6.30.2007

Adventures in Travelling

I left Portland Friday morning at 11:30 am (1:30 pm East Coast time). I was scheduled to make a connection in Dallas and arrive in Newark at 12:05 am Saturday morning. Instead I just arrived in Portland this evening - my flight arrived at 6:30 PM on Saturday.

First my connecting flight was delayed. Then the gate changed. Then it was cancelled “due to weather.” I took this in stride, called the airline’s 1-800 number while I waited in the customer service line and managed to get booked on a flight the next afternoon at 1:45 (folks in line got on later flights – glad I thought to call the 1-800 number while I waited!)

I then went to the hotel information board and got a room at the Days Inn. After a bit of a wait for the airport shuttle, I made it to the hotel and settled in my room with cable tv and free wifi. I even managed to check in online and get the last exit row seat. Not a bad deal, even if I didn’t have a change of clothes or toiletries in my carry on bag. At least I was able to get a good night’s sleep and take a shower.

Then this morning I headed to the airport via the airport shuttle. My travelling adventures continued when the shuttle took a wrong turn and ended up going into a parking garage where it was too tall to fit. Luckily we didn’t get stuck. The driver was able to turn around and drive back down the up-ramp. One of the passengers jumped out to help guide the driver back out of the garage. It was quite the scene! In the end I got to the terminal with time to spare.

Of course right when I entered the terminal the self service check in machines all decided to malfunction. I looked at the broken machines. I looked at the very long line to check in. And then I got one of the employees attention and gave him my sob story. I’d been travelling for 24 hours, my flight was cancelled last night, I already checked in at the hotel and I just needed to print my boarding pass. Could he help me out? Thankfully, he did and I was on my merry way to the gate without having to stand in the extremely long line of disgruntled people.

Well, the first gate anyway (D18). Then the gate changed to C37 so I took the Skylink train and made my way to C37. Then the gate changed to A37 so I took the Skylink train again. Then the gate changed yet again and I made my way down the hall to A39. We were delayed in boarding by about 45 minutes because apparently the flight crew were also redirected to the various gates as well. In the end, I finally made it to the Newark airport where I was reunited with my bags and met by my fellow novice.

I must say, I am certainly glad it was the new and improved take things as they go me that went on this trip rather than my previously high strung and easily frustrated self. It’s not even that I wasn’t in a hurry. I needed to head home, do laundry, pack, get a good night’s sleep, and head to our retreat house early Sunday morning. But what are you going to do? Be angry and frustrated, or deal with what you’re given in the present moment. I’m amazed that I was in fact able to take things as they came on this very long trip. I think it’s some sort of internal transformation that’s been taking place without my even noticing it. Kind of cool.

Now I'm doing laundry and packing for my week volunteering at our retreat house at the shore. At least there are no planes involved in that trip!

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

wJust flew to and from Switzerland, with no gliches.
You sure had more than your share! Glad you could go with the flow." Laughter is like jogging for the soul".

grace said...

this post makes me nervous. i'm flying the same route, with a few changes, just in the other direction. nj had the only direct flight to portland. it sounds like quite an adventure & i'm glad you could go with the flow. but i'm hoping i have better luck!

Soutenus said...

Wow can I relate! -- it is SO glad to hear the story with a good dose of humor and much grace.
I traveled EVERY weekend (8 months a year) for almost 15 years in my last career.
As I read your post I alternately cringed and giggled.
Welcome to the club! Keep smiling and GOD bless you!

xsquared said...

I so wish I could go with the flow. My husband and I flew from NJ to SC last week, and I had a panic attack in the security line :( I'm not a good traveler.

mema said...

1.At least you got connected with your luggage. That alone makes you one step ahead of everyone else.

2. Is is really that world shaking if you dont get home in time to do your hair and your wash.

sheeeeesm

Steve Bogner said...

I'm smiling - glad you took it in stride. I've traveled thousands and thousands of miles for business trips, and can say that the more one takes these things in stride the better off one will be. Seems at least once a year something similar happens to me; it's something that I can generally count on.