Monday, May 02, 2005

I do apologize for not posting yesterday, but when you read about my day, you'll understand why.

It all started early. Anxious to get home, Angelica and I headed down to the lobby to go souvenier shopping. We made our purchases, then noticed the very long line for the shuttle bus. After some discussion, we headed back up to finish our packing and head out. If we had to wait in line for the bus, with no guarentee that we'd make it on that particular run, we figured we'd best get in line now.

The checkout went smoothly and the clerk handed us a form to fill out for comments...boy, did we have comments for them! Believe me, the hotel WILL be getting an earful because we'll be sending our remarks by we have lots of time to get the phrasing exactly right .

The first bump came at the airport. Curbside check-in. The attendant cannot find our flight...then discovers it's been cancelled and all the passengers shifted to a flight that leaves 15 minutes earlier. Grateful that we'd given ourselves plenty of time, we were not distressed at the news. Until he told us we were not showing up as passengers FOR that flight. In fact, we were not showing up at all. On any flight. Going anywhere.

Some tense moments followed as he tried first one thing, then another. Resigned to having to hassle with the ticket counter, we had picked up our bags and turned to go when he called us back. For whatever reason, our names, which hadn't been on the screen earlier, suddenly popped up on the flight when he refreshed the screen. Relief!

I gotta tell you, I love flying. I had so much fun! Especially banking...making those turns makes me feel like I'm on a ride in an amusement park. Way too cool. Just way too cool.

Chicago -- O'Hare airport. No problems landing. We go to leave the plane and the pilot is standing in the cockpit door saying farewell to the passengers. I swear, he's twelve. I'm not kidding. Skinny little thing who can't be out of puberty. There's a good reason they don't let you see the pilot until you're safely on the ground!

We grab a bite to eat (neither of us had eaten yet and it's now after 11:00) and head for the gate. Just get comfortable when the gatekeeper announces our flight is "over weight" and needs to be lightened by three passengers. Wish taking pounds off my thighs was so easy! They'd give a $250 flight voucher to any passenger who volunteered to take a later flight. LOL Angelica and I headed right for the counter. I'm no fool.

The later flight took off at 9:44 (it was now close to 3:00 pm). The airline would give us the flight voucher as well as a $20.00 food voucher and bump us to first class if we agreed to give up our seats on the scheduled flight. Didn't even need to discuss it. We agreed.

So now we have several hours to kill in the airport. A restaurant not too far away from the gate looked promising, but since we had time, we wandered a bit to check out the other places. Except those darn bags get pretty heavy after a while, so we went back to our original choice, the Chicago Tap & Grill at Gate G. I was wearing my "Got sex?" T-shirt and the waitress laughed out loud when she saw it. I turned around so she could read the back and she said, "Ellora's Cave? I LOVE those books!" I grinned and gave her my business card (everything else was packed...gotta start thinking ahead....) and signed it for her. She was so excited!Let me tell you, I've never had better service at a restaurant before! She hadn't read any of my books, but she sure knew EC! And if you're reading this...Hi, Diana! (yes, our waitress and I have the same first name!)

The restaurant was gracious and no one tried to kick us out, even as I sat there nursing a Coke after dinner and typing away furiously on my laptop (had a great idea for a short to submit for the Ellora's Cavemen series...wrote 6 pages waiting for the plane. See? You guys win by our taking the later flight, too!). But after a while it started to fill up and when tables became scarce, we decided to make a graceful departure.

Our flight was on time and things went well, until we went to get on the plane. We were first row...great seats! Only the idiot businessman in the seat across the aisle had put his briefcase into the overhead instead of under his seat because he wanted the extra leg room. But that meant OUR carryons had to go in the back cupboard. You know...the one all the way at the BACK of the plane...the one you can't get to until everyone else is already off? GRRRR. Not happy campers about that. But the flight crew was gracious and the city gorgeous beneath us in the dark. It looked as if someone had scattered brilliant amber diamonds on a black velvet cloth to see the lights of the city below. I watched until we climbed above the clouds and we couldn't see anymore.

We landed at home just before midnight. By the time we got our bags (which, amazingly, had been transferred to the proper flight!) and drove home, it was almost 2:00 am. As I said, I apologize for not writing yesterday, but now you see why.

Very soon I shall put the quiz up on my newsletter site for the wonderful readers I have. Some of you I met in St.'re ALL terrific. I won't spoil it and tell the wonderful surprises I have for you as prizes for this contest...but let me say, I was thinking of you at RT!

Take care and play safe,

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