2:39AM: A trio of bickering and we haven’t even pulled out of the driveway yet! Chooch almost left without his phone charger and now I’m the bad guy for asking him if he has it, I guess.
Also, Henry cleaned my glasses for me and it’s like looking out of, well, glass. Is this how it was always supposed to be?!
3:07am: been in the check-in line for 3 minutes and two people have asked me questions so far as if I know anything?!
3:18am: I know this is going to shock everyone but we’ve been here for 20 minutes and the American Airlines check in counter has been empty. But 6 of them are now slowly walking out and we’re all like “shut up” when one of them called out good mornings all sing-songily. It’s 3:00am gtfo.
3:56am: At the gate. Henry and I got PARENT PASSES to come all the way with him – I’m sure he is SO happy about this considering he sniped, “you’re so embarrassing” 8x in the last 10 minutes.
I almost took this with the flash on so that probably would have really sent him over the edge lololol.
4:45am: Now we have Dunkin’ Donuts and Henry is waiting in line somewhere else to get Chooch to big boy food. “I’m excited for this ‘home style breakfast.'”
Henry, bearer of bad news, just strutted over to tell Chooch that they don’t have pancakes today and he took the liberty of substituting it with toast. Chooch is not happy about this. Henry walked away and Chooch said, “asshole” in a super conversational tone and I don’t know why, probably because of the whole “2 hours of sleep” thing, but I can’t stop laughing.
Oh yeah! Since we couldn’t send Doll to Mexico with Chooch, we took pictures of her to put in his suitcase as a surprise:
5:15am: There is another CIEE kid here!!! We wanted Chooch to say hi and he said “I’ll say in Mexico.” WOW LOL. Now he’s trying to hide his shirt and avoid her but her dad looked right at him so we’ll see how this plays out.
5:52am: Well, he’s all boarded. Henry said he wished he took a picture of us hugging because it was so awkward considering I usually always slap or flick him to show affection. I’m crying, guys. This sucks.
Henry’s trying to flex his airplane knowledge. “They took the chocks out so the plane should be moving soon.”
6:21am: Just watched the plane take off. I’m a mess.
This is Henry’s version of “sad” I guess.
6:33am: Whelp. Chooch’s plane had to land because the lady behind him passed out and they’re doing CPR so now we’re going back to the gate. We had JUST gotten off the shuttle too and managed to jump back on before the doors closed because otherwise I think we would have had to go through security again and I don’t think our Gate Passes would have still worked since his flight had technically departed.
6:55am: lady has been brought off on stretcher. They’re still doing CPR. :/
While we’re killing time waiting for takeoff part 2, here’s a picture of Chooch’s Bon Voyage dinner, which I had hoped would be at a decent restaurant but when we left it up to him, he just kept suggesting Applebees because of that stupid country song that I hate and I was really trying to internalize my dissatisfaction with this choice since it was for HIS Bon voyage dinner not mine, but then he looked at the menu and realized that there is nothing for us to eat there so then he settled for take out from Moonlit Burgers because they have impossible burgers.
He was actually SO NICE all day yesterday and even treated us like human beings. It was almost as if he realized he was leaving for a month and might miss us.
7:16am: now everyone is getting off the plane.
(Everyone is saying that the lady had a heart attack.)
LOOK WHO’S BACK.
I just asked him if it was scary and he said, “no. I’m a sociopath.” And then cracked up. Wow.
8:13am: REBOARDING. I GET TO RE-CRY TOO I GUESS.
P.S. Apparently that other CIEE kid is going somewhere else not Merida because Henry just talked to chooch’s chaperone and she didn’t mention any other kids that she will be waiting for??!!
8:56am: Getting ready for takeoff part 2. *fingers crossed* He’s going to be cutting it super close for his connecting flight. Went from a 3-hour layover to basically having about 30 minutes to get to the gate, hopefully his chaperone is actually there. I hate this so much.
9:08am: He’s in the air. Attempting to leave the airport for the second time today.
Outside! I missed you!
