RWA conference was such a blast! Special thanks to the staff of Romance Writers of America for putting on such a uber awesome weeklong writer fest, and a hearty thank you to The Guy for watching over the blog while Jean, Stephanie, and I were gone. ;)
Getting ready for conference is always a whirlwind affair. Of course, the ever needed packing list comes into play. You can always find a great one listed in the archives of The Writing Playground. Once an attendee prepares/purchases his/her wardrobe, pitches are readied, and bags are packed and loaded into the car for a quick, or long ride to the airport. Expectations abound and hearts begin to race. Bags are checked, tickets approved, and the scanners and tuperware bins, though a tedious affair, remind the eager traveler that the journey is underway.
I adore airport personel who monitor the scanners and screens that x-ray our belongings, and our bodies, ensuring that we arrive safely to our destinations. I'm just as eager as the next person to get through the line and to my gate. What I never expect to get is swabbed. Yes, my deck got swabbed.
Who would have known that after walking through scanners for almost all my airline travels to date, I would be taken out of line, told to extend my hands and get swabbed. Arrr! The ironic part is, though there was something detected on my hands, I had just washed them before coming out of the bathroom and getting into line. Powdery substance on hands after washing them? Who knew? (Notice I do not claim 'pirate' here. That would be very bad timing. ;)
Being a good sport and not wanting to hang from Tilbury Point until I rot, I stepped where I was told to go and offered my belongings for a thorough swabbing. The inspectors rose to the task.
"Would you prefer that we did this in an enclosed room," they asked.
Having nothing to hide, I exclaimed, "You can check anything you want to right here."
Jean and Stephanie's eyes were as big as full moons, and just as white as they waited for me off to the side. I could see the questions riddling their minds... "She's got our pens for the Goody Room. How will we get them back?" "Are we going to make our flight?"
I directed the last question to my airline operatives. A man continued to swab my backpack and carry-on. Two women stood nearby, prepared to take me into the room for further inspection. As I was guided into the room, I reached out to Jean and Stephanie psychically, pleading for them not to stick to the code. (It's more like guidelines anyway.)
Luckily, the two airline operatives were very nice and did their jobs while helping me maintain my dignity fully-clothed. Thank you, swabbettes!
As I stepped out of that room, bless their hearts (and I do mean this in the best possible way, not the way listed on one of Jean's lists), Jean and Stephanie were waiting for me with open arms. Like Joshamee Gibbs, they had used the code as a guideline and were prepared to redirect their journey, if need be, with me aboard. After all that, thank goodness, we were able to meet our gate on time and didn't have to deal with rescheduling issues. :D
Our direct flight with Delta was fantastic. We had the best stewardess you could ever ask for. And after my initial swabbing, I can assure you her eagerness to please was greatly appreciated.
I'll post more about our trip through the next few weeks. But today I want to know, what is your crazy travel story?