the further adventures of

Mike Pirnat

a leaf on the wind

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Hawaii: Coda

Why did I leave?

Oh, right, to take care of the cat. She's very glad to see us.

Apparently so is the Ohio weather. We hear it hasn't snowed since Christmas. And it's just started up since we've been headed home. Obviously expecting us.

We flew all night to get to Chicago. Liz watched the in-flight entertainment, and I read Johnny the Homicidal Maniac (thanks, [info]sam16, it's good stuff). I don't know how I did it, but I managed to go to sleep right away after getting done with it, and had no nightmares.

Well, I thought I didn't have any nightmares, but the rest of the trip kind of turned into one.

We had about ninety minutes on the ground in Chicago, during which time I was able to see the weather on CNN, and the CNN man said that it was snowing in Cleveland. Joy.

We had some bagel breakfast sandwichy things, which felt good at the time because they were hot. They felt less good in a little bit, but at least it was sustenance.

Our flight to Cleveland was late boarding. The flight attendant lady (and I use the term "lady" instead of all the rude things that I think about her) made a fuss about maybe my backpack, laden with delicate things like my iPod, would have to be checked. We exchanged a few words, with her being on the nasty side. She went so far as to grab a strap on it as I was walking to my seat and pull back on me; I had to loudly say, "Please let go of me!" for her to give up. My bag, as I expected, fit under my seat just fine, f--- you very much.

So it was late leaving too. By the time we got off the ground, it was starting to be light, and we could see that we were back in the land of winter.

I hate the stupid little regional jets they fly between Cleveland and Chicago; they are small, cramped, have no overhead storage worth speaking of, are hot as hell on the tarmac (even in the middle of winter), the seats suck, the flights are always late, and they generally make me angry. Argh! At least it's just a short flight, one hour, to Cleveland.

Or so we thought.

We had to hold position about 70 miles outside of Cleveland because of the snow -- one of the runways had been closed, and the other one was swamped with the remainder of the traffic. We circled for about half an hour before starting our approach. Then, probably about five minutes from the ground, we had to break off our approach because the second runway had gotten too icy. The plane right ahead of us had "almost no braking action". (It turns out that it slid off the runway -- d'oh!)

So, we got diverted to Detroit, landed there, and got fueled up. As we were landing, we heard that the runway had been de-iced and was open again. Should be a quick turnaround, right? Wrong.

Three passengers decided that they no longer wanted to fly to Cleveland. So that meant an extra twenty minutes on the ground while an American Airlines agent came out to the plane to deplane these three wastrels. By the point we had gotten rid of them, and their junk, we had lost our place in line for a departure and spent awhile longer on the ground.

Finally, we were airborne, and made it to the Cleveland airport without further incident. All of our luggage arrived, so at least something today had gone in our favor.

The guy with the towncar was waiting for us, and took us back home to Westlake, by which point I was so punch-drunk delirious that I didn't notice when he billed us double the fare we had been quoted on the phone, and added a generous tip to the bill, despite having been tipped in cash on both our drive to and return from the airport. Needless to say, once I was conscious enough to realize the problem, I was pretty upset. I doubt we'll ever do business with them again, and I am pretty tempted to contact the Better Business Bureau and/or dispute the charge when I get the bill.

The cat was overjoyed to see us, and loudly voiced her complaints with our absence. Then we slept, and the cat slept on us. We rested for about three hours, then dragged ourselves out of bed to shovel snow. Welcome back to reality, I guess. I finally got a shower and a change of clothes once done shoveling, and that felt pretty good.

Sifted through the mail. Mostly crap. Some bills. Whee.

Liz goes back to work tomorrow; I have the day off, and I expect to sleep in one last time. I also have to make arrangements for flying to Denver on Friday to attend the services for my grandmother, have to get a rental car, etc. And I hope to at least sort and upload pictures tomorrow too. Maybe if I'm lucky I'll start posting all of these journal entries then too; we'll just have to see I guess.

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