Went to New York to see Teh Kid.
Pre-booked, pre-paid, shuttle.
Arriving at dawn, I grabbed a latte, and got onto the shuttle at 7:30 am at JFK.
Should have known it was a bad idea when we sat for twenty minutes and my fellow sufferers started counting the air fresheners.
Like the young forest of them (15!!) on the rear view mirror.
And a couple hanging on every seatbelt holder.
And another forest in the back with the luggage.
And little clusters under the seats.
We had plenty of time, and kept finding them.
I had the only passenger seat with a window that would open, which may explain why the ensuing migraine was not fatal.
The driver then proceeded to circle airport to try to fill his van, returning to Terminal 5 THREE times.
Because when you are in a stuffy, chemical-filled, crowded van driving fast in circles improves everything.
He then left the airport, running two stop signs and one red light before I stopped keeping track.
He managed to drop off two different sets of people more than a block from their addresses ("Because the street is one-way.")
I got to my hotel at 10:30.
That's three hours later.
The hotel (HOTEL AZURE, folks), bless them, put me in a room right away.
Probably they were afraid I'd pass out or puke in the lobby, both possibilities.
But that is only the trip in.
Coming home, to get on my 9am flight they gave me a 5:45am pick-up.
So I got up at 5am, in the dark, had coffee, hugged kid who also got up and came down in the elevator with me.
So I was standing on sidewalk outside of dorm at 5:40.
You know, early, in the dark.
Because I am just that anal about being on time.
I got to watch the men's shelter up the block open its doors.
And see the bagels arrive for the shop next door.
And watch the film crews fiddle with their trailers ("Another Guy" with Mia Farrow, according to my new BEST FRIEND, the security desk guy.)
So at 6am, I call them.
It's a mile away, they tell me.
The sun is coming up, that's nice.
The security guy checks that I am okay for the second time.
This is nice, since this is daughter's dorm.
He has a cigarette outside and we bond.
At 6:20 I call again.
The van is four miles away, I am told.
Then I am put on hold.
They play juggle the call for a while, and I get another guy.
And again am put on hold.
He then tells me THE VAN IS ON ITS WAY TO THE AIRPORT.
They have no other van.
Sucks to be me.
Shuttle person on phone claims they came by and I wasn't there.
Security guy, my new best chum, points out that when that really happens, the van drivers come and talk to him.
Shuttle guy also says van driver called me repeatedly.
Well, the cell number they have is Teh Kid's number and is up in her room with her.
Well, she was just awake, and it is a small room.
We both woke up when Tom called.
I can haz skeptical about call, considering the previous Driver Fib concerning my absence.
Shuttle guy has nothing to suggest.
I do not write down call information number he offers, since I have a phone in one hand, no pen out, and am digging for my card to get cab fare from the lobby ATM.
He says I will get an email in a couple of days.
I have emailed them
I have heard nothing.
It has been a couple of days.
Am now trying to figure out how to pry my pre-payment out of them.
I am suspecting Firengi First Law of Acquisition applies here.
I did get a swell New York taxi driver, and made my flight, though not by a whole lot.
The taxi ride involved no suspense, no waiting around on the curb, and no scenic tour of city.
Just zip off to the airport.
I could have slept another hour and caught a cab.
I know what I am doing next time.