If anyone had told me that I would have been racing with a Yiayia through JFK airport with 5 minutes to spare on a flight to Athens I would have laughed and told them to shut up. Truth is, exactly that happened in June of 2018 and it was the beginning of many ass hauling moments across the country and a trip full of adventure and laugh out loud moments.
It all started with a canceled Air France flight out of Atlanta, we were all devastated because this trip was a two year prep, plan, save, dream and finally the day comes and our flight is delayed! Are you serious right now! Rerouted tomorrow via JFK, WHAT!!!!!!!!!! We are gonna miss almost two days of our trip! NOOO! To make matters worse, our flight the next day out of Atlanta was delayed on the runway and if you have flown into JFK you know takeoff and landing takes forever! We had 15 minutes from landing to make it to our gate on the other side of JFK. Who knew flight line shuttle buses were available, but the 5 of us got our bags and we were ready to run, who cared about our checked luggage we needed to make that flight.
Yiayia was sitting next to us and asked if we going to Athens and who lies to any yiayia? Yes, you can follow us, we have to get a shuttle bus to get to the other side of the airport and we will have to run, we have 15 minutes. Ok she said, well who knew yiayia was in better shape than all of us. As soon as the plane parked at the gate we were off, flight attendants we have 15 minutes, we have to get off first, and we were ready. My sisters, a child we had to escort because his group was on another flight and yiayia. Step 1, move quickly to the small sign that said shuttle with the Trinidadian agent screaming at me because I broke the line when he said “next 4” I said “Sir I am chaperoning that child I can wait for the next bus, he said “You never leave a child you chaperoning” by the time he finished that sentence I was already running down the steps, mind you yiayia was the first person down the steps and on the bus. Step 2, the bus ride seemed to take the longest route around the entire airport, everyone else was going to Nigeria, if we missed our flight I had decided I was going to Nigeria as well, why not. Step 3, the bus stops at our gate and it is back up 4 sets of stairs and continuing with the luck of the day the last gate. We all hauled ass up those steps, breathless, laughing so hard we had tears in our eyes, yiayia again was up the steps faster than we were. We told yiayia hold the flight, don’t let them leave us LOL!!!!!! Imagine 4 women ages 16, 26, 41, 42, an 18 year old young man who is a champion swimmer and a 70 year old yiayia who showed us up all over the airport.
Breathless we all made the flight, only to find people in our seats because they thought they would make themselves comfortable, but I’ll save that discussion for another day. Needless to say the flight was smooth and relaxing, the food was decent and the wine free. If this was going to be my introduction to Greece I knew this would be a great trip. I wish I had been warned that the haul ass concept would continue through the country with some of the most breathtaking scenery and smallest roads I had ever seen. This is how I started falling in love with Greece, it all began hauling ass in an airport with a 70 year old Yiayia.