Nov 11th and 12th
Seriously… I am convinced that I am cursed when it comes to airplanes now. The ratio of “good flights” to “wow this is a bad flight” is more than a little rediculous, and the flight from Tulsa to San Francisco was no exception.
It started out pretty solidly – I arrived at the airport a bit early with Jig and Dave, and we all hung out and chatted until about 10min before my flight started boarding. Yep, thats right. 10Min to get through security. And… I was waiting at the gate with 8min to spare. I love Tulsa airport, there was literally no line, and that 2min that it did take includes me loosing my camera and one of the security guards helping me find it. But once I got to the gate… that’s when it started going downhill. I noticed that everyone was lined up by the desk, instead of the gate, and that there was a big “DELAYED!!!” sign up on the departures board. Turns out that the flight that was bringing our plane from Houston hadn’t even arrived yet, due to a sick stewardess, and there was no way we were going to make any connecting flights.
With that nice piece of information I jumped into line to figure out the new plan. I called/texted everyone to let them know the deal (letting Dave know that I might need him to come pick me up again) and what was going on. Once I got to the desk I had a decision to make: stay in Tulsa overnight, fly out at 06:00 and get into San Fran in the afternoon, missing out on bouldering with my cousin. Or, I could fly into Denver that night, stay in a hotel courtesy of United Airlines, and get into San Fran around 08:00… but have to leave the hotel around 04:00. It was honestly not even a question in my mind.. even if United screwed me over and left me in the airport I’ve slept in worse places. And seriously? I was not making Dave wake up at 4:30 or so to drive me to the airport just so I could miss out on California bouldering. That’s a lose-lose situation my friends.
So I flew to Denver. It was a simple flight, one which I spent reading and napping. Once we finally arrived I headed towards the United courtesy booth to see if they’d actually give me a hotel. On the way I chatted with an older dude in the same boat as me, who happened to be an independent consultant working with a few brands in the Tulsa area. We chatted about life and forging your own path in the world, and he handed me a few pretty good pieces of advice… advice I plan on following if I ever get around to starting my own business.
Once I got to the courtesy booth they asked for my boarding pass, checked me in the system, and handed me a pair of vouchers; one for a hotel room and one for $15 worth of food. It took them 15min or so, all told. Hot damn I love America, this country is so much better than Brazil. I hunted down one of the buses that truck people between the hotel and the airport and headed towards some sleep. On the way I chatted with the folks on the bus, learning a bit about a cheating wife, a trip to Salt Lake City, and the advantages of Acupuncture and nerve-stimulation. Seriously, it was a really fun ride, made all the better because the woman doctor was totally hitting on me the entire time, heh.
Once I got to the hotel the checkin process took longer than nearly anything else that night, aside from the flight itself. But I did finally get checked in nearly an hour after first arriving in the hotel, and thankfully took a shower and crashed into bed. And then I learned that the room was clearly haunted.
I don’t scare easily. This is simply a fact. I enjoy hiking alone (sometimes at night), I can stare down thousand foot drops, and have played chicken with a lightening storm while tied to 40lbs of metal. I know when to be afraid and when not too… but this hotel room seriously scared the pants off me. The first time I took out my contacts, turned off the lights and curled up in bed I was nearly asleep before I started hearing thing. Now… I’ve stayed alone at the Loj and “heard things”, but this was different. I heard, very clearly, a dark and guttural voice telling me that I was going to die. It repeated itself before I finally gave in, flipped out, and turned on the lights. Obviously I was alone in the room. So I chided myself for being a pansy and went back to sleep. And again, right before I fell asleep, I was torn back to full conciousness. Not by a voice, but by a figure getting up from the chair in the room. Not a solid person, but a wisp of white… the simple idea of a person. THAT messed with my head, and I’m loath to admit it but the lights did not turn off for the rest of my stay at the hotel.
I did get some sleep, in the end, thanks to leaving the lights on. I don’t know if it actually kept the spirits away, or it was simply enough to quell my crazy mind. But either way, I slept for a few short hours before my alarm pulled me from sleep and I packed up to head back to the airport. Thankfully the rest of the trip to San Francisco was uneventful, and I found myself at the gate early enough to spare some time to turn in my food ticket for a breakfast sandwich, a drink, and an extra BLT for the flight. And let me tell you, that was one damn fine BLT.
The rest was simple. I flew, napped, read, landed, ate my sandwich, took the BART, and met Emma. Baseline? United hooked me up well, I love the USA, Bacon is awesome, and I love my Kindle. Ohh. And ghosts suck. But only if they scare me at night. Otherwise? We cool ghosts. We cool.