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Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Dashing Through Detroit

Thursday was a long day of travel to Connecticut.

For starters, I woke up at the last minute. Thankfully, the majority of my packing had been finished the night before (or, technically, very early that morning, which resulted in very little sleep). I was very disciplined and didn't DARE open my laptop to check email or Facebook. I just plowed through an accelerated version of my morning routine, crammed my stuff into the car, and left for the airport right on time.

Within 30 seconds of driving, I thought, Oh crap. Rush hour.

Rush hour doesn't really exist in my world as I'm never on the interstate or on busy roads during that time of morning. But indeed, rush hour is a thing, and I was about to hit it.

Thankfully, the traffic lessened once I got to the feared interstate. It wasn't as speedy as I would have liked, but I made it the airport right on time. I was feeling good, riding on this wave of just-barely-making-it.

Parked the car. Hopped on the shuttle. Zippin' along on the tram. And then I felt like I walked into a brick wall: As I stepped off the tram, I found myself staring at a security line that looked like a thousand people deep. I looked at my phone; my flight was scheduled to leave in 30 minutes.

Totally. Screwed.

I felt a little anxious for a few minutes, but I'm pretty zen about derailments in the day like this, so once I realized how slowly the line was moving, I just breathed and accepted that I would be missing my flight, for the first time ever. I was moderately concerned that I would get charged something to rebook, but again, I wasn't going to worry about it until I made it through security.

I was somewhere between half-way and two-thirds of the way through the line when Delta agents came looking for me and several other people who had checked in for the flight, but hadn't boarded. With only two security lanes open for all of these people and the Delta agents wielding no leverage, we couldn't get through the line any quicker. By the time I got to the gate, I was exactly five minutes too late. I was rebooked for another flight, departing in two hours, with a connection in Detroit instead of Atlanta, bringing me to Bradley a little over two hours later than scheduled. I was very thankful for TIA's free wifi, as it allowed me to get some work done during that two-hour wait.

Then came all the pain and annoyance of hauling an uncomfortable and painfully heavy carry-on bag all over the place and stinky people on the flight. Before I boarded to Detroit, one of the handles on my carry-on bag tore clean off. By the time I got to Detroit, I was dragging the monstrosity on the floor by the shoulder strap, it hurt too much to sling it over my shoulder.

So there I was, dragging that beast behind me through the airport, feeling ultra groggy and a little annoyed about the distance between gates, when I came upon a lovely fountain. The way the water shot out made it look like thin glass tubes flying through the air.

I stood and watched it for a few minutes. I took one lousy picture and thought about trying to take another when I looked over and saw this.

A color-changing light show within a walkway, set to ambient music.

Needless to say, this kept me good and occupied for probably 15 minutes. It took people-watching to an all-new, colorful level and amusing level. It was the highlight of the day's journey!

More to come!

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