if you are going back to the States because going to Quito, we could bring drinks on board….yeah, this time not so much! Had to give up my SEALED water bottles I just bought from five feet away when we went into the gate area (you wait in the ‘hall’ for your entire layover)…it was another complete search of the bags and pat down.

    got to love travel day drama :)

  30. Heather aka Dynamic Uno July 19th, 2011 1:28 pm

    Miami Airport is A.W.F.U.L. I try to avoid that airport at all costs, and I live in Florida.

    Your water story reminds me of my experince at the New Orleans terminal. I had just bought a water and a coke from their vendor and I wasn’t allowed to take it in. What a waste of $10 ($5 for each bottle).

  31. Jenny B. Jones July 20th, 2011 10:13 am

    Jen, you need to talk to your Ecuadorian and Colombian friends and get this craziness changed. No water brought in? We should sue. Class-action suit. There are enough of us. I don’t want money…just Dasanis.

    Heather, I agree–Miami airport has THE WORST reputation.

  32. Amy July 21st, 2011 8:54 am

    I started to read Part 2, because somehow I missed Part 1 (I know, shameful isn’t it?) But I’m glad I did because no one write a musical score like you, Jenny.

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