Finally, we opted for an early morning Thanksgiving Day flight. We would leave early and arrive in Norfolk in time to drive across the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel to our destination on Virginia’s Eastern Shore, arriving in time for the late afternoon meal. But we were surprised when we found out that our layover along the way turned out not to be Atlanta or Charlotte, but DETROIT instead. That’s right, Detroit. The change was necessitated by backlogs in the other cities and they assured me we would make it to Norfolk by two in the afternoon despite a rather lengthy layover.
The trip held true to expectations and we arrived right on schedule, quickly picked up a rental car and made it to our children’s grandmother’s house by half past four, just before the meal was served. It was a delicious meal, great company and we visited until Monday when we flew back to Jacksonville and that’s where the problems began. We took off from Norfolk just before noon but as we flew over the clouds, the Captain announced that Wayne County Airport in Detroit was getting snow and we would be delayed on arrival. We circled the airport for nearly forty minutes before finally landing and with construction underway, movement along the corridors was slow. As I looked at my watch approaching the Jacksonville gate counter, I realized we had missed our takeoff time but, checking in, a very cheerful lady at the counter said, no, we were okay for the departure of the flight had been delayed by the snow. It was then quarter to three, the old departure time would have been two-twenty and now nobody knew when the flight might depart. Told the earliest possible takeoff time would four thirty, we went to get something to eat in what was now a madhouse. We ended up sitting on the floor until eight o’clock when they announced the flight would begin boarding in half an hour.
As we sat down at last aboard our flight around nine, the line up of planes to take off was a long one. One runway was closed due to the snow and we finally were airborne at quarter to ten, arriving in Jacksonville just before the bewitching hour of midnight. We were the last flight in to Jacksonville and grabbed our bags and jumped the final shuttle to the parking lots. When all was said and done, we were home at half past one in the morning and I had to be at work at seven. Needless to say, the next day was a long one and I slept well the next night. I’m glad we went but I wouldn’t want to do it again like that and as I thought about the situation, it brought back memories of an even worse experience when I was traveling through Chicago on the day before Christmas Eve, but that’s a memory for another day. Life: we have to live with what we are dealt and deal with it or we’d never survive for long. And isn’t it a good thing that the mind remembers the good things and the less enjoyable ones become funny over time. Maybe that’s what helps us survive and thrive in our earthly adventure.