Saturday, January 3, 2009

Holiday Odyssey, Part One

Sing in me, Muse, and through me tell the story
of that (wo)man skilled in all ways of contending,
the wanderer, harried for years on end,
after (s)he plundered the stronghold
on the proud height of Troy Delta Airlines.

Yeah, yeah. It's hyperbole until you're the one spending the night in the Atlanta Airport Best Western East with bonus food poisoning courtesy of Juanito's "Mexican" "Grill" (or possibly IHOP).

Freezing rain in Philly...

Led to 1.5 hr de-icing...

(with some seriously noxious looking chemicals, including a gelatinous green liquid that came right out of TMNT...I could see the drain they all went down. Wonder how many three-eyed simpsons-esque fish live down there?)

Led to a missed connection to NM in Atlanta and the aforementioned Best Western.

The best part was when they put us into a customer service line hundreds of people long and after waiting for nearly an hour we got close enough to see that it only led to a phone bank and one (one!) Delta rep. Nice!

Darco's Mom was shocked shocked! that they weren't going to pay for our hotel room. We tried to tell her unless the airline itself (not the weather, not air traffic control) mucks up- like only if the engine falls off your plane while you're taxiing or the pilot kicks your puppy or something-will they pay for your hotel room. And with the amount of people travelling before x-mas (and their total lack of alternatives), maybe not even then.

As one might guess, the industrial area around the Atlanta Airport Best Western East does not present much diversion. We did pass a decomissioned Ford factory that was half torn down, and I would have LOVED to go shoot photos there, but it was pretty well guarded. Other than that, there's the TV, IHOP and (brrr) Juanito's. The evening passed slowly, but I felt the worst for Darco's son (at least until my digestive system revolted) as he was stuck with Darco's mum who decided that she HAD to spend all day and night watching Fox News. At one point he burst into our room, moaned "Mike Huckabee has been on TV talking for TWO HOURS" and then turned around and walked sadly back to his (admittedly unbearable) torture.

Anyway. Atlanta led to Chicago (where the temp was 18 below!)...

Led to Salt Lake (where we just snuck in ahead of a snow storm), led (finally) to Albuquerque. And then the hour+ drive to Santa Fe (in a fucking ridiculous rented Dodge SUV that was humongous and didn't even have four-wheel drive), where we enjoyed the local law enforcement!

"Super Blitz" is pretty damn accurate- they stopped every car on the highway. Our cop even commented on Darco's perpetually red eyes. He bought the story that Darco is part albino rat, however, so we went on our way unmolested. No walking lines or backwards alphabets or anything.

Icing on the cake, we ascended the Santa Fe plateau in a blinding blizzard that would dump about 2' of snow over the next 12 hours. But we finally made it to Darco's sister's beatiful house nestled in the hills at the tail end of the rockies. And it was good.

Ah, but the Odyssey is not over (although it is a hell of a lot better from here on out, rough return journey notwithstanding). Part two soon!

1 comment:

  1. Let me just say that the Dodge Durango is a *midsize* SUV! But serious, WTF is the point of it if it doesn't have 4WD...