10:24am: Went home for a second, consoled the cats after they did a Human Count and realized Chooch was missing, tossed some peanuts to Mr. Gray Guy, and then we came back out to Allegro’s to get some of their morning buns because I am honestly not going to be able to sit still and relax until I know that Chooch has made his connecting flight and is safe in Merida this day is so stressful. How will I ever send him off to college?!!!
Meanwhile, I imagine Chooch is on the plane, watching Better Call Saul, and giving zero fucks about anything because that kid does not know anxiety.
Dude this was good and sort of helped make me feel better…until it made me sick because I ate the whole damn thing ugh.
11:40pm: OK he landed at 12:20 and is off the plane. His CIEE chaperone is not there like she said she would be because why should anything go according to plan, but his gate is at least in the same terminal so he just has to get there. I might puke up that orange roll.
11:46am: Update from Chooch – “you guys are so annoying. I’m trying to walk.” Wow sorry for worrying.
12:38pm: He should be taking off soon! I’m tracking his flight because I’m Stalker Mom. I’m going to go live with this post now but will for sure update when he lands in Merida. Thank you for taking this virtual journey with me lol!
2:11pm: I keep obsessively refreshing the flight tracker. He has like 40 minutes. Since I last left you, I made progress on getting Mr. Gray Guy (a squirrel) to love me and I took a whole ass 30 minute nap, who even am I? A nap?! I mean, I guess I’ve been awake since 2:15AM.
Earlier today Henry was like, “we should have just driven him to Miami for that flight,” and after approx. 1.3 seconds of letting this spin cycle thru my empty mind like a ratty dryer sheet, I cried, “Why didn’t we??!!” I mean, Henry and I weren’t even traveling today but it was just reminder after the next of why I hate flying so much. It’s the whole fucking process for me. TSA especially. I fucking hate it. Travelers are already so stressed and harried and tired but then they gotta contend with these motherfuckers whose job prerequisite is SCHOOL BULLY.
Pittsburgh TSA sucks.
3:13pm: OK he’s there! I only know because of the stalking I’ve been doing not because he had the decency to text to me. He did, however, texted Henry: where’s my immigration form because of fucking course sonny boy didn’t listen to a word we told him the whole 6 hours we were in the airport together this morning but mmm ok.
Anyway, I’ll probably end this here. I’m ok now that he’s there and I will probably continue to be OK until we have to do this all over again in reverse on August 6th god help me.
ETA: I can’t believe I forgot these pertinent tidbits (though I have a vague recollection of typing them so they probably didn’t save because WordPress is trash):
- the reason everyone had to get off the plane was because it had done a “hard landing” meaning that it made an emergency landing with nearly a full tank which is apparently not great for the plane and can cause stress so it needed to be inspected. The American Airlines guy at the gate kept us pretty well-informed about this which I appreciated but this part freaked me out: the maintenance crew is BASED IN DALLAS so they were essentially walking the Pittsburgh team through the inspection over the phone?!?!
- Before all the passengers got off the plane, the lady who had the heart attack was wheeled off on a stretcher. They had to bring her off into the gate and then take her onto an elevator to get her back out onto the tarmac where the ambulance was. We saw them doing CPR still as they put her in the ambulance, and at this point it had been at least a half an hour since Chooch had texted me to say that they landed.
- After the incident happened on the plane, one of the passengers gave her CPR. That passenger was standing near us when everyone got off the plane and people were going up to her and thanking her for helping. One guy was super choked up when he thanked her so I can only imagine how traumatic it must have been for everyone who witnessed it. I asked Chooch if it was upsetting and he said, “No not really but I’m a sociopath” because that’s what I always call him because his ambivalence is shocking at times.
- Henry went to Brueggers while we were waiting for the plane to be inspected and the co-pilot was in there telling everyone what happened. He said it was literally right during take off and he knew it was bad because normally they’re not allowed to make emergency landings until they’re above a certain altitude but they were given the all-clear because “a passenger wasn’t breathing.” I literally cannot even imagine.
- I got to talk to Chooch for a millisecond tonight after he got to his homestay. He told me, “I dunno sure I’m tired bye” whatever that means. We still don’t even know he was able to get his luggage because that apparently isn’t an important enough question for him to answer.
- I legit can’t stop thinking about that lady and I wasn’t even on the plane. I really hope that she’s ok. :(