Friday 30 May 2003

The Way Home, Part II

6:45. I did hit the snooze once, and then jumped into the shower, slightly larger than the one the fist time I stayed. Then downstairs, and was surprised pleasantly when they informed me that they had decided to give me a free breakfast since they had botched my reservation. So that was nice.

So with a nice full belly I caught the Tube to Heathrow. Got to Heathrow about 9:00am, checked in and through security by 9:45. On the plane and off we went only a few minutes behind schedule.

The flight to Chicago (where I was supposed to connect to Dallas) was very uneventful if not a bit long. My seat mate was returning from four months in South Africa, where she spends her winters. She was bemoaning the fact that 1st class had been booked when she got her tickets. *roll eyes*. But I listened to music and watched Catch me if you can, it was surprisingly good. Leonardo DiCaprio has really matured as an actor, a pleasant surprise.

Then we get to Chicago around noon, and my next flight didn't leave until 4:30pm. So I settled in at my new gate after changing money and informing the parentals that I was back in the US safe and sound.

This is where I learn that I am jinxed.

At about 3:45, they come over the intercom thing and announce that due to severe weather in the Chicago area, the plane that was to be ours to Dallas was rerouted into Grand Rapids, and there was no other aircraft available, so our flight was cancelled.


After waiting in a long line, and confusing the ticket person (since it was a connecting flight from an international flight, this somehow made things more complicated.), I finally got on the 6:00pm flight leaving out of the opposite side of the terminal.

So I called Mom and had her call Nathan, to give him my new flight info, and then hurried over to my new gate.

After waiting there for about 30 minutes, they come over the intercom again, announcing that the plane we were to ride on had been hit by lightning, and they were waiting for confirmation from the tower whether or not they could down grade our aircraft from a 777 or if they had to wait for the next 777 available, which had been rerouted to a town I'd never heard of.

Sure enough, the tower said we had to wait for the 777, and that moved our flight time back to 7:30. I call Nathan and Mom again.

A little later they announce that the new plane had been further delayed because of an electrical emergency during refueling, and that meant our flight wouldn't leave until 9pm.

I go up to the desk and beg the ticket lady to change me to an earlier flight. She took pity on me and got me on the 7:30 flight.

I run back over to my original wing over to the terminal to discover that flight too had been delayed, because the flight before it, headed to Paris, was waiting for a connecting passenger. We did eventually get off the ground and the pilot made the usually 2.5 hour flight in less than 2 hours. The entire plane was grateful, since the vast majority of us had been through the exact same process described above.

So we got into Dallas, Nathan, bless his heart, was waiting for me and then we went on the Great Airport Luggage Scavenger Hunt (surprise surprise my luggage didn't get routed properly, but did make it to the same airport, just on another flight. A miracle as far as I'm concerned.)

Then we made the drive back to Norman, getting in around 2am.

So back home I was, and in the midst of the moving mess, but home indeed. The trip was at an end, for better or worse, and another wonderful place in my memories and in pictures.