Wondering If Mexico Is Worth Dying For.... (Vacay Day 1)

I’ve always wanted to be on the news.

In fact, my first major in college was Broadcast Journalism. I wanted to be the girl on the 6:00 news. Big hair. Preppy suits. Tapping an ink pen on the desk with a stack of papers that look super important. Yep…that was going to be me. (Why I’m not that girl is a story for another day…..)

Yesterday, I made the news.

But I didn’t have big hair. And I wasn’t wearing a suit.

Yesterday morning, we checked our bags, picked up our boarding passes, and settled in for a lovely flight (with a BRIEF layover in Houston) to beautiful and sunny Puerto Vallarta.

I was to be on a beach by lunch.

However, by lunch, I was sitting in the Houston airport for the second time that day.

Here’s the rundown:

1. Flight to Houston from Little Rock…no problems. Even ended up ironically sitting in seats with folks from our town. Weird.

2. Arrive in Houston for brief layover and begin people watching. Apparently EVERYTHING is bigger in Texas.

3. Board plane for Puerto Vallarta.  But not without taking obligatory pictures first.

4. Notice that the plane is particularly warm. Sweat. A lot.

5. Become concerned when plane makes quick turn around in the air.

6. Become more concerned when pilot tells us that we are heading back for Houston due to a “problem.” Awesome.

7. Decide to make the most of it and begin to plan out Lifetime movie with Lisa that will be made about us when our plane crashes, and we are the only ones onboard ablebodied enough to save the other 165 passengers on board. I will be played by Reece Witherspoon if you were wondering.

8. Arrive back in Houston. Told that another plane is waiting on us and that we will board in 15 minutes.

9. Wait more than 15 minutes.

10. Find out that new plane is having restroom issues. It will be another 15 minutes.

11. Wait more than 15 minutes.

12. Get hit on by a scary man that greatly resembled an unsub I’ve seen on Criminal Minds and who has zero concept of personal space.

13. Take more pictures.

14. Wait more than 15 minutes.  And find it extremly odd that the airport listing of flights says our flight has departed.  When it clearly hadn't.

15. Find out that the plane is out of commission due to the restroom, and that we are being put back on the first plane. The one with the “problem.”

16. But we have to wait 15 more minutes.

17. Wait more than 15 minutes.

18. After 3 hours in the lovely and hospitable (ahem.) Houston airport, we are finally jetsetting our way to Puerto Vallarta.

But, Amber, you didn’t mention the news yet. What’s that all about?

Oh, I haven’t gotten to the good stuff yet….

19. Settle in with a gossip magazine and get cozy for Puerto Vallarta.

20. Get nervous when once again, plane makes sudden turn around in the air.


21. Plane begins lurching.

22. And shaking.

23. And nose-diving.

24. I begin praying.

25. And shaking.

26. And instituting death-grip on armrests.

27. Also begin seeing my babies’ faces flash before my eyes.

28. Decide that at this moment I could care less about Lifetime movie.

29. Panic.



30. Oxygen masks fly out of ceiling of plane. Just like in the movies. And, for the record, they really do look like the ones the flight attendants show you in the safety walk-through.

Wait…It gets better.

31. Wes, Lisa, and I were in a row together….Row 29 to be exact. The problem is that Row 29 was looked over in the Oxygen Mask Deployment Inspection. Because…um….OURS DIDN’T DEPLOY.

32. Realize that our plane is nose-diving, our flight attendants are panicking, and our oxygen wasn’t working.

33. Begin banging on oxygen mask trap door. No dice.

34. Press flight attendant call light. HELP ME.

35. Realize that the flight attendants are too busy panicking and screaming at eachother over the intercoms to care about Row 29 and their lack of oxygen.

36. Get rescued by nice fellow-passengers in Rows 28 and 30 who let us have their extra masks. Feel comforted that fellow-civilian-passengers are more worried about your life than the people who are paid to worry about your life.


Actually, our pilot was amazing. Turns out that our plane cabin had lost all its pressure and all the nose-diving and swerving and wobbling was due to pilot hurling us down to an altitude where we could actually breathe. Once down there, the flight crew calmed down and assured us that we were safe. Engines weren’t blowing up. No shoe bombs were on board. And our wings weren’t on fire.


37. Heartrate begins to come down.

38. Hands still shaking but coming down from Mach 10 speed.

39. Are informed that we are making emergency landing in San Antonio.

Can’t even flippin’ get out of Texas.

