Sunday, May 30, 2010

You Flew In On That Thing? You're Braver Than I Thought...

As many of you know, I went to Florida a couple of months ago to visit Teresa Kramer, and ostensibly to help her out while Eddie was out here on the west coast. What follows in the next 50 posts is an excruciatingly detailed account of that trip.

Checking in at San Jose. Actually, I was already checked in, but I wasn't sure if my bag was small enough to carry on. My flight attendant, Kenny Rogers, assured me that it was.

Stage one: San Jose to Phoenix.

The family watches the plane take off from a near by parking lot. You can see a tiny little dot that is my plane. Afterwards, the rest of the family went to Fry's to check out the electronics. Meanwhile, on the plane, I was looking at the rest of my fellow passengers, wondering who would be in charge when we crashed on the Island.

About two hours later I arrived in Phoenix. This was about all I saw of the city.
Another look at Phoenix.

Not my plane.

Here is my plane to Atlanta.

I flew into Phoenix on US Airways. But my connecting flight was on Delta. I discovered that I had to leave terminal 3, go outside, catch a shuttle bus to terminal 4, and go through security all over again. Yay!! So, the plan in the foreground is my plane to Atlanta. See that building way off in the distance? That's the terminal I arrived in.

A zoomed in photo from the same spot. That was my plane from San Jose. Why all the pictures of planes? I don't fly very often. It all seemed exciting at the time.

An exciting picture of a concourse from just about any airport you've ever been in. Again, it seemed exciting at the time.

It's not a good sign when you ask the flight attendant at your gate in Atlanta where your connecting flight is, and she looks at your ticket, and says "oh, you have to hurry!" I was told to go down an escalator roughly a mile away, go past the baggage claim, and take the train to concourse D. Yes, they have a train. I went and ran the whole way, and got to the gate to catch this plane just as they began boarding.
How did I have time to take this picture, if I was just in time to board, you might ask? Well, I actually got this picture after the plane took off, then circled back to Atlanta and landed again.
Turns out there was some sort of instrumentation problem on the plane, so we had to go back to Atlanta. So during the 45 minutes it took them to get us a new plane, I had plenty of time to take pictures of it.
And here is the NOT broken plane they put us on. It was a tiny little plane that held about thirty or forty passengers. It was the last flight to Panama City out of Atlanta. It was getting late, and all the restaurants in the airport were closing. A few hungry, irritable passengers tried to talk the guy at the Burger King/Cinnabon stand into selling them something, but he was adamant that he couldn't re-open. Thankfully, we didn't have to wait too long to get on the new plane.

And so, at about midnight I arrived in Panama City. No, Panama City is not in Alaska, this picture was actually taken the morning I left for home. It's the only picture I had of that airport. Once I arrived, I found a friendly, extremely southern taxi driver who had no idea where the street the Kramers lived on was located, and did not know what happened to his map. His dispatcher didn't know either. So I had to call Teresa, and repeat her directions to the cabbie. Several weeks later, we arrived at the Kramer home, where I was greeted with banana bread, and chocolate dipped strawberries and pretzels. Since my last meal had been at ten thirty in the morning, it felt like the best dinner I'd ever had.
Join us for my next post, when I eat breakfast and brush my teeth.

No comments:

Post a Comment