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December 27, 2009

My traveling adventure

What a tiring day yesterday.  Travelling the day after Christmas has been really bad the last couple years, though before that it was wonderful.  The weather in Chicago has been frightful (and the fire was not delightful to make up for it) the last couple years.  However, I made it home, and that's the important thing.  I was up for almost 24 hours, but I'm resilient.

First, I had a great brunch with a great friend, though even that travel was annoying, and it was just up the road a bit!  I am so happy that she made the determined effort to come get me so we could go to lunch, as I only see her once a year.  But driving in that blizzard wasn't good.  We had a good time, though, and I really hope she made it home safely.  After my brother and I got on the road to the airport, I seriously regretted not asking her to call his cell phone to let me know she was ok.

So we headed out to the airport in the driving snow, with iced up windshield wipers and no indication of any kind of lanes on the road.  Though it was much better once we got to the interstate.  Still, it took an hour and a half for a trip that usually takes 45 minutes to an hour.  I much appreciated the ride, and it was really nice to finally get there.

My flight to Minneapolis was delayed, but I still had time to make my connection there.  So I stopped and had a beer and some chicken strips at the Illinois Bar & Grill.  Good beer and decent food too.  Didn't see the Irish pub across the way, but after I discovered that they don't serve food there, I'm glad I didn't head over.

After that, I went to my gate and discovered that my flight was delayed even more and that I wouldn't make my connection.  I don't normally do connections, so this was all new to me.  The woman at the desk offered me a non-stop flight to Seattle instead, saying I wouldn't leave until the next day if I didn't take it.  It would only delay me 2 hours, so I said sure and discovered that it was on United (I was flying Delta) and that it left from O'Hare!  I had horrifying visions of trying to get to O'Hare, but she quickly reassured me that they would pay for the taxi.

After picking up my bag from the baggage claim (my bag looked so lonely going on the carousel by itself, I should have taken a picture), I called my sister-in-law to give her the new flight information and tell her what had happened, since I know Dad likes to follow my flight and I didn't want to call long distance from a payphone.  Sweetie that she is, the first thing out of her mouth when I said that the flight was leaving from O'Hare was "do you need a ride?"  It was still blizzard conditions out there and it would probably take them an hour and a half again!  But that's how she is.  I quickly said no, that the airline was paying for my taxi.

Then I headed out for my taxi.  The ride to O'Hare was kind of harrowing, as it was getting dark and still snowing.  Taxi drivers can be insane as it is, but this guy did a good job getting me there.  It was a $60 ride!  Thank God I wasn't paying for it.

So I made it to O'Hare, made it through the looooooong check-in line, through a surprisingly short security line (even despite horrifying Nigerians trying to blow up planes), and had about 3 hours to kill.  There was no place to sit in this part of the concourse unless you were at a gate or at a restaurant, so I found a Chili's and had a pop along with some queso dips and chips.  Read a good part of my book and just waited.  By the time I was done eating, there was enough room by my gate that I could go over and sit.  We left about 50 minutes late but we arrived in Seattle on time because we weren't flying into the normal headwind.

It was sooooo good to see the wife at Seatac airport!  I quickly got my bag and we headed out just after midnight.  We caught up while she drove.  We both agreed that the week had gone incredibly fast.  Got home just before 3am.  I still needed to decompress a little bit, so while I didn't unpack at all, I was up for another hour before finally hitting the sack, putting an end to a loooooong day.

It's good to be home, but it was a very good trip.  Seeing some good friends that I don't get that much of a chance to see, seeing the folks and the family.  It was great to see my nieces and I've got some great video that I could be convinced not to post on Facebook (or even better, Youtube) for the right price.

This is an annual odyssey for me (actually, more than annual as I will probably be back in March), and it's always a good trip.

No matter how many difficulties there are on the way, or on the way home.


  1. I'm glad you made it home FINALLY. Sorry you had so much trouble. I wish I could control the weather when you come home. I'm glad you got to see Jenny. Scott must have gotten it a lot worse then we did. You will be glad to know our neighbor plowed our sidewalk & driveway yesterday & today. I think he loves to run his tractor. Your dad wondered if he was doing it because he thought he(your dad) was too old. I don't care why he did it I'm just thankful he did. I'm sure you were glad to see Kim. We figured you might wait & come home today. We loved seeing you. Hopefully next time you come home the weather will be nicer. Have a good rest till the 4th.


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