9 February, 2019

The week is coming to a close – lots of happenings in a short time!

I arrived home Monday evening after way too much fun with planes and weather. I always schedule my airport shuttle to come pick me up even earlier than they suggest, and this time it proved to be a good thing. The driver said he almost didn’t make it up my street – the snow had frozen and it had started snowing again. I know the tricks on how to get up the hill, but if you aren’t a resident you’re at the mercy of chance. Ok, loaded up the towncar (free upgrade again!!! Woo!!! – I am enjoying Shuttle Express) and then took a quick, but unhurried drive on the freeway to the airport. Weather forecast said more snow accumulating and schools already delayed.

American Airlines counter doesn’t open until 3 am, and I’m there at 1:30 am. And there are a few others waiting too. There are employees behind the door – why they can’t have someone there just to check bags I have no idea, but they don’t. 3:02 am two counter employees come out and begin helping us. Of course, they tell us to check in on the kiosks – which they JUST turned on (couldn’t do that earlier, either). Can you tell I get angst in airports? So my kiosk demands visa information from me that I can’t find. I have to check my bags anyway, so I run back to the counter where it takes THEM 20 minutes to get me checked in. Then off to the gate for the wait. Wait. Wait. 4:30 am we start loading, everything goes surprisingly quickly and easy! Get settled in and I have an entire row – BOTH SIDES to myself! Woo (again)!!!!

“Folks, we’re going to be on the tarmac about 20 minutes while as the plane is being de-iced” the disembodied voice of the pilot informs us. That’s fine with me, I’d rather wait a moment if it means we won’t plummet from the sky. 20 minutes go by; “Folks, the ground crew is having trouble de-icing the plane. It shouldn’t be too much longer”. Another 40 minutes. I know people from the check-in line are now missing connections. De-icing is complete, but … “Folks, there’s a problem with the taxiway. The tower told us to use a taxiway that we can’t see, so we’re waiting for them to snowplow it”! Did I mention it’s still snowing? 30 minutes. At least a half dozen snow plows come out and make TWO passes on the tarmac to our right. I can now see lights and road stripes. In the next 15 minutes we maneuver to the freshly plowed taxiway … “Folks, we’re good to go, but we’re third in line for takeoff”! At this point I want a drink! First class has been served! Give it to me! Lol. TWO hours after our scheduled departure, we are in the air and headed to Phoenix!

By the time I get off the plane in Phoenix I have 20 minutes to get to the other side of the terminal. That’s 20 minute before the plane is scheduled to leave, it should already be boarding! So, I hustle my behind and do a fast-walk on the moving sidewalks to the departure gate … to find the flight has been delayed a little and hasn’t even started boarding! Yea!!!! I originally had a two and a half layover, that turned into a 20 minute layover that turned into a 40 minute layover …. but. I. Didn’t. Miss. My. Connection! AND, there was no one in the middle seat, so both the window occupant and I had a little comfort room to expand!

And now I’m home. The weather is in the low 80’s. The sunsets are beautiful.
Made the trip to the mercado and have food in the fridge. I’m back to doing my walks, so I’ll lose the extra weight I gained in the US (I haven’t weighed myself – but I feel fat). The vision of snow and 27 degree weather is quickly fading from my mind!

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