Thursday, May 23, 2019


Getting to the boat in New York was more difficult than it should have been. And now that we're here, we're not sure what to do next.

I have a tradition of playing Bob Seger's great rocker, Get Out Of Denver, whenever we're getting ready to leave Denver to head to the boat at the beginning of every boating season. The idea is that the hectic nature of the song matches our anticipation of being out of the mountains and high desert plains of Colorado and getting back to sea level and on our boat, Why Knot. 

Usually, we do pretty well traveling. We very rarely have to scramble, and our penchant for planning and Lisa's wizardry at booking flights and hotels usually makes for a hassle-free experience. But the omens that presented themselves to us while getting out of Denver this time were not good ones. 

First was getting to the airport. We always use Super Shuttle and have found them to be reliable and cost-effective. Denver International Airport is an hour's drive from our house, but its automatic scheduling function always allowed for plenty of time to make the trip. This time they did send us a rescheduling notice that they were going to pick us up twenty minutes earlier than originally scheduled: 4:20am instead of 4:40am. No big deal. But the reason they did that was that they added three hotel pickups downtown. That did not go as they anticipated. Everyone was in position and ready, that wasn't the problem, but the schedule was too tight to get all of us to the airport in a timely fashion. 

You know how it is said to get to an airport two hours before your flight? How about one hour and fifteen minutes? (All of us passengers had departure times at 7:00am, and we arrived at DIA at 5:45am.) And that was before standing in as long a security checkpoint line as I've ever seen in Denver. And why? They added a new row of guide ropes that channeled every single flyer to be sniffed by a bomb dog. Great.

Lisa was unusually nervous about the whole thing. (The tight schedule, not the bomb-sniffing dog.) She's cool as a cucumber under pressure, but this whole thing threw her demeanor to crap. I have to admit I was perturbed too – angry actually – and my mind went into crisis management mode. I called Super-Shuttle while we stood in the checkpoint line and read them the riot act, which did nothing except make me feel like I was in control of something. But fear not, we got through the checkpoint and made it to the concourse trains. No problem there, except that damn prerecorded Colorado cowboy was incredibly chirpy for that time of the morning. 

Of course, our flight was on Southwest Airlines whose gates are on C concourse, the furthest away from the terminal, and particularly at gate C-46, one gate shy of being the furthest away from, well, everything. But we hustled like crazy and got to the gate where we discovered ... there wasn't an airplane for us to be late for. Our original flight plan wasn't terrible except for the early flight time out of Denver. We were going to Baltimore first for a three-hour layover. That was okay with us. BWI actually is a very friendly airport with lots of places to eat, and we figured we'd get a nice lunch and wait for our puddle-jumper flight from Baltimore to Rochester, NY. No big deal.

But our flight out of Denver was delayed 2½ hours. We were afraid that would cascade to make us miss our flight out of Baltimore. And it almost did. That is except after we scrambled to get from our arrival gate to our departure gate in Baltimore ... there wasn't a plane for the flight to Rochester either. We were forty-five minutes delayed getting out of Baltimore. By the time we arrived at Rochester, got out luggage, got our rental car, and checked into our room at the hotel, it was 7:00. Accounting for time zone changes, we were on the road, er, air, thirteen hours, and it seemed we spent all of it scrambling.

But, as I'll tell you in the next post, WE MADE IT TO NEW YORK. NOW WHAT? PART 2, that all now seems like mere inconveniences.

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