If you read my blog about road testing my new bag, the Wanderer you’ve figured out I just got back from Mexico and an awesome surf safari with Las Olas. I could regale you with tales of delicious food and warm waves but that seems a little too close to taunting you with my lovely trip. So I will tell you (what I consider) the hilarious tale of my journey home. And my life lesson about tequila. Any of my friends and family reading this can attest to my love affair with tequila, though I’m not sure if you realized how deep it went......
I almost missed my flight over a bottle of tequila.......
I bought a bottle of tequila in the duty free shop in the Puerto Vallarta airport. The nice man who sold it to me asked if I had a direct flight or a lay over. When I informed him I had a lay over he pulled out a super official plastic bag and sealed my precious cargo inside.
I boarded the plane to LAX where my lay over was. We landed and I went through customs with no major issues. Then, for whatever reason, it spits you back out into the normal world and despite being inspected once already had to go through security again. But safety first, I had no problem doing it again.
I got in the security line about 5:50, my flight left at 6:40. It would be close but I was confident it would move fast enough to make my flight. It took some time but I finally went through the screening. Where they stopped my bin. With the tequila.
They asked whose bag it was and I claimed it. They told me oh you can't have this you'll have to check it, surrender it or give it to the person who dropped you off. I was like, um I'll have to find the pilot to give it to the person who dropped me off, there's no way I'm surrendering it and how can I get this checked right now so I can make my flight. He seemed disappointed I wasn't going to surrender it... but he didn't give me either of my bags back or tell me how to get them so I could check the tequila.
I finally asked one of the other agents, what is going on here. How can get the bag so I can check it, then get back in line and maybe make my flight. She said that they were waiting on another agent to come inspect my bag and if it passed I could just take it on the plane. Perfect. We wait for this agent for a good 10 minutes. It's now 6:15. I'm a little nervous but hey I can run to my gate and probably still make it. Finally the special tequila inspecting agent comes over. She starts by petting the seal of the bag, for, I kid you not, at least a solid minute.
I'm not sure what she was able to deduce from that but she soon moved on to reading the receipt in its little window. Finally she looks at me and says that she can't see the date on the receipt and it needs to have been purchased in the last 24 hours. I rummage through my bag (which they finally gave back to me) showing her my ticket stub and finally producing my copy of the receipt. She muses over this copy, comparing the amounts on both the receipts.
6:25. I must look super suspicious since I'm bouncing up and down at this point, so she decides she needs to open the sealed bag. She grabs her scissors and carefully opens the bag. Sure enough the receipt is from today, it was properly sealed, I think I'm in the clear. But oh no, now its not sealed, the magic is broken. She needs to take it to another scanner. If it makes it through that then all is well. We walk over to another section of security where she puts the bottle in the machine. It, of course, passes.
She says its all good, she's just going to repackage it. 6:33. I say don't worry about it, I'll just shove it in my other bag as I run to my gate. She tells me no, she must repackage it, she can't just let random, exposed bottles of tequila out into the airport. Fine. I'll wait. She then rummages through 3 draws to find packing tape, and begins to reseal the bag she cut open, while wearing gloves. Which, even in my agitated state, I was impressed by because I hate taping things while wearing gloves. She got all the little words lined up and the bag sealed. Then she put the bottle back into its box and then the box back into its outer bag and handed it back to me. 6:38. I thank her and begin to speed walk out of security to the nearest screen to check my gate, praying that it wasn't a mile away. I get the number and turn to check my surroundings and realize that its directly behind me. I walk right over to the line of people boarding. 6:40.
I thought that that was enough adventure for my trip home, what else could happen? Which as you know is the single question you should not ask if you want things to go smoothly. I get on board but I am the last person on the plane and am scurrying back and forth trying to find a place to put my bag, finally I ask the flight attendant to gate check it. I sit down, still pretty amped up. But I'm headed home. We take off and there's a little chop but no biggie. We've been in the air for about 20 minutes (its only a 55 min flight) when I feel us bank, we hit some turbulence and then bank again. More turbulence. I'm white knuckling at this point when the pilot comes on to say that as we may have noticed we've turned around.
What?! We're headed back to LAX because the engine doo-hicky that controls the pressure of the cabin is broken and we'll kind of need that fixed. So knowing that the plane is broken, we book it back to LAX, and it definitely seems like we are going way faster than before and are hitting a lot more bumps. We finally land, and I'm sure that the next passenger to use that seat will be able to make out my hand prints on the arm rests. They have everyone deplane and get in line to figure out what to do next. They're sticking people on random flights to airports near San Jose, but the line isn't moving that quickly. They say they're going to try to fix our plane and when they do we can merrily hop back on board the defective plane. Yeah, no.
I'm contemplating just asking for my checked bag, renting a car, driving the 5 and half hours home and never setting foot in an airport again when they announce that they will be getting a new plane, a better plane. But they don't know when it'll get here. Well this seems like the easiest way to do things but there is no way I can get back on a plane stone sober. Fortuitously our new gate happened to have a bar in the center it. I walked over got a shot of tequila and instantly felt better. Then I realized I hadn't eaten since noon. I asked the ticket desk if I had time to eat before the new plane showed up and she told me I did, so I went and got a burger and fries. After I ate that I had another shot of tequila with my fellow passengers, who had become fast friends, shared hardship and all that. Then we boarded at 9:25 and had a very smooth flight home, I assume. The tequila had done its job and I slept the whole way there.
I decided that the life lesson here is that if you don't abandon tequila it won't abandon you.