Pre-event . Getting there.
Sunday, May 21st:
still trying to get there.
Monday, May 22nd:
A start... & a finish?
Tuesday, May 23rd:
Back in the saddle again!
Wednesday, May 24th:
Rain, rain go away...
Thursday, May 25th:
Finish... 1 second or 121?
Friday, May 26th:
Flotsam that I forgot.
Rich & Jean Taylor's
Vintage Rallies website Color
Transit Lounge Trauma.
Heh. Is it possible to fly anywhere these days without some sort
2:00pm, PDT (Sea-Tac):
I'm stuck at Sea-Tac waiting for a delayed American Airlines flight
to Albany NY, via Chicago.
At least I have my ricochet modem. =)
I'm hoping that my consolation prize is a newer aircraft with
one of those DC power outlets in the seat. My aging PowerBook
2400c's battery just doesn't hold the 3-hour charge like it used
to and I'd like to hammer out as much of this mini-site as possible
so I can just 'fill in the blanks' with pics and text this week.
Wish me luck... but at this rate I'll be arriving in Albany sometime
after 1am. Yuck.
4:45pm, PDT (somewhere over northen Idaho):
Well, no such luck for the DC power. I'm flying on a DC-9 that
is almost as old as I am and we're over three hours late. At least
we'll have jet stream tailwinds.
I don't know why I'm always compelled to write these little travel-there-in-misery
intros to my rally stories... maybe I'm just getting in just enough
pain so that you, my fine reader, will not feel TOO jealous. After
all, I'm going to have a *ton of fun* for the next five days.
Yes, that is a broken image link up there (now since filled in!).
I wanted to do the site as a frameset and have the same image
above and the 'rally navigator' on the left stay in your browser
while you swapped days in the main window here... but then I remembered
that I haven't a clue how to do a frameset *right* and there is
nothing more annoying than frames gone bad... *and* I don't have
an image yet to throw up there. I want a beauty shot of the jag.
Something to match the cover shot of the cannonball pages. Maybe
I'll do a different one each day. I don't know.... you tell me what you want.
7:06am Sunday, CDT (05:06am PDT!) ... Room 325, Days Inn, Addison,
When I left Seattle they told me that my plane was continuing
on to Albany. I even confirmed that with the gate agent before
I boarded the plane since we left so late. Well, we arrive in
Chicago, and I stay put in the plane. Everyone unloads and a Flight
Attendant tells me that the plane is *not* going on to Albany...
and I had better exit and find the plane that is. Grrr. I wander
up the jetway to find a near-abandoned O'Hare! I guess I was the
only person on that flight that was booked all the way to Albany.
I search for a 'Departures' screen which shows the next flight
to Albany at 10:30am tomorrow! I haven't a clue what to do. I
head back over to the gate and see one of the flight attendants
from my plane typing on the computer. I ask what I am supposed
to do... he shrugs and says that I need to find someone who can
tell me, because he can't(!)... I wander around this eeriely empty
airport until I find an unruly mob a few gates down at what appears
to be some sort of ad hoc 'customer service' (to use a term very
loosely) counter. There is *one* very harried looking gate agent
there to handle what looks like at least two flights-worth of
folks who just landed from the west coast trying to get somewhere
*other* than Chicago. I overhear her say to someone near the front
that the flight to Albany left already... to quote 'There were
120 people waiting for an overdue aircraft so we sent them all
to another flight...' ..."and left *you* behind" she may have
well added. Shortly afterwards she literally sprints away from
the counter down the concourse leaving all of us mildy stunned.
What a frikkin' distaster!
Eventually she returns with a few more gate agents... and they
just start handing out hotel vouchers to everyone. Looks like
we'll be staying the night in Chicago.
But wait, it gets worse.
I walk the mile to the 'shuttle bus area' to pick up a shuttle
to the hotel. I wait. I wait some more. And some more. I see others
with their blue hotel vouchers waiting, so I know I can't have
missed spotting the shuttle. Then a little voice in my head says
"bags"... I envision my two bags slowly rotating around a belt
somewhere a mile distant back at the terminal! I hop on a pay
phone and call the 800 number given on the hotel voucher for info.
I ask the person what I should do about my bags. She says she
doesn't know, but she'll transfer me to someone who can. I wait,
I wait some more. I hear that "Your call is important to us, please
don't hang up, and remain here listening to this inane music,
thank you for being a victim of American Airlines" recording over
and over again. I wait some more. I finally realize that I could
have covered the mile back to the baggage claim area in this amount
of time, so I put the phone down (not hanging up, just down on
the shelf of the pay phone... I figure that will be 1/4lb of my
pound of flesh.... letting that recording play to an aluminum
shelf on American Airlines' dime.) I wander back to baggage claim
and look for my bags. Again there is an bizarre scene with virtually
NOBODY but airport janitors in an otherwise empty baggage claim
area... but there is one angy milling unruly MOB surrounding a
lone 'customer service' person at a counter.
I finally find two AA guards watching a huge pile of bags. I ask
about mine (nowhere to be seen) and they say that mine should
be in the 'bag room' awaiting the next flight to Albany. I assume
the best and hike back to the shuttle bus area now two miles away.
There are still folks waiting for the elusive Days Inn shuttle.
Of course the shuttles for *every other* hotel in a four-state
radius seem to go by every two minutes or so, but not *our* shuttle.
No. Two hours have now passed since I landed. I call home wondering
if my dad has called the house looking for me. Sue tells me that
he hasn't but she was bucked off her horse and she's going to
the hospital to see if she is OK. Great. I start considering getting
on a flight back to Seattle. I call our neighbor Bob (who Sue
says is watching our kids) to ask him for an objective opinion
of her condition (she sounded weird... like she does when she's
not feeling her best.) Bob tells me that she's OK, just banged
up a bit. I figure it is futile to try and fly to Seattle now.
My dad then calls me on my cell phone... I should have landed
in Albany 30 minutes ago. I catch him up on the situation. He
laughs and says that American will go broke putting all of us
in a hotel. I take some consolation in that. =) Most folks have
given up on the non-existent Days Inn Shuttle and either hopped
in some other hotel shuttle (and paid their way I assume) or grabbed
a cab. I look up the number of the Days Inn in a phone book and
call them. The phone rings about 200 times before someone finally
answers (I'm way too patient for my own good)... I ask if there
really is a shuttle, and if it does exist, is it planning on coming
to the airport before this century expires. I am assured that
it is on its way and should be there in 20 minutes. 40 minutes
later it arrives... and I am the *only* person left waiting for
it. The driver then goes to a few more shuttle bus areas at other
terminals... to wait for nobody. He calls back to the hotel who
tells them that there are lots of people waiting (I guess the
phone has been ringing a lot) but the driver says that he's only
got one person. I tell him everyone else gave up and took a cab.
Finally we leave O'Hare and drive halfway to Iowa for this cheesy
Days Inn that American Airlines has paid for three and a half
hours after I first landed in Chicago. Sorry Dad, they won't go
broke paying for this dump! They ask me to pay a $10 deposit to
use the phone (I opt out) There is no food, no bar, one AC outlet
in the room... not even any cheesy pay-per-view-porn that American
Airlines' hotel voucher threatened not to pay for!
Left: One outlet, no desk to sit at to work, little mouse hole
in the furniture, no shampoo in the shower. Thanks!
A little ambiance thanks to Days Inn.
I collapse into bed and have wonderful dreams about strangling
several American Airlines executives.
Did I mention the weather here is perfect? I have no idea what
has caused this fiasco, and why nobody has bothered to tell me
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