15 minutes

This video pretty much sums up my journey back to Middlebury.

Not really, but this fella makes me laugh harder than Minnie Driver in ‘Good Will Hunting

In all seriousness, though, I returned to Middlebury (with a vengeance) early this morning at 12:30 Ante Meridien accompanied by Olivia Noble & Audrey Tolbert. My epic odyssey back to Middlebury, however, was not an easy one. While mine might not have included sirens, a cyclops, or an unfinished garment woven by my betrothed wife, it was most definitely an adventure in horror beginning in the late afternoon at DFW airport…

Upon arriving at DFW (with my mom, brother, and dad) I attempted to do the self check-in at the United front desk. I’m usually a pro at this, typing in my 6-digit confirmation number like it’s nobody’s business, quickly snatching my printed boarding passes from the slot. However, this time it told me that I was unable to print my passes, prompting me to pick up the phone connected to the machine, which would then connect me to the United Airlines help desk.

Oh no.

On the other end, a daft woman told me that my Chicago flight was delayed for some ‘mysterious’ reason, which meant that I wouldn’t have enough time to make my connection to Burlington. She then told me that I would have to leave for Burlington the next day.

Say whattttt?

My dad was not having any of this, telling me to give him the phone so that he could take care of the situation. The woman on the other end (some poor soul who I knew wasn’t causing the plane’s delay, though my dad might say otherwise) told him that her only advice was to delay my travel by a whole day, an answer my dad was not happy with. Hanging up the phone, he marched over to  the United ticket counter and began to discuss other options with a man named Manuel.

Hope?

After 15 minutes (and a lot of exchanged worried glances between my mom, dad, and myself. Note the absence of my brother here) Manuel said that I could take the delayed flight to Chicago and hope for the best. If things didn’t work out, the airline would put me up for a night in a hotel in Chicago. My dad asked to make sure the hotel wasn’t situated in an area where crack was sold and distributed. Hey, somebody’s gotta ask.

Onward to Chicago O’Hare.

I got on the plane to Chicago and everything went along smoothly. Perhaps too smoothly. But not in a dramatically foreshadowy type way, but in a bright, hopeful, maybe-you’ll-make-it-to-burlington-by-the-night’s-end-cody sort of way. The air pilot announced at the very beginning of the flight that he would be boosting up the speed (at which point I thought, oh great, this is how all airplane crash stories begin) to make up for lost time and that the weather conditions were good, which would shave off another 20 minutes. Alright, maybe this is gonna happen, I thought to myself.

The Chicago flight was scheduled to land at 7:55.

The Burlington flight was leaving at 8:10.

That’s 15 minutes to get off a plane, find the gate leaving for Burlington, and gamble my way onto another plane.

Tension builds.

I slept most of the way to Chicago, and as we began our descent, the flight attendant announced that we would be landing into gate C6.’ Alright, c’s a good letter and, hey, 6 is an even composite number which must be lucky..right?’ I thought to myself nervously. Gripping my arm handles, I asked the person next to me if I could cut ahead of them because of my tight connection time. She said sure, respecting my anxious energy. We landed and I hurriedly called Olivia to find out which gate the Burlington plane was leaving from. She then uttered the sweetest words I have ever heard on a mobile phone:

“The Burlington plane is leaving from gate C7”

My heart thudded, joy and exuberance pumping through my veins. “I JUST MIGHT MAKE IT!!!!” my inner dialogue bellowed. As soon as the plane landed, I pushed my way to the front, waited nervously for my gate-check bag, and, upon its arrival, grabbed it aggressively, sprinting (you think I kid) out of gate C6 and onward to gate C7 (which was not actually located either to the left or to the right of C6, but rather in an odd kitty-corner to gate C6). I ran to the attendant, thrusting my ticket at her, and galloped onto my Burlington flight.

I have never felt giddier buckling a seat belt.

The plane took off without a hitch and I landed at BTV (pretty much) on schedule. I didn’t bother to unpack my suitcase, deciding to collapse on my bed and prepare for my return to work at the Admissions Office.

All in all, this has been the most exciting traveling experience I have ever encountered flying solo, and I’d like to think I handled myself pretty effectively (albeit thanks to a great deal of luck, speedy pilots, and my dad’s persistence), thus concluding a successful 11 day vacation in the lone star state!

Until the next air travel debacle occurs,

Cody

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2 Responses

  1. DON’T SAY YOU’RE NOT BEAUTIFUL BECAUSE YOU ARE.

  2. Wonderful post. hooray for witty blogs with obscure references that stretch my memory- I had to look up the Minnie Driver laugh. It struck me as akin to a certain laugh Gohl I know makes… http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NaOa2YO1TFg

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