Aunt Betty got the girls two first class tickets leaving at six in the morning the next day Atlanta to McCarren Airport in Las Vegas which was a little over one hundred and fifty miles from Lake Havasu and they would arrive at 1:30 p.m. Arizona time which is 11:30 a.m. Georgia time so he informed Grace he wanted to be able to get a video call from her by 11:45 a.m. and he would like to see aunt Betty on the video as well.
They arrived at Hartsfield International Airport at 4:30 in the morning making sure to give the girls over an hour to get checked in and be on the flight seated as soon as possible so Grace could text him that everything was all clear and they made it on the plane safely. He dropped the girls at the front and helped them get their bags checked in at the curb and gave Grace a bear hug and then sent her on her way. He got in his car and pulled away and began to pull onto the highway but decided to do the circle at the airport and headed to the hourly parking and parked his old Volvo 850 in a way so he could still see the front of the airport. He couldn’t wait at the gate like he wanted without buying a ticket but he could wait at the airport parking deck and make sure he got her text that she had gotten on the plane before he left the area. He pulled into a spot and turned the radio on and pushed a Deftones CD into the deck, opened his black camouflage backpack on the floor and found the half pint of Finlandia Vodka he had bought in case of such a stressful situation. He poured half of it into his Rockstar energy drink that he had been nursing since Grace had woke him up a little before 4:00 a. m. At 5:45 the text came into his phone.
“We are sitting on the plane Daddy, You can go home now.” He smiled, his little girl knew him all too well. He drove the I-285 perimeter around Atlanta to get home from the airport to avoid the downtown Atlanta traffic that was surely piling up at this exact moment. The Atlanta traffic is famous for being horrible and most people don’t realize it is in so many specific ways. Starting at before six in the morning and then continuing until almost ten most days the early morning rush hour if not navigated correctly could demolish an entire day’s plan. On this odd morning though the usually less painful perimeter was completely silent and gave an eerie ghost town feeling to the usually packed section of the area. He got off the Atlanta Road exit heading for Smyrna and made the turn first on Cooper Lake and then on to Weaver Street. Pulled into the half gravel driveway, unlocked the bungalow’s front door and walked straight to the bed that he had once shared with his wife and crashed out within seconds of walking through the door. He didn’t have to be in until 4:00 this afternoon and he guessed he would sleep until about 3:45 as tired as he was from his early morning limo driver duty.
Grace Face Timed at noon Atlanta time and luckily he was still asleep or he would have probably been worried sick that she didn’t call on time. She was in the back seat of Aunt Betty’s SUV and she made sure to turn her phone around so he could see Aunt Betty and Suze in the front seat and out the side window so he could see what he imagined was Arizona.
“We are going to lunch at a place name the Red Onion they are supposed to have awesome burgers, jealous much?” She knew how much her father loved cheeseburgers it was the one food he could eat every day until he died and not get tired of them.
“You know I am. Make sure you take a picture and write me a little review.”
“You know I will. Okay I’m safe Daddy I’ll text you in a little bit okay?” A little over two hours later Grace texted him a picture of sloppy cheeseburger in her hand with the message “Oh yeah your jealous.”