My wife and I were a couple of the travelers who were stranded by the blizzard coming home from holiday last Friday. In the time it took to get home I read five New Yorkers- cover to cover, and my wife devoured Kevin Barry’s new book City of Bohane.
Here are some scenes from our return journey (note -we used my Canon Powershot SD1000 from 2004 for all of these photos). It has less megapixels (7.1) than most phones these days – but I think the shots came out okay. Judge for yourself:
Part I – PR
Flying back from one of the little islands – to the considerably larger island of Puerto Rico. Photos from the Cessna:
(If you like piña coladas – on the plane)
A private island – 5 minutes from San Juan as the plain flies.
Part II – Miami
It was Friday the 4th and we’d the weather was bad but American Airlines (AA) said if we didn’t take our flight the next chance to get home would be Tuesday, four days later! So despite the storm warnings we headed to the airport.
All seemed well, until about an hour from NYC the pilot announced that due to weather we were turning around and would land in Miami. I’ve flown a lot in my life and never has a plane turned around!
I don’t have any photos of the Miami airport – I basically stood in the rebooking line and talked on the phone with AA trying to find a way home. Again I was told the next flight to NYC was Tuesday! Two hours later – as we neared the front of the rebooking line – service to NY had resumed and flights were boarding – but of course they were all booked with standby lists above 200 people long. I never thought I’d say this but why couldn’t we have just waited on the plane?
One family from PR was heading for a ski trip in Vermont. They opted to rent a car and drive. I wonder where they are now?
To my surprise, even after the booking agent told them there was little chance of getting a flight, many people in front and behind us accepted the Tuesday flight and chose to wait at the airport on standby to see if anything opened up sooner. A few people – like us found alternate routes.
Part III Dallas
So we stayed in the Miami airport all day, my wife neglected to take a photo of me busting out one of our new sleeping mats from my carryon bag and taking a 30 minute nap. Finally, we caught a sunset flight to Dallas:
and arrived at our hotel around 9 pm. At least there was a Whataburger within walking distance (I’d never been before and it’s a Texas establishment). My review? Whataburger is slightly inferior to In and Out Burger – but it’s a cut above the normal slop served at fast food joints.
I’d also like to note that the people at the DFW Comfort Inn South (there is also a North location – i’m sure they are nice too) were really friendly. In all the flight changes our bags got lost – so we only had the sweatshirts on our backs – no toothpaste, brushes, deodorant. The man at the concierge desk hooked us up with all of that, which I really appreciated and I’m sure the people crammed into those airplane seats next to us the following morning did too.
We caught a Dallas sunrise…at the airport.
Part IV – NY at Last
Finally arriving in NYC around 1pm on Saturday, a day late and a dollar short (more like a hundred dollars: AA paid for nothing as it was weather related).
My wife got some great shots of the city as the plane descended:
Part V – Bags
I needed a couple of days to ruminate and recoup before writing about this epic journey. Coincidentally, my buzzer just rang – it’s American Airlines dropping off our bags.