40. Land on the airstrip complete with fire truck, ambulance, and police car escorts.

After being told that EMTs were on deck to treat us should we have experienced any medical issues, we were ushered out into the lovely airport of San Antonio. And told that ANOTHER plane was waiting to take us on to Puerto Vallarta should we wish to take us.


41. Told that pilot and flight crew refuses to fly due to being put on 2 cases of faulty equipment.

42. Decide that our pilot is a pretty good guy. I wouldn’t fly either.

43. Told that our flight would leave in the morning. Which means a night in San Antonio.

44. Decide that since it’s around 7:00 p.m., we could at least make the most out of our stay in San Antonio. There is the RiverWalk afterall.

45. Stay in airport for 2.5 hours waiting on mysterious hotel vouchers that seem to elude all airport personnel.

46. Decide that 9:30 at night is too late to go out after spending the entire day in an airport.

47. Make it to hotel.

48. Become concerned when given this room number.

49. Eat a huge meal on the airline’s dime.

50. Fall into bed exhausted only to start it all over again the next day.


I’m on a plane now. It’s not the same plane and not the same pilot, but I feel good about actually getting to Puerto Vallarta today.

We shall see.

All I know is that the rest of our vacay had better be pretty darn fantastic to live up to almost dying in a plane crash.

***** UPDATE:  WE MADE IT!!!!*****


Jim said...

It this the latest sequel in a new "Airport" spoof movie, or what? And I think Reece Witherspoon cannot hold a candle to your own "playing" the part of yourself.

One question, though, how long will it take to "drive" home on your return?

Seriously, I'm glad you all are ok. We and the 2 boys are fine. Hope Saw is doing well.

See you Wednesday, I guess.


Mich said...

laughing out loud! Only you sis, only you. Glad you are ok. enjoy your trip. love ya!

theelizabethhighsmith said...

um what do you say to that????
can i be your friend in the movie?
julie roberts can play me?
no that's probably not what I should say.
thank jesus and the texas stars that you
loved the retelling. wishing sun, triple scoops, and abundant blessings on the vacay!

p.s. i officially wave my magic fairy wand all food consumed on said vacay is 100 % healthy and fat free!

Nancy said...
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Nancy said...

Here's to an uneventful and boring trip home. Bottoms up!

Bridget said...

I'm sure glad you got there safely and hoping that the rest of your trip is super fantastic!! :D

Stephanie said...

What a story to tell the grandkids! BTW I love you hair!

Shannan said...

Oh my gosh!!! I'm so glad you all are okay! Your telling of this event was hilarious...especially the hotel door number. I can't believe you were able to chronicle everything in pictures while it was all going on! Blessings on the rest of your trip :)

Nina Diane said...

wow girlie...that's quite the adventure! Can't wait to hear all about the trip!!

mer@lifeat7000feet said...

Oh Amber! I had NO idea. So glad you are safe!

Anonymous said...


Angie said...

Seriously, wouldn't restrooms be a moot point after the flight scare!?!
Stay safe. Enjoy the rest of the trip cuz!

Carrie B said...

Yikes! I'm not sure I would have continued on. I mean, at what point do you say... It's a sign?

Glad you made it, though. Have a great vacation!

Gretchen said...

You were SO not in room 911, were you ???


So glad I know "the rest of the story" at least so far. Man...maybe it was that woman's big hair that threw everything off...

Kay @ Off the Beaten Path said...

So glad you made it! After all that! Girl, how did you have the presence of mind to take pictures when the air masks deployed 'er didn't deploy? With that kind of play by play you would have made a great broadcast journalist. I hope you have a great time in Mexico!

Carpool Queen said...

Seriously giving you props for A) a fantastic tan, and B) taking mid-air emergency blog pics.

You are AWESOME.

Anonymous said...


Elizabeth said...

I read this on an iPhone while we were driving across New Mexico and I laughed so hard that everyone in the car had to hear the whole story! It's crazy! Why does stuff like this happen to you?

Marla Taviano said...

Goodness gracious. Hope you're having a FABULOUS time!!

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

No garden without its weeds.............................................................

Lindsay said...

Amber... Saw your FB pics yesterday so nice to get the other side of your adventure this am. Scary indeed... Grateful for the passengers who were willing to let you have their masks. Shame on those flight attendants.