we drop the kids off @ kim's @ 8:30 (thx kim!) and head to the airport
our plane leaves at 12:40, and for international, dad always likes us to be there 3 hours early
a half hour before we land, the pilot interrupts our nap over the intercom.
he rambles on, i think it's kinda weird. just get to the point.
"... and because of severe weather, we are going to be in a holding tank and can't land at dallas fort worth (dfw). now, they did give us some extra gas back in phx, so i'm not too worried." (i am at this point. i hadn't thought of having enough gas
until he mentioned it).
"we can circle for a half hour to an hour without any trouble".
we continue to circle. turbulence.
gar's face is white. he puts headphones on.
"we are getting low on fuel so we are going to land at dfw now. prepare for landing."
10 seconds later:
"dfw air traffic control changed their mind, the storm is bad and all air traffic is on hold. we will continue to circle." ( i see another plane not too far off circling, it makes me a little uncomfortable. then we are both engulfed in clouds. nice.) turbulence.
20 minutes later, pilot:
"i just got off with air traffic. we are getting low on fuel and truthfully, i'm not very optimistic about our fuel situation." not very optimistic?? who is this guy? "we could either land in oklahoma, or an air strip over in louisiana, but i don't think w
e'll make it that far." fine, just do what you need to do. make a decision! gar's face is green, knuckles white. he's praying.
"we have been routed to wichita falls where we will refuel and wait
until further notice." (this is up by the panhandle of oklahoma, 3 hours driving distance from dallas. a fellow passenger showed us the map on his ipad, along with the storm system. those things are so handy!)
"no, we will just land in dallas now. prepare for landing.
they have stopped all traffic. we are headed to wichita falls." really?
"we are first in line for refueling. we should be outta here ver
y soon. i do want to let you know you have the right to deplane now, if you choose."
that's all g needed. he wanted to get 0ff, rent a car, and DRIVE home. we were 18 hours away. he wasn't going back up into that storm system. i really didn't want to
drive home. then he said he would just drive to dallas if i wanted. sigh. i said we were just minutes away from refueling, we could just stay the night, wait out the storm and take the next flight out to guatemala tomorrow. maybe even see rob (his bro), melissa and kids. we've never visited them in the 5 years they've lived in dallas. he was very reluctant. but we did just that.
by the time we landed, over 3 HOURS late, our connecting flight had left us. because it was weather related, the airline didn't put us up in a hotel, but gave u
s a discounted rate. as we were off to take the hotel shuttle, we called rob & melis to ask them if they wanted to meet for dinner. rob just came and picked us up. we stayed at their house, borrowed pj's and toiletries, (our luggage was checked to guatemala!), had a hot shower and a soft bed, and an awesome visit!! it couldn't have been a better layover. it was very serendipitous. we laughed that it took a missed connecting flight to get us out to visit
family! i'm so glad it happened. we talked late and slept in. ahhhh. the next day, they took us to a nearby mall that had a WAVE inside the surf shop. rob and g paid for a 1/2 hour and surfed while we watched through the window. so cool!
then rob dropped us off @ the airport and we caught the plane to guat city where mom and dad greeted us. we were sad to miss the first day of the tour, but it was ok. then off to our hotel, vista
real. it was heavenly!!
thanks rob and melis!! it was so much fun!