'Trip from hell' was worth it
It was the trip from hell.
We had strict parameters for our departure and return, and I know from experience that if you take a "mosquito" out of Corpus Christi and change to a jumbo jet in Houston with only 37 minutes to change planes, it ain't gonna happen. We also needed to fly into DFW since the workshops were in Fort Worth.
I got three out of four right. By the time I found the right departure and arrival times, and confirmed that we would be transferring from one mosquito to another on both trips, I had completely lost sight of DFW versus DAL.
I paid for that. Dearly.
We arrived at our hotel in time to drop our suitcases in our rooms and meet for a 40-minute bus ride to a hotel in the stockyard district of Fort Worth where we had a Mexican dinner with our fellow "students."
We staggered into our rooms after 10 p.m. Mind you, this is on a Wednesday - press day. We had to leave the office before the paper "went to bed" - a very uneasy feeling on my part - so I'm feeling a bit anxious, not to mention foolish for having us land at Love Field.
(Make a note: We'd been sitting for eight hours by the time we got back to the hotel.)
The next morning we were in the lobby at 8:30 ready to board the bus for the ride to TCU (Texas Christian University) for the workshops. There, we were in session for three hours, broke for a buffet lunch that we ate "at our desks," then resumed the workshop, during which we jumped up to watch it snowing outside. We broke for dinner at a barbecue restaurant that was a bus ride away, then headed back to TCU for another two-and-half hours of work. It would have been three hours, but we started whining, crying and begging to go back to the hotel.
After sitting for 13 hours we got back to the hotel at about 10 p.m.
We were back in the lobby, suitcases in tow, at 8:30 the next morning, then boarded the bus to return to TCU for another three-hour session.
Jennifer and I had a, well, long, ride back to the airport, so we left a bit early to catch a taxi for the very expensive ride back to Dallas.
We arrived in plenty of time, and after a lunch of airport food, we saw the line to get through security had backed up. Once through, we raced to our gate, only to find that our flight was delayed. Asked if we'd be able to make our connecting flight, an off-duty ticket clerk with a large sense of humor told me Corpus Christi was completely shut down (just kidding!). Assuring us we'd make the connecting flight, she suggested we wait it out in the bar. We took her up on her suggestion.
Once in Houston, we again raced to our departure gate and, through a stroke of luck, were told by a ticket agent we had talked to that our departure gate had been changed, the plane had not arrived and we had plenty of time to get to the other gate. Whew!
That flight was also delayed, but not by much, so we stood in the crowded gate area with a young woman who had missed her own wedding, waiting for the plane that would "be here any minute". After many "any minutes" we boarded, and were quite ready for a stiff belt. Only we were in the last row, and by the time we got our drinks, it was time to land in Corpus Christi.
It could have been worse. We could have flown out of DFW, where we would have spent the night on cots.
Expensive cab right versus a night on a cot in an airport: Cab ride wins!
The bad news will show up on our scales after 24 hours straight of sitting interspersed with breaks to eat Mexican food and barbecue.
The good news is that we learned a lot, and over the next few months you'll see it showing up in the South Jetty. You might even notice a few things in this week's edition.