We have a lot of sayings here in the deep south. For instance,when referring to a dishonest person you might hear, "He's as crooked as a barrel of snakes". Well, the saying that best describes what I've been feeling for the past couple of days is, "I feel like I've been rode hard and put away wet". Derived from a reference to the days when people used horses for transportation, rode them hard to their destination and then did not take the time to groom the animal before putting them away in their stall. So, as you can see...I've been feeling pretty rough due to my travel delays, cancellations and jet lag.
I hated having to leave Caitlin and Holli in Cleveland but I had to. And so I got up at 4:45 on Friday morning, grabbed a banana and a cup of coffee and the girls and I headed out to the airport arriving there at 6 a.m. I knew from experience that I needed to get there really early because the security line at the Cleveland airport tends to be REALLY LONG. I checked myself in quickly, deposited my luggage in the proper place and got in that REALLY LONG LINE. It wasn't until I got through security that I remembered seeing something during my check-in; it appeared my first flight of the day was already delayed (sigh...). I thought, "How could things possibly go wrong in the 'flying world' so early in the morning?"
I grabbed another cup of coffee and walked over to my gate to check out my flight status. The lady told me that my flight was being cancelled because of a mechanical problem and she was going to send me from American Airlines over to United to get on another flight there...that would take me through New York before getting to Dallas (double sigh...). I got on that flight and made it to my gate, noticing that I would only have 45 minutes before my next plane would take off. I assumed I would have to put my running shoes on to get there but I had NO IDEA what all that would entail...
Looking around, I could not find a screen that had my flight information on it. I asked an employee if she could help me and she pointed me in the direction of the exit. Standing by the exit was a security guard and she asked me where I was going (Back to the American the terminal...) and how long I had to get there (45 minutes and counting...). She sent me out of the secured area and down to the entire other end of the airport. As I was watching the time and walking as quickly as possible it hit me..."I'm going to have to go BACK through security"! Can you say PANIC MODE?!
Well, I literally RAN to my gate after finally getting through security again, caught my breath and settled down for my flight back to the south. I read and dozed on the flight and thankfully rested a little bit because I had no idea what the rest of the day had in store for me.
I arrived in Dallas, smiling for a couple of reasons: 1. I was back in my beloved south and 2. I had a 2 1/2 hour lay over there and planned on spending some quiet time in The Admiral's Club reading and sipping cappuccino. Since my gate was only three gates down from The Admiral's Club, I checked the status of the gate more than once before it was time for me to be there. Leaving there in plenty of time to board my plane, I grabbed a snack, settled back down with my book and that's when it happened...all heck broke loose in my finally serene afternoon (ugh...).
The announcement came that our flight was being delayed for about an hour . OK...I could wait for an hour; that would still put me home at a decent time. And then suddenly another announcement quickly came...the flight was being cancelled (well, crap...). I noticed that it was beginning to storm outside as I ran back down to The Admiral's Club to see if they could get me on another flight out of there (hadn't I just done this the other night?!). They said I could not get a ticket back to Alexandria until the next morning. At this point I dug my heels in and decided I HAD to get home tonight! I asked how close to Alexandria they could get me...Shreveport possibly? They could get me to Shreveport. I called Justin to see if somebody could pick me up there and he said that Sarah was already there and could definitely pick me up. I grabbed my ticket and ran to the Sky Link...only to find that because of the bad weather the Sky Link had been shut down (NOOOOOO!!!!!!).
If you have ever been in the DFW airport then you realize that it is HUGE and therefore riding the Sky Link is a NECESSITY! Could this day get any worse?? I just wanted to get home. And I was beginning to believe what a friend of mine told me..."You've just got some real bad travel mojo". And so my trek by foot through terminal B and all the way through terminal D began. I might want to mention that I was carrying a purse AND backpack, which held my laptop among other things. By the time I got to gate 40 in terminal D...heading to gate 6, it hit me. I wasn't going to make it. If my flight left in the 45 minutes I had to get there when I left the Admiral's Club, I simply was not going to make it. I wondered if anyone would look at me as if I was nuts if I just sat down in the middle of the floor and began to cry. I trudged on, talking to myself aloud as I did so (OK...so, they probably already thought I was nuts...). My back was killing me...I could tell I was getting shin splints and I was hungry, thirsty and exhausted. I missed traveling with my hubby. He always takes care of EVERYTHING for me. This doing things by myself was for the birds.
I DID make it to my gate, however, that plane had been delayed by an hour now because of the weather, but it WAS on the ground and planning to take off. I sat down, caught my breath and dreamed of getting back to my house and bed at some point that night. The flight to Shreveport took about 50 minutes and Sarah and Parker Ann were waiting for me at the airport. I jumped into the car with them and we headed to Natchitoches (an hour away...). I would take one of their vehicles when I got there and drive myself the remaining 45 minutes to my house.
Justin gave me the keys to his truck and I headed out toward home...finally. Only 45 minutes until I was home. I could barely wait. And THEN, while traveling down I 49, I glanced down at a flashing light to discover that it was the low fuel light! REALLY?! For the third time that day I wanted to just cry my eyes out...and I don't cry that easily. It was dark, beginning to rain and I was out in the middle of the highway with a low fuel light flashing. Thankfully, I found an exit that had a gas station, put some fuel in and made it home...at 9:30 instead of 5:30. I literally put my pajamas on, fell into bed and passed out.
Needless to say, I slept in on Saturday morning, rested, drank water and ate lots of veggies in hopes of warding off jet lag. At the end of the day I still felt sluggish. I'm going to say it was jet lag and my age had NOTHING to do with it. Robby flew in that night from Honduras and I picked him up at 10 p.m. We were both back home and I was happy. Yes, I was already missing Caitlin and Holli but they would be here visiting soon. And for a few days I intended to stay home...just a few days. Once again I will say, Dorothy WAS right..."There (really) IS no place like HOME!"