House of Cards

You should see how I get ready to go the airport.  I am like a machine. I have gotten ready to go to the airport so many times, that now when I do it, I think it must look like watching a ballet, or maybe seeing someone really smart do long division.  I get up at just the right time, and from the moment that I stand up from my bed to the second I step off my front porch towards the waiting cab, every moment is orchestrated perfectly.  It is a routine that I follow exactly the same way every time, and following it means that I go out the door on time, relaxed and confident that I have all that I need.  It has not always been this way, but I’ve learned, and now I’m really, really good at it.

This morning I got up and started the routine.  I got out of bed and went downstairs, taking the first of my bags down with me.  I put on the coffee, and went back upstairs, stopping in the bathroom to start the tub filling.  That done, I took the other suitcase downstairs, leaving it unzipped on the chair in the living room (so that I can add my knitting and running shoes to it, because they are downstairs)  then came back up and grabbed my travel clothes, bathed and then went downstairs dressed and ready to leave.   I poured myself a coffee, and started the second phase, checking my email for anything I need to see right away, and copying down my flight info onto a post-it that I put in my bag. (The batteries never wear out on post-its.)  Then I gathered up all my knitting stuff, divided it into what goes in my carry on and what goes into the suitcase for later, and confirmed that my little travel notions case was there.  (The routine is perfect.) I looked at the weather, for both Toronto and Hartford, then neatly rolled up my rain jacket and put it in the suitcase- and then I moved around through the house, getting the big knitting bag I use just for flights and putting it on the chesterfield.  That big bag is pre-loaded with 90% of the things I need – it’s my go bag (just like they have on Criminal Minds)  and so all I have to do to be ready is add the last minute things.  I do that then, checking to make sure my phone is nearby – and it is. Charging right beside the bag, just like my departure protocol says.  I checked the time on it, and went into my office to call and book a taxi to arrive in 15 minutes.

I poured myself another cup of coffee, and got ready to perform the last minute routine.  I brushed my teeth, looked at my hair, and tried to figure out if we will ever live in peace together, then I went downstairs, glanced at the time, and went to my office to collect my computer and it’s charger.  I brought those back to the living room, and fitted them into their spots in the go bag.  Reflexively, I slid my hand into the front pocket of my bag to feel my passport there. 

I don’t know if I’ve mentioned this about me, but I’m a little obsessive about my passport.  It’s the only travel item you can’t fake, do without or replace quickly.  Anything else I forget, break or lose… I can come back from that, but a passport?  When I’m travelling I look for it all the time, I check it often to make sure it hasn’t expired – and when I’m home I keep it in the same place all the time.  The front pocket of the go bag – even if I need to take it out to book a flight – it goes right straight back into the bag. That’s its spot, that is where it lives, there is no other spot for it, so when I slid my hand into the pocket to reassure myself that the passport was there, and found nothing, the world collapsed.   To my way of thinking, for one horrible second, if it wasn’t there, it was nowhere.

I immediately felt sick.  Then I took a deep breath and tried to calm myself.  I checked the pocket again. I checked the bag. I took everything out of the bag and checked all of it and then checked the pocket again, now almost on the edge of tears.  I ran to my office, and looked on my desk, because I thought maybe I had failed to put it back after Natalie booked my last flight? I ripped open my desk drawer and searched that – then I ransacked the cupboard that I keep the bag in – in case it fell out, then I thought about Natalie booking that flight and then I thought of that desk, and ran to the dining room.  I rifled through the family stuff on that table becoming more and more incoherent, and then – the cab honked.

With that, I went off the deep end.  I looked at the time, looked at the cab, looked at the bag and started to cry. I got on my knees, in case it fell on the floor. The office floor? I ran back there and couldn’t find it.  I sprinted through the house scanning all surfaces, desperately searching.  I ran upstairs and burst into our dark bedroom, then crossed the room to Joe’s side of the bed, snapped on the light and said "I NEED HELP THE CAB IS HERE AND I CAN’T FIND MY PASSPORT"  and Joe snapped to attention instantly – saying "Oh s**t!" and I said "I KNOW" and then something about how he should be looking and it’s important and c’mon, and then I went over to see if it was on my dresser – under my pen or something, and it wasn’t.   I turned to leave the bedroom, to maybe go search the fridge or just stand there crying and wondering how I always ruin everything and that this all started when I couldn’t learn the six times table and it had to catch up with me eventually – and then I saw it. 

Not the passport… another bag I have.  Another green bag with a front pocket – it is a totally different bag, but I wondered for one split second if – when that other bag had been downstairs, if I was actually absent minded enough to slide the passport into the wrong front pocket?  I bent over, slipped my hand in, and connected with the soft leather of my passport case.  I slid to my knees for a second, took a deep breath, and then told a very confused Joe to go back to bed. 

The cab honked, for the third or maybe fourth time, and I looked at the time and realized that I was going to be late, and that cab might leave – and I bolted down the stairs and out the front door, told the cabbie I was coming, and ran back in the house.  My go bag was dumped out, my routine was shattered, and I had minutes.  I rammed stuff into the bag, grabbed a sock sack, shoved my phone in my back pocket and reached over to grab my suitcase off the chair.

Sadly, I’d been scrabbling round on the floor in the moment that I would usually have spent zipping the suitcase, and so as I pulled it off the chair, it tipped over and dumped the contents onto the floor.  I swore, shoved it all back in, zipped, and ran. 

Minutes later, speeding towards the airport, with the adrenaline abating and the ability to pull myself together returning, I started to realize that there was going to be fallout. The routine exists for a reason, and there were going to be casualties.  I felt completely and totally jangled, and all the way there I realized something I’d forgotten every five minutes. My running shoes, phone charger – when I grabbed my phone,  I didn’t get the charger.  Earphones.  I usually take those out of my knitting basket as I do the last minute stuff – odds and ends really, but important ones. 

I resolved to buy headphones and a charger  at the airport, infuriated really, since buying things I already have is hard on the budget, and I spent the rest of the way there trying to unscramble my life and shake the feeling that I’d lost control of the day before 7am. I sat there with this terrible feeling of foreboding coming over me.  I took out my knitting (I’m still on the sleeve) and stared out the window. It was just a bad start, I told myself, just a rough beginning. 

Sadly, since then I’ve realized that one of my credit cards is missing, that airport headphones are priced using the same index as gold and black market human organs, and somehow the egg and cheese sandwich I bought to take on the flight was turkey – which really isn’t vegetarian, and I didn’t notice until I unwrapped it on the plan
e.  I was connecting (for reasons that are complex and ridiculous) through New York City and Philadelphia to get to Hartford, but my first flight was delayed by about 5 minutes – which turns out to be exactly the right number of minutes to make you miss a flight by about thirty seconds, even though you ran from one terminal to the other – outside, at La Guardia. 

Now I’m on a flight from New York to Washington DC, which isn’t even in the direction of Massachusetts, I think – and from there I’ll still make Hartford this afternoon and everything will be fine – and the beer I’m planning on having with dinner is going to be ridiculously appreciated, and I’m sure anything I forgot can be replaced or borrowed or anything – and I do have my health – and my passport, so I’m going to spend tonight getting my zen on,  because having this much stupid stuff in one day? It must mean that the rest of this trip is going to be amazing.
If it doesn’t, don’t tell me.

PS. I spilled coffee on my jeans and a surprising amount of it went right in my boot and my flight’s tray table was broken – and yes. Those two things are related.

202 thoughts on “House of Cards

  1. Wow…I thought it was just me. I travel all the time too and this rang so true. Thank the stars for beer in airports. Makes up for the crappy karma. Sending good juju from Michigan (almost Canada).

