Getting to the airport early was a very good thing for me! I had two huge suitcases,a carry on and a big purse. Now can I mention the suitcases were REALLY heavy! My carry-on was equally as heavy!
Eric put my bags on the scale and the very nice gentleman behind the counter said, “That’s $800.00.” 800.00???? OMG! Why so much, I was thinking. I had gone over the weight limit!! I had already transferred money around and left just enough in my account to cover automatic monthly withdrawals for two years. YIKES! Life sucks……if you let it!
I was 8 pounds over!! If I could get rid of 8 pounds it would only be $400.00! That was a better option for me. I would have to deal with the automatic withdrawals later. He told me to start taking things out or pay the $800.00. I started taking things out!
I unlocked the suitcases and started removing some of the heavier items, then Eric would run the bag over to the scale. UGH, 6 pounds to go. The good news about arriving so early was that nobody else was in line so we could keep running my bag back and forth to weigh it!!!
Jeans are really heavier than I thought. Two pair were three pounds! I took out a pre vacuum packed bag with jeans and other things packed tightly. This bag was 8 pounds. I unzipped it and started tossing!
Finally I got the two suitcases to about 150 pounds! Ya!!! Only $400.00. So a lot of things went back home and more things were stuffed into my carry on!
By now Amy, Brandon and Matt were there wondering why my stuff was all over the floor of the airport! But I guess they weren’t really surprised, being me and all. Anyway. We headed up to the gate and sat for a while. I chuckled as we all sat there playing Hangin’ With Friends/Words with Friends on our phones.
I decided to go ahead and get through security, I still had some time but my bag was heavy and I didn’t have help carrying it so I thought it might take a few more minutes. After saying my goodbyes I headed toward the United Airways sign. Little did I know, the gate was really THE OTHER WAY! They are moving gates, but in the meantime, they didn’t move their sign. Finally, I asked somebody where the gate was and I was told it was on the OTHER side! Of course, I should have known!
So I started toward the gate that didn’t say United. There was a lady behind me yelling you better hurry up, I saw them boarding already. I lugged my 90 pound carry on bag down the stairs toward the lady standing in the corner. She said, “You must be Cathy, we were just coming to look for you.” Hmmmmm. I thought that to be kind of odd, since I still had plenty of time according to my watch. I walked OUTSIDE to board the plane and as I was walking a guy came running up from behind yelling, “Excuse me, Cathy, you dropped this.” YIKES, I had a little trail behind me from not zipping my bag after stuffing more things in there. How he knew my name, I will never know!
I walked up the stairs to the plane with my 90 pound bag in tow, down the aisle, hitting everybody along the way trying to get my huge bag through the small aisle. I got some stares. Not to mention, apparently I was late so I didn’t figure I would make many friends on this flight.
I found my seat and attempted to stuff my bag in the overhead compartment. It wouldn’t fit. It wouldn’t fit under the front of my seat either because there was a bar blocking it from going under. So, I stuffed it in from behind my seat. A few kicks and a couple of shoves later, my 90 pound bag was under the seat!!!
Off to Chicago! I got my bag out from under the seat after a good 5 minutes or so and headed down the aisle only to walk down the stairs and wait outside. What’s with all this outside stuff?? Finally, I got inside and headed through the very large airport with my 90 pound carry on and purse. I must have walked 5 miles! I checked in with my VISA and Passport and sat and waited. Wow, it was only Chicago and I couldn’t understand a word any of these people were saying. I was tired and hoped for a good nap on the plane since I had a pretty good seat that I had booked a couple months earlier. I was excited about that.
As I boarded, I drug my bag down the aisle looking for my seat. WHAT???? I am in the middle??? How did that happen? I didn’t choose the middle. ARRGGHH. I was kind of upset with that which was probably a good thing as it must have given me some adrenaline to hoist my bag over my head and into the compartment! YES! It fit!
We had a nice tailwind, (which I never seemed to have while riding my bike) so we arrived a little early. I waited for most of the people to get off so I could get my bag down without hitting someone on the head and giving them a concussion.
Arriving at the baggage claim I wondered how I was going to get my luggage off the carousel. They were so heavy I couldn’t just lift them up and onto the floor. It was more like uprighting the luggage and walking around the carousel trying to lift them while they were in motion! This one guy did feel sorry for me and helped me get my bags off the carousel. Thank goodness. Now to lug 200 + pounds through the airport!!
I found a sign with my name on it and headed that way with bags in tow. The girls who were there to pick us up were very friendly and helped me with the luggage. The other teachers and I loaded our stuff onto the bus and off we went to begin our new life in Shanghai, China.