Yeah, here's the apology/filler blog for not posting in... well, for a long time. What have I been doing while I was gone? Lots of stuff! Traveling, getting stuck in airports, riding rides, coming home, getting sick from airports, not-letting-that-stop-me and cooking, playing piano, playing Crystal Chronicles, cooking more, watching movies, and playing our new Super Smash Bros. Brawl. Yeah, a lot, but I'll start from the beginning.
As most of you may know, my family and I went off to California on February 14th, but I'm not sure if all of you knew we were trapped in the terminal the first day. Mmmm-hmm. We had to way up at the agonizingly early hour of five, drag our exhausted butts out of the hotel room and rush down to the elevator, heavy suitcases swerving to-and-fro behind us. When we got to the main lobby of the hotel, our expecting shuttle had just left. We had to talk to the hotel employee behind the counter to call it back so that we could hurry into the -20 degree weather and run into the shuttle. I had never really been on a shuttle before, because friends had always been there to pick us up and drop us off at the airport... because it was so early, we decided to just take a hotel shuttle, but, I didn't really like this:
When I can normally expect a comfortable, warm drive and fun conversation with my family, instead I got to nuzzle into the slightly torn, germ-infested seats, while we were crowded with other cold people clinging to their luggage. My nose was runny from the weather, the driver looked grumpy, the people did not appear happy, and the drive down the interstate was as bumpy as legally possible. Okay, so we're on the shuttle, and we're goin' to the airport... just a few more hours, I kept telling myself, and we'll be in bright-and-sunny California, where everyone is tan, rich, and happy. (Okay, maybe not happy, but there were definitely a lot of tan and rich-looking people.)
As we were driving along to the airport, we noticed that a similar shuttle in front of us was taking off from another hotel. It was almost identical to the one we were riding in, except... well, the back door of the shuttle was wide open. You could see the passengers' luggage bouncing around in the back there, appearing right-out prepared to hop out and cause a several thousand dollar accident. Everyone in our shuttle was pointing out the mistake of the driver in front of us and giggling to each other in that quiet movie-theater whisper, but you could all tell they were a little nervous. I caught a few of them glancing behind, as if to check to make sure that the door to our shuttle was closed, and that their luggage wasn't about to bounce into the street behind us.
Thankfully, as we pulled into the airport drop-off station, there were no accidents, and all of our luggage was once again comfortably in our arms. (Okay, maybe not comfortably... I was getting used to the heavy bags getting carried around by a car. Nope, now I am blessed with the pleasure of personally dragging it behind me, beckoning people to the side so I can make way through the crowded airport with my mother-ship of a suitcase.)
Well, the next stuff is pretty predictable. Checking in (though it took much longer to do it this time, I can't remember why, but it was...), going through security (which was a bit of an adventure. Now that I own a laptop of my very own, I had to unpack and pack it, while I subconsciously felt the stares of the people behind me, urging me to hurry up). And finally, finding the ding-dang gate, which always happens to be alll the way on the other side of the terminal. So we walk, we walk, we walk and we walk. We finally get there, and it's still dark outside... maybe about 6AM. We take a seat, and me and Alec just chat for a while, before the first-class gets to board. Now as they're getting on, we get called. We move into the airplane, sit down, and I fall asleep almost instantly. I could hear the driver talking over the radio here and there, but just in the back of my head. I was dreaming of the blue ocean, roller coasters, the sun, amusement parks...
...I woke up some time later, what felt like maybe an hour... looked around, expecting to be in the air, and...
We were still on the ground. No, we hadn't arrived, we hadn't even moved. I could hear the driver speaking over the radio again. Something along the lines of, "We're sorry folks about the slight delay we're experiencing at the moment, but we'll clear it up immediately." Fifteen minutes later. "Hello, and again we're sorry, we'll be taking off very soon." Another fifteen minutes. "Hi again everybody, I'm sure you've noticed that we haven't taken off yet. We'd like to apologize for this, and add that we're afraid that there is a slight disturbance with the engines at this time, but we will get a car over here immediately to fix it, and then we'll be on our way." Twenty minutes later. "Good morning everybody, we're afraid there is something wrong with the car that was coming over here. We thank you for your patience, and right now we are sending a car over to fix the car that will fix our engine." A final twenty minutes passes, and we still are not moving. Eventually we hear the driver talk one last time.
"We're sorry folks, but this flight has been canceled. You may call-"[insert cellphone number here]"-and they will be glad to help you reschedule a flight today. Thank you for choosing Northwest Airlines, and have a wonderful day."
... Great. Just perfect. We woke up at five AM to get on this stupid flight so we could get to stupid California so we could enjoy this stupid vacation, but now we can't even get over there. I look over and notice mom's on the phone, probably trying to reschedule a flight. Yep, she is... and we got one. The earliest possible flight. Lucky for us, it's still today, and we don't have to get another hotel. But y'know when it is? Seven. Seven PM. Yes, we have to wait twelve hours for a new flight... and best of all, our luggage is already flying over to California. It'll probably arrive over ten hours before us, too! Perfect. Dandy. Absolutely brilliant. By now (what with the frustration of the flight and having to wake up so early,) we're starving and want something to eat. Thankfully there's the terminal right by us, and food is being advertised everywhere. But of course, upon leaving the aircraft, we have to go through SECURITY AGAIN to get back into the terminal. More fun with two laptops, yay!
Okay, so we're finally in, and we're eating at Chili's. My mom pulls out the cellphone to start calling people that could take us in while we're here for the next twelve hours. We call up some good friends of ours, but nope, they're at work. We call up my mom's brother. Nope, not there. We call up a few more people (of which are not striking me at the moment, but I knew there were more people than that...) nope, nope and nope. No one is there. But, who would be? Who would be home at 7AM on a weekday? And if they are there, who would be awake? Ugh... well, looks like we get to spend some time in a terminal.
It was frustrating, but at the same time exciting. The thought of having to wait until our plane was depressing, but the idea of being "trapped" in a terminal was like a little adventure. Looking at our situation with a brighter, more optimistic perspective was refreshing, and I felt prepared to look around. We got to explore everywhere, I was able to try some herbal great hand cream, Kyra got some satsuma lip balm and body wash, I considered getting a new sweater (decided against it in the end) and we hung out in a comfy computer area. I also got to watch Pan's Labyrinth ('Laberinto del fauno, El') for the first time (which turned out to be pretty good... I didn't like the gore, but it was a fun, thrilling adventure.)
Overall, it was a fine experience... it got boring after a while, but I was able to cope, especially when I had the best chocolate ice cream I had ever tasted. Ben & Jerry's. Amazing. I had never tasted anything better. Besides all that, the flight there was pretty annoying, arriving around midnight to one o'clock. I was happy to see my dad, and we all fell asleep in the hotel pretty fast.
So that was an... interesting day. Exhausting, frustrating, and thrilling (mostly the Labyrinth part, but the terminal part too). I was just glad I didn't have to eat the free condiments (crackers and ketchup) from the fast-food restaurants.* It was all good the next day, where I was greeted with freshly squeezed orange juice (the ONLY orange juice I have EVER liked), fresh made eggs, perfectly toasted bread, and the best breakfast service ever. Crown Plaza, L.A. Incredible. Anyway, that pretty much includes the first couple of days on our trip... I'll brief up the rest of it tomorrow (it's 12AM now and I'm rather tired) and then finish what I did with the rest of my days. It probably won't be as long as it was today, mainly because nothing could be as long as the travel day!
Love you all, and I'll write again soon.
*a The Terminal reference