Wednesday, June 26, 2013

The adventure home

Sadly, I had to end my trip to Alaska and Tuesday was the day. I tried to mentally prepare myself for a day of traveling, but as I write from the Dallas airport on Wednesday, I realize I couldn't have been prepared for the next 36 odd hours.
Rewind- sweet Kristina rolled out of bed around 4 am Kenai time to take me to the airport. Back on the small plane and an uneventful trip to anchorage. Although a beautiful view of snow dotted mountains and glimmering water. Wish I had taken a picture but I have an underlying fear that another passenger will tackle me to the ground if I show my phone. Irrational, I know. 

Anchorage also was uneventful and pleasant with the 5:30 sun beaming through the floor to ceiling windows. Flight left at 8 as scheduled to Seattle. Ate... Well some random airport food. I get to Seattle and have time to eat lunch, go to the restroom and relax for a bit. Then the phone rings (I now have a whole new reason to hate seeing a 1-800 number on my phone) and it is American saying that my flight is delayed. Instant panic about making my last connecting flight in Chicago, but no really great options here. Finally board for chicago, luckily a window seat and elbow room. After about three and a half hours we start circling Chicago for an additional hour or so. Forget my next flight cause they overlap now. What to do?

As soon as we land (weather was horrible with tornadoes and such, thus the delayed landing) I have another voicemail with a delayed flight, this time working in my favor. Grab a bite to eat and check the board but my flight is no where to be found. I ask at the gate closest and she says it has been cancelled altogether! Can they do that?!? Apparently they can. She directs me to a phone booth to reschedule. After an eternity of waiting, she comes up with another flight- Thursday, TWO days away! What???

So, I ask about accommodations for the night and of course, being weather related, they don't foot the bill. Quality inn it is. Being so tired, I can't say I was as upset as I should've been. Now to find my bag. So many places it could be... When I got to the baggage claim counter, they informed me that my luggage was on its way to Nashville. What? How did I not get to the plane and the suitcase did? And didn't they tell me that flight was cancelled altogether? Although frustrated, the woman next to me was more than making up for my anger by being furious (and representing nashville not-so-well). As a consolation prize, I got a nifty little overnight kit with the basics for the night. 
When I stepped outside to catch the shuttle, there were tons of people waiting as well. After about 45 minutes and 2 phone calls to the hotel, the shuttle showed up! Upon seeing the hotel, I wondered if I would survive the night in this seedy place... Out of other options, I took my chances. 
So happy to have a pillow and a bed, I finally settle in to be awakened by horrible thunder and finally- the fire alarm! Totally dazed and dumbfounded, I scurry into my clothes and peek through the peep hole to see the manager running through the hall. I asked him if we needed to evacuate and he said, "no, no! Go back to bed. It was just lightening that struck the building. It's fine." Debating my next move, and seeing firefighters in the hall, I made a decision to just go back to bed. Speaks to how tired I really was. Not a shining moment for me.
Next morning (I did survive the night), I woke up and called the airline to secure an earlier flight. They booked me on the 11:00 to nashville by way of Dallas. So thankful! Got to the airport and through security in record time (flying with only my purse saves lots I time) only to have one last phone call. Flight to Dallas was delayed another hour. Finally made it onboard and from Dallas to Nashville. Chalk this one up to one crazy marathon of flights! But all in all, completely worth seeing good friends!

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