October 28, 2015

the journey home....

Our trip to Maui, that I chatted about on yesterday's post, was one of our all time favourite getaways. But from the moment we left our beautiful time in paradise, everything seemed to go sideways.
Our flight was scheduled to land in Bellingham. The flight attendant standing at the front of the plane announced that there may be issues with the weather on route to our destination, and the other flight attendant quickly grabbed the intercom from the back of the plane and said, "there won't be any issues." Now I don't know much about flight attendant training, but you'd think there'd be some notion of a united front.
The plane started to prepare for landing, and on the descent, we suddenly sped up and swooped back up into the air. The pilot got on the speaker system and announced, "that is what we call a failed landing." Ok. My nails instantly shot up into my mouth in preparation for serious gnawing.
He told us visibility was severely limited and there was low lying cloud cover on the runway.
But, here we go again. After the second failed landing, my hand shot across the aisle to my husband's and the passenger seated next to me started praying. I honestly thought, well, at least my last two weeks were some of the best I've had, if this is how we're going to go out.
The pilot said he would try the south end of the terminal to see if there was better visibility.
He said he had clearance and would try to land in about 5 minutes.
Thirty minutes later we were still circling. I leaned over to my husband and asked, like he had some super hearing linking him to the cockpit, just what in sam hill was going on. (Ok, maybe those weren't my exact words.) He said, well, now my worry is that we'll run out of fuel. Gad Zukes!!!

Soon the pilot announced that we wouldn't be able to land and were headed for Seattle.
As soon as he said this, a woman at the back of the plane started to scream at how the "effing airline is an effing joke and how she is never flying this effing airline again, and that they could just eff off." But, she spiced up the language a bit. Well, the guy in front of her said, "Hey, why don't you keep your swearing to yourself, no one wants to hear all of that right now." And she quickly said to her son, "some people just don't know when to mind their own effing business." And another guy across the aisle shouted, "when you talk that loudly, you make it all of our business." At which point her son, who  looked like his business card would read Hells Angel CEO stood up and stared them down.
I immediately patted myself on the back that for the first time in life, I hadn't stuck my nose in that situation because that was one stare I wouldn't want to be the recipient of.
As soon as the plane touched down in Seattle, a little after 1 a.m., everyone ran up to the airline counter demanding action. The airline rep promptly noted that since it was a weather issue, they would not be putting people up in hotels.
People started freaking out. They were shouting out ludicrous snippets of information. "I heard they won't be able to get us to Bellingham until 10 pm Saturday!! "I heard that there is no transportation that exists in the night!!" It's funny how stress affects people differently. When things calmed down, they started to form groups and planned to share rental cars to Bellingham. All I knew was that I had an exhausted toddler, who was crying, and the thought of renting a car in the middle of the night and driving was just not going to happen. When the crowd dispersed, I asked the airline rep if she could just suggest a hotel close by that I could stay in, and she leaned across the counter and whispered, "I know you are travelling with a little one, so I'll comp you a room." She was my polyester wearing fairy godmother. Because we would be flying out the next day with the same airline, they just said not to worry about our luggage. We waited outside shivering, in our flimsy Hawaiian clothes, waiting for the hotel shuttle. I'm so glad I decided to pack my carry on bag with toddler activity books instead of coats. I called the hotel to see why it was taking so long, and she said, he should be there any moment. We waited some more and then when I asked how much longer, she said, "oh, it looks like he hasn't left yet." What in sam hill was going on with this day?!? We promptly flagged down a cab, who tried to explain to me that there were free shuttles to the hotel. But I told him we had been waiting forever for those shuttles and were freezing, so he said, "okay, get in." Then, he drove around and told us he didn't actually know where it was. Thank god for GPS and our right for selective tipping.
By the time we got the hotel, we had roughly 5 hours before we had to be back at the airport. I had stupidly packed all of my toiletries in my suitcase (which was still at the airport), which meant I had no glasses and had to sleep in my contacts at the hotel. My right eyeball was a giant red infected bulge that required a visit to a doctor and subsequently to a specialist as soon as we got home.
So, as you can see, this trip had two very distinct parts.

Me, in Hawaii.                                And out of Hawaii.

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