  2. I completely understand how you feel!! Hopefully, you’ll still arrive safe and sound and the rest of the day/night will be wonderful!

  3. Oy, my. Take a deep breathe. For one horrible minute, I thought you were going to forget the knitting. I know the rest stinks but it isn’t leaving your knitting behind, is it?

  4. I arrived in Vancouver last week with a dead phone and no charger. Worse – way worse – when I opened the project bag to start the socks I had brought everything was in there except the needles. Really. I have enough 2.25 double points to be knitting about 20 pair of socks but I had to buy more. I’m blaming it on the new suitcase.

  5. Oh, my. And I thought I was having a bad day. Enjoy your beer(s) and the rest of your trip. Marvelous things will happen! (Trust in it — even if you’re not traveling in a giant peach.)

  6. I promise we’re going to make Webs awesome for you. We’ll bring things back into balance.
    Because that? That is one shitty day.

  7. Oh dear. Well you’re on your way with knitting. Just before I read your post I was emailing back & forth with a friend about not forgetting the passports for Rhinebeck. My big fear is getting to the border without one.

  8. Oh dear, I know whereof you speak. On my last family trip to the west coast, we were totally organized but the problems started at the airport, when they informed us that our flight had been cancelled. And from then on throughout that very long day, our carefully constructed house of cards toppled, one by one. Each leg of the journey had to be re-planned. (different flight, unexpected ferry trip across the Georgia Strait instead of landing directly in Victoria, etc.) We eventually reached our destination, Nanaimo, and everything else went fine and we had a great vacation. So, take a deep breath. The rest of your trip is going to be great.

  9. Oh man, this is exactly the scenario of a recurring nightmare of mine, an actual, eyes-closed nightmare. Over and over again, in my sleep, I need to catch a plane and something vital is missing! I’m in the cab and the cab goes the wrong way at 15 mph, gets a flat tire, and then I leave my plane tickets in the cab. (My dreams don’t know about e-tickets yet.) I am so sorry that the nightmare came true for you. Zen thoughts! Deep breaths!

  10. Oi vay! What a start, but look at it this way: all the muddle is getting out of the way right at the start…it should be smoooooth sailing from here on out!

  11. I’m so sorry for laughing. I loved the price comparison for headphones and human organs. You’re going to be okay, really.

  12. Holy Moses! What an awful start to your trip–it will get better from here on, as you’ve got a huge karmic credit, with your spectacular work for Doctors Without Borders and your bike rally this summer. All your knitters, yarn, and projects will help soothe your soul back to serenity–good luck! Best, randmknitter

  13. You DO realize that you brought this all on yourself — in thinking you had everything under control with your perfect routine and DARING to speak about it! What?!? Do you have a death wish or something?!?

  14. Oh, dear! Coffee socks are not really happy things. I dearly hope they were not any of your lovely hand-knitted ones. I recommend taking the earliest opportunity to put some on, though – after all, hand-knitted socks are like a hug from the universe that lasts as long as you’re wearing them. (And really, is lightning/coffee going to strike twice? Hm, better not answer that…)

  15. I am flying from Oregon to Tennessee next week. This is a perfect kick in the rear for me to start packing tonight. I am a nervous flier and don’t need added stress of forgetting important things. Like all my knitting supplies.

  16. I have bad dreams about mornings like that. And that is why when traveling I write a list and pack *everything* the night before, even if I have to stay up until stupid o’clock to do it. That way I can be confident that everything on the list is in the bag–and worry about what I forgot to put on the list in the morning when I get up….

  17. It’s just not fair that the hell you had to go through gave me … I can’t say joy and pleasure … but I was incredibly entertained at your expense! Not fair – but thank you for letting me in on your day and please know that I am sending you the biggest HUG on the planet along with calming Zen vibes. ♥

  18. I’m with you, that start to the trip can set the whole mood for the rest of the journey.
    I’ll just remind you of the incredible luck that you found out the passport was not in the bag BEFORE you were at the airport! That truly means it is going to be a good visit in Hartford.

  19. LOL! My whole family and I have all had quite a laugh while sympathizing with you about the whole thing. Surely, the rest of the trip will make up for the chaos of its beginning. I hope it is amazing.

  20. This brings back memories of going to the Bahamas in Feb. The people who booked our trip never mentioned that the passport Card was not legal to fly out of the country. We found that out 15 min before departure from Philly airport and spent the day in the Federal building getting emergency passport books. Cards and books are not equal.Had to fly out the next day and miss our group swimming with the dolphins. Soo many things went wrong with that trip all for 36 hrs on the island. I feel for you!!!!

  21. Oh my gosh! You just gave me a flashback…. My oldest son was married in April and everything was going according to “the plan.” Two days before the wedding, he asked for one of his legal documents, which were in a little safe, where I had guarded them, figuring I’d hand them over after the wedding. But hey, he’d be married in a couple days, so he might as well have all, and I put his original legal docs into a big manila envelope. Among other things, were his passport (he needed for his honeymoon), truck title, SS card, immunization records, high school diploma, etc. That is the same manila envelope he placed on top of his truck very early the next morning, and then drove off. Despite repeatedly searching the neighborhood, county road, and along the route he took, we never found the documents. So, the day before the wedding, he had to get an expedited passport and a new title to his truck—the most important items. Maybe it got the crap out at the front-end, because the wedding was lovely and they had a fantastic honeymoon! So, like someone else mentioned, maybe this is just getting the crap out of the way and the rest of your trip will be a dream too! Good luck!

  22. Well, if you look on the good side, you will now own a dedicated charger and headphone set just for traveling. I have a pair of headphones in each of my purses, and it just lives in that purse. I ended up having to do this because every time I would find myself out and had to waste some time before I had to be somewhere else I would always have my ipod but no headphones. Infuriating.

  23. The last time I flew, the headphones I brought had died since the last time I used them, so I bought the cheapest (but still expensive) set I could find at the airport newsstand. I went to open them and discovered that I had no way to easily free them from the nasty anti-theft plastic packaging. I usually carry a penknife to deal with these types of things, but I had left it at home so as not to have to get overly friendly with the TSA agent. I ended up spending 15 minutes cutting it open with my house key. Would it kill them to make easy-open cardboard packaging???

  24. Hope the aggravation you had today was worth the $$ you saved by booking so many stops, missing a connection, etc between Toronto and Hartford – but I doubt it. Simplifying and slowing down really cuts down on one’s stress level. I even found myself reading your post quickly and my heart was pounding by the time I finished.
    S L O W D O W N!!! It all gets done anyway and you will be a happier traveller, knitter, and everything else you are for it. You can do it, I am positive you can. Enjoy your trip(s).

  25. Steph, I once went to Australia for 3 weeks without my suitcase. Long story…..I asked one teenager to put my suitcase in the car, and he helpfully loaded his father’s. Did not realize this until we got to Newark, and that was too late. But I had my passport and a pair of socks to knit, so although I cursed it was not the worst thing that ever happened…… except for having to buy a new bathing suit to go snorkeling on the Great Barrier Reef, and buying a swimsuit has never been much fun…… worse when you don’t even have a clue as to what size you are in Australia! I bought the bare minimum, including souvenir t-shirts for all my kids which I wore for 3 weeks before coming home, laundering them and giving them their used souvenirs! But it was a great trip, and it did help me come around to your way of thinking that as long as I have my passport, I’m OK. Hope the rest of your trip improves!

  26. Ugh, that was stressful just to read.
    However, I think it still beats the time we got all the way to the airport (45 minutes away) and parked, only to realize that both my and my husband’s suitcases had been left on the floor of the garage at home (not by me).

