A Tale Between Two Cities

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.

My flight from Calgary to Denver, that is.

I don’t have a great relationship with air travel and why would I? I’ve had flights canceled, been stranded, had a bird hit the windshield of my flight, been detained in the Taliban room and thought I was going to die due to extreme turbulence.

These are not the makings of a loving relationship.

My flight to Calgary was about as smooth-sailing as it could have been flying solo with two young children. I remained cautiously optimistic about my return-flight.

When I arrived two hours early at the airport, I was thrilled to see only a couple of people checking in at United. I did the happy dance and leisurely filled out my Customs form before sauntering to the front of the line.

What I did not realize was one of those people in front of me actually represented the entire Austrian Men’s Ski Team who had been at the Alberta World Cup in Lake Louise. Thirty men proceeded to butt in front of us in line, overwhelming the lone employee.

That was the worst of times.

The best: have you ever seen the Austrian Men’s Ski Hunks Team? ‘Nuff said.

More European teams lined up behind us and this mere mortal waited patiently enjoying the views of the gods.

The kids grew increasingly fussy and another employee finally showed up. “Are there any other teams I can check in?”

That’s when this strawberry-blond mortal threw an Olympic-sized fit, demanding they first take care of the civilians and she obliged. However, the damage was done. The airport was flooded with athletes and Customs and security were extremely backed up. After grabbing a quick bite to eat, we barely made our flight. And who should be on it?

The Austrian Men’s Ski Hunks Team.

This is when it became the best of times again.

They filled our tiny commuter plane to capacity. Hadley was fortunate enough to sit next to one of them.

I kicked her out mid-flight to sit with Bode.

Because that’s what any good mother would do.

I chatted with them about their experience in Canada, how they were on their way to Beaver Creek and about Olympic dreams. The Austrians are ski royalty and many of these men are medal contenders.

My fingers are crossed I’ll be there in person to cheer them on, which I would be thrilled to do.

Just so long as they promise not to monopolize my airport again.

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