Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Going Left

When nothing goes right, go left

For months now, my husband and I have been all set to fly to Oslo, Norway with plenty of time allowed for connecting flights in order to slow the pace of a long travel day. We had even gone to the airport to stay at a nearby hotel the night before - again, to slow the pace. While we’ve done our share of flying over the years, we’ve had very few issues - until, that is, a major weather system (as in massive blizzard) moved into the mid-west which included Denver, Colorado (where our flight from Seattle, Washington was scheduled to go). In what was being called a winter cyclone bomb, all flights going into and out of Denver were canceled on our arrival day as well as the following morning. But, our connecting flight to London, England in the afternoon was still on schedule. Going left anyone?

Not knowing what Mother Nature had up her sleeve, instead of flying to Denver, we spent the day Googling our little hearts out for connections to get us into Oslo. We settled on flying out the next day to Salt Lake City, Utah with a 2-hour layover then fly into Oakland, California where we had a 4-hour layover. This all went well. We boarded the plane in Oakland, which was already running late. As the plane pulled away from the gate, a passenger had a medical emergency which added an additional hour delay. What to do? Go left, be patient, and hope the passenger is okay. We’re happy to report she was.

When the flight arrived in Paris, we had just missed our connection to Oslo. We were moved to the next flight 8-hours later. There was a bit of time taken to explain this to the twenty some passengers flying to Oslo, and then we were off to find our luggage. We’ve flown in and out of the Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris a few times previously and it's not our favorite airport by any means. There’s not a lot of places to just hang out until we could check in 2-hours before the flight, drop our bags, and go through security. Okay, big left here as we were exhausted by this time. With patience we focused on how we could turn this bit of information around. So, we stopped in at one of the hotels at the airport and got a room for a few hours. This allowed us to take a short nap and freshen up a bit.

Bleary eyed, we made our way onto the flight and landed in Oslo 34 hours after we left for Salt Lake City. It was nearly 11 pm in Oslo (about 11 hours later than our original plans and much too late to make our way to our lodgings), so going left once again we thought we would grab a bed at an airport hotel. But a dear friend of ours who lives nearby insisted on picking us up and delivered us into her cozy home to sleep for the night. Other than the naps we grabbed when we could, by the time we hit the sheets we had been up for nearly 38 hours!

The following day, we were driven to our lovely Airbnb home a day later than originally planned, but very glad to finally be there safe and somewhat sound. How did we manage all this? By going left! And going left generally requires patience with a capital P. Something we always make sure we pack first and foremost! Being patient allowed us to make good decisions and focus on what was going right – being able to make last minute flight changes, the fact there wasn’t something more serious going on with the medical emergency, quiet private airport lounges away from the crowds, the kindness of strangers at airport and hotel restaurants so I could continue to refrigerate my medication at the proper temperature range, flying into Paris and having fantastic pistolette sandwiches along with giant macarons, and friends who love us even late at night! So maybe, just maybe, going left was what was meant all along, and it all comes around in the end...


3D arrow courtesy of FreepiK