  27. So sorry!! This day has seemed jinxed to me too. I hope everything is going a little more smoothly!

  28. Wow – I got stressed out just reading it. (And I noticed that I started reading faster as the taxi was waiting and you were rushing around madly.) I think I need to go have a cup of hot tea.
    I hope you have a wonderful REST of the week!

  29. I knew things couldn’t be good by the title of this post and the length of it. I hope that by the time you reach your destination that things are infinitely better. 🙂

  30. Sending you lots of sympathy from Boston! Travelling is always awful, but when your routine is disrupted it’s even worse. I wish I were taking your class, but it’s sadly too far from here to WEBS 🙁

  31. I felt your panic as I read your post. I usually have my pre-flight routine organized and planned in detail, and even have trouble falling asleep for the brief time I allow myself, because I mentally review the steps when I close my eyes. (I live alone and have to make sure everything is ok with the house in addition to my trip stuff, before I leave)
    All it takes is one moment like you had with the passport, and my composure crumbles, revealing the more than uneasy traveler I am, and I become convinced I will miss my flight, my baggage will get lost somewhere in nowhere land, the connecting flight will leave me stranded in Chicago, and I forgot to pack my current socks in progress for the flight.
    Somewhere halfway through the second leg of the flight, when I can finally have my in-flight Heineken and snap the “socks on the needles in the airplane” pic that seems to amuse my seat mates, I breathe a sigh of relief and realize the world did not come to an end…..even if it means I had to buy another phone charger at the airport.
    Have a great time in Northampton when you get there. It should be lovely now with our New England foliage. Wish I had the days off to go the hour south to Webs. I’m still recovering from my trip home from visiting my daughter in California last week.

  32. You are calm. You are safe. You are relaxed. (repeat as needed)
    The above is a hypnobirthing mantra that I find applies well to any age tantrums (for mum and child), rush hour traffic, major surgery, scary diagnoses, and/or missing passports. “Just keep swimming” is also oddly effective.
    And also? I hear they serve beer on airplanes. So one way or another, the trip will improve!

  33. passport and knitting are really the only 2 essentials for a trip, oh ya, and just enough time … a little extra is good

  34. You still have the most important thing, which you can never, ever lose, your sense of humor!
    Have a great trip.

  35. True story:
    Man is standing in airport check-in line with his wife and a LOT of luggage. He is complaining about the amount of luggage, she is defending herself, and they go back and forth for several minutes loud enough for EVERYONE in line to hear. Suddenly he sighs and says: “well, I wish you’d brought the piano, too.” She’s ticked by now, and tells him in no uncertain terms he’s being completely ridiculous, really, she needs those things. He replies: “no, seriously, I wish you’d brought the piano. I left the tickets on top of it.”
    (Obviously pre-e-ticket days.) The whole line of people burst out laughing.
    I’d forgotten about it until your story. I wonder what happened . . . .

  36. I’m sorry, but every ounce of self-discipline and will power to NOT laugh over how terrible it all was and how amazingly quick it all escalated–I lost the battle when you went to grab the suitcase that wasn’t zippered. From then on I just kept reading and watching the horror unveil itself while giggling under my breath.
    That was a whole lotta stink to deal with in one day! I’m sorry it has been so sucky. We’ll send good thoughts your way. 🙂

  37. I’ll be at Web’s tomorrow. Is there anything I can bring you? Not that there are actually things that one really needs that aren’t available at Web’s, but just in case.

  38. Hartford is in Connecticut, not Massachusetts! (although if you’re flying from NYC, you want to go in the *direction* of Massachusetts…but if you get there, you’ve gone too far)
    I hate LGA and refuse to go through there even if it would save me $100. I’ve never had anything but pain there, partly due to the having to switch termianls (when nobody tells you that’s what you’ll have to do, and each terminal has only their own flights, so you sit there panicking and wondering where the heck your flight is, because it’s not on the boards AT ALL.)

  39. There was this colleague of mine, who was traveling for the first time to a conference in a country that required a visa. When asked by the travel office if in fact he had his visa, he patted his jacket pocket and responded that indeed he did, right there.
    And all was well until he reached the airport and was informed that he needed a visa from the country, not the VISA credit card he had acquired shortly before the trip!
    He got there, but several days late while he raced around to embassies and rebooked his flight. And no, he never DID live it down, why do you even ask?!

  40. Yep. Been there, done that, remember viscerally that horrible sinking feeling ESPECIALLY when it’s a passport you can’t put your hands on. Horrid feeling. Glad you found it relatively quickly. But it does throw you for a loop.

  41. If you get stuck in DC, send me a PM and I’ll come and rescue you. I live in MD but within reasonable distance of all 3 airports. RisaB223 on Ravelry. Ariba on Rav (she lives in TO) has my cell number.
    Safe travels.

  42. So sorry to hear about your lousy day. That would put me over the edge. I like routines and schedules, too. I hope things get better quick.

  43. I think you were probably referring to Webs being in MA, not Hartford, CT, as the final destination. I’m sure you’re geography is great by now! Enjoy the rest of the trip.

  44. I know the sick feeling. We were in the departure lounge for New Zealand, and stood up when our row was called for the flight. I then went to get my passport and boarding card -but it WASN’T in my backpack/purse. I dumped the backpack, NOT THERE. But I had it 10 minutes ago. I checked the outside pocket of my carry-on NOT THERE. Deeper panic. The line is now all processed, and the staff are looking at me. My husband is being supportive, but all is still missing.
    Finally I opened my carry-on, and low and behold, one thin layer down is my passport and boarding pass. I don’t remember now why on earth I went into my carryon – everything for the flight goes into the backpack, but I did.
    Walking down the aisle of the plane, I got a number of friendly nods – indicating that they had been there too…
    My husband now always has custody of the passports and boarding passes, doled out to me at the last moment, and immediately returned. I don’t mind, I am grateful. He won’t lose them.
    I should add that we are also paranoid about our passports – we lived overseas for several years, and the passport is the lifeline to Canada.
    But Steph, we both probably took a year off our lives – that is not good stress.
    New Zealand is great for knitters, came back with enough yarn for 5 sweaters, and couple of pair of socks, and various misc skeins. Thank heavens for an expanding zippered suitcase.

  45. Oh My…! That gave me a stomach ache, watching it all crumble, with hideous speed, at some ungodly hour in the morning (that would be anything before 9:30 AM). That passport thing is my absolute nightmare. Really, they serve beer on planes. Have several! Medicinal purposes…..

  46. It’s so nice to know that I’m not the only one whose day has been total crap. Thank you for sharing, making me giggle in the middle of my own anxiety and helping to remember I’m not the only one out there. Now, I’m off to do something nice for someone else.

  47. It does mean that the rest of the trip will be amazing! The leaves in Mass. will be amazing, the knitters fabulous, and the beer cold and refreshing. Good luck!

  48. On a positive note, the new charger and headphones you can now use as your “travel set” and leave them in your suitcase/on-flight bag that way you never have to worry about leaving them behind again!

  49. Sounds about as fun as my morning….stepping in bread dough that was ejected from the dish it was rising in at 5am in the dark and thinking it was cat barf and then spilling the hard earned/pump milk that baby was crying for was just the beginning. Thankfully hubby got up and fixed everything. After that things have gone better. Good luck and hope yours goes better too.

  50. Hope things are good by now. One more suggestion: whenever you lose something, no matter how large or small, immediately start praying to St. Anthony (I don’t think you have to be Catholic for this to work), the patron of lost objects. Unfortunately I have lots of experience doing this, even daily experiencs, and it has never failed. Occasionally it has taken longer than I would have liked, but it always works. And it calms me down, too, until it works.

