The Caribbean, most beautiful travel experience I’ve ever had. It was also my first time off of United States soil. I’d say most of the adventure took place in the airport, most hectic place I’ve ever seen. Being a first time flyer I was more than thrilled to be going on this vacation. It was mid-March, time of year any Indiana girl would like to skip off to a tropical island. My bags packed and sunglasses on, I was ready for some sun! First things first though, O’Hare Airport in Chicago Illinois.
Sure I assume you’re laughing. A trip through the airport was a travel experience? Well it is very true. We pulled up to the doors where they took our baggage at about eight in the morning. That means I was a very tried human being, having to had woken up at five-thirty to prepare for a two hour ride which I had no mind to sleep during. We pushed our way through the vast crowd to our first security check point. Now, there’s something about security everyone should remember, don’t wear jewelry or an excess amount of metal objects. First security took roughly twenty minutes to pass through with the hoard of twelve family members trying to get situated. I don’t like a mass of people trying to squeeze through small areas either.
Being fourteen, I found the moving sidewalks which were quite randomly placed along sections of the floor highly amusing. I could walk the wrong direction on those for hours and not lose one centimeter of smile on my face. Simplicity, it’s in us all. After the fun encounter with the moving floors we moved on to, yet again, a security check point. Just as hectic as the first, all twelve members of my family were shoved through to the other side. Not before my grandmother had to have her bag searched because they somehow mistook her bottle of toothpaste for a weapon, of course.
Eventually we made it to the terminal waiting area. My grandmother counted our heads to make sure we were all accounted for and I collapsed in a seat from airport exhaustion. Who knew that existed? Most of us were exceedingly hungry, but we held back the snarling growls our bowls were distributing because our plane was due arrival any minute. After a half hour of waiting and hearing of a delay they all dispersed in groups to the surrounding McDonald’s, Starbucks, or a miscellaneous food restaurants. Knowing how well our luck seemed, the plane arrived. I, who stayed behind too tired to eat, watched as familiar faces ran back with a child’s hand in one of their own and food held high in the other scampering back to our gathering spot.
Herded like frantic cattle we all made it to our seats. Somehow not the right ones, but seats none the less. I requested a paper bag while I sat next to my elderly Hungarian seatmates, listening to them talk to me about whatever it was they were spouting out. The woman would make motions with her hand towards her mouth, speak unfamiliar words, and burst with laughter. I clutched the armchair in a sweaty palm, held the paper bag to my mouth, widened my eyes, and inhaled deeply for the next five or so minutes while the plane rattled into the air. It was a long, six hour trip. Sure the Caribbean was great, but the Airport experience is unforgettable.
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