You know how sometimes you get a bad feeling about something? The weird guy standing on the corner. The glass of water you just sat down by your computer. That noise your iPod has started making. Intuition is real, guys. The night before I left for Las Vegas, I had a really bad feeling about the trip. While the convention went well and I learned a lot (which I'm very excited to implement at work!), the traveling portion was probably the most terrible experience of my life.
My flight to Las Vegas was delayed an hour due to a necessary repair. Totally fine, except we'd all already gotten on the plane and had to sit there for 45 minutes. I arrived in Vegas late, met one of the other people who was going, and got to the Monte Carlo, where we were staying and where the convention was being held. We were late to the start of the convention, but otherwise, everything was fine. I went out to dinner at a sports bar called the Pub, which had potentially the most adorable logo ever (whale!). I had a pomegranate mojito and the smoked gouda mac and cheese.
(I'm sorry this picture is blurry. I took my old point and shoot and I hate the inability to manually focus. But I had to get a picture of the awesomely garish carbet in the elevator.)
The only full day I was in Vegas was exhausting and led to my first breakdown. I went to workshops all day, ate the free (and delicious) lunch provided by the convention. By 7:00pm though, I was pretty much done with being around people and went back to my room and cried. I eventually emerged to get McDonald's (classy).
The last day was actually the day where I got very excited about the convention and started making lists of things I wanted to try at work. I was excited to get home and get back to work. However, I still had a nagging feeling in the back of my mind that something was going to get a little disrupted. I headed to the airport after the convention and immediately, things started to go wrong.
At the airport, the boarding pass kiosk couldn't find my reservation. I had to go through a few agents to get my boarding passes. During that time, I noticed that my duffel bag had been ripped at some people when it was being stored by the hotel's bell desk. I knew it wasn't going to make it through the airport or San Francisco (my connection), so I rushed to find a place to buy a new duffel bag. I found one for $30 at a store right outside security. It's the ugliest bag in the world, but it's not quite as garish as the other ones in the store, if you believe that. It has wheels though, so I went with it. I then gave my broken bag to the TSA at security, because I didn't want them to find it in the trash and shut down the airport. I don't know if they would, but it seemed like something the TSA would freak out about.
Going through security, my shampoo was suspect (apparently) and so they scanned it three times, then made me wipe a swipe of it across my hand. It was mostly just strange. They also scanned my iPad twice because obviously my iPad is secretly a tiny bomb.
Once in the airport, I spent a few hours waiting for my flight, only for it to be delayed right when it was supposed to start boarding. I couldn't find anyone to ask, until I went to another gate after another plane had boarded. The woman assured me I would still make my connection in San Francisco. However, the plane was delayed again. Then again. Then we were boarded... then deplaned... then boarded again. During this time, an agent got me a seat on a 3pm flight the next day because I wasn't going to make my connection... that was for sure. I was panicking and crying. She told me to ask to be put on stand-by for the 8:30 flight, which was the first one to Oregon of the day.
I arrived in San Francisco right at midnight. Everything was closed and I couldn't find a vending machine. I settled down on some benches to sleep and sort of nodded off for four hours. I woke up, brushed my teeth in the bathroom, and wandered around until a bagel shop opened.
After I ate, I talked to another agent who ut me on the 10:30 flight because there was an open seat, but there was something wrong with my ticket so she couldn't print a pass. She put me on stand-by on the 8:30 flight as well though, so I sat by that gate. Unfortunately, it was a full flight and everyone was checked in, so I didn't get a seat. I fell asleep after it boarded -- full on passed out really -- and woke up 30 minutes later to ask if I had a seat assignment for the 10:30 flight. I was told I wasn't on that flight, and I didn't have a seat. I was taken to customer service, where a woman snapped at me for crying and told me I was being a crybaby and there was no reason to be upset. Considering that she had presumably 1.) slept in a bed the night before, 2.) showered, and 3.) used a non-public bathroom at some point, she really had no right to tell me not to be upset.
She then told me that I wasn't on stand-by for the 10:30 flight anymore, but I had a seat assignment for the 5:30pm flight. I started crying harder because the thought of sitting in the airport the ENTIRE DAY was just nauseating. She got be back on the stand by list for the 10:30 flight though and sent me to that gate, which was a long ways away. I ran and got there. I went to the desk and asked what the likelihood of getting on the flight was. The agent told me it was really low. I sat down and sobbed hysterically. My mom called me then, and then my boss. I was crying so hard and obviously, everyone notices a hysterically sobbing girl. One guy -- who was going to Salt Lake -- asked me if I needed something to eat or drink; I said no, but thank you. He told me it would be okay. Right after that, another guy came up to me and handed me a little pack of tissues printed in a foreign language. He walked away and didn't say anything, but I said thank you after him. They look like they are from Hong Kong.
They started boarding the 10:30 flight, which was overbooked, so they had asked some people to volunteer to take a later flight. A few had, but they turned out not to need them, so they started paging them back. Thankfully (sorry people!), they had wandered too far away and started putting stand-bys on. And I got the last seat!!
I got back to Oregon at noon and my dad picked me up. He bought me some lunch and drove me home. I took a shower (which felt so nice) and went to sleep until 5. I woke up, bought a pizza, and then watched Grey's Anatomy with my mom. My parents are actually leaving for Las Vegas tomorrow, but they are driving, so they probably won't have as many problems!
I'm glad to be home. I have food to eat (that doesn't cost an arm and a leg); a functioning, private bathroom; and most importantly, a bed.
Regular posts will return soon!