  51. Oh, painful to read! I so hope the rest of your trip is stellar. DH and I just had a sort of similar start to a driving trip. Packed the car, ready to depart 15 minutes prior to planned departure. Turned the key–car goes rrrr but not varoom. Luckily, it started after waiting a few minutes. We promptly headed to the mechanic’s–he says iffy battery and within 40 minutes of planned departure we were on the road with a new battery! Trip has been excellent since then so I hope your bad start has the same result.

  52. Thank God for that last minute reflexive check for your passport. The only thing that could have made it worse is not to know your passport is missing until you reach the airport!

  53. You’re probably all settled in and recovering by now but I have to tell you that it hurt my heart to read of your troubles this morning. A friend of mine, an Episcopal priest, had the bumper sticker, “S*** Happens” on his car because he thought it was a profound theological statement. I can only agree and be grateful that beer trumps theology every time 🙂

  54. Hi Steph,
    I travel for work and I pack like you, have the routine down. In US I check about 3 or more times for Drivers License and when I feel I need more I add passport. I check, check and again. Then at last minute time flies and I am on way to airport thinking I should have left 15 minutes earlier… understand. Still causes anxiety. I take my yoga breaths and think I repeat to be calm, etc.
    Have a good time. We understand and yes if you are missing something you can do without or borrow.

  55. Oh. My. Gosh. I am so sorry. And I was going to tell you that once again you did it…and did a post when I really needed it, during a TOTALLY crazy moment at work. But now I feel bad, because YES, you made me feel better–your day is infinitely crazier than mine–but oh how I wish the routine was perfection. Here’s to hoping karma pulls through and recognizes that you have already paid your dues and it will be smooth sailing from here on out.

  56. OMG I can feel my adrenaline starting to pump just reading about your day! I hope nothing else goes wrong for you. I am also obsessive about travel papers, any kind. Well, I guess you can thank the airlines foe the tour of the eastern seaboard!

  57. Have you ever read the children’s book, Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good Very Bad Day? You should. It’s fitting.

  58. Holy trip from hell Batman! It can only get better… right? I had a panic attack just reading about your ordeal, especially when I realized that my own passport is expired. I’ve no plans for international travel, but what if I win a fabulous prize of a vacation to Finland and I can’t go! Renewal of said document is now on my “To Do” list. Bottoms up on the beer.

  59. Absent mindedness is one of the scariest things of the modern age but rarely discussed. We are all so busy doing 50 things at once but it catches up with us at the most inconvenient and stressful moments. I could easily have put my passport in the wrong bag but I have learned (after many painful lessons) to NEVER put anything on the roof of my car. Not even for one moment… Excellent to have a travel set of charger and earphones now no matter the cost.
    Thank goodness you had knitting to take the edge off…

  60. Oh my gosh! I didn’t realize you were gonna be in Hartford! Welcome to my neck of the woods, and I’m sorry your day started out crazypants. It happens to the best of us. I once was finished moving out of my apartment, was in the parking lot in my pjs and robe after midnight in Hartford,and slammed my car trunk closed…right after accidentally tossing all my keys into it. (And my seats were not collapsable at all and it was a holiday)And I didn’t have a phone on me.

  61. I put necklaces in my suitcase and I have no idea what happens to them. Twice, (the same possessed suitcase) in separate places, this s**tty suitcase of mine has “lost” my necklaces. I ripped it apart this morning looking for them. Well at least it doesn’t mind the knitting needles…I would be pissed. off.!
    Good luck Steph! Looking forward to more adventures of the travelling show!:)

  62. Whenever I have nightmare travel stories like this I try to tell myself it’s for a reason. Maybe I wasn’t supposed to be on that plane. Maybe I ended up sitting next to a nice young stressed-out mama who needed calming words from a more experienced mama. Maybe I avoided something terrible or alternatively met someone interesting or just smiled at someone who needed it (whom I wouldn’t have passed in the hall if I hadn’t been delayed)
    I trust that it’s all for a reason, even if I don’t understand that reason.

  63. Poor Steph. sigh
    It sure was too good to be true but perhaps all the bad vibes are now over. Certainly missing a credit card, getting a turkey breakfast and spilling your coffee are the magic 3 and now all will be well.

  64. At least you didn’t forget your knitting because after the passport, that would have been the worst thing EVER.

  65. Oh, honey – I’m so sorry. After having spent time last night in the ER, I feel I can safely say I feel your pain. I travel a lot like you do, and I know how important all of the routine things are, and I know how awful it is to need to replace them. The food thing sends me off the deep end (I have a SEVERE gluten and soy allergy. No, I can’t just pick it off – contamination ruins me for days. I can’t just go hungry either because I get hypoglycemic and that can have disastrous results). I wish I could make it better for you. Hang in there.

  66. My nephew travels a lot for his job and the cell phone charger is frequently left behind. He says to ask at the desk in the hotel. They frequently have a box full of cell phone chargers and he can usually find one to work for his phone. He figures someone else is getting his somewhere else so it’s an even trade.

  67. And this is exactly why I hate to travel. It’s not the way the airlines force people so close together you can’t help but invade each other’s personal space. It’s not the super expensive food or the being at the mercy of people who have no overriding motivation to be helpful. It’s not even the niggling fear that I may get lost and never get home again. It’s the worrying about everything before hand. Do I have my ID? Do I have enough to keep my hands occupied so I don’t use them to inflict bodily harm on the loudly snoring man to my left who doesn’t understand that my shoulder is not his head rest? Do I have enough clean underwear? Do I have a bra?
    Good luck, Stephanie!

  68. I’m rather surprised that you ended up on a plane to go from NY to DC to Hartford when it would have been faster to get on a train in NY to go to Hartford. You sort of went from Toronto to Hamilton via Sarnia.

  69. After travelling for many. many years I have come up with a few tricks. This may make you wonder, but it does save your peace of mind.
    Back in the very Old Days, it was suggested to keep your mad money in your BRA!
    So, I have shared this with may of my friends, who at first were shocked.
    Put your Passport in your BRA! At first it will be strange, after a while you’ll forget it is there until you need it. Turn around bend over and out it comes, without any one knowing it.
    Saves alot of upset.
    Have fun on your trips.

  70. I found myself feeling a huge sense of foreboding as I read the beginning, reading faster & faster until you found your passport & am now heading to the fridge to pour myself a nice glass of wine to easy the sympathetic travel anxiety I’m currently feeling.
    If you find you are missing anything else, drop me a line — I only live an hour from WEBS and would love an excuse to shop. “Really honey, kids, I have to drive to Northampton because a woman I don’t know had one of *those* travel mornings and desperately needs this doo-dad.” They’ll buy it, right?

  71. All I keep thinking is: thank goodness you found your passport.
    Good luck with the rest of the trip. It really could have been worse and will definitely get better.

  72. Wish my departure had been so well choreographed last Saturday! After driving for an hour and a half to the airport, I arrived 15 mins before departure without my ID. Missed the flight and drive an hour and a half back home. Cancelled the trip. Missed MIL’s 90th birthday celebration. Am still in a funk. Nothing to do,but to knit on.

  73. I’m not sure what hotel you’re staying at in MA, but when we were in Springfield last year the guy at the front desk had a large box of phone chargers that clients had left behind and we were able to find one that worked for our phone.
    free, and recycling!

  74. Aw Steph…. 🙁
    Tell yourself that the worst part of the trip is over, and the rest of it is going to be amazeballs! Go ahead, say it out loud to yourself.
    SAY IT. Now mean it 🙂
    And it’s as easy as that!

  75. Ohhh Stephanie, you and I must have been on the same cosmic … thing this morning. I got T-boned by a ginormous Suburban (I drive an Altima) while driving to work this morning. Nowhere to go but up from that start to my day!

