Friday, May 17, 2013

Day 1 - KC to Azores

1pm:  Well the trip is off to a hectic start. We left work on time (11:45) and got to the airport on time (12:15)...but our flight is delayed. Just a little at first. But over an hour now. As it stands currently, we are supposed to land in Chicago at 3:50 and depart for Boston at 4:05.  Could be interesting. We talked to the southwest worker and this is currently our best bet -- to just wait this one out and hope they hold the flight for us in Chicago. If they don't, we're pretty much screwed for the weekend. If we don't make our flight tonight from Boston to the Azores, we don't get to go to the Azores. The next flight thereisn't  until Monday...when we are supposed to leave the Azores for Lisbon. Nothing like a little travel freak out to get the trip started...

We're trying to relax a little. Worrying about it isn't going to change it, I guess. Ate our jimmy johns sandwiches, found my licorice.  Just waiting on this airplane...

3:00 pm (in flight):  Well, our plane showed up a little late, and it took awhile to board. We definitely didn't take off at 2:30 like they said we would. I took the first spot I could find with room for my luggage overhead...which was a middle seat between two guys in row 10. The closer I was to the front, the quicker I could run to the next gate in Chicago. Matt ended up towards the back on the aisle. 

They just announced that they should have us "on the ground" at 4pm. Our flight to Boston is supposed to take off at 4:05. Not going to cut it. We were assured by two Southwest workers that we would make our connection. They better be right...

4:20pm (in flight): Hallelujah!! We made it! Well, actually we didn't make it, but they held the plane just for us! 

I was seriously starting to get a little uneasy as we started to land at 3:58. I was counting down the minutes. The guys around me were super helpful, jumped out of the way as son as we landed and told me to run for it! Which I did. Lucked out on the gates. Landed at b3 and our plane to Boston was at b2.    At 4:03, I was still on the plane from KC and my hope was dwindling. The guy behind me said, "Aahh, 2 minutes. You're toast."  Not reassuring! But he did compliment me on my "good attitude" about it all. I had decided that even if we didn't make it to the Azores, there could be way worse things than spending a weekend in Boston with my good friends!

Anyways, as soon as I could, I took off running. The next gate down was completely empty and my heart sank. I asked the guy standing there if I was too late for Boston, and he smiles and said all cheery, "No! We're waiting for you!" Not going to lie, I was pretty pumped. 

It took Matt a few more minutes to get there, but we were taking off for Boston by 4:15. (So they didnt have to hold the plane long.) Amazing. Unfortunately we didn't get to sit together since we were the last ones on the almost full flight, and we had to heck our bags, but oh well! We're on our way to the Azores! And we're supposed to land in Boston a little early...which means more time for a possible visit with Ang and Luke!

(Just had a bathroom break and got a granola bar from Matt. Going to try and sleep a little now. Pretty sure the 4 hours on our next flight are not going to cut it for me for a night!)

8:45pm: Well I couldn't sleep on the 2 hour flight from Chicago to Boston. I think I was too wound up from the drama of possibly missing it! The flight wasn't bad though. Landed in Boston at 7:10pm. And its one of those airports where it looks like you're going to land in the water before you actually barely hit ground! 

Since we had to check our bags in Chicago, we had to go wait at baggage claim. I was too impatient for that so I took off to try and find where we needed to check in for our international flight. It was down he corridor and up the escalator...and there was a pretty decent line. So I left Matt to get our bags and I waited there. I'm pretty sure I was the only white non-Portuguese speaking person in that line, haha. And everyone had multiple huge bags they were checking in!

 I was almost to the front when Matt made it up with our bags. We had both planned on just carrying them on (they're small enough to) but apparently there is a weight limit of 8 kilos - however many pounds that is? - and we were both over. So much for packing lightly to fit in a carry on! We didn't have to pay though, so it wasn't really a big deal. (Oh, and the fire alarm was going off in the airport the whole time we were waiting in line / checking in! Not one person seemed concerned!)

Got our boarding passes and called my friends. Unfortunately it was a little more of a hassle than we anticipated - takes awhile to get to and from this airport, so we just decided it would be easier to not do it. Sad to miss seeing them when we're so close, but sure don't want to miss this flight!

That all turned out to be a pretty good decision once we turned the corner and saw the absurdly long security line to go through! It took quite awhile. (The fire alarm finally stopped going off at some poin during our wait.) I don't know if the airport is just extra busy tonight or if there security check in system sucks.

Once we got through, we had a little time to kill, so we found a nice little place to eat called Vino Volo. I was a wine place, but they actually had good food, too! I had a salad and chicken sandwich and Matt had some pork tacos. Best airport food Ive had in awhile! And it was fast too! (Starbucks yogurt parfait for dessert!)

Tried on expensive sunglasses at the Duty Free shop. Just sitting around waiting for our flight to start boarding at 9:30 for our 10:15 departure! 

Midnight (in flight): Yes, I am still awake at midnight. It's a miracle. A bad one, though, haha. I need to be asleep!

We boarded the plane around 9:45 and found our two seats. Right in the middle of two large Portuguese women. It's a big plane - two on the left, four in the middle, two on the right. We both expected it to be smaller, but the flight continues on to Lisbon, so it makes a little more sense that its big. Anyways, how we ended up smack dab in the middle is beyond me. And on top of that, the seats are close together, quite uncomfortable, and the arm rest doesn't go up (so I can't lay on Matt)! He's probably happy about that, because he's been sleeping most of the flight. I am no where close to sleep. They won't even turn the lights off! It's super bright in here and they just served dinner. At midnight! Come on, people!!  Ugh. Going to be a loooong day tomorrow. Matt doesn't know what he's in for with me going on zero sleep, haha! 

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