So where did I find the time to write up all these voluminous blog entries? On my way to Houston for nephew Jeffery's wedding, that's where. I got up at 5 a.m. and took off from Tallahassee right on schedule at 7:05 a.m. We landed without incident in Memphis 90 minutes later (at 7:35 a.m., because of the time-zone change). I took advantage of my two-hour layover there to have quite a nice breakfast at, of all places, Backyard Burgers—they make a very good bacon-egg-sausage-cheese burger. But then the departure of my 9:30 a.m. flight was delayed by an hour, then for another hour, then for another (I cleaned out my e-mail mailboxes, reorganized my to-do list, wrote letters), then cancelled. Drat.
Northwest Airlink took another hour to rebook us all and put me on a 1:50 p.m. flight to Dallas, so I took advantage of the $10 meal voucher they issued me to have quite a nice lunch—chopped pork bbq, slaw, and beans, which came to $10.11. My folding InStand computer table, covered with a couple of paper towels, also makes an excellent lunch table.
Now I'm here in Dallas, enjoying another two-hour layover before my flight to Houston, which is supposed to get me there at 7:04 p.m., only 7.5 hours late. Unfortunately, that arrival time is right in the middle of the party my sister and brother-in-law are hosting tonight, so some poor soul will have to leave the Fajita Fiesta to come get me. Sorry 'bout that.
As I sat here typing this blog, the guy next to me, also typing away on a laptop (we tend to cluster around electrical outlets), was so impressed with the InStand that he logged onto the company's website and ordered one on the spot! Many people have admired it and said they ought to order one, but he's the only one I know of who actually did it.
Written 27 July 2007
To pick up where I left off: I didn't get to Houston until 8:00 p.m., and when I arrived I found that one of my two checked bags had beat me to town and was locked in a closed and dark Northwest baggage office! After I finally located someone who could extricate it for me, no one was available to pick me up, so I had to take rather an expensive taxi ride, then make dinner of rapidly cooling fajita leftovers.
The wedding the next day was great—our first Quaker wedding. No one officiated; after an initial period of silence, Jeff and Zoe simply stood and married one another, promising life-long faithfulness and mutual support. Then they, the clerk of the meeting, and all the rest of us in attendance (about 100 people) signed the large and ornate marriage certificate, and we all headed off to the reception, a delicious buffet of Greek food served at the Italian cultural center. Here are Jeff and Zoe before the ceremony, surrounded by their siblings and parents.
Sunday, after a festive family brunch at a local deli, my sister-in-law took me back to the airport, and my airline adventures resumed. Once again, Northwest Airlink got me to Memphis without a hitch, then stalled. Mechanical problems delayed my flight to Tallahassee an hour, then another. Then we boarded in haste (we had a deadline for take-off, because the Tallahassee airport closes down overnight). Then they cancelled the flight and we all trooped off the plane again. So I spent the night (what was left of it) in Memphis, at the Holiday Inn Mt. Moriah, along with all my fellow Tallahassee-bound passengers. We were all without our luggage, of course, and the motel could supply no toothbrushes, toothpaste, or other amenities.
I finally made it back to Tallahassee around noon on Monday, about 14 hours late. So I spent an inordinate amount of my three-day trip to Houston in Memphis (plus the time I spent in Dallas, where I wasn't scheduled to go at all!). If you'd like to hear the whole story, drop me a line, and I'll send you the three-page, single-spaced complaint I sent to Northwest about all the other problems with the trip above and beyond the mere delay.
But then things started looking up. I got caught up in the office in time for the Brazil trip, and the visa-bedecked passports came home with days to spare, so read on for our further adventures . . .
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