Today marked the day of the beginning of an epic travel adventure… not exactly how I had it pictured but at least it will be a funny story to tell and look back on.
I leave for Ghana, Africa, tomorrow (technically today, I suppose) on a 11 day missions trip with my Baylor softball team. We will be working Shoot4Life ministries, teaching softball to kids for the first time ever in Ghana and ministering to them under the guidance of an incredible man, Vincent Asamoah.
Back to today’s shenanigans… My flight was supposed to leave out of Miami at 9 AM this morning, so I woke up around 6:15 ate breakfast and was as the airport boarding at 8:30. Besides having the awkward encounter of having my groin patted down at security, no problems there.
But then I step on the plane and its – no joke – 90 degrees inside the plane. I get to my seat already sweating and sit down, practically dying because I hate being in cars or planes or in small spaces without airflow and a two by two plane seat isn’t exactly open space. The PA system comes on and the flight attendant says that they are haulting boarding to fix the broken AC, meanwhile I’m stuck on the plane for 45 minutes in jeans, a flannel and sweltering heat the entire time.
Finally boarding resumes, but the PA system comes on a second time. This time, to announce that the plane is going to be further delayed because it is awaiting extra fuel since we will have to take a longer route to Dallas due to the bad weather surrounding DFW. Great.
At 10:40 the plane finally takes off and I knock out. Halfway through the flight I wake up to finish editing my last summer film series episode and get to experience the lovely turbulence landing in Dallas.
Yes, we arrived, and you would think we get to a gate and get off the plane. Guess again. The PA system comes on (everyone starts groaning) and says we will be delayed 20 minutes due to the gate being occupied. Meanwhile, it’s 1 o’clock and I have a scheduled shuttle to depart on at 1:30 and I have to get a checked bag.
20 minutes turns into an hour and I miss the shuttle with the next available one to Waco scheduled to arrive around 4. I wait to get my guitar checked in at the gate and make my way to baggage claim, thinking that I could just pick up some food from one of the small vendors outside security (like in MIA). Apparently not.
So I was on a plane for 6 hours for what should be less than a 3 hour flight, haven’t eaten since 6:30 AM and it is about 2:30 PM in Dallas and I’m standing at baggage claim A17 and there is not a single place to buy food except oreos from a vending machine. Of course, the PA system in baggage claim comes on and tells everyone that our claim as been moved to A28 (which isn’t exactly very close) and FINALLY I can get my bag just shy of 3 PM, a time I had originally planned to already be in Waco.
Fortunately, the shuttle service informed me that they would be arriving early picked me up around 3:20 and I was en route to Waco. But life just isn’t that simple…
It’s less than 30 minutes into the drive when the van starts beeping. My driver says he’s going to get off the exit to check it out, so we pull off into a Denny’s parking lot. All of the dashboard lights are on and he is calling the owner and a mechanic guy to try to figure out what exactly is wrong.
To add to it all, the engine dies while we are sitting in the lot. So with no choices left, the driver and I head into Denny’s to get food (FINALLY) and coffee, and I contact a friend driving back from Plano to Waco to get picked up. This is around 3:45. She was picking up another girl going on the Ghana trip headed to Waco from her flight landing at 3:45.
It’s about 5:45 when I get picked up from Denny’s after having banana pecan pancakes, turkey bacon, and egg whites with two cups of coffee, because the girl getting picked up from her flight thought her bags had gotten lost so that ordeal was being worked out and took some time after her flight had been delayed 3 hours…
So thankfully, the remainder of the trip was smooth and I got into Waco around 6:45 and have spent the rest of the evening unpacking my bags from Miami, and repacking my bags for Ghana.
And just think, I get to spend the next 24+ hours in planes and airports all over again…..
I think my life has become one of those slapstick Hollywood “holiday-disaster” movies.