Once a source of "Not all you want to know about Texas Adventure Racing," but now just some "leisure" adventure through the eyes of "The K-SPoT"

Monday, September 26, 2005

Post-Rita Report

Alright. So I made it out of Houston in time, right before they started to cancel flights. How do I know? I had a cell phone update telling me the flight I was supposed to get on Friday was cancelled. I actually have to thank Sam who relayed something our neighbor, a pilot, was telling him. He was saying that not even the pilots were making it to the airport because of the mass exodus out of Houston that was in effect. It was total chaos--all highways heading out were gridlocked...no one was moving. So seconds after Sam told me this, I packed one backpack full of clothes, packed my laptop, and loaded up my car with water and snacks...just in case. I tried to go get gas the night before at about 4am but stations were either out of gas or the lines were several cars deep. So I was operating on only a half tank of gas. Normally, not even a thought of if I could make it to the airport, but today was different. I was hearing stories of people taking 12hrs just to get from 610 to the beltway on 45, I10, or 290...your choice.

I knew if I was to get to the airport under double digit hours, I would have to take ninja routes not on the highways. So I did as soon as I jumped in the car. It was working well at first: Kansas to I10 feeder to Shepherd north to Tidwell east to Aldine Westfield north...this is where it slowed to a halt. This was the route I decided on earlier when using my mapping software (I also was using my gps on the fly) and the lady on the news also recommended Aldine Westfield. Either everyone heard her recommendation or she had no idea what she was doing. It was terrible. When I finally made it to the beltway feeder I got off Aldine Westfield and headed east and took JFK north the rest of the way. It was smooth again. I'm sure there was a faster way (some guy confirmed this to me when he said he left from the Galleria area and was able to get to the airport in 1.5hrs...it took me 2+hrs).

The airport wasnt that much better...there was hardly any parking left and I had to park on the top floor of the garage...not a threat to flooding, but definitely exposed to high winds, driving rain, and random debris. I said a prayer and left Audi. I'm sorry Audi. Anyway, I got inside and it was chaos again! Apparently only 20% of the airport employees showed up to work so there were not enough people to efficiently serve all the passengers. I was really getting worried. I only had carry on baggage so I tried to just use a kiosk to sign in, but something was wrong. It didn't recognize my reservation. Trouble. I sat in one of the lines and finally got to the front and the nice lady was still having trouble identifying my reservation. I told her "I have the confirmation number!" She says jokingly angry "Show me!" I pulled out my computer and let her read it off. Okay, the problem was that my name on my Expedia account says FARROWPHD...they were doing a search on Farrow and weren't getting it. Thankfully I brought my computer or I would have been in huge trouble...I doubt we could have resolved it otherwise...considering all the crap that was going on at the time.

Despite some security line fiascos (being herded in the wrong line by a lady who had no idea) I finally made it to my gate. BTW, the kind lady was able to book me on an earlier flight that day, without putting me on standby. So nice. That is how I made it out safely, not getting stuck in Htown.


Post a Comment

<< Home