  76. I tried to warn you. . .and I hope the Knitting Deities spared the sweater even while they were taking a belt sander to your nerves!
    This may be a little late, but: Have a beer before you try sorting out the stuff in the cases. Have another on hand while you do. Have a third (or a whiskey) when you’re done but before you start panicking over the stuff that was left behind. If you’re still able to hold a pen or do some simple word-processing, make out a list of what you need to deal with tomorrow and sleep well.

  77. Maybe this is no comfort, but your crappy morning made great blog fodder! Thanks for being able to put it in perspective and write it down!

  78. Oh for the love of Pete! Why do they book you on these crazy early flights? If you’d rented a car and left your house at 7 am you would’ve been in Hartford by 3 or 4 o’clock. You would’ve driven through lovely New England in perfect autumn weather. Yes – there would’ve been no knitting, but how much knitting did you actually get done today?
    Not to worry – all the bad stuff was done in one day – so the rest of your long November trips will be smooth sailing!

  79. You’re not kidding about the price of electronics in airports; I flew cross-country recently and was well and truly shocked at what they charge there for the stuff we forget. It’s not helped by the fact that some airlines (like Southwest) now have WiFi on board, either.
    I’d say you’ve probably used up all your crazy karma for the entire month, so relax and enjoy the rest of your trip — surely nothing else big can go wrong now! (But do doublecheck the passport at least 27 times a day just in case!)

  80. Here’s the little prayer to ST Anthony : Tony, Tony, Look Around ! Something’s Lost That Must Be Found !!

  81. Ouch! On my latest trip I managed to go to the wrong airport; suffice to say that was really fun. It was balanced out by having really lovely people help me get it all fixed in such a way that I was only 1/2 an hour late getting in. Have a beer, take a deep breath and reset!

  82. Well, heck. If you think of things you need, post ’em and I’ll do my best to bring them tomorrow night to class at WEBS. At the very least I’ll bring a smile and try hard not to go all fangurrl on you. Can’t wait! SO glad you’re coming our way!

  83. Sounds like a repeat of last year’s Rhinebeck weekend with “THE SWEATER”. Are you sure you should travel the week of Rhinebeck?
    It will get better and all knitters are cheering for you. Have a beer and enjoy the rest of the trip.

  84. I absolutely hate packing and getting ready for travel. Things MUST get better. (I’m writing this from Taiwan…Yes, I’m TRAVELING! Talk about nervous packing. I can’t ask for what I want here. We’re on a very small island off the coast of Taiwan (PengHu) where few people speak English. Except our son and daughter-in-law, who teach here. (They know very little Mandarin, so they’re no help!)

  85. Okay…I’m here in ca it’s ten I crawl in bed and casually decide to read your blog! Once again I end up laughing hysterically at this story. I even read it to my husband who doesn’t care a bit about knitting and is looking at me like I’m nuts. So with tears in my eyes I once again thank you for your crazyness which I can totally relate too…yes because that is exactly the kind of thing that seems to happen in my life. 🙂

  86. The last time I went to Canada, I got to the airport without my passport. Had completely forgotten that I was flying to another country. I might have had enough time to go back, search for it and still make my flight, but it was iffy. Especially so, since I’d overpacked for a two week trip to my friend’s farm near Georgian Bay and then on to Boston with dressy dinners out other such things. Luckily, it was before 9/11 so you didn’t always have to have your passport. I was so relieved when I made it through immigration and onto Boston without an incident (except for the moster suitcase which flew to Los Angeles before making its way to Boston the next day.)

  87. there is a book its called the curly girl and its the only reason i have come to love my curly hair. the two of u can live in peace AND harmony together. trust me i see your hair on this blog

  88. Dear Stephanie –
    I am very sorry that this all happened to you this morning, but I can’t tell you how glad I am that I read this post. My husband and I are traveling to Spain in December and reading your post made me think “I should really check to expiry date on my passport” and lo-and-behold, my passport expired in February. If I hadn’t read your post, I think I might not have checked until I was packing for the trip, which would have been WAY too late, and then all hell would have broken loose. You have saved me a nasty, nasty experience and I am forever grateful.

  89. I am so sorry. I am packing tonight for my own trip tomorrow, and of course biggest worry is the knitting. Do i have enough blah blah do imreally want to make that sweater out of that color blah blah. Forget to check on simple important things like cash, keys, chargers. Mthanks to your misery am double checking everything tonight. Hope your day got much better.

  90. Wow, that sounds really like a terrible chain of events happening after finding the misplaced passport. I never experienced anything in this magnitude, but My heart once skipped a few beats when my husband and I were on a bus to the airport and he looked and the travel information, and then at his phone and then strangely calm said: “Mmmh, our flight is leaving an hour earlier than I thought.” All the buffer time for checking in and having a coffee and something to eat just vanished and gave room to running as fast as possible, throw the suitcases onto the check in desk, run to security control and run to the airplane. They were just about to shut the doors, and we only made it, because my husband had checked in earlier. A plane seat never appealed so comfortable and reassuring…

  91. The sweater was going so well, it had to happen.
    I just did the same thing – very carefully packed for a trip, realized I couldn’t find my work badge, my husband and I spent 45 minutes disassembling my luggage, the car, the bedroom, and finally I decided being at work without a badge was better than having a work badge and not being at work.
    As a result, I had no breakfast (hubby was fixing that but stopped to help me look) didn’t get my loving dubby goodbye card (he didn’t have time to find it from the hiding place) and I was generally on edge. And 2 days later, I found it in the corner pocket of an “empty” purse I’d packed.
    Life’s like that.

  92. OMG that is so awful that I had to laugh! I tried not to but I just couldn’t help myself. I’ve been there so many times that I can definitely relate. Just ask my husband lol! Since a brain injury a number of years ago I manage my life by having a routine and it works really well…..most of the time. I go about my business and things work really well until something comes along and upsets my apple cart. When the cart gets upset things go to Hell in a handbasket really quickly. Things get lost in the shuffle and I have a hard time figuring out what needs to be done and what I’ve forgotten. Eventually I figure it all out, but usually there’s a little nausea and a bit of panic thrown in just to keep things interesting. One of my favorite mantras now is ” Just keep swimming. Just keep swimming.” Dory and I have a lot in common. My guiding mantra is from my grandmother and I use it all the time. She would always tell me “Just remember, it’s a great life if you don’t weaken.” Sounds like you just got all the crap out of the way so you can have a couple of really great classes at Webs, and a great trip to Rhinebeck. Hope to see you there. You didn’t say anything so I hope your new Rhinebeck sweater wasn’t one of the routine casualties!

  93. That is a horrible way to start a trip. Maybe you should make the passport the first thing you do on the routine. At least if it happens again, all the crazy will be first and you might be able to regain the calm sooner.

  94. Yesterday was just a bad day all around, flying only tempted fate.
    You know that dream where you get to a class only to find there was an exam you didn’t study for? Yesterday it turned out that the exam next week was this week. That was after forgetting to go to the grocery store to pick up something for that very class then getting stuck in traffic and turning around to go back to the store, but before realizing that yesterday was also the day that registration for a large national exam opened. Have you ever waited for two hours online, given up, waited another hour later on, given up, and tried again a few hours later all the while just knowing YOU’RE GOING TO HAVE TO FLY TO MONTANA IN JULY BECAUSE ALL THE SEATS WILL BE TAKEN ON ALL THE DAYS BEFORE THEN because you (for once) didn’t obsessively check your calendar that morning? Yeah, it was that kind of day. If I’d tried doing something with yard I’d have stabbed myself with a crochet hook while knitting.

