Saturday, July 19, 2014

An Unexpected (Rather Tame) Adventure

On Friday, I discovered that I was going on an adventure.  It was not meant to be an adventure, but halfway through it turned into one.  It was just supposed to be a visit to see my maternal Grandma, an extended family in Texas. Alas, this was not to be.  My quest was cut very short by a force we have yet to be able to do diddly squat about.

That is to say: My flight got canceled due to a thunderstorm. It was not a small flight either, being six seats across and completely full.  By the time I got to customer service, I had been in line waiting an hour.  It took a further hour and a half to get the ticket back to my home place, having discovered the next flight available…was still in danger of thunderstorms, and completely full besides.  That is to say, according to Mr. Meterologist, my one true chance was not this weekend at all, thank you very much, as thunderstorms and lightening were predicted for Dallas the entire time. Ergo, to preserve my sanity…I came back home.

You see, I didn’t have a direct flight. I had one of the lovely flights were you go in the complete opposite direction before you head the right way.  This, being a rule of travel, is not so surprising.  What was surprising was suddenly finding myself in Charlotte, North Carolina unable to contact my family to let them know, not sure what the right choice was, and with, get this, an ankle that is most certainly still sprained and it most certainly did not like going through the airport twice, thank you very much.

By the time I got to the gate my flight back home would go through, my ankle was roughly the size of a particularly fluffy cat’s head. Also, it hurt.  I was about 50 % sure I undid all the healing I had done, but only 50%.  Being as this is now Saturday, I can assure you that my ankle was just being a bit of a whiner, and it’s back to its mildly swollen, healing state.

I do not advise my form of health care, by the by. It leads to a startling number of adventures and an awful lot of sighing from your friends.

To give you all a run-down of the excitement, I must tell you I arrived at my local airport at rather very early, also known as 8:06. Armed with my firefly shirt (for the purpose of finding fellow nerds along the route), a backpack for the weekend, and my purse, I felt well prepared for travel.  Given I was two hours early, I was, in fact, a bit too early for an airport the size of my home airport. From there, everything went smoothly.  We took off a little late, but apparently were waiting for a member of the crew, and we more than made up the time in the air, arriving twenty minutes early.  Given that I had to go from terminal E to B, I didn’t look at the departures board, and instead rushed.

Clocking easily three times my usual speed, I near jogged to the other side of the airport, as They Have No Tram.  Really, Charlotte.  You are much too big to not have a tram from A to E, at the least.
This, I should note, was my first mistake, if you don’t count booking when there’s bad weather. Had I seen that, I would have seen my flight was mysteriously delayed by thirty minutes.  Hmm…

Seeing this, I despaired half a moment before trying to call my Grandma.  Given I don’t have a cell number for her (and suspect she has none) I tried her house phone.  This did not work. Well, maybe she was on the way. It would only be a little late, and easily make up thirty minutes in the air. Everything would be fine.  It was bothersome, but that’s all.

Right as the flight should have left, we received the announcement. The flight would be canceled due to lightening. The TSA could not approve it under the conditions.  One of the other passengers confided she was from a nine am flight that had suffered the same.  I checked the weather and said a foul word.  It was necessary.

And then began the mad chase. We went to customer service. This was not correct. We went to the East Check In desk, booking it as fast as I could limp. My ankle was mad, but I, while complaining to myself in the manner of writers everywhere (out loud, and to myself) was mostly calm.  And then I checked Dallas’s weather again.  The long wait for service and the weather reports I had at hand made up my mind.  I could not go, not this weekend.

Given how rarely I see her, this is the disappointment of the year, thus far, that I care to remember. Were their greater, I do not recognize them.  Still, all would be well, I decided as I waited about an hour after getting to the desk for the ticket back to my home airport.

After all, I am good at adventuring. It’s become nearly a specialty.

On the way to the opposite side of the airport once more, and really, wondering if I should flag a look you’re disabled cart down, I met a lovely New Yorker as my stomach growled, demanding sustenance.  I have adventures. Sustenance is needed for adventures. And so, I had a cheeseburger, and we talked and walked to her gate, as mine, of course, is the very last possible gate.

Arriving, I sat down to chronicle my adventure and right as I expected to begin boarding and had begun to put my things up, I receive, the news.  That is to say there was an announcement of a twenty minute delay due to something that I do not even know but sounded like Lal.  What Data’s daughter is doing delaying flights in the 21st century, I do not know.

I have decided I don’t want to know. At this point, I sighed, and decided such was fate, then promptly wondered if I’d make it home today at all, or if I should find a particularly cushy spot of airport floor to sleep on.

However! The good news is that I have successfully made it back, thus ending my adventure.  It was quite the excitement.  I enjoyed it thoroughly, even if it did sadly cut short a trip I had been looking forward to happening.

One Final Byte: Adventures have their place, but not at airports.