Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Evis Week - Day 4 - August 17, 2008 Going Home

Sunday was the day I was to return home. I had a flight out of Memphis at 11:00 am and was supposed to arrive back home a little after 4 pm. My sister and Karen took me to the airport at 9:00 only to find out that my flight had been cancelled and I had been re-booked on a 5:05 pm flight. I tried everything I could to get on an earlier flight and even tried to get re-booked on a flight out of Huntsville so that at least I could spend the day with Kerry and Karen in the car rather than at the airport. But they just wouldn't work with me. So, after we said our goodbye's, I went through security and instead of going to my gate, I went to the shopping area and looked in every store they had at the airport. After all, I had about 7 hours to waste. After I looked at everything in the Elvis shop (but didn't buy anything), bought Dave some Corky's BBQ sauce and the kids a little happy in the bookstore, I made my way to my gate.

Obviously I was the first one there and just found a good spot to camp out on where I could read one of my new Elvis books and people watch. And that is what I did...all day long.

My 5:05 flight was late in leaving which meant it was late arriving to Atlanta. I had not quite an hour to make my connection as it was and now that we were landing 30 minutes late and directed to a gate that had not been vacated yet, we made a circle and went back around. At this point I think I had maybe 25 minutes to make my connection. The pilot made an announcement to let those with connections of an hour or less off first. I was making my way down the aisle, someone told me my flight had been delayed. Instead of leaving at 8:20 it was now leaving at 10:30 pm. I thought "great!". I knew that I would make my connection but that Dave was going to hate this because he was picking me up. Then the guy yelled out to me that it had been delayed but only until 9:09. That was a little better. At least I didn't have to run through the Atlanta airport.

When I arrived at my gate, the sign said 9:09. Then 9:20. Then 9:35. Then 9:55. I kept calling Dave giving him updates. At first we didn't have a plane, then we had a plane but no crew; then we had a crew but the air conditioner didn't work. It it wasn't one thing, it was another. Finally we boarded. The pilot assured us that even though it was hot now, once we got in the air the air conditioner would work. So, we are all gearing up to take off when the plane just shuts down....completely. Now picture a small plane on its way to Jacksonville, NC where one of the largest Marine Corps bases is located. There were lots of marines and other military on board. One guy behind me yelled out, "better now than at 35,000 feet!". It seemed that someone from the outside had cut the power to the plane and because of that, the pilot had to resubmit a bunch of paperwork which took forever. Finally when that was done and we were ready to back out of the gate, the person that was supposed to pull the walkway away had left the gate area so we were still attached to it and couldn't leave. At this point, it was humorous. I actually got tickled at one point in the air and the guy next to me looked at me like I was crazy. I told him that I was supposed to have been home over 7 hours ago.

Finally, we landed safely. Dave was at the airport with Grace and Zachary sound asleep waiting on me. I hated that Elvis Week had come to an end but it was good to get home.

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