Monday, January 26, 2009

Airport Day from Hell, and Shrimp Scampi for a VIP Mom

I know you've all been anxiously awaiting my return from Idaho, where I met my VIP's mother for very first time. It was planned to perfection - the VIP was due to arrive within 20 minutes of my own flight on Friday, and we would spend our weekend together, along with his mother. The VIP's uncle was also due to arrive that Friday afternoon, and we were looking forward to seeing him as he had just returned from a major medical procedure in Utah that kept him there for 6 months. It was his homecoming, it was a homecoming for the VIP, and it was a Very Important Visit for me as well to meet the family.

Here's a rundown of how the schedule should have happened on Friday:

1:20 pm - VIP arrives in Idaho from Chicago (via a flight leaving around 7 am from CHI, stopover in Phoenix)
1:40 pm - I arrive in Idaho from LAX
2:00 pm - VIP and I get picked up from Idaho airport
6:00 pm - VIP Uncle arrives in Idaho
8:00 pm - VIP's mom invites friends over to meet the VIP and me, we eat, drink, and have fun into the wee hours of the night

Here's what actually happened on Friday:

4:00 am - VIP wakes up
5:45 am - VIP arrives at O'hare
6:30 am - VIP, in line to board airplane for 7 am flight, is told that there is a mechanical problem with the flight and there will be a 3 hour delay. No problem, except that means he misses his Phoenix connection to Idaho. He gets in line to get assigned another flight.
7:00 am - VIP is told by US Airways that the earliest flight they can put him on is at 8:00 PM (PEE EM) which would get him into Idaho by 11:00 PM (again, PEE EM). However, there are 2 earlier flights on different airlines, and he can go standby on any one of those airlines.
8:45 am - VIP makes Standby Attempt #1. He is first in line for standby, and almost makes it but is thwarted at the last minute when that plane has to actually reject passengers due to weight restrictions (sounds like more passengers should have made the same New Year's resolution that I did...)
11:45 am - VIP makes Standby Attempt #2. He is rejected due to a full flight.

Around this same time, I am arriving at LAX for my on-time flight. My only hiccup in travel plans was being rejected - AGAIN! - from the United Airport lounge. Apparently my travel card only works in CERTAIN airport lounges, and United is not one of them. The heart bleeds and Argentina cries for me.

10:00 am PST (noon CST) - I depart for Idaho. On time. In fact, we're going to get there early.

Between noon CST and 2:00 pm CST - VIP is exhausted, frustrated, and hating the fact that he still has 6 - 8 hours to sit in O'Hare waiting for a plane. He asks to speak to Customer Service to see if he can get some sort of meal coupon or access to a lounge for his troubles. He is told he needs to leave the secure section of the airport to do so. VIP complains to one person who gives him a list of phone numbers; he spends 15 minutes getting an automated telephone runaround, finally dumping him into a voice mail.

VIP gets back in line, and this time gets to speak to a supervisor who finally does what she can, and that is gives him compensation for both lunch and dinner - both meals he should not have had to eat in the airport that day. VIP takes his stuff and has to go back through security - and of course, he is "randomly selected" for a very, very thorough security screening. Randomly, of course.

1:20 pm, Idaho time - I arrive in Idaho, and the VIP's mom is waiting for me.

3:00 pm, Idaho time - We get lunch at a local Applebee's because they have a WW menu, and we're both apparently on WW! We are going to get along just fine. I am enjoying my time with a new friend, while the VIP stews and simmers and tries to sleep in O'Hare. T-minus 4 hours until his flight; T-minus 8 hours until his arrival.

6:00 pm, Idaho time - VIP Mom and I go back to the airport to pick up VIP Uncle. We get him and VIP Aunt on their way back home. T-minus 1 hour until VIP's flight; 5 hours until arrival.

8:00 pm, Idaho time - I've also been up since 4 am. I ask VIP Mom if its OK if I lie down for a quick nap so I can be alert when the VIP arrives. This is, of course, OK. However, shortly after I lie down and pass out, the VIP Mom's friends show up - they had planned to come over to meet the VIP and me specifically, neither of whom were actually around when they showed up - so they just hung out with the mom instead.

Now, I'm not sure on the time of this, but it was before 10:00 pm Idaho time - Bad news about the VIP Uncle. A complication arose requiring him to be taken to the ER. VIP Mom woke me up to tell me but assured me she would be home in time to pick up the VIP, and I could keep sleeping. T-minus 1 hour until VIP arrival.

10:45 pm Idaho time - T-minus 15 minuts to VIP arrival. I am still in bed. I am not at the airport.

10:46 pm Idaho time - VIP Mom pulls up and we jump into the car and speed to the airport.

10:59 pm Idaho time - We are at the airport waiting. VIP is not there yet. WHEW!

Shortly after 11:00 pm Idaho time - The VIP, weary, bleary-eyed and carrying the weight of a really, really crappy day on his shoulders walks through the door. I've never seen a more beautiful sight :)

After we all got back to the VIP Mom's house, none of us lasted very long awake. VIP mom had made 3 trips to the airport that day, countless running around trips, and both the VIP and I had been awake since 4 am. Cranky because we had an almost full day taken from us due to airplane hellgames, and because it was late - but still very happy he made it safely and we were all together again, for the first time - we went to sleep after midnight with smiles on our faces.

The rest of the weekend went considerably smoother. I made shrimp scampi for dinner Saturday night, along with a salad of mixed greens and hot & cold mushrooms, and crusty bread with a homemade garlic sauce. I got a gigantic head of curly parsley, which was the only size they had, and used it liberally. I RECOMMEND THIS. It was divine.

The best part of the entire meal though was dessert, which I didn't actually make. The VIP MADE IT. He baked an apple pie - from SCRATCH! We're talking peeling the apples (something that was frustrating...its an awkward task if your hands are not used to it), making the dough, rolling it out, mixing the apple filling, and he even constructed a beautiful lattice top crust. It was his first pie and had I not been on my best behavior I would have eaten the entire thing.

I would post the recipe for the scampi, or for the pie, but meh. Scampi is easy. Butter, garlic, olive oil, shrimp, salt, parsley. Maybe red pepper if you want to live on the spicy side. Pour over linguine. The garlic sauce for the bread? Just mash up 2 tablespoons of butter with some extra virgin olive oil, and add freshly minced garlic and parsley; spread on loaf halves and broil until the top begins to toast. Add grated parmesean if you're feeling cheesy. Its so easy.

As for the pie?'ll just have to ask the VIP for that. I have a feeling its soon going to become a Very Important Secret Pie Recipe. The secret ingredient? Love. :)

Lest I forget...

Monday Weigh-In:

Previous Weight: 159.2
Current Weight: 158
Pounds lost: 1.2

I lost weight while I was in Idaho! I ate scampi, and garlic bread, and this AMAZING stroganoff his mom made (I had 2 helpings) and pie and pizza and a ton of wine and sandwiches. Hey hey! Not too shabby!

1 comment:

  1. Congratulations on the weigh-in and I'm officially making shrimp scampi ASAP.