"Every planet has its own weird customs. About a year before we met, I spent six weeks on a moon where the principal form of recreation was juggling geese. My hand to God. Baby geese - goslings! They were juggled."

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Surprise flight out of Chicago

You've probably heard of that massive snowstorm stretching across the U.S. Chances are, if you're in the U.S., you're in it. Chicago was supposed to be one of the hardest places hit, and so it was no surprise when airlines began preemptively canceling their flights for Wednesday. Naturally my flight was canceled Monday night. I didn't worry about it. I really assumed I'd be flying out Thursday now instead of Wednesday, so I went to bed happy and content and woke up at the beautiful hour of 10 a.m.

I called SATO travel.

They only gave me the choice of hopping on a 4:05 p.m. plane THAT DAY. And there I was, sitting in my PJs, unshowered, ready to throw in a pile of laundry and get my packing done at the pace and time I wanted. I called the staging coordinator who said it was ok if I missed that flight, but I had to book another out. I called SATO back. Again, they didn't give me the option of leaving after the storm was over. "Oh, and the 4:05 p.m. just canceled so now you're on the 3:05 p.m."

I'll admit it, I began getting teary-eyed wondering how the hell I could do it all. I thought of those few hours at home with my family that would be taken from me. We're not the kind of family that draws out goodbyes, so the last few hours are usually crucial for us to bond. And we didn't get that. It was me running around the house trying to gather things, shouting out for help from my dad and Laurie (who were champs, thank you).

I mostly finished just in time at 12:30 p.m., just and hour and a half after my flight was rescheduled. The snow began flying.

The airport was eerily quiet. While we waited in line, we heard over and over again that United flights were canceled... but mine was miraculously still going to make it. I practically walked right through security, and laughed when I saw only about 15 people waiting at our gate. Shortly after, the snow really began flying and the wind picked up. No plane yet, and we were supposed to be boarding. And then there it was. With each step of the way, though, I was denying it would actually happen. I WANTED to stay. I wanted to be stuck in a blizzard... it's historical. I thought it would be fun spending an extra day at home on the couch while the snow piled on and on Even when we began boarding I had my doubts, until they sprayed the plane with green defrosting goo.

Despite insane winds, the takeoff was beautiful. So here we are in D.C., perhaps four or more of us early birds. Nothing exciting weather-wise is happening here - it tried to rain, but failed at that too. But staging registration begins at 12 noon tomorrow, so I'm looking forward to resting in the morning and getting more last minute work done.


  1. you are a champion! i really hope you eventually got some coffee :) i'm sorry your goodbye was so jumbled, have fun and be safe!

  2. Thank you! I hope I get coffee too :)

  3. Wow, that's craziness, Christina! I would have absolutely panicked. I'm glad you made it safely! Best wishes for an uneventful (but awesome) rest of your travels.

  4. If there's anything you need me to bring when I come in May/June...let me know!