The following morning, we were up stupidly early on account of Lor had to drive back to South Florida, and I had a flight to Phoenix at noon. We had breakfast at IHOP, because OBVIOUSLY. Also, it was two doors from the motel. We didn't meet any deranged billionaires there though, which was more than a little lucky. Instead, there were just chocolate chip pancakes, syrup, and a small amount of regret because OH GOD SO MUCH SUGAR.
After breakfast, Lor dropped me off at the airport. I headed inside with a secret hope that I'd be able to get on a different flight to Phoenix, because I was leaving Orlando at noon and wasn't due to arrive into Phoenix until 9pm. Eleven hours of travel. Sadly, I was informed that there were no alternate flights. AND that I was stuck with middle seats for all three of my flights.
Obviously, I was thrilled with this.
The flight from Orlando to Cleveland(!!) was uneventful and relatively short - just over two hours. I was only meant to have an hour or so in Cleveland, so I ran off the plane and went in search of food. A chicken panini and some abuse of the free wifi later, I had every intention of making a John Green style vlog in the airport. I was defeated by a total lack of spaces in which to record, and generally feeling a little weird about doing so. I mean, I'd already taken photos of a plastic velociraptor in the airport. That was weirdness enough...
|She didn't approve of the snow.|
Eventually, I boarded my flight to Chicago. They closed the door, the plane pushed back, we made it to the top of the runway, and...we stopped. Five minutes later, it was announced that O'Hare had been closed due to bad weather, but that they were hoping it would only be a 15 minute delay. Half an hour later, we headed back to the terminal. And then sat for 20 minutes waiting for a gate to open up... When we finally got off the plane, a queue formed immediately to change flights. Of course, I got to the front of the line the second they started reboarding the plane. But it didn't really matter, because I was going to be on the same plane all the way to Phoenix.
So we reboarded, several hours after we were supposed to have left, and the minute they closed the last door, they announced that we'd have to undergo deicing, and that they'd need to turn the air circulation system off so that we didn't all die of deicing fume poisoning. Or something... It took them another 15 minutes or so to get around to our plane, then about 20 minutes to actually deice the plane. The one highlight was that the woman in the seat next to me had changed her flight, so I was able to sit NOT in the middle. Wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee.
The flight to Chicago was uneventful in the end, although by the time we arrived I was pretty exhausted. And hungry. And sadly lacking in books. Thankfully, there was a news stand thing opposite the gate, so I was able to procure a new book easily enough. Food, however, was a different story. The only place that was a) selling food and b) still open was a Starbucks. And considering it was like 10pm, their selections were rather limited...
Starbucks Employee: Hi, how are you?
Me: I've been better. Can I get a toasted bagel with cream cheese?
S.E.: Oh wait. We don't have a toaster.
Me: *sigh* That's fine.
S.E.: And we've run out of cream cheese.
Me: Do you have anything else that I could spread on a bagel?
Me: Of course you don't...
And that's the story of how I ended up eating a stale, untoasted plain bagel for dinner. Upon boarding the flight to Phoenix - which was the longest yet at over FOUR HOURS thanks to stupid weather - I discovered that I was sitting between a broad shouldered businessman and a morbidly obese man. Said morbidly obese man announced that he was sorry I had to sit next to him, but that he flew all the time and had techniques in place to make sure he didn't get all up in my space. He then pulled out a long piece of elastic, looped it around his left arm, and attached the other end to the arm rest on his right hand side.
|Like this, but he had the window seat... Also, source.|
It was thoughtful(??), but a little weird. And I can't imagine it was comfortable. The broad shouldered businessman promptly fell asleep and snored all the way to Phoenix, while I alternated between reading the book I'd bought at the airport and watching the marathon of Buffy season 7 that happened to randomly be showing on the TV in the seatback.
Eventually, over SIXTEEN HOURS AFTER I LEFT ORLANDO, I arrived in Phoenix. Even though it was 1am - FOUR hours after I was meant to arrive - my bloggy BFF Gina met me at the airport. In her PJs, because OBVIOUSLY. It was 1am, yo. And because she's the bestest, she swung through McDonald's on the way to her place so that I didn't starve to death in the (remainder of the) middle of the night. In short, bloggy friends are the bestest friends.
And then I pretty much passed out forever.
Next up, Gina's kids are HILAR. Also, singalong Les Miserables and a trip to Outback.