Monday, March 20, 2006

Greetings From Seattle (Still)

Yes, we are still in Seattle. We missed our flight and due to spring break, coupled with storms in Dallas, there were no flights for a couple days.

A couple things. This is the first flight I've ever missed in my life. We were late by 4 minutes to check-in, and I felt like I'd been really irresponsible (even though much of it was out of our control). As the situation sank in, I began to realize I could turn this into a new type of experience. When I travel (and in life in general), I usually have everything figured out. For real...I mean really figured out. So figured out that plans rarely fall apart. This felt like a new adventure. The unknown.

So the Boyfriend and I trudged to an open area with big windows. There are FAR worse airports we could have been stuck in (O'Hare for example). We had a view of the mountains, long padded benches to take naps or sleep on for the evening, food, rocking chairs, etc. We ate, watched the sunset, and kept checking every flight to try and get out of here on stand-by.

Nothing. Everything was overbooked. Storms continued to delay flights at DFW, people were being paid to wait for later flights. I assure you, passengers who missed a flight do not have priority.

We camped out, the boyfriend reading while I played Sudoku and read gossip magazines. We chatted, often commenting on how we wouldn't choose anyone else to be with. We did not fight once. If we were to have a big blowout, a relationship tester...this would be the time. When I got stressed, he gave me a hug...neither of us snapped at each other or complained.

At 12:00 am we bellied up to the counter once again. Our last hope until 3:35 on Monday afternoon...and we were denied. The woman who was working had been rude to us earlier ("I'm not even talking to you right now. There's nothing for you"). Now, she was compassionate and chipper after 13 hours working. Maybe she'd seen enough worn out people to feel fortunate that she got to go home that evening.

She said there was nothing, but she would check us in for the 3:35 flight. She told us she had secured excellent seats next to each other. That helped. I was a little deflated at the thought of sleeping in the airport. All of our checked bags were en route to St. Louis, so we had nothing to change into. I asked if there were any inexpensive hotels nearby.

She replied, "Maybe I can get you a distressed rate. Or, if you don't tell anyone, I'll give you a voucher."

No way.

Our beady red eyes opened a bit more...mine were close to tearing up.

She handed us the golden ticket (it was actually green and white...but it was shiny and glowing with golden rays to me). She told us where to call the shuttle, which would pick us up and bring us back the next day. We got to our room at the Doubletree and everything seemed a whole lot better. Our room is beautiful. Check-out isn't until noon, and we don't need to be to the airport until 1:30.

One thing was continuing to bother me. I got a hold of E and she went to the house to check on the kitties (I needed SOMETHING to obsess about. My job is super understanding, so the kids were on my mind). I washed my underwear and socks in the sink to get a fresh start to the day, and we slept in the pillow covered King-sized bed of heaven.

Last night, on the way over in the shuttle, the boyfriend remarked at how his priorities had changed. Thirty minutes earlier, if he'd been told we weren't getting a flight, he would have been very upset. Riding to our hotel, knowing we weren't getting out until the next afternoon...everything felt wonderful.

I agreed, but what also made everything wonderful was that the Boyfriend had remembered at the last minute that we should take out our bags with all our contact stuff, meds, soap, lotion, etc. Showered and refreshed...I'm ready to take on the airport again.


Blogger elanflux said...

Way to relax and go with the flow...that you can't control! ;) I'm so proud.

12:23 AM  
Blogger Stephen (aka Q) said...

We did not fight once. If we were to have a big blowout, a relationship tester...this would be the time. When I got stressed, he gave me a hug...neither of us snapped at each other or complained.

I'm so happy for you! You are absolutely right, that's the kind of situation that puts a relationship to the test. This is a real insight into what a good relationship you have.

2:24 PM  

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