Tuesday, June 3, 2008

My CrossFit getaway to Chicago: Day 1- Flying



Ah yes. I'm a little sentimental. Here it is. My first boarding pass. Chicago was such an eventful trip that I really have to break it down. Otherwise, it'd just be toooo long, even for my usual long-winded self. :) So let's start on Friday shall we? Well, Cara was right on time to pick me up and get me to the airport and I was feeling pretty good. I had had a bunch of people tell me what to expect so I felt pretty confident in things. I found American no problem and went in line. I tried to check in, but it wouldn't let me! Stinkin' thing. There was a problem with my ticket. Strike one. But luckily the people at the ticket counter were not busy and very helpful, and so they corrected things. They actually bumped me ahead a flight because all flights to O'Hare were being delayed due to bad weather. So the 645 flight was actually leaving at 745 and so they moved me ahead and got me on that flight. They even upgraded me to Economy Plus. OOOOOOOOhhhhh... I must've been cute... :) LOL. It was actually really nice though because I had a lot more leg room and a very cushy seat. :) But anyhoo, that was redemption. :)

Then I struck out to find security, which in all honesty wasn't really hard and I made it through without any cavity searches. Apparently I don't look suspicious... hmmm... if only they knew... ;) Anyhoo, I found that Raegan was an actually semi-pleasant place to be and I even went Zone friendly for a grilled chicken salad from Fuddruckers before I took off. As I was finishing dinner, they began boarding, so I grabbed my bag and prepared for my first official steps on an airplane. Well, I handed the lady my boarding pass and away I went. In plenty of time for the flight. Well, I found my cushy seat and got comfy and began to bubble report cards. I was getting a little antsy to get rolling when the anvil fell. "Uh, ladies and gentleman, as you know there is bad weather at O'Hare......" Takeoff scheduled for 8:08. Ok, not bad. Doable. Only 20 minutes late. I bubbled away in content (well or as much content as I could have with a hand cramp) Then, the crushing blow. "Folks it looks like O'Hare has called a ground stop and they're not accepting any planes. The earliest we can take off is 8:30. We must be in the air by 8:42." Oh God. I'm feeling claustrophobic and my head is hurting from the cabin air. I thought to myself that I was surely going to lose my mind. I was of course the picture of utter serenity and calm. *snicker* Not even close. I was gripping my pencil way too tight, and praying the plane would take off. My nerves were eating at my stomach.

But next thing I knew, we were asked to turn off all electronics and the engines were roaring. Before I could really think too much about it, I felt the plane tip up and I was airborn. I was very proud of myself for not freaking out, and not crying. I was a bit proud of the fact that I'd actually gotten to and on the plane. I guess it just felt like further proof to me of my own strength. There really is no reason to be afraid of planes and flying. I felt like I had taken another huge step. I'm not sure where the step was to, but a step nonetheless.

The flight itself was utterly amazing. Pardon me while I wax all philosophic, but if you've ever flown, did you really ever stop to look out the window? Have you ever wondered and marveled at it all? To be up that high where all you see are giant puffy clouds? Where you can actually see a thunderstorm forming right before your eyes, and see the lightening flashing in the skies long before it strikes down? It was amazing to watch, and unbelievably beautiful. Needless to say, the flight was distracting me from the bubbling. :) About 30 miles from O'Hare we hit some minor turbulence which was not as scary as I had anticipated. As worried as I was about getting through Reagan, I really should have worried about getting through O'Hare. The place was gigantic! I'm told, after the fact, that O'Hare is the busiest airport in North America. Not sure if it's true, but it felt true. I finally found baggage claim over in BFE, then gave Tanya a ring. She was right on the ball and came to rescue me from the airport. Let me just say that I'll probably say this a few more times over the course of my Chicago posts, but Tanya was super cool. From the second she picked me up, I felt like she was a friend I had had for years but just hadn't hung out with in awhile. And I think it's totally cool that I never would have met her without CrossFit. Just one more thing I can thank CrossFit for. :) Meeting even more amazing people.

I was going to go hang out with Tanya and her softball team, but once we hit the hotel room, I had to bail. Our CrossFit am workout plus teaching the whole day, plus grading stress, plus the flight stress had zapped me completely. I chatted with Georgia for a little bit but it wasn't long before my head was on that pillow, and once it was, I was out like a light. I did not move until the wake up call the next day. I know my night sounds lame... but I knew I had Windy City and my 5K to come. So I took it easy... but don't worry... that didn't last too long... ;) Stay tuned for Day 2-Windy City CrossFit, Navy Pier, and Georgia's and my Romantic Date... :)

10 comments:

Brad said...

FUN!!!

Kim said...

Katie! I almost email you about the clouds. I remember being on the plane for the first time and taking LOTS and LOTS of pictures of the stinkin clouds. A little embarrassed when I got the photos back, but they were just so beautiful. It is so fun to look down at our earth. Can't wait to read more of your adventure.

Tanya said...

Yay! I felt the same way about you too! My favorite part had to be calling you my "internet friend"...lol

Katie said...

Brad, unbelievably fun. But there is more to come!

Kim, I'm a little bit of a nature geek at times. I really just couldn't get over how beautiful and how different the view was from up there. It really was amazing. Especially the forming thunderstorms.

Tanya, I do have to say, when your friend was like, how did you two meet, I really wanted to laugh. You are certainly a wonderful "internet friend" to have! :)

Jerry said...

i just realized you were flying to chicago at the same time i was driving there. since you landed safely i can now tell you that storm system produced large hail, lightning, and tornadoes in indiana and illinois. good times.

and all you had was a little turbulence? not too shabby.

Brian said...

FYI... Atlanta has the busiest airport by flights and passengers in the world. O'Hare used to be the busiest up until 2004. Sorry, traveling every week tends to drill in dumb stats like that.

Also, if you liked the view from there, wait til you fly over the Rockies or into Vegas at night. Definitely some cool views.

Brad said...

The first time I ever flew was in a hot-air balloon! Next time, in a private plane (propellers and I sat in the co-pilot seat)!

My favorite flight (NOT!!) was a 24hr trip from the UAE to Atlanta.

Most afraid - flying into Boston 2 years ago during the Valentines Day blizzard.

I love to travel...

Katie said...

Jerry, I'm glad you waited until now to tell me! I probably would have freaked out for sure!

Brian, thanks for setting the record straight. I still need to catch up with you about Rainier. I didn't get to see the pictures yet and I only got the abbreviated story!

Brad, somehow I think a hot air balloon would be way cool. I'm curious... why was that your first?

Brad said...

I was a kid. A friend of my dad had a balloon...

Katie said...

Aha... fair enough! :)