Thursday, November 19, 2009

a travel adventure

Some of you may know that the FAA national computer system was down this morning, starting around 5:am. Nobody told the airline passengers, of course - until they were on the plane sitting at the gate. The pilot announced this after we had turned off our phones, fastened our seat belts, and watched the safety dog and pony show. Apparently, no planes anywhere were taking off or landing - and when/if they were, they were doing it carefully and at long intervals.. Of course, Newark is Air Traffic Hell even at the best of times -- and this was supposed to be an 8:20 a.m. rush hour flight. No rush this morning.
Further away, every plane sat quietly in line waiting its turn. And the passengers(at least in our plane) sat good-naturedly, chatting or calling the people on the other end to give them a heads-up.
After a while we had to pull away from the gate because there was another plane coming in (it had been delayed, of course). Before we pulled away, they announced that anybody who wanted to leave the plane was welcome to do so...but that after we had pulled onto the tarmac, they would not be able to get back on and would have to find another flight. Two optimistic people left. To give Continental Airlines credit (I am a fan for many reasons, not the least of which is that they feed you) they came around with coffee and muffins during the almost 3 hours after boarding that we sat there. We finally took off at 11:00 and they came around again with refreshments. The 2 hour flight took all of 1 hr 20 min. I am an aisle seat person, but today I had an aisle/window and a lovely view. I have never been in a more beautiful airport than Detroit Metro. The terminals are about 5 years old (I haven't been here in 15 years) and simply elegant. Most wonderful was the light show in the lower level area where you go from one terminal to another so you can get to the baggage pickup (admittedly, a long route, up and down escalators and up again till you get there). But it was magical and I could hardly stand there for a long time taking pictures of the glorious colors: Wanda Nash was waiting outside to pick me up. This hardly begins to do it justice, as the lights behind the sculptural glass walls transitioned to multiple shades and colors. Shortly, off to eat dinner with Wanda and will probably have an early night. Tomorrow, "Can this Fabric be Saved?"


Dianne Hricko said...

Love that you are there safe and remained composed and taking great shots.

Gerry said...

You are more patient that I could ever be.
Pretty neat pics of Detroit Metro.
Wishing you better luck on your return trip.

Approachable Art said...

Despite the challenges, it sounds like at least some of it was fun... and a neat class to start tomorrow! :D

Natalya said...

fabulous pictures of sky and airport! you used your time wisely and arrived safely, that's all that matters!

Cäcilia said...

Was thinking of you when the swiss TV-news anounced the computer problems in the US. Safe trip home!

Joanie Gagnon San Chirico said...

When are you coming back? I'm at Pierro on Monday.

mary said...

i live in the metro detroit area and our new terminal is beautiful
the shops are amazing and the glass tunnel is so mesmerizing
i only wish people more people could see how lovely it really is now!