My husband has a saying “Life is like a duck swimming in the water, it looks smooth on the surface but you don’t see the duck paddling like crazy underneath.” If I could give a title to my travels to New York, I would have to call it “Writer Mama vs. Mother Nature” or “My Life as a Sit Com.” I mentioned in an earlier blog post the tight schedule that I would have in order to make my son’s graduation in San Diego, book signing in New York and older sons birthday all in a three day period but I was confident I could do it. Sometimes things don’t go according to plan, here is the time line for the actual trip to New York with commentary:
10:15 Arrive at school for graduation ceremony (Bags are packed and waiting in the car…ready to go)
10:30- 11:30 Graduation Ceremony (Awards given, pictures taken, cake eaten… very lovely)
12:00 Dropped off at airport (Kisses and hugs, bag checked, security check, quick bite to eat… very excited)
1:30 Boarded plan (Seats located, carry on stowed, seat belt fastened… ready to go)
2:30 Sitting on tarmac (Flight delayed, bad weather in Chicago, Flight to New York canceled… getting worried)
2:40 Plane returns to gate for undetermined amount of time (Call Hotel arrange for late arrival, call shuttle service explain about flight cancellation, try to find replacement flight to New York but called back to plane before I am able to talk to anyone…worried)
2:50 Re-board plane ready to take off again.
3:20 Plane takes off (Sigh of relief, finally on our way…will take care of issues in Chicago)
9:45 cst- Flight lands at Chicago (One of the last passengers off the plane, those who have connecting flights are allowed to leave first all others are asked to wait on board…ready to try and resolve connecting flight issues)
9:55 Connecting flight re-scheduled for 6am following day, no other flights out of Chicago that night. (Too worried about all details to panic at this point)
10:45 Luggage on way to New York, stranded in Chicago with an US Magazine, paper back book, jacket, and contact lens case.
11:00 Given emergency toiletry kit and go in search of place to stay.
12:00 All hotels in the area are sold out closest hotel with availability can provide shuttle in 45 minutes will cost $200 for about three hours sleep. (Decision is made to sleep in terminal, a few tears, another call home)
12:30 Grab a bite to eat, settle down with fellow trapped passengers to watch a continuous loop of CNN (Gulf oil spill, heat wave in India, etc…)
4:00am Cleaning crew arrives to vacuum carpet, finished magazine and book, know way more about the Gulf oil spill than I ever thought I would and slept maybe 2 hours
4:30 Bowl of oatmeal, walk the terminal, wash face and brush teeth in airport bathroom (feeling a little more human, look like a creature but feel more human)
5:30 Flight to New York boards
9:05 est Land in New York, gather luggage (thank goodness it’s not lost), find shuttle driver to catch shuttle to hotel (must wait for 4 more passengers)
10:15 Dead stop, stuck in traffic, driver pulls onto sidewalk to bypass cars, quick trip through cemetery (This guys drives like son #1 when he just began driving)
11:05 Arrive at hotel have 40 minutes to shower and walk/run 3 city blocks to BEA, check in at front desk and arrive at publishers booth.
11:45 Phew! Arrive for my first book signing with zero minutes to spare sign for 1 hour and it only took me 20 hours to get there!
I will share more on BEA in my next post.
Writing on the Sidewalk
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