Thursday, May 19, 2011

Tide Pools And Airport Stays

Today my daddy, Al Gross, interviewed me on his show in St. Louis at KXEN am 1010. I think he had me for most of the hour. We had a good time chatting and discussing life. We talked about our trip to the tide pools and I promised to post some pictures from the trip.

I feel kind of bad because Sarah (my sister) was there, she was using her camera, and she took all of the pictures, so there are none of her. I didn't even think to ask her if she wanted some pictures of herself on her own camera! I'm ashamed. Anyway, she got some good ones of Dad and me. ;)

I was looking back to see if I had posted any of these pictures on my blog previously, but it turns out that I didn't get around to it. I also forgot to write about my 24 hour stay at chez LAX, which is actually a very good story, so I'll post the pictures and reminisce about my time stuck in the airport.

Sarah (on the left) and me overlooking the Ojai Valley on Dad's personal history tour.

Dad holding an octopus that we found at the tide pools in Ventura, CA.

A smaller octopus that clung to a rock for camouflage. Can you see it there? It's easier to find if you're looking for legs.

I finally worked up the courage to hold a smaller octopus!

I love this picture of Dad.

A hermit crab we found. I think Dad has owned those shorts since the 80s.

None of us knew what these were. We found them under a rock, and they slowly shrunk back down into the dirt after we exposed them.

Sea anemone.

The carcass of a horseshoe crab.

Cool rocks.

A barnacle and the underside of a sea anemone.

So! My stay in LAX happened this way: I was on a budget. A man from my church is retired from Delta Airlines, so he used his perks to get me an inexpensive, but bump-able seat on a flight to LA and back to Atlanta. I took the shuttle from Ventura to LAX. The shuttle left at 4 pm, and I had the last plane out of town. They boarded the flight, and instead of calling the stand-bys to get on, the senior flight attendant decided to shut the plane and take-off, even though there was plenty of room on the flight.

Of course, I didn't realize that I had the last flight out of town, and that I was in for the experience of my life. After my flight left me, the airport cleared out pretty quickly and suddenly there was just me and about five other people in the whole terminal. I was going to get to sleep in the airport! I grabbed my heavy carry-on bag, and I decided that it was time to settle in. I scrunched up on the seat, and tried to use my bag as a pillow, but I just couldn't get comfortable. After a while of this, one of the other young ladies in the terminal said to me, "Excuse me, but you'll be a lot more comfortable if you stretch your legs across the aisle and prop them up on the seats across from you, then put your bag in your lap and rest your head on it." It turned out she was the daughter of a Delta pilot, and had had lots of experience flying stand-by and consequently, sleeping in airport terminals. While propping my feet up was better, it still wasn't comfortable, and I mostly cat napped for most of the night, maybe getting a total of 90 minutes to 2 hours of sleep.

The airport filled up in the morning, and the six other displaced passengers and I started the process of moving from terminal to terminal in hopes of finding a flight with an empty seat to Atlanta. As we moved from one flight waiting area to another, the other stand-bys and I started to chat each other up. It started with the self-deprecating and good-natured looks we gave each other every time we had to haul our bags to the next terminal. Before long we were talking to each other about who we were and what we were doing. The girl that talked to me the night before and I stuck pretty close together and there were two other men that we spent a lot of time with. One of the guys bought us lunch. We told each other stories, and I went over to the gift shop to buy a pack of cards. The other girl and I played a game called speed. In the afternoon, she finally caught a flight! I was happy for her, but sorry to see her go. I gave her my contact information, but it changed pretty soon afterward, and I wonder if she ever tried to call. It would have been fun to see her again. I got a flight in the evening, and finally made it home in time for breakfast the next morning.

It was exhausting and could have been a pretty rotten experience if people had decided to be crabby about being stuck in a crowded airport terminal hauling our heavy bags all over the place. Fortunately we were having so much fun getting to know strangers, that it turned out to be one of the highlights of my trip! I was glad to get home, and I slept for hours once I got there. I wish I had written down more about it right after it happened, because it made a great story, and I know there are details that I've forgotten by now.

So there you have it! I hope you enjoyed the photos, and the story about being stuck forever at the airport. Feel free to leave comments, I always like hearing from new people. Personal shout-out to David Klaus. I hope you got to hear me today!

1 comment:

timpani76 said...

Sounds like a great adventure! I love traveling because something exciting and fun always happens when you least expect it ;)