Santa was clearly out there and listening since I did get what I most wanted: extra time! I was dreading what it was going to be like flying home from DFW on the busiest travel day of the year (tm), so I left early and headed out to the airport to make it all as painless as possible. I got to the rental car center and was helped more promptly than usual. Then I hopped the shuttle to the airport and found it much less crowded than normal as well. When I arrived at the terminal, I hopped off the shuttle and went inside looking for the OneStop terminals like they have in San Jose for self check-in. These terminals are SO cool by the way. No more waiting in line just to say "No I didn't let anyone stuff a bomb in my stuff!" and get a boarding pass. Anyway, the check in stations were MIA, so I went to the gate where no one else was, checked in, and then turned around to see a Seattle's Best Coffee. (mmmm..... good coffee...) After I grabbed a cup, I realized there was nowhere in the cafe to sit so I headed back out, glanced at the departures board, and realized the flight leaving in a few minutes, the flight leaving a full hour and a half before mine, hadn't left yet and was just two gates down. I wandered over there and off handedly asked if the flight had already boarded. "Yes, they're just refueling now." So says I, "Any chance of making it on this flight? Mine doesn't leave for another hour and a half you see." To my great shock, the agent said, "Oh sure! Which row would you like - 13 or 15?" I replied, "Just a window seat thanks." And the agent says, "Okay, I'll book you in 13F then. You'll have that whole row to yourself. Hurry up now - you're the last one before I close the door." With my new boarding pass in hand, I sputtered out a "Thank you very much!" and headed down the jetway. Once on the plane, I got the best ride I've ever had. The pilot was so gentle that I didn't even notice the takeoff. The landing was just as graceful. Granted, the food still sucked (how do they make marinara sauce oily?), but I arrived back in San Jose with two extra hours under my belt. Add that to the inexplicable lack of traffic in San Jose that night, and I managed to almost finish my Christmas shopping before bedtime!
Since then, I've seen Castaway and What Women Want. Both are good flicks depending on what you're in the mood for. If you're up for silly farcical romantic comedy, What Women Want isn't a great movie, but it definitely fits the bill. And how can you resist Mel Gibson. And Castaway is just what I expected it to be: another really good, really moving Tom Hanks flick. Oddly enough, I really wish Wilson had made it home too.
And as for Christmas... well, it was much like any other Christmas. It had its highs and lows, its joys and let downs. Whatever. Moving right along.