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Delays - Musings of Unayok

2004 Jan 28

13:21Delays 

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Ah yes... the trip home.

The very long trip home.

The preface to the trip home was interesting, but tiring. Cell phone rang at some horrible hour (0300, I think it was). </a></strong></a>p0rtwolf was at the door asking to be let in — he'd forgotten his key. He pulled this whole pathetic look outside the door. Silly pup. Okay, so there goes an hour for chatting and so on; he'd gone to do a few more last rounds of the convention than I did — I needed some sleep.

In any case, up at 0700, off to the airport at 0800. Only to find that our flight to O'Hare had been cancelled. Fortunately, the earlier flight was delayed and we could get on it. Well, at the time it seemed fortunate. The trouble in Chicago, causing the earlier delays, didn't seem so bad.

So, on to the plane we piled. We pulled away from the gate and promptly sat for a half hour, until the time of our original flight had passed. Then it seemed appropriate for us to depart. The flight itself was fine. Nice and quiet and relatively smooth. There was even Improved Pillow Service. ;)

Upon arriving at ORD (O'Hare), I began to note the foolishness of my earlier optimism. Chicago was a mess. The immediate weather wasn't too bad, but you could be pretty sure that there were going to be mass cancellations and delays. And there were.

My original flight to Toronto had been cancelled and I had been magically rebooked onto the later flight. This wouldn't have been so bad except that American's flights to Toronto are now 2.5 hours apart instead of 1.5 to 2 as they had been. So... I figure... "okay, this isn't too bad. I'll go out and hang with p0rt at his gate until his flight leaves. His doesn't show any delays at the moment...

The concourse where United Express flies out of is busy on the best of days. This was not one of them. Then we got to play musical gates as the departure time slowly gets pushed back. 1755, then 1815, then 1915. Well, at least we had a bit of food and each other's company. Even if there were no smoking areas evident in the airport (much more for p0rt's benefit than for mine; he hadn't had one since the hotel in San Jose).

Finally I had to peel off to make the three concourse trek back to my own gate... Well. That 1950 departure had rapidly become 2100, then 2130... 2140... 2149... During all of this last set of delays, I ended up sitting with Heather Bruton (I've known her off and on for a bit, and it was an amusing coincidence we were in the same situation). After some pondering, we both decided that this was all her fault; she has this problem every time she flies through Chicago.

That being determined, we made it onto the plane. The plane starts to push back. Then it stops. Apparently one piece of gate-checked baggage had to be loaded. It was a stroller. It jammed the lift down to the outside gate area. It was likely the same one that had been squeaking maddeningly around the departure lounge for the previous 3 hours. Several more minutes later, we were finally airborne.

The in-air time always seems to be the easiest. The short flight went smoothly. CUstoms went smoothly. Baggage claim... was... okay. Then I got full appreciation of th fact that the same weather that had hit Chicago also hit Toronto. Massive lineup for a taxi home (couldn't take transit: it was already after 0130 by the time I got through everything). The taxi driver was pretty reasonable, but the roads were messy and the weather dangerous and I didn't get to my place until after 0230.

But I made it home. P0rt did, too. And Heather. And everyone in Pearson, though weary, still had a mostly positive attitude; it's nice to be home.

So, with the storm continuing and a sleep deficit to make up, I stayed home from work. A wise thing, I think. A little harder to deal with the con-drop/post-con-depression and all the little separation anxieties, but the fourfoot is definitely happy to see me.

It was a wonderful convention; among the best times I've had in a loong time. Not perfect nor entirely without issues, but still very very very good.

Next... well... Zurich next week, perhaps. Or FWA? Lunacon seems fairly certain. Beyond that... who knows? Baycon is high on the list while Anthrocon is somewhat lower. And of course, I'm prone to random wanderings at times... Stay tuned.

(Pictures are almost ready. Muahahahah)

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