“I want to travel”

People always say that they would love a job where you travel a lot. Well here’s a quick recap of the past few days.

We start Tuesday at LAX, 5:25 AM for a 6:45 AM flight. That’s already too late. There is no time early enough to get to LAX. I show my loyalty to Southwest. Judge me if you want, I like the fact that I can check two bags if I feel like it. I’ve got one duffel bag and a carry on. I scan the crowd to feel out what kind of time I have. Lots of families this particular morning. A couple of musicians. Wheel chaired elderly. This is not a good morning mix. I need to invest into a printer and just start printing out my tickets.

So here was my planned trip.

I’m headed to Hartford, CT for a college gig, then the next morning I’ll be making my way to El Paso. In order to get a good price on tickets, I had to buy a trip from Hartford to Denver and a ticket from Denver to El Paso. I’m supposed to leave Hartford at 8:45 am, land in Denver at 11:20 am and catch a 12:50 flight to El Paso. Everything on paper seemed perfect. My only concern was if I checked my bag, will I have enough time to grab it and get on my El Paso flight. Or will they just let me send it to El Paso?

But I’m jumping ahead. LAX 6:25 AM, I finally get to the ticket counter. My bag is late checked but at least I can get it off my hands. The ticket agent asks if I’d like to check in my carry on. “Sure, why run through the airport with it.”

Now all I have is my backpack.

I get through security, run to the gate and make it to the plane with a few minutes to spare. Now Southwest is open seating. People in the front of the plane do their best to not make eye contact with anyone. They even go as far as to leave newspapers in middle seats as a block. I see there is a middle seat in the 4th row and I ask the people if anyone is sitting there. They both ignore me. I ask again. This time the window seat patron says, “Umm.. I think there’s still seats in the back.” I say, “Oh really, thanks for that. I hope your newspaper enjoys the flight.” Not the meanest thing I could say but I’m only in my second class of Improv.

I have to change planes in Chicago. As I land, I see I have a missed call from Hartford. “We were just checking in on your status. There is a snow storm happening here and classes were cancelled, so the show might be cancelled tonight.” I thought, “But I’m in Chicago and I checked my bags and El Paso tomorrow?”

I make a few calls, show isn’t cancelled and I get on my flight to Hartford. It’s 19 degrees there.

Time to pick up my bags. The first “bag” that comes through is a unicycle. It instantly puts a smile on my face. I wait and wait and… no bags.

I’m informed that my bags never left LAX since they were late checked and the other flights to Hartford were cancelled due to weather. They won’t get into Hartford until Wednesday afternoon. I’ll be in El Paso Wednesday afternoon. The baggage lady is trying to get my info correct. “Okay so you came from LAX, you’re headed to Denver but we don’t send the bags there because you’ll be leaving to El Paso. In case they don’t make it, you’ll be leaving El Paso to Burbank on Sunday. Home is in Van Nuys. Okay then… I got your info.”

So all I have is the clothes on my body. Great.

I get my economy rental car. A Fiat. Enterprise keeps asking if I want to upgrade to a bigger car because of the snow. Since I’m a cheapskate and they can’t fully explain why I shouldn’t take a Fiat, I stick with the Fiat. As I’m pulling out of Enterprise, the lady letting the cars out says, “Good luck with that Fiat.”

I check in to my hotel at 6:00 PM. My sound check is at 7:00 PM. I’m only 22 miles away. I ask the front desk for every free toiletry item they have. The hand me what feels like a prison escapee grooming kit. A terrible toothbrush, a packet of toothpaste (yes, a packet), a one bladed shaver and a packet of shaving cream (that looks exactly like the packet of toothpaste). Oh and a black comb. Yes, that kind of black comb.

I shave. I’m still itching from that shave. I try to brush my hair. I check the route for the school on my phone. Still 22 miles but the trip time: 1 hr 22m. WTF! It’s 6:22 and I have a Fiat. Luckily, I have no reason to keep getting groomed since I have no other clothes so I leave.

