June 11, 2009, 3:30 a.m., Tampa, Florida
4:00 am we cleared the standby list all the way to Las Vegas, all seven of us. My friend Rebekah tagged along for what was supposed to be the best summer vacation ever. An all expense paid trip to Sin City for my family and my friends, courtesy of my loving mother’s credit card! We made it to Atlanta, and then…
I still remember the last positive thing Rebekah said, “This trip is going to be the trip of a lifetime.” Little did we know, this was indeed accurate, but not in the way she imagined.
7:10 am. We landed in Atlanta. Our friends from St. Louis arrived into Atlanta late, but were running toward the gate while we should have been boarding the plane. Rebekah, my brother, and I boarded the plane while my mother waited with our friends to check in. Problem, there were three of them and only two seats left on the plane. The three of us on the plane patiently awaited our party to board.
8:00 am. What happened next still amazes me! We were getting of the airplane to be with my mother when the flight attendant told us to take our seats. We explained we were minors and could not fly to Vegas alone. When she so politely replied, “You will just have to sit in baggage claim and wait for your mother.” What? We were being escorted off the plane when I realized my brother was not with us. What a great time for my brother to go to the bathroom and was also escorted off the plane.
Long story short, we got to Vegas at 12:50 am the next morning after 17 hours in the Atlanta airport. That morning at breakfast, our friends from St. Louis complained the entire time and thankfully they went home early. The next day, my mom bought all four of us tickets to the Eiffel Tower Experience. We had just enough time to make it to the top before we needed to return to the hotel, grab our bags, and get to the airport for our flight home. Once at the top, the water show at The Bellagio Hotel began. We were in awe once the show started and we couldn’t leave. While we watched one of the most beautiful sites in Las Vegas, we strategically planned the hour we had left before we had to check in at the airport.
Another long story short, we ran down the stairs of the Resort and began running down the strip. This is when my younger brother decided to run diagonally across the six-lane Las Vegas Boulevard. We just knew he was going to get hit but he managed to make it across the road while everyone at the crosswalk gasped. We made it to the hotel; got the luggage, the rental car, and headed for the airport. We had only 20 minutes to get through security and get to our gate. We made it through security with minutes to spare.
My friend and I still laugh at the events that took place that week. However, through the ups and downs it was not as bad as it seemed at the time. We made the most of every minute we had on our last day in Vegas. I will always remember the last thing Rebekah told me when we took her home that evening, “Courtney, I highly recommend you never invite a friend on vacation with you again,” with a smile on her face.
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