Thankful to be on the ground

I had a 20+ hour travel day on Tuesday. It went something like this:

I had friends in San Diego all weekend. So I didn't clean, didn't prepare, and didn't pack for anything until 9pm on Monday night. I was up until midnight, woke up at 6am, and breezed into SAN at 6:45 in preparation for a 7:55 flight. 

Landed without any issues in Washington Dulles. I discovered my flight was canceled because I received an email on my phone, seconds before they announced it over the intercom. Then I stood in line with United for 45 minutes before getting on the phone with their customer service reps for 35 minutes. I was re-routed onto a US Air flight that went from Dulles to Charlotte, and from Charlotte to Huntington.

I get to CLT. I eat (awful) shrimp tacos and have a massage in the airport, just because I can. I'm exhausted and my phone won't charge. All around me are people who are also stranded due to the poor weather conditions. I end up having a touching conversation about family and mothers with a complete stranger. By a "complete stranger," I mean someone who embraced me at the end of the conversation without even telling me her first name.

My flight to Huntington is delayed. We get on the plane with a lovely no-nonsense motherly flight attendant; a gorgeous Black woman in her 50's most likely. Instead of coddling us like most flight attendants do, she treats us like the unruly, poorly behaved schoolchildren we are. She forces a business traveler to come back to the front of the plane to get his beverage he left behind. 

We take off, and bless her heart, she keeps us all together. She holds the flight together. The pilot begins the initial descent into Huntington, when the phone rings for the flight attendant. 

"Wait - WHAT?" she says into the phone. "They did what?"

She gets off the phone with the pilot and tells those of us in the front of the propeller plane that they didn't plow the runway in Huntington, and so we have to circle the airport. The lights on the propellers turn on, and I see that we're truly flying in the midst of a snowstorm. So I lay down and go to sleep, or try to?

I didn't realize I fell asleep until I woke up to more commotion from the front. The flight attendant is on the phone again. She hangs up, exasperated, and tells us that we are now flying to Charleston, because they cannot clear the runways of snow. I realize my family, who's been waiting at the airport for me for over an hour, is now going to have to drive an hour away to get me in Charleston, where we will then drive another 40 minutes to my mom's house. I try to text my mom from the plane. Naturally, it doesn't work. The pilot gets on the intercom and literally says these words: "We are running out of options, so we are going to Charleston."

WE ARE RUNNING OUT OF OPTIONS, file under things you never want to hear a pilot say. It's bumpy and snowy as we finally land at Yeager Airport around 3:30am. This airport normally shuts down around midnight, so there is no one here to help us. There's nothing open, and even better, there's no ground transportation of any sort. No taxis. No buses. No hotel shuttles. Nothing. 36 people are on the ground, totally stranded and with no way to get to their cars or rides in Huntington (an hour away). 

The people who were working on the ground did their part, but I was so relieved to see my family when they got there. It was an exhausting day. By the time we finally made it home, and I was ready for bed, and in bed, it was 5am. 

The next day was just as fun, as I got up at 10am and shopped all day with my family, while wearing the same clothes that I had flown in for 24 hours. At least I was showered, with clean hair. I still kinda feel like a zombie.

Anyways, the point is: I'm so thankful to be on the ground and so thankful for a safe flight. I hope that you all had a wonderful day, as well. xo