It is official. Granny and Grumpy are true backpackers. Minus the backpack. And minus one wheel on their luggage.
Their plane from London to Toronto was delayed because of ice which only allowed them 45 minutes to complete the runaround that has become the new airport experience, and this minor blip in timing was the leading tile in a wild domino effect. Since your Grandma has a cochlear implant, she cannot go through metal detectors. Having to be frisked several times ate away precious minutes. They also had trouble at the new passport scanning machines and had to wait in several long lines to sort it out. With no time to spare, Granny hitched a ride on an airport shuttle with Ninan, who was from Easwaran’s homeland, but Grumpy missed the ride because his luggage, full of all-natural peanut butter, was searched twice, and he was forced to jog through the airport terminal. Granny asked Ninan to go back and pick up Grumpy, providing a simple description, “he has a mustache and he probably looks grumpy…oh, and namaste.” When Granny hopped off the shuttle, she could sense something was wrong and with an exaggerated plea, she shouted, “Riiiccckkk, ruuuunnnnn!” By the time they made it to their gate, Grumpy was sweating profusely in his bulky-sheep wool-triple layered-zippered-knit sweater and the plane bound for Houston was already in the air. The gate attendant unsympathetically delivered the news and now bent over with hands on his knees, sweat from his brow splashing to the floor, gasping for any available oxygen, Grumpy managed to grunt loud enough for the whole terminal to hear, “AIR CANADA SUCKS!” The Griswolds were bound for Central America!
With time to spare before the next flight to Houston, Granny and Grumpy consumed their last bit of Canada with a tea and coffee from Tim Hortons before having to re-scan their passports. They both felt sick from the stress of the questions reeling in their heads, “how will we get a hold of Jim?, where will we stay in Houston?, where is our luggage?, how will we ever make the express bus in Belize City that will get us to Guatemala?” A splash of caffeine helped take the edge off and with some help from your travel savvy uncle Jeff and great aunt Martha, they regained some hope. Air Canada re-booked their flights and offered a $20 restaurant gift card to spend while they waited for five and a half hours for their next flight.
Now ready to re-scan their passports, they realized they were one parcel lighter. One VERY important, translucent green document holder, fastened with a sturdy snap. One VERY IMPORTANT, TRANSLUCENT GREEN DOCUMENT HOLDER, FASTENED WITH A STURY SNAP that held their flight information, travel plans, health insurance, credit cards and PASSPORTS! They both realized at the same time and simultaneously said, “WHERE IS THE GREEN FOLDER?” Granny dropped everything she had and sprinted back to Timmies, barreling over any pedestrian that dared to interrupt her gait. Not wanting to appear as “those people” who leave behind their “green folder,” Granny nonchalantly asked the Indian barista, “Pardon me, did you find a green folder?” With a bobble and a smile, the barista said, “Yes, it looked very important. I sent it to Air Canada Services.” Granny turned on a dime, hitched a ride with her new best friend Ninan, relative of Easwaran, and shouted, “FLOOR IT!” The official looking person at Air Canada Services assured Granny that no green folder had arrived. Deflated and spent, Granny said her mantram and turned back to tell Grumpy the news. Just then, another young official-looking, yellow-vested person was walking toward her swinging a translucent green document folder with a sturdy white snap. After a twirling bear hug, Granny was so grateful she said, “can I give you something for taking care of our folder?” The young man said, “no, the bear hug was quite enough.”