Seanie and I were dropped off at San Jose's airport at half past six in the morning. Our flight wasn't until 8:40 but after the nightmare security lines I experienced in Chicago last month, I didn't want to take any chances that we might miss our flight. Luckily, our line was on the normal-to-short end of the spectrum, and we were through after half an hour or so.
The first leg of our flight was fine. Friendly Southwest employees, take-off was on time, and we were given cookies to snack on in addition to the usual little bag of peanuts. But when we landed in Dallas things quickly took a turn for worse.
Nobody likes layovers, but this one was okay. De-plane around 2:30, get onto the next one around 4:30. Two hours? Not so bad. But when we actually arrived at the airport, we learned that our plane was delayed in San Diego and would not make it into Dallas Love Field until after 9:00 pm. That's an hour after we were supposed to arrive at our final destination! The only explanation we were offered for the delay was there was a personnel issue in San Diego.
Seanie asked if there was anything they could do. A Southwest representative managed to locate another flight for us to Orlando by way of New Orleans. We'd still have to cool our heels in Dallas for a while, but even with the detour to Louisiana we'd reach our destination a couple of hours before our original flight's new estimated arrival time. So we switched the tickets and comforted ourselves with the thought of beignets in New Orleans.
The Southwest terminal in New Orleans, it turns out, doesn't have beignets. No matter, our layover was only about half an hour so by the time we'd walked the terminal and hit the restaurants, it was time to board our third plane.
We managed to score sweet seats at the front of the plane with plenty of leg room. Sean and I stretched out to wait. And wait. And wait..? What's going on? After the entire plane was boarded and we'd been sitting for about twenty minutes without moving, a stewardess announced that the co-pilot hadn't yet arrived so we couldn't take off. His arrival was anticipated in an hour or so.
AN HOUR OR SO?
Luckily, they let us off the plane until the co-pilot showed up. I think I would have gone nuts sitting in that cabin with no air conditioning in stuffy, humid New Orleans. Once back in the terminal, Seanie and I scanned our food options. We could eat Lucky Dog hotdogs or Zatarain's Kitchen, pick up some po' boys at a kiosk, or eat prepackaged meals from one of the markets.
We ended up at Zatarain's for the simple reason that it was the only full-service restaurant in the terminal. The food itself was all super-heavy and greasy, as Southern cuisine trends, and it did not sound the least bit appetizing. On the plus side, they were serving tiki drinks so I could at least take comfort in a good ol' Hurricane. Anything is better than being trapped in that airplane cabin for an extra hour!
Our arrival time in Orlando is currently estimated around 11:00 pm, I think. By the time we get our bags and drive out to Alexis' house, where we're staying, it'll be midnight or later. Children's Institute starts right at 7:30 am tomorrow morning and runs 'til late; I hope I won't be too much of a zombie for it.