Walking through the doors of SFO, I always feel like I'll be swallowed by the TSA system or trampled by the masses of people moving and waiting to get to their destination. I'm a die-hard pessimist, when it comes to airports. I'm always expecting the worst, but deep down hoping for the best. There's usually some glitch, especially traveling with a toddler. I pray it's only minor and nothing major, like having our seats relocated at the last minute and being separated.
We forgot about the 4th of July holiday, so the lines for economy check-in were wound around and around; the winding rope barriers were never-ending. The sea of travelers made it hard to even find the end of the line. People managed to keep cutting in front, knowing we had lost our sense of direction.
Babyface is now almost four, so she no longer rides in her stroller willingly. She wants to pull her princess carry-on and pretend she knows what's up. I'm constantly bumping and tripping, because I don't want to take my eyes off of her. In those two seconds I look away, she could drift too far and out of sight.
Five minutes in, my husband made her ride in the stroller; she was on the border of a breakdown, but got distracted by a kid passing by. Five minutes more and we finally found the end of the line. The length was luckily deceiving, appearing like we would miss our cut-off for baggage check-in, but we were able to move through it in only 25 minutes. The first moment of fear and worry was out of the way and went quite smoothly, I must say.
Check-in was a breeze. Baggage tags slapped on and verified. Boarding passes printed with ease. Our seats stayed as assigned; our set of three all together, A, B and C. Second moment of fear and worry was out of our way and went even more smoothly, I must say.
We gathered our carry-on bags. Our tall, bundle of joy sat quietly without complaining in her stroller, as we glided through the crowd. No one hit us. No one bumped into us. People covered their mouths when they coughed. I even caught a few smiles. It was the twilight zone, but one with a sappy storyline.
When we reached security, we were guided to a separate and shorter stroller line. It was half the size of the main one, a straight shot to the x-ray conveyor. 15 minutes and we were taking our shoes off and putting our belongings in baskets. Third moment of fear and worry was out of our way and went even more smoothly, I must say.
After we glided through security, we headed to our gate. There were open seats, right behind the main gate counter. Perfect seats to get ahead of the pushing masses and board the plane, on first call. The bathrooms were only a few feet from the gate with no line. The convenience store selling three dollar bottles of water was empty and made for a quick and easy checkout. We sat for a few minutes and waited for the announcement to board. Our flight was on time and there was no plane malfunction. Fourth moment of fear and worry was out of our way and went even more smoothly, I must say.
We were in the fifth group entry, but there must have been twenty, because we were among the first few to board the plane. I wiped the seats, sides, trays and seat belts with Clorox wipes, while my husband glared at me like I'm cuckoo, crazy. The overhead and under-seat space was plenty for our stuff. We were all seated and situated, watching the rest of the groups board the plane and take their seats within no time. Fifth moment of fear and worry was out of our way and went the smoothest, I must say.
Two and a half hours in and our daughter has been an angel. She asks us to switch up her toys, coloring books and crayons often, but there has been no seat kicking, no crying and most importantly there has still been a lot of smiling. I'm pinching myself, as we speak, just to make sure this isn't the beginning of Final Destination 6. So far, so good and smooth flying. Hopefully, I won't see a troll on the edge of the wing.
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