And I start driving like I’m a pro at driving in snow. I follow the path already taken and I make it to the college at 7:08 PM.

The show happens. It’s college kids. I’m a little too risqué for them. I could have toned it down but after the trip I took, my head was all over the place. Plus, they want to be treated like adults. Here’s when I knew I couldn’t go too far. Me: “So you’ve been with your girlfriend for 3 years.” College Kid: “Yeah.” Me: “So you’ve taken a shower with her?” College audience: Audible Gasp Me: “Oh.. um.. that’s a thing guys. Especially after 3 years. Okay then…” College Kid: “Well… yeah we have.”

Okay then back to jokes about movies. By the way, their school mascot was a naked blue devil holding a trident made out of snakes. Not really a symbol of purity.

I get done with the gig. I leave. I stop at Target and buy some clothes. I go back to the hotel. It’s 11:45 PM and I’ve got to be up at 5 AM. So… I didn’t sleep.

I get into my Fiat and see that it’s now 5 degrees. At 19 degrees, you kind of feel the cold. At 5, you really feel the cold. Like instantly on your fingers.

I get in. I talk to the ticket agent about my bags. They can’t track them until they leave LAX and arrive in Hartford. I get it. My bad.

We board the plane and we sit. They have to warm up the water in the plane. It’s just a slight delay. I think, “That’s okay, as long as we aren’t sitting here for 1 hr and 30 minutes, I’m fine.”

We are delayed 1 hr and 35 minutes. They let us know that everyone with connecting flights will be okay even if they don’t make their flight. But umm… I’m not on a connecting flight. I bought a separate ticket.

I hear people say, “This always happens to me on Southwest. I’m so done with Southwest.” I think to myself, “The water always freezes when you fly Southwest? That’s strange. I didn’t realize an airlines had the ability to control the weather.”

We land in Denver at 12:45pm. I get off the plane at 12:51 and rush over to my 12:50 flight. They held the plane. YAY!

I have to make a connecting flight into Phoenix. As I get off in Phoenix, I look for some quick food and get a phone call. Looks like my buddy I’m working with in El Paso will not be making it to the show tonight. Since it’s a 2 man show, that means all the club has is me. The show ends up being cancelled. Oh well, I didn’t have a change of clothes anyway.

I also get a call that my bags are in Hartford finally and they will be sent to El Paso the next morning (Thursday). My bags have just as many connecting flights as I have.

I get to El Paso. I realize I’ve been dealing with “travel” for 15 hours on just Wednesday. I’m exhausted and full of bad airport food. I get to my room with nothing to do until Thursday night. I try to sleep.

I wake up to what sounds like groundskeeping at 11 AM. I try to knock out but finally decide to get out of bed at 1 PM and take a shower. When I get out of the shower I see I have a missed call. It says, “Hello this is the baggage claim office in El Paso and we are looking for a Nicholas Guerrero. We just want to inform her the her bags are here and she just needs to pick them up.” I think, “Wow, I even get mistaken for a girl over the phone.”

Oh happy day! I get my bags! I get back into my hotel room and I’m ready to just zone out… but that damn groundskeeping is still happening. Or so I think.

I look for the noise. It’s my air-conditioning unit. The wind from outside the hotel is making the fan in the unit spin and producing what sounds like someone flying a model plane outside. On top of that, the toilet I flushed an hour ago is still making noise also. I’m just getting noises from everywhere. I call the maintenance so they can confirm the noise and get me moved over to another room.

I turn on TBS and Seinfeld is on. It’s an episode I’ve never seen which makes me a little happy.

The maintenance guy shows up, bangs on the unit and confirms the noise. I’m trying to enjoy this undiscovered Seinfeld episode but I have to switch rooms. By the time I switch rooms, it’s a different Seinfeld episode, the one where they pitch the TV show. Boo… everyone has seen that one.

And that’s traveling. It’s all bags, airport food and Seinfeld on TBS.

Oh and I forgot. I took too long to take a shit on the plane and they opened the door on me. Luckily I was washing my hands at that point.

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