Flight Delay in Charlotte NC

I’m here in the Charlotte Airport and we’ve been delayed due to weather for four hours.  A terrible storm went through the airport and I think this is only the second time I’ve been in an airport that stopped all traffic due to inclement weather.  I learned that when the flashing light outside turns red all traffic must stop.

The flight has been delayed about 8 times and the current departure time is now 9:10.  I must go through Midway in Chicago and was originally scheduled on the 7:50 flight. There is a late flight to Oakland at 10:55 PM but if the delays keep happening then I won’t make that flight either.  So far the arrival time is 10:00 PM which gives me a 55 minute buffer but given that we’ve had so many delays already I’m not hopeful.  To complicate matters I had to check my golf clubs.  Checking baggage on standby is never a good idea since you have to watch where that baggage goes and cannot easily change.

I made another listing for myself for the 10:55 flight but not sure if I should really do that since it could confuse the system?  In any case, it doesn’t look like I’ll get home until 2:00 AM IF I can even get out of CLT today let alone out of Chicago.  I’m keeping up the hope however and considering this an adventure.  I write this post so I can look back on it and remember how I felt at this time.

As I write this post I’ve learned that the flight has been delayed yet again to 9:25.  This puts me in to Chicago at 10:10.  So, I’ve still got time but please, please no more delays!

It is now 12:20 Eastern time. After a day of anxiety at the airport wondering if I would actually make it back to the Bay or have to spend the night either in Charlotte or Oakland I’ve made it on-board and am headed to the west coast. As I mentioned previously the flight kept being delayed and delayed, finally giving me only a thirty minute buffer to make the connection in Chicago. In Charlotte I awaited our plane’s arrival and found myself staring at the plane before ours hoping it would depart the gate soon so ours could arrive and we could board.

Side note – Heavy turbulance just outside of Chicago. We’re rocking back and forth. Normally I hate turbulance but watching just how many flights there are per day give me peace of mind. I still would rather not having the turbulance though and as I look over at the girls in the next aisle it looks like one might be praying. She has her elbows on the tray table and sometimes puts her head down. Well, looks like we got through that little rough patch as we continue to gain altitude and there is no more shaking.

So back to my story, the plane before ours was a little late leaving the gate. ‘Great,’ I thought, now I’ve got even less time to make the connection. It backed up and then sat there for a while before finally departing. My plane arrived in short order and is seemed there were more ladies requiring wheel chairs than usual. Perhaps it was just the universe seeing how I would handle the situation? We boarded and were a little late departing. I began checking the flight status over and over. To my surprise it said we would land in Chicago a good thirty minutes before my next flight. It wasn’t a full flight but I took a middle seat in the second row which perturbed the slightly heavy guy in the window seat. He said, “There are plenty of seats in the back.” But I didn’t want a seat in the back because that would take another 15 minutes to actually get off the plane, especially with the group of teenagers of which there were about 40 or so of them. I promised the guy I’d “made myself small” and found that downloading a book on tape was a good idea. That way I wouldn’t need elbow room at all.

So, after all that anxiety and wondering if I would make it back in time I did make it to the gate about 10 minutes before the boarding started. My next thought was about my checked golf clubs and if they would make it on. I think they had plenty of time so am not too worried. Otherwise I would probably just spend the night in Oakland so I could collect them the next day. That would be unfortunate but at least I would be in the Bay and could get a cheap hotel. I’m going to hold on to the belief that my golf clubs did make this flight and that I’ll actually get to sleep in my own bed around 3 AM.

The final issue was with the BART. I’m not going to make the next train but checking Lyft a ride to my house is only $50 or so which is much cheaper than I expected. A trip on Lyft and Bart costs $20 total so $30 extra isn’t too bad.

Well, I’ve got about 3 hours and 21 minutes on this flight. I think I’ll either watch a show or sleep, or perhaps just think about how nice it will be when I’m finally in my home again. Tomorrow, (or today should I say?) I won’t have the energy for karate. I’ll take care of the usual chores such as feeding my fish, watering the plants (hoping that neither the fish or plants have died), gather the mail, pay the bills and perhaps head over to Archimedes Banya for some mineral springs, saunas and general detox.


Asheville North Carolina Trip

It is 1:22 PM and I’m at CLT.  The two week vacation is now over and I’m heading back to California.  As usual the trip went quickly but Asheville in particular has been a complete blur due to all the activities, kids running around and of course local craft beer.

We arrived last Saturday and got settled into a beautiful house in a golf course type of neighborhood.  The following day we went to the Standard Pizza company to await the arrival of my uncle whose 70th birthday was the reason our entire extended family traveled to North Carolina.  Living so far away I hadn’t seen many of them in a few years and during that time the family had expanded considerably.  There were little ones running around everywhere!  It turns out we all kept the secret well and he was surprised to see us all there.  There was pizza, plenty of beer and it was great to catch up with everyone.

After the party we meandered over to the apartments where everyone (but us!) were staying and settled next to the pool with a cooler full of beer.  We weren’t there too long as it was getting late and the little ones needed to get to bed.

The following morning some of the guys went fly fishing early in the morning.  When they came back we ended up going on the Ale Trail on the South Slope.  We started at Burial Brewery then to Catawba.  Japan vs. Poland was on TV but unfortunately Japan lost.  So sad….

The next day was golf and we played a friendly scramble.  Our group didn’t do too badly and we were sure to beat the other team comprised of my Uncle Dan, Cousin Nick and cousin-in-law Scott.  At the end of the round Uncle Dan’s team told us they were 6 under par!  Now Uncle Dan is a very good golfer but Scott and Nick have a hard time hitting the side of a barn.  My group was two under par and we’re pretty good so there is no way in Hades that they were six under.  I know exactly what happened:  they didn’t want to hear for  the next ten years how we had beaten them so they all took an oath that they would keep to the story about being six under par.  I tried to get the truth out of Nick later but he held firm!

After golf it was back to the pool but my sister neglected to bring my swim trunks.  I had on a nice pair of Calvin Cline briefs and so I just hopped in with them.  I was sure nobody could tell that they weren’t actual trunks but some thought otherwise.  🙂  We were there playing beer pong on a raft in the water but it wasn’t long before storm clouds gathered and we had to retreat for cover.

On Wednesday I was able to go rafting down the river on an inner-tube and we even had one for our cooler.  It was my Uncle Dan, Caitie, Catie’s friend Casey and Meghan.  I hadn’t made a reservation and being the 4th they were completely booked.  However, I was determined so went to Walmart, bought myself a french fry shaped raft and went along with them.  I was able to talk my way in to getting a tube and shuttle ride saying that my family had forgotten to make a reservation for me and I was extremely sad!  It was very peaceful and we had a lot of good conversation (and beer) on roughly the three hour trip down the river.

In the evening we went to an Asheville Tourist baseball game which also had fireworks at the end.  I didn’t get to see too much of the game as I was busy talking with all of my relatives.

It is now Friday and here I am on the trip back to California.  It took just under two hours to get from Asheville to CLT and now I fly to Midway then to Oakland.  I had intended to go from Midway to San Francisco but the flight was looking full so had to change it to Oakland since I’m on standby and didn’t want to get stuck in Chicago.  My flight leaves in about two and a  half hours.  Once I get to Oakland I’ll have to take the BART and then a Lyft which should get me home by 11:30 PM.  It will be a long day.