We were out of the house 30 minutes ahead of schedule and drove smoothly to the Sky Park in San Francisco, barely having a minute to catch our collective breath before being whisked away on the shuttle and deposited at United’s terminal.
O’Hare Airport offered the usual greeting to travelers: racing down corridors, zipping along people-movers, balancing on escalators (up and down), repeat, then repeat again, a tram ride (from Terminal 1 to Terminal 5), then all the way down the hall to the Aer Lingus counter.
Some glitch in their system indicated Dad needed a “coupon ticket” instead of the e-ticket we had in hand. We waited and waited and waited for them to check out whatever they needed to check out. Growing more and more concerned by the hang-up, especially as the boarding time came upon us, they finally had the problem fixed. Gino’s bag was a tad overweight and he had to check it, much to his dismay. We carried on the rest, hoping only one bag to retrieve would lessen the odds of lost luggage.
Since it was so close to boarding time and we had yet to navigate the gauntlet of security and scurry to the boarding gate, two Aer Lingus attendants accompanied us. (Hmmm., this too set the tone for the future trip, now that I think of it.) They put us into the fast lane for security and were in the act of leaving us on the other side when I called them back to accompany us all the way. I wanted to make sure their mistake did not prevent us from getting on the plane! The Virgo family prevailed and we found ourselves at the tail-end of the straggling boarders.
We settled in to our sardine-sized seats and promptly ordered a celebratory birthday wine in flight with our Euro left over from a previous trip. We toasted Mom for her birthday and to the beginning of “Perche’ No? 2009” — finally enroute to Ireland!