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Lolly asked if we had our own nightmare travel story after an especially awful flight out of San Francisco. Oooh boy. Do I ever have a doosy.
It was a Christmas trip. I was traveling home to Spokane from San Jose. And it was several years ago. This happened when I was still a Nanny, living in Menlo Park, CA.
I think I am going to remember this correctly. I may be smushing a couple of bad experiences together. But I really don’t think so. I think all of the following happened in the same trip.
It all started in the San Jose Airport. My flight to Seattle was late. The plane coming from L.A. had some problems, or there were weather issues. I can’t remember what was wrong. Regardless, it was very late. I was going to miss my connection to Spokane by the time I got to Seattle. And since this was an evening flight, there would be no more flights from Seattle to Spokane until the morning. After some complaining I got a free overnight stay at a hotel in Seattle, and a free meal. I believe the airlines was not even going to do that for me, but I complained loud enough and they put me up for the night. I’m sorry, a young, single girl sleeping alone in the Seattle Airport all night? I don’t think so.
Okay, so I got to Seattle, got to my hotel and crashed until 5:00AM or so. I was on the first flight to Spokane. I got to the airport and learned that, for some reason, I could not take the first flight. So I waited for the next flight. I got on the plane and we actually took off on our way to Spokane. Finally. It’s about a 30-40 minute flight from Spokane to Seattle. We had flown all the way to Spokane. I could see the city below me. I could make out all of the familiar buildings from the Airplane. I was so excited to finally be home so I could begin my Christmas vacation with my family. Unfortunately, the captain’s voice on the loudspeaker said, “it’s too foggy to land. We are going to have to turn around and go back to Seattle.” What? WTF was I going to do? How was I going to tell my Mom, who was already at the airport, what what was going on? I was alone and, at this point, kind of stressed. And I was tired. I didn’t get much sleep the night before in the hotel. So, I will admit it, I silently wept when I heard the news.
We got back to Seattle. The airline arranged to bus all of the Spokane Travelers to the Spokane Airport. So we all ended up at a central place and waited for what seemed like hours before we were all herded onto buses. I remember having a conversation with an older man while I waited about how horrible the winters in Fairbanks are, with no light all winter.
The flight to Spokane from Seattle is a short 30 or so minutes. The drive? In winter on a bus? I think it was about 7 or 8 hours. Now at the time of this experience I didn’t have knitting to turn to to keep me sane. And Ipods were not invented yet. I seriously don’t know what I did on the trip. I probably read a bit. I have a difficult time reading when I am traveling by plane or car. So I probably didn’t spend very much time reading. I probably spent most of my time staring out the window, pissed.
I finally made it to Spokane and my Mom was waiting for me. I had never been so happy to be in Spokane in my life. It was a horrible experience.
But the experience wasn’t over. There was the trip home.
I feel like I should stop there. I think I will continue this tomorrow. So stay tuned!