5.06.2008

My Dad the Travel Nazi

Many of you know that in our religion, when someone turns 8 they get baptised. This is a pretty big deal and so mom, dad, and I made the trek to NYC for S's big day. Now some people love to travel, my brotherinlaw Travis for example. He loves airports, planes, sitting at the gate with his laptop looking really busy and important. If they ever need a volunteer to give up their spot and get a free flight, Travis is their ace in the hole. Most of us tolerate travel and then there is T. Gordon Lewis who HATES to travel.

By nature dad is a borderline pessimist and always plans for the worst case scenario; but, I have to hand it to him, in the past years he has really worked to change his way of thinking by reading books and meditating etc. That said, when he gets into travel mode or when anyone in the family is going to make a trip, all his study, hard work and behavior modification zips out the door. He just can't help it.

My first real insight into his condition was when we were in Brazil picking up Rand from his mission back in the late 80's. Footloose and fancy free with my Farrah Faucet hairdo, IZON shirt and GUESS cropped jeans, I wondered why dad was sleeping with his money belt, plane tickets, and passports in the locked hotel instead of putting it in the safe.

Dad always "sets the departure time" for leaving for the airport and then 15-25 minutes before said time announces in his priesthood voice "okay, let's go". For those of us [mom and myself included] who generally allow less than needed time to get ready, this announcement induces fear and panic. As mom always declares "your father ALWAYS moves up the time"

Well, the trip to NYC was no exception and since this was dad's 2nd airplane trip in 4 years due to his chronic back condition, he was in true form. It started with the following email on Wednesday the day before departure:

Laura:

Our flight tomorrow leaves at 12:16 pm. If we plan for check in 1.5 hours early and for outlying parking, which requires taking a shuttle, we need to leave Boulder at about 9:30 am. Will you come up to 655 or should we pick you up?

You know how stressful it is for me to get your mother out of the house anywhere near time, I have to count on you to be here when we agree, not 10, 20, or 30 minutes later. Do you want us to give you a "wake up call"?

Dad


After checkin, he distributed our tickets in order to navigate security but before we walked to the gate dad collected mom and my ticket. I looked at him and said "can't I hold my own ticket" and he shook his head.

At the gate he kept saying, "we don't have a plane yet". As they moved the departure time back 15 minutes every 15 minutes he got more and more uncomfortable.

We ended up arriving about 1 hour late so he relaxed a bit.

Dad and I were coming home Tuesday and mom was staying until Saturday. Monday was very grey and rainy in NY and Dad kept doing something on the computer. At 4pm he announced "well Laura, the flight that we are on tomorrow left 2 1/2 hours late today". He was already in travel mode. We decided we would leave for the airport at 12:30 for our 2:30 flight - we were loaded and on our way at noon.

The trip home was without incident and with each mile closer to home, dad seemed to relax. Our bags were the first to come down the carousel and dad said with surprise "wow, I guess the premier check really works. I've never gotten my bags that fast". We got to long term parking and were on our way.

In the car on the way home Dad said "well we left at noon NY time, it is now 6pm Colorado time which means 8pm NY time, so it took us 8 hours with very minimal delays". It was a statement that really didn't warrant a response. I think he was just surprised that it went so smoothly.

Can't wait for our next trip!!!

9 comments:

carrie said...

ha ha ha ha.

I can't believe he wouldn't let you hold your own ticket. How old are you again?

Classic. :)

madschill said...

I love that recap of your trip. You have a great dad.

di said...

unfortunately, i can relate all too well!!!!!

sara said...

the best thing about this post is that she's not overstating it a bit. in fact, perhaps a bit of an understatement. so funny that he wouldn't let you hold your own tickets!

Mom Lewis said...

In defense of your poor dad, you have to remember he has traveled a ton for work during his career, going to New Jersey almost once a week for years. Many years traveling over a million miles,a 1K
flyer. Hence United Airlines made him a lifetime premier executive flyer. Plus our family has gone lots of cool fun places on the miles he accumulated.

Since I have traveled by myself the 4 years his back has been bad
cramped in coach,I have waited in long serpentine lines at the airport for security, and waited forever for my bags in New York.

When I travel with Dad the premier executive security lines are very short, we sit in seats with xtra leg room, and our bags are first in. We don't have to worry about anything. He does all the worrying and takes care of us and everything. However I do get annoyed when he tries to move the departure time up, because the night before we travel, I ask him multiple times when he wants to leave. And as Yah Yah said, he is a very prompt person and she and I tend to run late.

Mom Lewis said...

In defense of your poor dad, you have to remember he has traveled a ton for work during his career, going to New Jersey almost once a week for years. Many years traveling over a million miles,a 1K
flyer. Hence United Airlines made him a lifetime premier executive flyer. Plus our family has gone lots of cool fun places on the miles he accumulated.

Since I have traveled by myself the 4 years his back has been bad
cramped in coach,I have waited in long serpentine lines at the airport for security, and waited forever for my bags in New York.

When I travel with Dad the premier executive security lines are very short, we sit in seats with xtra leg room, and our bags are first in. We don't have to worry about anything. He does all the worrying and takes care of us and everything. However I do get annoyed when he tries to move the departure time up, because the night before we travel, I ask him multiple times when he wants to leave. And as Yah Yah said, he is a very prompt person and she and I tend to run late.

Mom Lewis said...

Since it is after 1 AM, I think I better go to bed!! Could one of my lovely wonderful daughters who are more computer literate than I, please delete two of my three posts that are exactly the same???

Yah Yah said...

And I was so excited to see there were eight comments - only to be a little deflated the FOUR are from mom.

Tania said...

OK, this is SO what my daughter, Rebekah is going to be like. She's almost exactly like that right now.

On her trip to Utah over spring break, it took them 3 HOURS to get to JFK, they missed the flight (by 5 minutes) and she was in hysterical tears the entire time. She hates to be late. She even has me drop her right at school after seminary (25 min. early) because if she came home first, she might end up being late ...

Let me just say she did not inherit this from me. Good thing to read bout your Dad and know what I am in for.