Travel Day Trauma

Has it really only been a week since I was lounging around on the shores of Lake Michigan? It seems like ages ago!! This week has flown by in a blur of flights, running, Kleenex, NyQuil, catching up with friends, Harry Potter, and the 100th performance of Sister Act. Not too shabby a week here in the city.

So, I last left you after Nick and I were stranded in the O’Hare Airport after our flight from LGA was delayed by a faulty weather radar. Not that I minded being deplaned by a mechanical issue, but it was beyond aggravating when we did finally arrive in Chicago.

To back up the trip, we left Astoria at the lovely hour of 4am (what?) and arrived with time to spare to our gate. I bought trashy books and magazines as I’m prone to do on vacation, and we settled into our seats a little loopy due to our early departure. Across the way from us, I recognized a friendly face! It was my pal Jason, who was traveling cross-country to load in a show for which he is the tech director. See, even New York City can be a small place in the early morning hours at LGA.

In any case, we finally were called to board the plane, and after MUCH confusion, we realized that there was an entire group of people on our flight that maybe won a contest if it was their first time to fly EVER. Seriously, I’ve NEVER seen such ridiculous chaos getting onboard a plane in my life, and I that is after spending two years touring the country for work. I mean, you know how they have that obnoxious red carpet loading zone for the first class fliers? There was this entire tour group of like 30 people standing in that line, and spilling over into the regular loading lane effectively blocking all entry to the gate. So, they begin calling boarding by groups, and it’s like no one has head of that before. The gate agent is having to explain on the PA how to look at your ticket for what group number you should be boarding by. It was so ridiculous. After much tussling and a group of seven breaking us up, Nick and I finally got on the plane.

And you would think that would be all, but of course not. We watched hysterically as people full on carried their luggage horizontally down the aisle of the plane, stopping completely when the overhead compartment just above their seat was full. There was no movement when the flight attendant told them there was space just a few seats down, “No, my seat is here. This is the space for MY bag.” Just so funny. Finally, two off-duty attendants had to step in a direct traffic. Who are these people on this 6am flight to Chicago?? The best part was that in some amazing scheme to throw off everyone, this plane’s rows were numbered 1 – 11, then 20 – whatever. There was this random woman just roaming the aisles looking for row 12. Insanity. Nick helped her out by telling her it was probably in the back of the plane. He’s helpful. I imagine my grandmother telling misbehaving kids on a flight to “go play outside.” HA.

In any case, after the most insane boarding process ever, we taxied out to the runway, only to sit for an hour, then returned to the gate, sat for another hour, and finally had to deplane because of a malfunctioning weather radar. I was fully already on the phone with United by this point, but as Nick and I returned to the gate area, we couldn’t help but think og what were all those other people going to do? They are going to think this is what flying is like all the time!! Amazing.

We finally were put on another plane, which naturally had to taxi for hours before taking off. I imagine it taxied just long enough so that when we touched down in Chicago and SPRINTED through the terminal, knocking kids over and pushing our way onto the bus, we arrived at the gate just at 10:03, which is when our flight to Green Bay was departing, and the gate agent was all, “you were supposed to be here 10 minutes ago.” I was like, “no, we were supposed to be her like 4 hours ago, but obviously that didn’t happen either.” Ugh, we had no choice but to take the 1:30 flight, which put us into Wisconsin a full 6 hours later than scheduled. Boo!

But, as you read earlier, Nick and I wasted no time getting into vacation mode at the Chili’s in the terminal, enjoying our Sam Adams at 11am. Love.

Next up, the actual vacation!

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