I Win The Amazing Race

Just back from visiting my mom and brother. Much more to come, but I had to share this story from our flight out.
We were scheduled to leave early in the morning on Wednesday, so we drove up to Baltimore on Tuesday night and stayed in a hotel which conveniently allowed us to leave our minivan there while we were gone. We got to the airport in plenty of time, and went through security and arrived at our gate very early. We had a perfect view of the puddle on the ground under the wing which the mechanic was staring at, then staring up at the wing. So it was inevitable that, after consulting with other mechanics, they came over the loudspeaker and said we would be delayed for a full inspection. If we left at 9am after the inspection, we might make our connection in Minneapolis. But 9am rolled around, and I could see the mechanic had not put the screws back in the wing, and we were not making that connection, so I got in line to rebook. At that time, there were about 4 people ahead of us and 2 people working at the counter.
While chasing Ellie and Evan around the terminal and Lisa still waiting in line, I noticed that the Northwest flight to Detroit had just left from the gate next to ours, and there was no one there any more. Except one woman who was closing down the counter at the gate. I walked up to her holding Evan in my arms and asked nicely if we could rebook through her, since we were obviously going to miss our connection. She happily said she could, and I called Lisa over. Our helpful Northwest worker then told us we could go through Detroit and arrive at about 4:30, or she could try to get us on a Midwest Airlines flight through Milwaukee arriving at 3pm. We were well aware that Midwest has free fresh baked cookies, so we jumped all over that flight. She called over to Midwest to confirm they had space, and we were rebooked. Somewhere during this time, the gate agent for our original flight came on and confirmed the bad news: they had to fly a new part for our plane in from Minneapolis. That flight wouldn’t arrive till 1pm, and they might leave at 4pm for Minneapolis, and I’m sure there was no way we would have gotten onto a flight from there to KC. When we left, the line for the counter was at least 50 people long, and there was no one waiting at our gate agent’s counter.
I’m probably never going to make it on the Amazing Race (it’ll get canceled before the kids are old enough for us to leave them for an around-the-world race), but for a brief moment, I felt like I had just finagled our way into winning the race. Our trip could have started out just miserably, but with a little forethought and good fortune in finding a helpful gate agent, we got onto our Midwest Airlines flight with no problem, enjoyed our chocolate chip cookies (on BOTH legs), and made it to KC only a little later than we had planned. We win!