Never Leaving Home Again, Part I

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.”
“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.”

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

“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