In the last part, the President sends me to Madison, Wisconsin. Hopefully this will be shorter than the others:
I had called on Friday morning for a Taxi to pick me up at 3:00 am on Saturday morning. So, I set my alarm for 2:30 am. I put the few things I hadn't packed the night before into my backpack. My cab driver called a few minutes before 3:00, so I went down to checkout of the hotel and got into the cab. I didn't get the driver who had picked me up*, but had an English guy. I had to give my, "I'm from Columbus and came to visit a friend" story a final time.
He got me to the airport without incident and I gave him the same generous I had given the lady who had picked me (mostly out of fear of being a terrible sexist.) I checked-in and got my boarding passes and couldn't figure out why I couldn't find security, which I had to sheepishly ask where it was. I was told it wasn't open yet, so I got to wait for that. There were several other people waiting though.
Anyway security opened and I got through that without incident. I sat around waiting for boarding. When I did get to board, I again had to walk out onto the tarmac and into the planes back door. I don't know what type of plane it was. I think it had jet engines, but it also had propellers. Anyway, time to introduce visual aid #2:
The crew was actually pretty goofy on this flight. Notably the flight attendant who greeted me used his best Cookie Monster voice when he saw my Cookie Monster shirt. Then when we were seated, they said we could change seats since there were some openings, if we wanted to sit next to someone more attractive. Anyway, they said the flight to Seattle would be quite turbulent. I didn't really notice any turbulence though.
So, we landed in Seattle and I don't think this plane was tall enough to use a regular gate, so again I had to get off onto the tarmac and then follow a covered path into the terminal. I found a screen, figured out which gate I needed to be at for my flight and started towards it. It was actually pretty far away, but it was a 3-hour layover, so there was no risk other than boredom.
I sat around for a while once I got there. Then I got up and bought a Sudoku puzzle book and a pencil that said, "Seattle" and tried my best to kill time. My plan was to sleep on the flight from Seattle to Chicago and I gave a little nudge to my tired with medication right before boarding.
Unfortunately, sleep was not gonna happen for me on that flight. Actually, it was probably pretty fortunate in terms of avoiding horrible jet-lag. I was too tall to be able to rest my head against the seat comfortably and then I tried to put my head down on the tray table, but that wasn't really comfortable either, so I gave up and started reading.
So, after several hours, the pilot comes on and says that we had made great time to Chicago, but we're stuck in holding pattern due to V.I.P. movement. So, we circled for a while and then he said we may have to divert to Madison, Wisconsin. Then we circled some more and then he said since we were low on fuel we had to divert to Madison.
So, I got to spend some time parked on a runway in Madison, because the President was flying into Chicago at the time we were supposed to land. Being trapped in Economy Class isn't exactly pleasant, but I wasn't in a rush because my layover was pretty damn long in Chicago. I did have to explain to the guy next to me who woke up to the knowledge that we were in Wisconsin what was going on.
We had touched down in Madison just about the time we were supposed to land in Chicago and about 40 minutes and a fueling later we took off again for Chicago. We landed in Chicago a little over a hour after we were scheduled, but it was no big deal for me. I still had plenty of time.
I started making my way towards the gate looking for a place to eat. I found a food court and bought some deep dish pizza at a place called "Reggio's." I sat at a mostly empty table and ate it.
The gate I was flying out felt sort of like the reject table. It wasn't part of the main concourse, but was downstairs. There were no windows and the board down there wasn't working. No one from the airline seemed bothered to show up at it until after we were supposed to have been boarding.
The flight was mostly empty, so the delay in boarding wasn't an issue though. However, we got delayed twice. First, we were waiting for an airline employee who needed to be back in Columbus, but he or she never showed up. Then Then we got caught in a line to use our runway.
Anyway this flight was cool. No one was sitting near me. Also, there were storm clouds to look at, which I thought looked amazing from above.
After a short flight, we landed in Columbus and even with the delays were on time. I walked out of the terminal and Mom was waiting in her car to pick me up and I was tired. That's about it.
That's my story even if I'm not all that good of a story teller.
Thanks for reading
*Which was mildly disappointing