  95. Welcome to New England, Steph!
    Hope you find some peace in our technicolor foliage and smiling pumpkins (not that you don’t have that in Toronto).
    May our autumn glory restore you to Zen! (If not, try some hard apple cider, it’ll help you forget the day.)

  96. Webs has magical powers to restore your zen! Just breathe the yarn fumes and you will feel better.

  97. OMG !!!! I feel like that would be me. I feel like if it were I would have given up and just went home. Good for you to keep going !!! Have fun on the rest of your trip. Think happy thoughts 🙂

  98. I hope that having some dark chocolate got added to having that beer. It was clearly one of “those days” and beer alone might not have been enough. Just sayin’…

  99. Oh, the price of living the jet-setting lifestyle of the rich and famous! LOL
    Keep Calm.
    Knit On.
    Pray for Peace

  100. That sounds like a fiasco I could own! These other readers must be better stalkers than me, because I am reading “Hartford” in your post and thinking, “no DC is not in the right direction, but Hartford also isn’t in Massachusetts”- whereas they are all saying “have a great time in Northhampton”- which IS in Massachusetts… In any case, in the words of AA Milne, “there is no hurry, we shall get there someday.”

  101. Maybe having all the difficult things happen in one day means the rest of your trip will go smoothly. If you just sit and smile for a few seconds, not thinking of anything or anyone in particular, it will dump dopamine in your brain and you’ll feel better. Best wishes to you!!!

  102. Oh no. The rest of the trip will be amazing! I spilled coffee all over myself yesterday, too; in a cab. I gotta say, though; everywhere I go, I see knitters with two, three, four bags in tow. Some knitters got a lot of bags. All I can think is, how do they keep track of what they transfer from where to where?

  103. I tell you this sincerely, it is not your fault. Something was up with this week. I will not recount the nastiness I experienced but whatever it is began on Sunday and ran right through yesterday afternoon. But it seems to be lifting so have courage, the rest of this week should be just fine.

  104. As someone who’s travelled for business my whole career, I sympathize. I have what I call my ‘pre-game routine’ and heaven help me if something goes wrong with the sequence! Hope it gets better.

  105. I know this is too late but as a frequent traveler with a routine (I’m very jealous about your 8 nights in your own bed, I’ve only had 4 in the last 24 days)…. I’ve experienced the same thing. There’s good stuff here though – an extra phone charger and headphones go in your travel bag and stay there (you won’t forget them again.
    There’s lots of stores and nice people in Hartford – if you don’t have your charger and headphones yet, someone will take you to the store. And if worse comes to worse – there’s a mall right off 91 in Holyoke with a Target, Best Buy, etc where you can get those things very inexpensively.
    Good luck, wish I was able to make it to Webs and or Rhinebeck this weekend but it wasn’t meant to be….

  106. Wow! I can’t even begin to imagine the panic you must have felt. I am packing tonight for Rhinebeck, and now I am nervous!

  107. I’m glad to have read your story… I’m a few hours away for an exam for college, my first for this study and it has been five years sinds my last.
    Al my last exams went extremly good, never a do-over. and now, this year, I have one exam and one do-over per course. If not succeeded, no master studie..
    I’m kinda on the brink off freaking out. I just went to the sore to buy a calculator (cant find mine, just buy a new one). Got all other things beside a calculator… Went back.
    Went to the supermarket, dropped bottle of detergent on the floor. Totally embarrassed…. And now I’m home, trying to relax with some camomille tea….
    It made me smile a bit to read your story, and I do really feel with you… Small things take your selfesteem for a few moments, but you can get upset about it for the whole day…
    soon, when you slept it off and will welcome your students, all will be forgotten, they will be happy to see you, and you them.
    And for me, it is now 4 pm. My exam starts at 6.30 pm, another 6 hours and I will be done…. And be able to get back to my knitting.
    Happy exam to me, happy flight to you, and happy knitting to all of us eventually! 😉

  108. First, I wish you well. Really, truly harbor only kind thoughts for you, but, you did make me smile.
    Happy thoughts were mine as my brain went “Hah! It is not just me!” Apologies for the schadenfreude.

  109. Been there; feeling your pain. Everything else about the trip will be wonderful, just by comparison. Happy Trails!

  110. Checklist. Make one. Have everything by the door and checked against the list the night before an early morning flight.

  111. I’m pretty sure it is illegal for a flight to leave if a passenger is checked in, especially if that passenger has to make a connection. The plane should have radioed ground control to inform them they were running late and to hold any connecting flights. If you were that kind of person (like me), you totally could have called them out and demanded compensation.
    Maybe Karma will be on your side because you didn’t and you are right that the rest of your trip will be awesome.

  112. I have had travel days like that. I find it helps to just let the shiza happen. You are on a grand adventure and have a passport, like you said, all you need.
    Now, you will have two sets of chargers and earbuds, so you can keep them in your big travel bag…one less thing to think about in your routine!

  113. Oh my,I pray that your day gets better.You are an amazing writer,to have the sanity to be able to even write this post after going through all that.I hope your guardian angel had a good nights sleep,LOL!

  114. Holy heck! By the time I was done reading that my heart was pounding, I was dizzy and almost had to lie down. Glad you’re healthy and you do have knitting with. Beer should be consumed by now, you must be feeling better. Hope the next flight isn’t as hairy.

  115. OK Breathe, slowly and deeply, all the bad things that can happen on this trip are over. On the plus side hopefully you can write off the new phone charger as a business expense AND it can live in your Go bag permanently so you don’t have to worry about ever leaving it behind again.

  116. Reading this gave me a total anxiety attack. Now I have to find all my things and I don’t even travel for a living. But I have a passport (somewhere) and I will be working at Rhinebeck this weekend.

  117. Oooh-weee! That sounds like quite the stressful morning! I hope you are all settled, beer and knitting in hand, and having a blast on your trip. New England is great this time of year.
    And I definitely hear you on the obsession with “touching” your important documents. I do this constantly with my driver’s license and passport at the airport. This all stemmed from a “wow, that could have been REALLY BAD” incident in Charles de Gualle in Paris 8 years ago. I had just arrived on a red-eye for my semester abroad, and was tired and panicking trying to find the TGV station to get my train down to Avignon, when I realized I didn’t have my purse. At all. Suitcase and computer yes, purse with license, money, passport with visa allowing me in the country, GONE. I flipped for about 5 seconds before I realized I must have left it on the luggage cart back inside. I sprinted off and amazingly, there it was, still sitting on the cart. Now I never, ever take my purse off my shoulders in an airport, until my butt is in my seat!

  118. oh my god, i am so stressed, near panic myself just reading this. you so deserve the rest of the journey and your Rhinebeck time to be amazing…maybe even relaxing!

  119. Oh gosh. I identified with pain! Last May my sweetheart and I were all but ready for our 2 week trip to Scotland, and during our anniversary dinner at a fancy restaurant, the day before we had to drive to Portland to catch our flight to Seattle (then on to Europe), I said, thoughtfully,”I wonder if we have any (English) pounds in the travel file; let’s look when we get home.” At 9:30 or so, we looked. As I got out the travel file, I added, “and hey, we should get out our passports too….” and so I did. And just as a joke, I opened mine up to see when the expiration date was, and it was — choke — gasp — 2 years ago! I actually screamed out loud, and my sweetheart came running to see what was wrong. We looked at each other in horror, then simultaneously headed for our laptops, to find out if there was any hope of getting it renewed in time for our flight.
    It turned out there was a passport office in Seattle, and although we couldn’t get through to an actual human, we were able to make an appointment for the morning of our 2:00 pm flight. Suddenly that dratted 5 hour layover in Seattle was looking like a really good thing.
    All worked out with an hour to spare, even though when we got back to the airport from the downtown passport office we found out our flight had been moved forward one hour. Thanks, Lufthansa. I have never had such great service from a government agency in my life.
    And I have a new habit of obsessive passport expiration-checking, even when I am not going anywhere. You are my role model, Stephanie (except for the wrong bag thing, but that could happen to anyone).

