Happiness first. I just enjoyed a tasty chopped pork barbecue dinner in the Charlotte, NC, airport and a 20 minute chair massage at Terminal Getaway. While US Airways is not my favorite airline, I think CLT is my favorite airport. Due to unusual circumstances, getting to this relaxing layover at my favorite airport turned into challenge.
I woke up early and left the house with (I though) plenty of time to make my 7:45 flight to Houston (by way of Philadelphia) this morning. I forgot just how much traffic in the DC area slows down when it rains. I blame the pre-caffeine departure and pre-election stupidity. I expected to spend at most half an hour getting to the airport. An hour and ten minutes after I left my house (after an average speed below 10 mph for most of the trip), I arrived at the airport. The only time I have experienced a worse drive on 395 was the day that the Chinese premiere visited the White House. To make matters worse, the parking garage adjacent to the terminal was full. By the time I parked in the economy lot and rode the shuttle to my terminal, I had missed my flight by half an hour.
A very kind ticket agent spent a lot of time finding a way to get me to Houston sometime today. He eventually found (first class—traveling frequently does have a few benefits) seats for me on an afternoon flight. The layover timing allowed me to phone into my afternoon meeting. I will arrive in Houston early enough to get a full night of sleep before my early meeting tomorrow morning.
After getting my new boarding passes, I Metroed to the office (there was no way I was going to spend another hour stuck in traffic this morning) and worked until 1:30. I got back on the Metro, and, halfway to the airport, the train's left side doors stopped opening. A few unhappy passengers did not get off at their stop, but were able to exit at the next one and hop the next inbound train. I sat (and knit) and thought about how stupid I would feel if I missed another flight today because I was trapped on a train. Happily, the doors started working again before we arrived at the airport.
I made it onto my flight and enjoyed a few podcasts (on D's new iPod). Before my next departure, I plan to charge up my laptop, read a few blogs, and finish my first Serendipity Sock (Rav link).
Despite the bad start, today turned out all right. I got an unexpected morning in the office to return phone calls, time to practice the presentation I'm delivering tomorrow, a massage, and a tasty dinner in exchange for a stressful driven, a missed flight, and a Metro scare. Things could be much worse.
Nov. 2 postscript Things really could have been much worse on Tuesday. Had I made my original flight or chosen the regional jet routing later in the day through Philadelphia, I would never have made it to Houston. The "wintry mix" weather canceled both of the flights from Philly to Houston.