We were supposed to leave at 11:30 a.m. from the airport.
In the morning.
On a plane.
To Vegas from San Jose.
For those uninitiated with the distance, that is just a touch over ONE HOUR. Just sixty minutes. Super cinchy stuff. So would it surprise you to learn that I did not reach my destination until after five that EVENING? Yeah. It was awesome. And by awesome I mean the opposite of that.
Let's start with the beginning.
We received a message before we left the house that our flight was delayed a bit. Then another message saying it was delayed a bit more, so the time to take off was now about 12:30. No problem, that's not too much more of a wait. Our ride was already on his way so we went to a Starbucks and hung out a bit. It had gotten super foggy in San Jose so we were thinking the problem was on our end.
We get to the airport and Neil goes to the machine to get our boarding passes and I stand in line to check our bag. The line is full and people have a ton of luggage with them so I don't have much wriggle room. The teenager in front of me had a suitcase that only has wheels on one side so you have to tilt it towards you to move it, the problem is that it was lopsided so if she didn't keep hold of the handle, it would fall the other way. On me. More than once. I'm not going to say I'm complaining. But I totally am. You would think holding the handle wouldn't be too complicated, but she was on her phone and having to take a step forward every five minutes. Very taxing stuff. I will not comment that she was blond. Each time it fell (on me) she apologized less and less. Like, this is our life now. We just have to accept our new roles in this world, her dropping her shit on me and me trying to dodge it. I will not say this colors my thinking if I had any thoughts previously on travelling high-school volleyball players, but it totally does.
Our bag gets checked and we head over to the security line. We get to go through the line where you don't have to take your shoes off or take you laptop out of your bag. Score! I didn't even know there was such a line. Neil goes through no problem. I go through and I get picked for extra security. Okay. I stand waiting for a female TSA agent.
Finally get scanned and touched and get to go.
We are still not able to board so we go to a restaurant and sit outside. I contemplate ordering the potato skins (because really, what else?) and decide that no, we already have plans to eat in Vegas for lunch and I don't want to be too full. Oh you poor, poor soul. You have no idea that you will not be eating for another five hours. I'm thinking maybe the waitress knew our fate because she gave Neil his soda for free.
Soon we hear that we get to board earlier than expected. We both smile and breathe a sigh of relief. Everyone gets on the plane, is seated and have all their items stored away. Which by the way, if you can't lift your carry on over your head, how about you check that shit instead of wasting everyone's time while you labor with it trying to get it into an overhead bin? A few minutes tick by and then we are told it will be another fifty minutes before the plane can take off. We of course cannot leave the plane... This flight was a connecting flight for lots of different destinations (we were a full house. This made everyone's clothing choices make more sense. Some people were dressed for snow, some in six inch heels and cocktail dresses, some in shorts and flip flops) so they get some new boarding passes for a few of the passengers and they get to leave. This worked out for me since one of those people were sitting next to me. Yay, more space!
After an hour we take off and head to Vegas. Find out that there is a really heavy rainstorm over Vegas. Which is problematic for a place that doesn't get much rain. So it wasn't San Jose's fog causing the problem...
We start to notice that the plane is doing a lot of turns... we are circling over the Vegas airport but do not have clearance to land. They have one landing strip closed due to an emergency, and the delays have caused a backlog of flights trying to land. Plus it is still raining pretty heavy. We fly around some more. Finally the pilot says that we are going to the next destination which is in Arizona otherwise we are going to run out of gas. Great.
So more flying, more landing, more sitting, more waiting. You get the picture. The pilot was very amusing though, and and a dry wit (also lots of Airplane movie references) that was a great release of tension for everyone.
Once we do get to Vegas, the whole flight bursts into applause :)
I feel really bad for the people that Vegas was not their destination and still had another flight to catch! Super long day for them :/
Stay tuned for Part 2 that actually includes some photos!