The Fantastic Journey!... or how I managed to travel for 24 hours straight...

I've known that my November 2009 trip to Germany was coming - months ago, when I booked my flights, I intentionally did 3 things to avoid known trouble spots:

  • Avoided any flight with the words "San" or "Francisco" included in it.
  • Put "I Heart Denver" in all my itinerary searches
  • Determined not to start my outbound voyage before 10 a.m.

    Lucky me, the first 2 things I did worked great - the 3rd? Not so much. Due to an Unforeseen Need To Cutback on the Number of Flights, my Reno-Denver leg was moved 3 times. So, I got to start my day at 5 a.m. so that I could make sure to get to the airport to make my 7:20 with time to spare. Sigh.




    Denver is a great airport; lots of great places to eat, spacious & clean concourses to walk (w/hand sanitizer every 10 steps,) & this time, friends to hang out with. Matty C & Earl W were both on board for the 1st leg of the trip - we hung out at the New Belgium Hub, ate omelettes & egg burritos, sampled the 1554 Black, & talked.

    A good time was had by all... a good time that was split up only by the next flight for me - Matty & Earl had somehow finagled a direct flight to Frankfurt out of Denver, albeit with a 7 hour layover in the aforementioned Denver Airport. At least it was a good one.

    Said my goodbyes & headed for Chicago - even landed there early due to a great tailwind. Only 90 minutes & I was to be off to Deutschland. Or so I thought.




    Literally as we were lining up for boarding, word came down from On High that there was an Un-named mechanical issue that needed to be resolved - the screen began flashing a modified departure time... 45 minutes further out. Ok.




    As our scheduled boarding time arrived, the voice from On High declared that our aircraft had been sent to the proverbial bullpen - & needed more repairs than could be gotten on the tarmac. The good news (& I use that phrase with my tongue firmly placed in my cheek, which caused me to bite it,) was that a replacement plane had been found to take us to the Fatherland... though it was only a mere 3 hours away. Which meant that our departure time would be just a little bit later than we'd initially thought...




    So, what to do? Get a bad attitude? Complain? Go flex my proverbial muscles for all the desk-counter personnel & ask them if they happened to know who I am? No. All of those jobs were already taken, with understudies even.

    The job that wasn't taken was the one of the happy, content guy reading his book, who was also pleasant to be around, & occasionally even engaged in conversation with the people around him. So I took it.

    Not because I felt like that guy - precisely because I DIDN'T feel it. I was uncomfortable, grouchy, tired, hungry, frustrated, missing out on Game 6 of the Series, missing theBean & theFam something terrible already... I've been trying to grow in not just living by my feelings or by the attitude/outlook that tries to muscle its way to the surface... instead I tried to put on Christ. Keep a good attitude. Not focus on me & my disappointments.

    And I made it.




    Slept for 7 out of 8 1/2 hours of my flight. Woke up rested. Flight landed. Eventually made my way through passport control, baggage claim, & customs... found Alex G. Matty C & Earl W were located. Navigated the city (with a temperamental GPS to boot) & eventually got everyone where they needed to be for round 2...

    Ate the Hot & Spicy Pasta that Chef Alex made, with the 337 that theBean sent for Linda... enjoyed a Via together. Went for a walk through the park & the streets around Alex & Linda's new neighborhood. Relaxing.

    Had a brief chat with theBean before she went to work. Ahhh.




    I'm looking forward to the rest of my time - starting with a good nights sleep. Good night now.
  • 3 launchings into the blogosphere....:

    Nick said...

    Glad you made it there safely. Have a great time!

    Hillary said...

    Delays always stink but at least they found the problem before you were flying at 35,000 feet over the Atlantic! Emergency water landings are never fun.

    Glad you made it there safely and looking forward to hearing about your visit.

    Kerri said...

    Glad you had a safe trip! Louie YOU are awesome and a great inspiration! Can't wait to see you and hear all about you adventure!