December 11, 2010

And the Adventure Continues: The Tale of Seven Weary Travelers ...

Good morning! O.k. I appear more cheerful than I truly am ... because I am still NOT home! Seriously, its 5:30 a.m. and I am sitting in Tampa, but let's pick the story up where we left off ...

So there I was waiting ... and waiting ...

But as I said, I wasn't the only one.

There were 8 of us displaced from the Orlando flight trying to get to Fort Lauderdale. of them one was unknown, his name was Scott, but I only know that because the gate attendant was making some sort of other arrangement for him to go North like Chicago or Philly. I thought it strange, but left it at that. The others included:

1. An elderly gentleman who seemed a bit of a cad. He joked that he was still fighting a hangover and wished he could drink. I asked him if that was a regret, just like booking this flight and he said, no, he'd only change the flight and keep drinking!

2. An adorable grandfatherly gentleman who reminded me a bit of my own grandfather who'd passed away last December. He often checked on me and made sure I was up to date with any change in information.

3. An hispanic man, a few years older than me. He was trying to get home to see his family before he left again on Monday. His job was as a store opener for a popular bagel company and had one more before he headed home to be with his wife and two kids. He too looked after me and I spent the most time chatting with him while we walked from one gate to another on flight changes or waited for baggage.

4. A third elderly gentleman who I imaged was named "Bentley" or "Bradford" with his pinstriped suit and elegant breifcase. I wouldn't be surprised if he spoke with a British accent or spent his weekends have tea in a rose garden with his elderly mother.

5. A tiny Asian guy who at first seemed confused about everything. He shuffled from one location to the next, couldn't find his boarding pass half the time and kept asking questions that had already been answered. Apparently, he just wasn't a night owl, because as we walked through the ticket and security lines at 5:30 a.m. he was chatting away about his engineer job and anything else that popped into his head.

6. The antsy lawyer ... boy this tiny pencil thin man with glasses who was at best, the same height as me, fit the classic profile of a fidgety oil and gas lawyer. He was adimant about getting to a 10 a.m. tribunal and was constantly on his phone or pacing.

7. Then there was me. I wouldn't even know what they thought of me in my khaki carpenter capris, white tank top and teal cardigan with the bright pink bag and pink ribbon holdng my wild hair in place. They kept me close though because George was monitoring flights from home and helped us stay informed because the crew sure wasn't.

Eventually the flight arrived ... 15 minutes late, but that was the least problem of the day. There was a flight in Tampa that had been delayed from its original departure time of 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. and before the delay we would have arrived about 5 minutes before it departed, but the additinal delay wiped that option off the board.

So there we stood, the displaced 7, not convinced that this plane would actually take-off. At the end of the line, we waited as others began to board. Maybe the third time would be the charm.

Finally seated on a plane we waited for it to take off. I thought that I'd be able to relax a little bit or get some blogging done, but I was stuck next to this EXTREMELY chatty grandmother who brought out photos of her children and grandchildren, told me in great detail of her mother's alcoholic tendacies and how taking care of her until she passed away has lead her to be on some sort of anxiety medication. I also heard of her intense irritation for her sister-in-law whom they were on the way to visit because she was pushy, brash, overbearing and talked to much ... hmmm ... I know what that feels like. As we finally disembarked almost two hours later she told me that the two of us could get into some serious trouble together and she was sorry that our visit had ended ... that made one of us!

After regroup, our not-so-merry band of travelers headed for baggage claim to get out luggage and then waited in the chilly night for the hotel's van to arrive. Since it only runs every 30 minutes we were lucky we only had to wait 15 minutes.

Once the van arrived we loaded our luggage in, did a quick head count and headed for the hotel. It took us 7 minutes to get there and another 10 or so for us all to check in. As one of the last ones, I finally got to my room at 12:30 a.m. Tired and exhausted, I changed into my pjs and fell into bed ...

And that dear friends is where the story ends tonight. I invite you to return to see if I made it home.

Until our next cup of tea ...

1 Tea Party Guest:

ancient one said...

I loved your story and all its details... LOL I wished I could write like that... very interesting..