  120. You’re absolutely right. Everything is going to be AWESOME now that the universe has gotten all the crapping on you out of its system in a short span of time. You must be in for a fantastic trip now! Hooray!

  121. That’s an unbelievable load of stress! Is there any way Joe can send you the missing items?

  122. Keep the passport in the travel bag, yes, until you are getting dressed in the morning to leave. Then the passport and tickets are to be on your body at all times. Get one of those thin nylon-underwear money pouches with the elastic belt, that you wear under your clothing, and wear your passport and tickets in that until you get to the airport; also have the equivalent nylon neck pouch and go into the ladies’ room to transfer the passport and tickets to the neck pouch so they are easily available to get on the plane; then use the plane’s toilet to transfer them back to your nylon underwear pouch for security. (When an airplane makes an emergency landing, you are not allowed to take your purse with you down the escape slide, and you need the passport to reclaim it and your luggage.) It’s also a good idea to have a color photocopy of the passport in your nylon belt pocket.

  123. Renewed my passport just before it expired – all was well until I stuck it in my bathrobe pocket (I was taking it upstairs) and 45 minutes later, threw said robe into the washer. Had to replace the passport – cost about $120. Not good.

  124. Awww, painful day… the broken tray was the final touch — I hope you gently rinsed out your sock, hung it up to dry overhead, and then insisted on a pair of courtesy airline socks. That airline totally deserves a public chiding.

  125. When I was doing a lot of traveling I finally bought a small case that I keep the duplicate chargers, headphones and an electrical splitter (so I can plug everything in at the hotel) in so I can pack them the night before and not forget them like I kept doing. Hopefully the rest of the trip goes well.

  126. Wow! What a no good, really bad start to the day!! Hope the trip’s improved from there and as amazing as the beginning was difficult!

  127. I’m sorry for your troubles. But this may sound crazy or just mean…. but often your posts cheer me right up!

  128. As we say in the Completely Pointless and Arbitrary Group in Rav, much mojo for the rest of your journey to be smooth and soft as the finest cashmere silk yarn.

  129. I go batty getting ready trips, and am less batty due to what I call Strategic Duplication. There are things that just stay packed. An extra phone charger, extra ear phones, toiletries, ear plugs — whatever. Refill/repack when I get home and duplicate strategic items so I never freak without them. Good luck. Your zen is there for you.

  130. Oh my. Well, it has to get better from here, right?
    I was once in a cab to the airport to catch a flight to London to spend a weekend with my hubby who was traveling on business and needed to spend the weekend in Europe between destinations. As I sat in the cab a few miles from my house, I absentmindedly pulled out my passport to double check that I had it because, as you say, it is the one non-negotiable item you must have. As I looked down at it, the edges of the world became black and all I could see was the hole punched in the corner. The hole that they punch in the U.S. to invalidate an old passport if you have sent it in to renew your old one.
    English was not the cabby’s first language, but he more than understood the string of expletives from the back seat. I quickly explained and he turned around, speeding for home. I only live 15 minutes from DFW airport, but my flight was rather unfortunately timed and this little detour meant that we would hit more rush hour traffic than we originally would.
    As I silently berated myself for even keeping the old passport, much less in the same drawer as the new one, the cabby sped me home and I ran into the house at breakneck speed. Once back in the cab, my cabby was on a mission to get me to the airport in time.
    We got caught in a massive traffic jam and he broke a few traffic laws with the help of other cabbies who let us back into traffic after we drove along the right shoulder.
    Tipped the cabby a whopping $50 out of sheer gratitude and still managed to make my flight, but I’ll never forget that moment when I saw the hole in my passport.
    Oh, and once on the plane I realized that I had forgotten my extra contact lenses. I rarely rip my contacts, but the next day while trying to be super careful, of course I did tear one and I spent the weekend in glasses. So yes, I totally agree that there is something about passport karma. But it has to get better, right?

  131. Honestly, it’s enough, even reading about it, to make one spit nails. And a pox on airport scalpers. But… just like the house in The World According to Garp, your trip has been “pre-disastered,” and it will all get better. And sometimes one just has to keep saying to oneself, “Could be worse. Nobody died.”

  132. Your post creeped me out because tomorrow at an ungodly hour (actually, God is probably fine at any hour, it’s me who can’t hack it) I have to leave on a trip, and I am not the practiced traveler you are. But then I remembered the bad multi-vehicle accident on the highway this morning. I saw a van sitting perpendicular to the flow of traffic and emergency workers setting up a stretcher by another car on the opposite shoulder. Nothing like ramdom carnage to put things in perspective. Just stay safe and get home in one piece!

  133. I have misplaced items, found them and then promptly misplaced them again! And, presently, I do not have a passport.
    I am ashamed to admit my enjoyment of your post–not the dilemna itself but your telling of the situation. But, I am hoping and trying to send good vibes out so the rest of your trip will not be as harrying. Really, I am.

  134. Goodness me! You had my eyes going all wonky by the time I was halfway through. I think they were trembling for you. Sending good knitting karma your way!

  135. I kept waiting for you to say you hadn’t turned off the tub and only remembered it once you were in the cab! Hope it gets better!

  136. I feel your pain! I nearly missed a fight recently because I was too busy getting everything together and taking care of the pets. Did the mad sprint through the airport and got there just before the doors closed… that’s heart pounding experience and gives that feeling of dread reading your trip so far. Hopefully it goes smoothly from here on out.

  137. You could ask at your hotel if they have the charger that fits your phone, those kind of things get left behind all the time.

  138. Holy crap, Stephanie. Holy crap.
    I have been packing for SOAR (we’ll miss you, by the way!!) for the past ten days, and based on this blogpost, I am taking some immediate steps the moment I get home this afternoon. I won’t be leaving for another few days, but as of 6 pm tonight, every single thing I need is going in one of the many suitcases I am taking…..
    Holy crap. Hang in there….

  139. I send loads of virtual hugs! <3
    It could have been worse. You could never have realized until you got to the airport, you could have forgotten something else, or heaven forbid, the security may of decided to TAKE AWAY YOUR KNITTING.
    Now that would have been nasty.
    I’m going on my first flight as a knitter in April to Costa Rica with my school, so I’m going to hope that whatever knitting I bring that the security doesn’t take it. (If they try I won’t be a happy camper).
    I hope your trip is good 🙂

  140. I’ve always really enjoyed your blog, but now, I love it! Thank you for sharing your very human day with us and I hope that beer is as delicious as you deserve.

  141. My stomach actually lurched at the part where your passport was missing. I really felt your pain!
    Thank goodness we have knitting to keep us sane.

  142. Uh.. you should have a fabulous rest of your trip! no bout a doubt it! I would love to treat you to a beer.. you surely deserve it!

  143. And some days, the plan just doesn’t come together. On the up side, the duplicate ear phones and charger can now live in your bag instead of having to be packed in the future. That should save both time and stress in the future. Unless you put them in the wrong bag, with your passport. Safe travels!

  144. On the other hand, you can now have earphones and a charger packed and ready in your “to go” bag and not have to remember to take them each time. It may be worth the extra money.

