Nightmare at Newark – Planes, Trains and Baby Strollers

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How long would it take us to walk home?

Maddie fought the good fight this weekend. She traveled hundreds of miles using multiple forms of transportation and kept her sense of humor as much as any 8-month-old little girl could.

Our journey began at the pit known as Newark Airport. It’s rated worst in the nation for a reason folks. And the mega-mind merger between United and Continental only make things worse. Knowing the forces of evil to be dealt with, we left plenty of time to undo whatever screw-ups we might encounter. It didn’t take long to run head-long into our first impediment.

My wife printed boarding passes before leaving the house that clearly read that we were leaving from gate A-27. For those of you who know Newark Airport, this means that you are leaving from Terminal “A” Pretty simple right?

So we checked in at the “A” terminal, checked our bags and collected our boarding passes. Then I heard Maddie gasp. Upon a closer inspection of our tickets, the United idiots had changed the flight to leave from terminal “C”

Maddie glared at her parents as if to say, “This is another fine mess you’ve gotten me into!” It was sooo nice of the bubblehead that checked us in not to mention that we had to high-tail it down to the “C” terminal if we wanted to make our flight. So Maddie suggested we take the monorail and make it snappy!

We get to the lovely terminal “C” only to find that TSA has four entry points but only two security lines open for a mob of travelers. And let me tell you, they were in NO HURRY whatsoever. I propped little Maddie into one arm and started placing my junk into the bins. Sure enough, I snagged the smartest TSA agent in the airport.

I placed my Kindle Fire on top of my laptop in the bin when I heard the agent say, “HOLD UP!” (Here we go) Maddie is looking more than a little concerned at the man who has just snapped at me.

“Sir, what is that?”

“UM, a Kindle.”

His face contorted as if were speaking in tongues – “A WHAT?”

“A device that people use to read books and magazines,” I explained.

“Sir, that needs to go in a separate bin.”

Of course now the line is backing up even more as I grip Maddie a little tighter so I can go fetch another bin. I grab the new bin as Maddie grabs my bottom row of teeth. I put the Kindle in a bin of it’s own. Now the baby and I are ready to come through the scanner, but the scanning agent is having a mindless conversation about what time she came to work that morning. Luckily Maddie started grabbing my nose that somehow broke this woman out of her drug-induced coma.

We made it to our gate with only moments to spare, but Maddie was a perfect angel through out the entire process. She was also a delightful flying companion and made it through her first flight like a real pro.

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