The day started out at 4am with a quick shower, and a dash out the door. The seven block commute at this ungodly hour would be bleak enough, but it was also pouring rain and I was walking. It was about 2/3 of the way to Cultural Center station that I realized that I forgot to bring my hat with me, and with this late of a start it was way too late to go back for it.
I wasn’t waiting at the station all that long when I could hear a train departing from Mt Royal station. Unfortunately, it was a “Penn-Camden,” and I was still behind schedule. It wouldn’t be the last setback of the day, but it was the last one that was my undeniably MY fault.
According to the MTA website, the trip from Mt Royal to BWI takes 35 minutes. However, due to the weather, the train lost power twice. They were relatively brief – maybe a minute or two – but they meant I didn’t make it to the airport until well after 5am. Did I mention my flight was at 6:50am?
The check-in process went relatively smoothly, but it was the 30 wait at security that nearly cost me my flight. Okay, that’s not quite true as I was able to stop and eat a rather disappointing breakfast sandwich from the McDonald’s across from my gate.
I hate long flights. This one was no exception, Sure, it was largely free of turbulence, but I never bought a puzzle or regular magazine on the way to the gate so I had little to do on the flight. Also, they didn’t provide any standard complimentary snacks on board (unless I was will to $2.50 for a tiny bag of airline pretzels), thankfully soft drinks were still free.
We landed at Phoenix, Skyharbor (PHX) just after 10:15am MST, meaning it was too late to get breakfast and too early to get lunch and stopping for either for meant risking my connection…or so I thought. I hadn’t considered it would rain in Phoenix, nor that said rain might effect the times for arrival\departure.
It was only about 20 or so minutes late arriving, but it took several minutes to get everybody off their plane and an even longer time to get everyone in the packed waiting area onto it. However, we were only an hour behind schedule when we pulled out of the gate.
There I was in the air spending the next five hours and four minutes (it felt like 10) getting elbowed in the stomach as the woman next to me did her crossword, read a book, took a drink of her soda or any other action that required even the slightest arm movement.
I would have pulled out my NDS, but I couldn’t reach it as the seat in front of me was reclined. Ditto if I wanted to do one of those crossword books I didn’t have time to look for on my way to the gate.
When we (finally) landed in Phoenix, it was raining. I left a city that was raining just to arrive in a desert city where it was also raining. This rain pushed the incoming flight back about 20 minutes. I already missed the lunch I had planned in the hotel (Storytellers, which is supposed to be one of their “signature restaurants”) so I was officially in no rush to get there.