  145. This reminds me of a vacation my husband and I took to Mexico years ago. We got to the airport check in and discovered that not only didn’t my husband have his passport, he also didn’t have his wallet. He grabbed a cab to return home and get them, but he couldn’t find they anywhere and returned to the airport. Somehow at the 11th hour he sweetalked the airline employees to let him on the plane, with nothing but his ticket. So, we were flying to Cancun airport with no way to get him through Mexican customs. I thought we would have to go to the embassy, but the customs officials didn’t raise an eyebrow.
    We were staying on Isla Mujeres, an island just off Cancun. The kids wired money, but there was still the issue of some id to get back into the U.S. with. The kids searched the house. Still no wallet and no passport. All they could find was John’s Rotary Club membership card, which they got to us with great difficulty. There was no way to get the passport replaced and in John’s hands on the island before our flight back. Again, I imagined him stuck on the wrong side of U.S. Customs. Again, we had no problem. The Rotary Club card did the trick.
    Of course, this was before September 11, 2012. Today the story would not have had a happy ending.
    We found the passport and wallet. They were in the pocket of John’s coat in the car in the airport parking ramp.

  146. Been there, done that, didn’t bother with the T-shirt.
    Wouldn’t you think that, with all the technical advances that have been made, someone would have come up with the transporter by now? It is probably some cover up because the airlines would be out of business.
    Scottie, beam me up!
    Have a great time!!!

  147. Clearly, yesterday sucked badly. We all want to know everything got better – it did, right?

  148. Close your eyes, count from 100 to 1 calmly and slowly. Then inhale and exhale 10 times, also very slowly. Then put yourself in the mindset that all the bad stuff is over, and you are going to have a great time. Mind over matter.

  149. Well, there were no noticeable affects of the turmoil during your class today. What fun! Thanks for sharing the joy of silk hankies…this is the second time I have been fortunate enough to listen to you speak and again it was entertaining, informative and a breath of fresh air.

  150. You know, Steph, I sometimes describe your adventures to my husband so he can relate to the Joe parts and his comment about you finding your passport AFTER having awakened Joe was “Oh,good now he can go back to sleep.” I, however, felt your pain and see the reason for this almost-disaster for what it is: Too Much To Do. We women all have to learn to stop multi-tasking so much. Of course, being you, you’ve made it funny.

  151. A laugh at your expense, but I cracked up when I came to the part about Joe snapping to attention. The picture in my mind was hilarious. Glad it worked out.

  152. I’m the same way about my passport. It expires in 2014, but I keep checking it to make sure it hasn’t sneakily expired earlier.

  153. They have a series of commercials running in the US right now that bring to mind your post here. A lady sits at her breakfast table with an array of visitors sitting in the other seats. One might be a cop, one a co-worker, one a driver she will encounter that day etc. Each person sitting around the table takes their turn telling her what trouble or bad news she will receive from them as morning goes on.. All the while she sits calmly, acknowledging each one with a smile as she sips her orange juice. (FYI – the commercial is promoting the power of orange juice. But it’s not entirely effective since I don’t actually recall the brand of orange juice being advertised!)

  154. I’ve read your entry and as many of the comments as I can – it’s after 2:15 am.
    Sorry to hear about your rough trip start. I WAS going to write that I was lucky enough to have only been on a domestic trip last week. One does not necessarily need a passport for a domestic trip; government identification will do just fine (such as a driver’s license).
    Because I cannot find the metal box which contains my passport!
    The reason I need my sleep tonight is to be able to figure out how to follow the instructions to contact FedEx – for them to bring my cellphone home to me. It was left in the Toronto airport, on the outward part of my trip.
    On the return, my plane landed in Toronto at the same time as boarding started for my connecting flight, so I did not have time to scurry to the baggage department to collect it.

  155. We’re never really safe from departures like that.. And there wasn’t a tornado, and you plane didn’t land in Main because of bad weather or other airport closure, you got the right plane, so things could have been much worse :-).
    But I just wanted to chime in that it’s NOT a waste to have duplicates, not with how much you travel, not if they can live permanently in your suitcase and save you from mornings like that. Let’s not address the passport problem, which I’m sure you correctly diagnoses as mistaken automatic pilot. Anything that is always taken on a trip is worth having in duplicate. Don’t you have a toiletries bag which already has everything it it? Do you actually take your working toothbrush and put it in your bag, with toothpaste, on the morning you’re leaving?? A phone charger doesn’t cost much on amazon, you need to keep one in the bag, along with headphones. Well, you have extras now :-), but think of what else you might be able to add to the list of Things Not To Think About? I have ear plugs, sleep mask, tea bags… The thing is those things don’t wear out while in the bag, and in a pinch tehy can save your bacon at home too.
    Also, what are you doing checking email on your own computer in the morning, so you have to pack your own computer and not forget the AC and all that?? I can’t believe your household doesn’t have some other computer you could use in the morning. Never mind that you’d be hard-pressed to fly from any airport in Canada that didn’t have wifi, and so you ought to be checking your email while you’re waiting at the gate, not while you should be having breakfast.
    I’d like to put in a strong word too for not going to bed without having already packed the running shoes. Your routine does not include a morning run. I can see that duplicate running shoes might be too expensive/bulky (although I’d suggest watching sales and getting some anyway before the next pair wears out). But there’s no reason at all for not packing them at night. Likewise, I can totally see a 4am flash and changing your mind about exactly what knitting you want to take along. But you should be more than 90% packed at night, you should be packed 100% and still be able to change your mind, which is different.
    I’m blathering on, but what I’m really trying to say is that while you have a routine that does work (barring catastrophic misfiling), your routine can still be compressed.. by a lot :-).

  156. At least you are here now…and its been a beautiful few days with gorgeous folliage. Webs is ALWAYS worth the trip (and the mayhem)…and then there’s Rhinebeck!

  157. I laughed, I cried – we can all relate. Isn’t that why we knit after all to counter life’s little imbalances.

  158. For trips, I do all my laundry and pack the clothes the weekend before. I then figure out what entertainment I’m bringing, and I pack that in either the suitcase or the carry-on. Which means I’m not knitting or reading whatever-it-is during the week, and dressing gets more interesting, but the sanity factor far outweighs those things.
    Oh, and I have severe ADHD. These things are definitely connected!

  159. I’m reading this a little late – but have to say – LaGuardia sucks. We are only about a half hour from LGA – but we avoid flying out of there whenever possible. I would rather go out of JFK or White Plains any day. You have my deepest sympathies. And as a CT native, I hope that you enjoyed Hartford.

  160. We must be cosmically from the same Mother Earth womb or something because we have the same stream of consciousness type habits. 🙂 Can’t wait to see you at Rhinebeck!

  161. My mum’s a flight attendant and she always keeps her passport in the hotel room safe – with one of her uniform shoes. That way she can’t leave the room without it!

  162. I just read the section of the post from checking for the passport to zipping up the dumped suitcase aloud to my husband. I didn’t warn him what I was doing. Just started reading and wasn’t sure if he was really listening as he is in the middle of waking up. Upon finishing the excerpt, I turned to him and said “see I’m not the only person who loses it when they can’t find something important.” His response, “poor Joe.”

  163. In sympathy and unknowingly, as my DH and I were driving up to Rhinebeck I spilled an entire cup of coffee in my lap. Fortunately I had the foresight to be wearing brown pants and a black T shirt. Once it was dry you’d never know! Imagine odd contortions in the car trying to get the car air vents pointed at the wet parts. I’m sure other motorists were puzzled.


  165. That’s exactly what happened to me the last TWO times I flew! Ok, not the passport thing. More like being JUST late enough for my connecting flight that I waste an entire day crying in an airport and making excuses to my boss. It was enough that I’d like to swear off flying altogether. Would you care to join me in petitioning for a series of high-speed trains all across North America?

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