ep31. Procrastination and Flight Delays
A story of a really bad travel experience in 2012…. that ended up with me being alive. Thanks (or no thanks?) to my procrastination.
There was a time when I was VERY MUCH into crossfit. It’s this exercise cult thing- and they have their own games- like the olympic games, but with weight lifting and way less attention to personal safety.
In 2012, the crossfit games were being held in LAX in July- and I was gonna go.
First problem: I procrastinated too long and didn’t have a ticket AND they were sold out.. No scalpers online, either. Hmm. No worries. I called up my local paper and asked if they could give me a press pass. They did, weirdly… And I was off.
The trip was scheduled to go something like this:
DAYTON- DENVER – LAX. Arrive on Friday morning in time for the opening ceramonies. Stay in LA for the games that weekend… Visit some friends in Ventura. Travel back to Dayton on Wednesday— plenty of time before my next trip: Family vacation in Montreal- on Friday.
All in all- it was supposed to be 6 flights in less than a week. Pfft. Whatever. I can do that.
So- I’m off to catch my first flight.
….and….I accidentally slept a little longer than I should have and….. I miss the flight…. But 4 minutes…..
Which means that I would have missed my connecting flight in Denver, too. Which means that my whole schedule was now screwed up as it was delayed a day.
Ok… I’m gonna miss the opening ceremony… Whatever. I’m not being paid for this- it’s just for fun, right??? RIGHT???
Sigh. Ok. So I’m on the next flight. That one goes…. Kinda…. We arrive in Denver and then get delayed in denver due to lack of planes. Something about a huge storm somewhere else- which means that I’m stuck in Denver for 9 hours.
…… Ok. Fine…. I try to tackle some writing assignments I had, but I’m in an airport!!! There is SO MUCH PEOPLE watching!!!!
I put off my assignment until I land.
And….. By the time I DO get to LAX it’s Sunday morning. I totally give up trying to get to the stadium for the last 4 hours of the competition and just go to Ventura to meet with my friends and wash the gross off me.
I have a good time there. And we discuss all the hiccups of traveling….
Getting on wrong flights. (That happened a lot in the 70s, apparently).
We missed our dinner reservation entirely because we were chatting so much. (Opps!)
Wednesday comes- my friends take me to the airport. My flight is delayed due to lots of reasons, but it’s also WAY over booked. I offer to take a later flight- but insisting I need to get to Dayton before FRIDAY MORNING…
They say “yea yea. No problem.” And book me on the next flight and give me a 200$ voucher.
Btw- if you heard a previous podcast where I talked about having a voucher- this is how you get it. Except! PRO TIP: You wait (or ask nicely) if they can bump it up to the full value… which is somewhere between 350-400$… ask for cash. Never vouchers. Also get a hotel room and all that jazz… I was a n00b and didn’t do any of this. So I just got 200$ cash voucher with Delta.
Ah. Delta… it stands for “Doesn’t Ever. Leave. The. Airport…… and it’s not talking about the plane… it’s talking about it’s passengers….
I was in the airport all day on Wednesday. The “next available flight” they promised? Was Thursday morning.
I “slept” in the airport- thank god for tetnus vaccinations, and woke up ready for all sorts of chaos but DETERMINED to get to Dayton that evening for my 6am flight to Montreal the following morning.
My flight had changed slightly. I was now scheduled to go LAX to SFO to DEN to DAY… ok. No big deal. An additional flight, right? What could go wrong?
…… Why did I have to ask that?
Our flight was delayed getting INTO sfo… and then delayed getting OUT of SFO. And by the time I arrived in Denver, it was Thursday evening of July 19th and I knew I wasn’t going to make it to Montreal.
I…. Make the really sad call to my parents.
I then stand in the never-ending line for a hotel pass- figuring I procrastinated on life enough and I should actually do something… While standing in line, I mentally decide that if I don’t get a hotel, I’ll go to see Batman in the closest theater- which probably won’t have tickets, but whatever, I’ll give it a go. I have hours to kill, so why not try, right?
Well… You’re smart, audience. You know exactly what happened in Aurora on July 20th…. During a batman screening.
My mom tells me this.
It doesn’t quite process…
I hang up, shower and get breakfast. I watch the horror that all of America watched that morning…..
I make my way to the airport. EARLY. I check into my flight. EARLY. The TSA agent was polite and really attentitive- which is, oddly, what I expected him to be after a mass shooting 17 miles from this location.
My flight was delayed, of course. Eff-you, Delta. But I finally made it to Dayton by noon.
The only thing this whole experience taught me- was that I CAN control some things….. Like my procrastination. And there are other things that I can’t control….. Like weather…. Tornados, hurricanes, and… wildfires. Oh- Right. This just in: I’m a wild land firefighter. Contract right now- but I’ve already fought a few! And it’s exhilarating! It’s probably the coolest adrenaline rush since I was in the Philippines.
But— what that means is that I’m probably not going to get my podcasts out on time….So- I’m taking a break. Until the season here in Minnesota dies down- which is June, apparently.
But stay tuned! I have a mini-series about packing coming up! I also had this cool podcast about Sarajevo- but that’s just gonna have to wait until I get it perfect. It deserves that.
In the meantime, if you’re aching for more stories…. You can go to my blog at LNLurie.com, reach me at [email protected] or my Facebook – which will have heaps of pictures uploaded kinda daily… www.facebook.com/whereisLN