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Weekend in San Antonio – Part 1

January 26, 2017

Brian’s company does a trip every January.  We’ve gotten to go to some really neat places that we probably would not have visited on our own.  We were excited to find out this year’s trip was to San Antonio, Texas.  I usually plan and plan and then plan some more whenever we take a trip.  I did some research on the area and picked a few things to do but decided that we’d take the “wing it” approach to this trip.  We had no idea when we headed out that we’d put that approach to the test!

Thursday morning we headed to the Cincinnati airport.  We checked our bags and headed to security.  This is where things got interesting.  Have you traveled by air in the past few years?  You know those scanners you step into and put your hand above your head?  Several years ago, I had to get a tiny little pat down of my side because of the way my sweater was hanging (even though they had told me it was okay to keep it on).  Now I always remove jackets or sweaters.  I put my shoes & jacket in a bin and slid it and my backpack through the machine.  When it was my turn to hop in the scanner I did what I was supposed to do and waited for the “okay” to go gather my things.  Things didn’t quite work out that way.  I had set the scanner off and was told I had to be patted down.  Due to the *ahem* area in question, I was asked if I wanted a private room.  There are certain parts of your body that you really don’t want patted down in the middle of a busy security area, so I said I would prefer that.  They called in two female security guards to escort me & my carry on items to a private area (they wouldn’t let me touch my belongings at this point).  I got a quick pat down of the suspicious area and thought I’d soon be on my way.   The security guard wears gloves during the whole thing and when she was done she swabbed her gloves and my hands and ran the test strip through a machine to test for explosive materials.  And my test came back POSITIVE.  For explosive materials!  Huh?

Do you know what happens when you test positive for explosive materials in an airport?

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Airport jail.

Ha!  I’m kidding, but I was getting concerned.  (Picture taken at a museum we visited.  We were cracking up.)

Anyhoo…

When you test positive for explosive materials in an airport, you get a head-to-toe pat down by one security guard while the other one totally empties your carry-on bag (and I think she may have swabbed my phone).  It was all I could do not to crack up at the craziness of it all – especially when the 2nd guard pulled my BIBLE and my Karen Kingsbury novel out of my MICKEY MOUSE backpack.  I was finally told to sit in a chair and assumed I just needed to wait for a minute or two when she told me to lift up my leg (Huh?  What is happening here?).  She literally had to pat me down to my toes.

Thankfully the 2nd scan came back within the normal range and I was free to go.  Brian was outside the room with NO idea what was happening.  I was dying when I finally got to fill him in on the details (he says I handled things much better than he would have!).  I felt like I was being watched the rest of the time we were at CVG and I’m sure there was some dude somewhere searching through my checked bag.  I’m probably on some “watch list” somewhere (Middle-Aged Mom with a Mickey Mouse Bag).

I wonder what would have happened if I hadn’t passed the 2nd scan.  Brian says I would have gone to jail and he would have gone back home.  LOL!

I asked the ladies what could have caused the positive test and they said it could be anything – hairspray, lotion, soap, etc.  No way to really know.   I told them they had just given me some good material for my blog.  :)  (I’m sure it’s rare to have a passenger who just goes with the flow and isn’t irate at this point.)

The rest of our journey to San Antonio was uneventful.  We had a great time and quite the adventure getting home!  I’ll tell you all about that tomorrow.

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