Tuesday, February 11, 2014

ca travelogue part 1 (of 4): flying

February 5th came and I could not have been more excited or ready to flee the frozen tundra that was Iowa. The weather in California was a mere 50 degrees, which is freezing to them, but since it was 60 degrees warmer than home, I was willing to let it slide. 

I woke up, got ready, shoveled the driveway, and left my little ladies with a bag full of surprises - one for each of them each day. 

Of course the roads hadn't been plowed from the snowstorm the night before, so it took us nearly twice as long as we anticipated to get to the airport. I was so nervous I was going to miss my flight, but we made it. 

I got through security in no time and found myself sitting at the gate with time to spare. As my flight departure time grew closer, I noticed there was no plane waiting for me. Shortly after my realization, an employee said the plane was on its way, running about 20 minutes behind schedule. I had a quick connection in Chicago, but 20 minutes wouldn't be a problem. 

Twenty minutes turned into 40 and the plane finally arrived. But they didn't let anyone board because of an "unidentified liquid" literally spilling out of the plane. They had to call the mechanic (who wasn't at the airport already because it's so small). He arrived an hour later and then spent some time figuring out what said unidentified liquid was. 

Turns out it was just some extra coolant spilling over, NBD. 

But, this little delay required almost every single person on my flight to rebook their connections in Chicago. Luckily I was third in line of about 50 and got a seat on the next flight to SFO, later that night. And luckily I was flying west, not east - far fewer options and way more delays for those folks. I felt so bad for the solo employee working the United counter that day. She deserves a high five. 

I boarded the flight in Moline and this was my view. Never have I seen a plane iced over like that before!

So, long story short, I spent four hours waiting in Moline for a 45 minute flight (I could have driven to Chicago in less time, even in a snowstorm). Then, four hours waiting in Chicago for a 4.5 hour flight. I was so glad I was flying solo. I had a book, a few magazines and my trusty notebook to keep me company, in addition to my stack of gummy bears and goldfish. And the extra 8 hours gave my migraine medicine a chance to kick in. Win, win. 

Finally, I was CA bound. 

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