An epic ten hours in the making!

So, getting back to my Mysticon trip … I could not, of course, pass up the Sherlock Holmes and Time Travel panels at the con. Unfortunately that left me wrapping up at 1 pm, and the best flight out didn’t happen until 4:30, putting me in at RDU at 9:30. Sheesh! But as things turned out, my reaction to that schedule was “ah, if only …”

After I wrapped up the time travel panel, I wandered around for a bit, but I think I was pretty wiped by that point (like most introverts, I enjoy social contact, but it tires me out). Plus I had to have my bags with me and my bulging backpack made it impractical to maneuver through the still-crowded halls. So I threw in the towel, called Lyft and headed to the airport really early.

Roanoke Airport is small, though with slightly more gates than Okaloosa County’s airport (six vs. four). The coffee guy at Mysticon had run out of tea (well tea I like, if I wanted something fruit flavored he had plenty) so I figured I’d down some as soon as I made it through the gate. Which was slow, and included a patdown in personal areas — the body scan somehow red flagged my underwear as making it look like there was something possibly stuffed in there. Besides the obvious, I mean.

Once I was through, I looked around for the Starbucks, Caribou Coffee or whatever … ooops. There was one place with coffee, but no tea on the menu. I eventually realized they had some on the counter, but it was crappy stuff, so I skipped it and decided to wait for the Charlotte layover, which would run 2.5 hours. Plenty of time to eat and get some tea. I did try to buy a veggie sandwich but the place was out of them.

I was understandably disappointed when the departure time got pushed back by 30 minutes, then by an hour. Though it could have been worse: the two flights to CLT (Charlotte Airport; the abbreviation generates lots of “clit” jokes among some of my friends) after mine got canceled due to high winds. The desk clerk was talking about chartering a bus when I left.

When we finally arrived in Charlotte, I made my way to the D terminal where my plane would be (you can see the terminal below). It’s a very spread out terminal so it was quite a walk. But once I was there, I got a veggie sandwich on a bagel, then hit Starbucks.

I had plenty of time. The airline was missing a crew member and he/she/they wouldn’t be on hand until 10 PM, putting me back in Durham at 11:15. I was not pleased (you may have guessed this).

The long wait at CLT actually exhausted the reading material I’d brought with me. Of course, I had the new books I bought at Mysticon, but I didn’t want to start them ahead of the books I bought at Illogicon. I would have, probably, but I’d also put a couple of PDFs in my phone and wound up reading about the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund (I’ll cover that in a later post). I was almost done when we touched down at RDU.

A taxi ride and I was home around 11:30. I hugged TYG and the dogs, then collapsed into bed.

A great trip overall, but American Airlines blew the landing (ROFL).

#SFWApro. Image is mine, all rights to plane remain with current holder.


Filed under Personal

3 responses to “An epic ten hours in the making!

  1. Pingback: February staggers to its finish | Fraser Sherman's Blog

  2. Zosimus the Heathen

    Hey, I’ve been to Charlotte airport too! I had a layover (of probably an hour or so) there during a flight from Washington DC to Atlanta, though don’t remember much about the place. I do recall the bookstores there being well-stocked with “inspirational” (read evangelical Christian) material, though; indeed, that seemed to be something common to all the “red state” airports I spent time in. Just an interesting little observation I made.

    During my last trip to the States, I saw the insides of quite a few airports, and found them quite the mixed bag. My favourites were probably Phoenix (which certainly had the best airport bookstore I’ve ever seen, anywhere), Albuquerque (just a very clean, attractive-looking place), and, interestingly enough, Los Alamos. I think I liked the last one so much because it was charmingly small (it put me in mind of some of the country airports I’ve been to here in Australia) and because you simply had to show up there half an hour before your flight was due to depart (there was none of that security theatre bullshit to endure beforehand). Oh, and also the fact that my flight from that airport was on a small plane and actually *felt* like a flight (as opposed to an exceedingy long, exceedingly cramped, and exceedingly boring bus ride). Too bad it was all over in about twenty minutes.

    As for bad airports, the hands-down worst offender there would have to be LAX. Seriously, for such a large and busy airport, it’s so freaking BORING! I remember having to be there at least three hours before my flight back home left (as the security theatre bullshit was most definitely in effect there!), and after I got through security, I discovered to my horror there was absolutely nothing to do on the other side of the security barrier. Oh, there were a few fast food outlets and some crappy souvenir shops but that was about it! Pathetic! 0/10! Oh, and of course my flight ended up being massively delayed there too!

    • I’ve been to LAX and yes, it ain’t much. Atlanta Airport surprises me because it shuts down surprisingly early in the evening (I’ve been stuck going through there late a couple of times).

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