Janelle's Blog

Travel Made Easy???

That was a trip to remember…more trauma getting out of town than the travel itself. What is so difficult about boarding a plane in your own home town and taking a relaxing flight for 3 ½ hours before arriving at your destination?

It was getting on the plane that started a crazy trail of events. As I walked through security at the airport, the bells and whistles went off with TSA. I thought it might be my knit shirt with sparkly decorations or my metal jewelry, but that wasn’t it.

“You must have lotion on your hands,” said the TSA security attendant.

“Yes, I always have some hand lotion on,” I said.

Internal dialogue, What in the world are they talking about? My mother taught me never to leave town without my hand lotion.

At that moment, the roller bag I was carrying on the plane set off a warning. TSA agents started an intensive search through my bag, which included an iPhone, a camera (in case my iPhone battery is too low to take pictures), car navigator system (because Hertz doesn’t try hard enough), makeup bag (which would be disastrous if lost, heaven forbid), Laptop, iPad (to back up the Laptop) manicure set (because my nail polish won’t last four days), pills (extras in case I get stranded in a blizzard even though it is summer—you never know when you might get rerouted to the North), eyeglasses (one to wear with contacts, one to wear without contacts, and expensive sunglasses that I don’t even trust TSA to handle), magazines (three styles in case I get bored), book (should we have a get stuck at the airport for days), and manila folders stuffed with work to do on the plane (so I won’t feel guilty enjoying my magazines). Everything was properly packed in easy to examine containers, so they proceeded to zip and unzip every one of them three times.

The attendant suspiciously looked at me and started telling me what she was going to do to me in the back room, where I would be examined further. This is after I went through the body scan machine.

Then TSA called my husband over to interrogate him about me. He tried to explain that I am about as innocent a person as they could find with no criminal record—grandmother, CEO of a large non-profit organization and on our way to Los Angeles where we help provide free mammograms to women who cannot afford them. I was overhearing him describe me and was rather touched by his kind comments until I heard him say, “Does she look like a terrorist?”

Thirty minutes later, a bit rattled and proclaimed to not be a security threat to the airway system, they concluded that their machine must have been too sensitive.

Just get me on that plane, I thought. All of this ruckus. Four of us are about to miss our plane.

On the Plane, But Not Out of Town Yet

The flight was almost ready to take off, and the last call from the flight attendant to buckle up and turn off electronics had sounded. I reached for the end of the belt to find the metal insert was covered with a wad of chewed bubble gum.

What is that noise I keep hearing? I thought. It sounds like a barking dog. Oh my goodness! It is a yelping little dog in the cargo hole. It went on and on and on.

Here We Go

The flight took off, and I breathed a sigh of relief. Now I could lean back in my seat and unwind, only the seat would not lean back. It was broken. The flight attendant walked by and noticed my struggle. She was a light-weight, tiny-framed brunette. The plane had a slight bump and she lifted off the ground and nearly fell into my husband’s lap as she leaned over to help me.

Do you think I am making this stuff up? Believe me, I couldn’t think of all these things. The reason I carry plenty of supplies is so I am prepared for everything, so I brought my own man-made relaxation. My neck pillow and spa music were a welcomed relief for the rest of the flight. Some days the rest of the world gets up on the wrong side of the bed.

When Preparation is Not Enough

The thing about life is that it never goes as smoothly as you plan. Sometimes, everything gets so ridiculous that you have to laugh. This was the wildest flight ever. By the way, on the way home from our trip, I went through security without a glitch.

Breast cancer survivor or survivor of life itself, keep moving!

Plan, plan, plan, then roll with the punches! The ups and downs, bumps and side-tracks in life are filled with interesting happenings. A blog may even come out of it. Just keep moving forward and keep your eyes on where you are going. Temper tantrums and angry outbursts will get you nowhere but more upset. (I didn’t do any of that…remember, I am the innocent one). When all is said and done, don’t become a part of the ridiculous by your behavior. That will only take your eyes off your goal and will cloud your thinking.

Now, where am I going next? Does that mean I have to fly?

Thought for Today:

“You got to be careful if you don’t know where you’re going, because you might not get there.”—Yogi Berra

Live Life (with a smile),


Let’s Talk: Have you had a travel experience that made you want to give up flying?

Reader's Comments

2 Responses to Travel Made Easy???
  1. Laura G
    May 4, 2012 | 9:10 am

    Janelle, this blog made me literally laugh out loud. I can just imagine how crazy that must have been!

    One unforgettable travel moment for us was on our honeymoon back from traveling 2 weeks abroad. On our last flight home from Heathrow to O’Hare there was a middle-eastern gentleman (4 rows in front of us) who managed to spit an entire bag of sunflower seeds all over the front of the plane. Literally the floor was covered, and the whole plane was asleep. At about 3am I got up to stretch my legs, and this guys immediately turns around and waves me over to him. Through a very very thick accent he asked me “How much? How much? hospital…wife…baby” I look over to see his wife (in a full burka) pull back her dressings and show me her 9 month (and about to explode) pregnant belly. My jaw dropped. He was asking me how much it costs to have a baby at a hospital!! Obviously I had no clue and could no offer him any help. I returned to my seat crunching on the seeds below in shock. Minutes later, the man came back to our seats with a bare-handful of the seeds as a way to say thank you. As I was about to kindly refuse and say “oh, no thank you” my husband (the world-traveler-and-culture-expert) grabs my hands and says “No! You don’t refuse his offering! It’s offensive” Oh Lord I thought, now we’ve got these seeds and what are we going to do with them? I think my biggest fear was that the flight attendant would see that we had them and think they we had covered the plane floor in those seed shells! This whole situation had me so stressed out, and slightly laughing. I think the best part was when everyone woke up,…and saw the seeds…including the flight attendants…and they were NOT happy.

    Oh the adventures of traveling! Great blog! Makes me look forward to our Austria trip next month.

  2. Alex Cozumel
    May 5, 2012 | 2:33 am

    This is a topic that is near to my heart… Take care! Where are
    your contact details though?

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