Friday, July 31, 2009
Wednesday, July 29: Plane Purgatory
Our first day of our Adventure by Disney...woo hoo! We've been waiting for this for almost a year - and it's here!
We arrive at KCI by 8:30 am to check in for our flight. We're on Flight #NW1876 - KC to Philadelphia, with a connection in Detroit. We have no problems getting through security and getting onto the plane.
I did, however, almost inadvertently wipe out the flight attendant. Not on purpose. I had brought on a HUGE water bottle - and it fell - right in the aisle - as the flight attendant was rushing up to get us ready for take-off. She about broke her neck when my bottle tripped her up. Oops - I was mortified and very apologetic. The lady next to me says, "Just don't get near the pilot."
Our flight is 1 hour 23 minutes; it's pretty smooth, and we get our delicious cookies. When the flight attendant asks me if I would like something to drink, I said, "No thanks - I have water." She said, drily, "I know." Sorry - again.
When we land in Detroit, we have 60 minutes before take-off for our next flight to Philadelphia. Knowing that more cookies won't suffice my growing hunger, I send Dear Hubby to a Quiznos in the airport to grab us a quick sandwich, which we all wolf down in the boarding area. And then - we wait. And wait some more. And more. And I realize that we should have been boarding by now - what's going on?
About that time - an announcement - that due to "air traffic control" in Philly, we will not be boarding for awhile. We are to not leave the area, because they do not know when we will get the green light to board. It appears to be due to bad weather in the Philly area. So - we wait some more.
I look across the gate area and see a delicious Mexican restaurant and regret that we had wolfed down those Quiznos sandwiches. Darn it.
After about an hour or so, we get to board. The three of us are in Row 24 out of Row 26 - and there's no one sitting behind us. I look around and realize that our plane is maybe at 25% capacity....I haven't seen that empty of a plane in a long time.
The flight is supposed to be just over an hour long - and we seem to be up in the air longer than that. I don't have a watch - but something seems not right. And I realize we keep banking to the left - does this mean we're going in circles? You think? About that time, the pilot comes on and says that due to weather, we're in a holding pattern - and who knows how long that will last. We're told to not leave the area. (that's a joke). We circle...and circle...and circle some more. 30 minutes later, the pilot says its our lucky day and we get to land now - woo hoo!
I have to honestly say that in all of the flights I have ever taken - this was one of the worst landings I've ever experienced. We came down through the clouds - and a monsoon was hitting Philadelphia. The wind...the rain...the lightening...it was awful. Our plan was tipping one direction to the next - I just knew that a wing would hit the ground before the wheels would. It was scary - you could tell the pilot was fighting for control up front. We finally land - wheels first, thank goodness - but it was rough. And it took forever for the brakes to work on the wet tarmac. Yikes. Scary.
The pilot then comes and says that due to the bad weather, there are no ground crew on the tarmac - and so we cannot approach the gate. We're stuck on the tarmac until the storm passes - which takes 25 minutes or so. Held hostage on the plane - about 10 feet from the gate - so close, and yet so far.
The rain finally subsides and we get to get off the plane - thank God - and we quickly get our luggage and head outside to meet up with Aunt Andy and Uncle Gene. They take us on a driving tour of Philly - we see monuments, churches, art, museums, Uncle Gene's old house, Betsy Ross's house - and then it's time for dinner.
We went to the Spaghetti Warehouse for dinner where I had some wonderful spaghetti and Dear Hubby had the 15-layer lasagna.
After dinner, we head to New Jersey and home for 2 days. Cousin John and his family came by to say hello - and then it was time for bed.
We're excited to be here - safely - and excited to see family.
Tomorrow: the Shore