But Monday, Mother Nature threw a typical December curve. A blizzard with multiple inches of snow, 30-50 mph winds, and sub-zero temps forecasted to arrive on--you guessed it--the 22nd. The weather map showed a red blob from Eastern Iowa to the East Coast. Monday afternoon, Kate, Ron and I started rethinking my departure. I could leave Wednesday afternoon and arrive at Dulles in DC about 9:00. But when we tried to change my reservation, the seats were gone.
Maybe a longer route? I could go from Moline to Chicago to Orlando to Dulles. Or Chicago, Dallas, Dulles. If we looked hard enough, there's probably a flight that goes through Seattle to Dulles. But all of those were 10-12 hours.
How about Tuesday morning at 6 am? (This was Monday night we discussed it.) Couldn't quite get it together that quick and I didn't want to ask anyone to shuttle me to Moline at 4 am. Then Ron found me a seat on a Tuesday afternoon flight. The first leg went smoothly. I was checked in and was through security at Moline in twenty minutes. The flight was on time and we arrived at Chicago Ohare without incident.
The 50-minute layover was just long enough to get to the next gate about 42 miles away and pick up a $14 turkey sandwich. We boarded the plane about 5:30 and eventually began our taxi. And taxied. And taxied. And sat. Finally the captain came on to say that they were concerned about the way the nose wheel was responding and were returning to the gate. They hoped to have it fixed and have us back in the air by 8. After several updates, we were told they were getting another plane and we needed to move down the hall to another gate. This gate was right across from a bar, which may not have been a coincidence.
People took it well. Airplane safety isn't an area where you want to take chances. There were quite a few families traveling because of the holidays and the children did amazingly well. I was grateful I didn't have two or three toddlers to wrangle and try and find food for reasonable prices. Finally by 9:30 we were on our way. We landed at Dulles about 12:30 am and made it to Kate's by 2:00 am. I was in bed by 2:06.
This morning a weatherman was broadcasting from Ohare--the third busiest airport in the world at this time. That busyness is increased by many trying to change flights to beat the blizzard. I was glad not to be there. Kate and I will be driving back to Iowa after the holidays so that could be a whole different can of worms. Happy holidays!