anotheranon: (adventure)
[personal profile] anotheranon
It's been a silly weekend.

Friday I flew out to Sacramento for D.'s 1920s-themed holiday party. He was already out there for work; his company was graciously flying me in for the party itself, and I was looking forward to a break from the cold weather and the opportunity to costume, followed by a visit with D.'s mom.

Yeah, it didn't quite work that way.

I don't think anyone could have predicted that a winter storm would close Dallas/Ft. Worth airport.

Snow and ice. In Dallas. Not incredibly likely, which is why they weren't prepared and hence, the shutdown.

Then the trip got interesting.

I could type out a boring blow by blow: the numerous times I cycled through the main airline desk try and get any flight to the west coast, the inconvenience of losing my bag in luggage limbo for the entire weekend (complete with our costumes, all my clothes, and most of my cosmetics), or the obvious fact that I missed the fun party and definitely got cheated out of warm weather.

When I got off the plane and found my flight (and everyone else's) was canceled, I looked at the lines and crowds and mentally banged my head against the wall at the sheer agony that sorting out my flight was going to entail. Then I got a tap on my shoulder. "Come with me."

It was a woman with whom I'd shared a few words on the plane, mostly exchanging anecdotes about growing up in southern cities vs. snow as we taxied to the gate. She had no reason to help me out and I had no reason to think she knew what she was doing, but I followed her anyway.

This is unusual for me. I'm not used to accepting help from friends let alone strangers; I used have more practice placing trust in new people during my raving and SCAing days but those are long past. But with the airport insane and her seeming nice enough, I took a chance.

She had an Admiral's Club membership and took me in with her so I'd have a place to be away from the chaos of the terminal, she said. And while it was pretty crowded too it was far less than the main floor, and the lines to negotiate new flight plans was MUCH shorter.

There was also free everything. Having never been in an airline's club before I didn't know that they were equipped with all sorts of amenities: showers, cots, snack food, coffee, wine. She suggested wine and - hey, how else ya gonna get through a travel nightmare in progress?

We chatted to pass the time: she was a pathologist who was supposed to be going to a job interview in Austin. She told me interesting stories of investigating rabies cases in transplant patients; I told her about the book and the party-that-wasn't.

When we both got our flights situated we said our farewells and went on our ways. I never got her last name; it didn't really seem to matter. I guess it was just one of those connections that happens when two people share a dilemma; once the moment is past there is no need to pursue it, but it sure made the ordeal less stressful.

I finally got to Sacramento due to majestic plane-wrangling by D.: the airline I was on couldn't or wouldn't transfer me to another airline so he got me a ticket on another to San Francisco. From there his company paid for a limo from SF to Sacramento. I arrived VERY late, party long over, to a grateful D. and a nice bottle of Glenfiddich.

I like that D.'s company did this for him because it demonstrates a dedication to employee well-being that I don't see very often. And of course I'm grateful to both of them because if they hadn't acted I might well still be in Dallas.

I wasn't able to get my bag from my original flight, so I spent the weekend in LA (did I mention we flew SAC-LA the next morning?) with what I had on my back plus a few necessities picked up during a maddening trip to Target.

It was weird but nice not having to keep up with the umpteen things I always pack, never use, yet inevitably stress about losing. I wouldn't have cared if I'd lost the Target t shirt or drugstore face powder because they were cheap and had no sentimental value. I don't think I've ever traveled that light in my life, or cared less about it.

We went to a big jewelry show, and while it was kind of odd to be looking at all the luxe bling while most of my actual bling was somewhere in the air, I was able to get some quality Christmas shopping done, finding something for my mom that I am very confident will surprise her.

The oddest of all was how little the chaos got to me. Normally I am a creature of habit, OCD enough that fret over every little thing, but when a situation arose that was beyond control or reckoning I just went with the flow and it turned out ok. And I remembered what it was like to trust people right off the bat.

So what should have sucked, didn't.

As I type my bag is in transit to my door from a local airport - in theory. It was supposed to be here 2 hours ago, but whatever - I'll make do.

Date: 2013-12-11 02:11 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
That is really neat.

Date: 2013-12-13 11:48 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Quite the adventure! Glad you were in the company of the right person at the right time so that an unfortunate situation turned out a lot less stressful than it could have been. And that you're still getting some fun out of the trip. :-)

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