Sunday, September 23, 2012

Travel: Just Rolling With It 2.0

I'm used to airports bustling with travelers arriving, departing and running to make their connecting flight.  To have it empty, save but the few of us who opted to spend the night, is a bit unnerving.  To say it was a restless night would be an understatement.  I kept waking up every hour with that sinking feeling that I was going to miss my flight.  Around 6:00 AM I woke up to the smell of sausage McMuffins (yes, Gate A23 was next to a McDonald's).  Bleary-eyed I made my way over and proceeded to order 2 sausage McMuffins and a large sweet tea...just what I needed.

They're version of a bed...(taken with Olloclip)
Fingers crossed it stays like this...(taken with Olloclip)
What beauty sleep?
By noon hunger took over and I woke up to recorded announcement of places to eat at the airport...all I remember hearing was "Jamba Juice."  I strapped on my heavy backpack, picked up my tripod (bags are not to be left unattended) and walked over to the nearest information desk (near Gate A17) to ask where the Jamba Juice was located.  I was told it was in Terminal D.  Say what?! Below is the PHL terminal map. Gate A23 is in the lower left side, Jamba Juice was in Terminal D by Gate D6 on the lower right.  Remember I'm carrying close to 40 lbs. of equipment.  Was I hungry enough for my usual original size non-dairy aloha pineapple (no pineapple sherbet, no yogurt, substitute all sorbet) with soy protein?  What do you think?

The flight to Frankfurt was uneventful.  I was told upon arrival to make my way over to the Lufthansa Air Service desk to get my seating assignment.  I gave him the print outs I was given by the US Airways representative.  He looks at them and asks "Where is your ticket? This just shows you have a booking."  After I told him that was all I was given, he attempted to find me a seat and ticket with the documents I gave him.  I could tell by the look on his face this was not going to be easy.  He then referred me to another Lufthansa representative who attempted to do the same.  She asked that I return at 8:00 AM when the US Airways desk opens so that she can call them to straighten things out.  She reassured me that we would work it all out.  I promptly returned at 8:00 AM, and she happily called US Airways. Five minutes later I had a ticket and seating assignment.  I thanked her for her taking care of me, and she wished me a safe flight and good time in Dublin.  Patience, a smile, and willingness to help someone in need makes all the difference.

Yay!!!  I'm finally on my way to Dublin!!!

Frankfurt Terminal modern. (taken with Olloclip)
European flavor KitKat...makes it all worth it. (Olloclip)
Mondo Bar & Caffe Terminal B (Olloclip)
Lufthansa cabin looked brand clean.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Travel: Just Rolling With It

For the past month I've been planning and anxiously waiting to start my two week European adventure. First stop Dublin.  So I'm at SFO, I've buckled my seatbelt and the plane is sitting on the tarmac waiting to take off for Philly.  The flight attendants' arms are gyrating in the air as they review emergency procedures, and then I hear the captain's voice.  The only thing going through my head is "Please no delay" "Please no delay" "Please no delay"...NOT!  The flight is DELAYED due to tornado warnings.  Tornado warnings?! In Philly?! Really?!

I'm not the only who missed a connection.
At this point I figure I have two options.  a) stress out and have a total meltdown or b) just roll with it.  I'm not happy, but I decide to roll with it.  All I can do is hope we arrive early enough to make my connecting flight to Dublin, Ireland.  We arrive at Gate connecting flight is at Gate A8.  Just picture me making a mad dash with about 30 lbs. of camera equipment and 17" Macbook Pro on my back and Manfrotto tripod slung over my shoulder.  Mind you I'm not dressed for a mad dash.  I'm wearing a water resistant "parka", 508 tapered Levi's cargo pants, and my favorite pair of To Boot New York slip on boots.

Gate A23 taken with olloclip for iPhone.
I'm short of breath and sweating as I near Gate A8...with no plane in sight.  I missed my connection by 20 minutes.  The attendant at the counter quickly goes to work to get me on the next flight out to Dublin...Gate A23 4:20 pm Wednesday, 9/19 via Frankfurt, Germany.  I guess I'll be sleeping overnight at PHL Gate A23.  My three day visit to Dublin just became two.  Oh, well...I'll definitely be needing a pint or two of Guinness.