Thursday, June 24, 2010

The Second Half of the Parabola

Today was a much better day. I’m going to begin my record of this fine June 24 at 12:00 AM. My log begins at this time because we were still waiting to board a flight filled with false promises. We were still sitting in the Chicago airport praying that the next announcement would be for our group to board. Eventually, the flight began boarding and we all heaved sighs of relief and began to regain hope. When we approached the counter, our hopes were crushed. We were told that our flight was cancelled before our first flight even landed! This meant that we were stuck in the airport until we could get another flight. Don’t worry though, the day gets better.

We all filed upstairs and got in the line of approximately seventy other people who had their flights cancelled. The seven Cornellians grouped together near an outlet on the floor and began informing our parents of our new troubles while setting up “camp” for the morning. Nothing seemed to get to us at this point. We all had what I like to call a euphoric stupor. This is what the fatigue from spending endless hours in an airport can do to you. We were basically laughing at anything anyone said or did. It was quite a scene. 

We tried to sleep but the carpeting in the airport is not exactly conducive for getting to sleep quickly and comfortably. Everyone eventually slept for at least part of an hour…except me. I could not get to sleep to save my life. I was a witness to every event that morning. Ms. Kaplan, Mr. Ramsey, Ms. Habash, Jacky and my mom were all diligently working to figure out a solution (i.e. another flight, hotel arrangements, renting a car, etc.). Eventually good word came to us from none other than Mr. Ramsey himself.

I was playing cards with Andrew (Woo) and Chris when Mr. Ramsey came striding over to us grinning from ear to ear. He exclaimed that we had plane tickets and, once again, everyone gave a sigh of relief (and some even cheered). This time we were not let down by any bad news. We simply rejoiced at the thought that we would eventually be rid of the dreaded Chicago airport (aka: The Pit). We were all so happy to finally know that we would leave… on a 4:00 PM flight to Hartford, Connecticut.

We formed our plan then and there. To start off, we would head into the airport hotel and see if they had rooms available. This would allow us to get some much needed sleep. After napping for several hours, we would proceed down to the hotel lounge and enjoy a meal. Then we would head back into the terminal and approach our gate and await boarding. Once we landed, we would take a four hour car ride to our final destination: the Syracuse Sheraton. But of course, the best laid plans of mice and men often go awry.

First of all, the Hilton in the airport did not have any rooms available until 8:00 AM. This meant that our beloved slumber would have to be prolonged even more. Since breakfast was not served until much later, we had to wait in the lobby and find ways to entertain ourselves (which was not difficult at all). Eventually the buffet opened and we were allowed to eat an extremely early breakfast. By extremely early, I mean 5:00 AM Chicago time (3:00 AM California time). We deliberately took a long time to eat and talk in the lounge because we were still waiting for rooms. Finally 8:00 rolled around and we got two rooms. A third would be available “shortly” for Andrew Woo and Chris. The girls all roomed together and Andrew Gonzales and I roomed with Mr. Ramsey. This rest, although only a few hours, was the best part of my day. I was immediately refreshed. But apparently I snore like a bear…

It was smooth sailing after this. We got on our flight without any difficulties (THANKFULLY!) and landed safely in Hartford, Connecticut around 7:30 PM. We then rented two SUV’s and began our mini-road trip to Syracuse. Andrew Woo, Beilul and I rode with Mr. Ramsey in one SUV and Chris, Andrew Gonzales, Dyana and Jacky all rode with Ms. Kaplan in the other. It was a LONG drive. It would have taken over four hours non-stop just to get to Syracuse. We stopped at tolls a couple of times, stopped for a restroom break and later stopped for dinner.

We dined at Roy Roger’s (a quality fast food establishment) at about 11:00. We had dinner together and finally had a chance to upload our blogs for June 23. Thankfully there was a wi-fi connection. We all got our blogs successfully uploaded, finished our meals, and continued on down the road. I really wish we could have driven to Syracuse in the daylight because the scenery would have been gorgeous. But alas, it was the dead of night and the most light we saw came from the occasional group of highway workers.

Finally, at about 12:45, we got to the Syracuse Sheraton! This was a joyous occasion. This was the first opportunity we had to see our checked luggage since the San Francisco airport because they flew our luggage to Syracuse without us. We were all so relieved that we had warm beds to sleep in, new clothes to wear and hot showers to take.

So that was my adventure for today. I managed to survive an all-nighter in the Chicago airport and now I’m writing about it in this blog. Anyway, I’m calling today the other half of the parabola because of how lucky and unlucky we have been. Yesterday, our luck went from bad to worse. Today, our spirits soared along with our good fortune and managed to rise from the deep depths of despair. These two days are exactly like a parabola (a graph seen in Algebra II). The graph begins very high up, but drops down to the very tip of the x-axis. It then rises on the other side of the y-axis to exponential heights. Each side is reflected across the y-axis, so the graph ends up looking like a u-shape. I’m sorry for getting a little nerdy with my math reference, but that is just what sprang to mind first when I tried to describe these two days.

Anyway, I’m looking forward to my first normal day tomorrow. I will upload plenty of pictures to make up for today. Until then, this is Alex Elms and I’m signing off.

1 comment:

  1. Alex,

    Have you ever watched a movie the second time around and even though you already know how it ends, you still find yourself waiting to see if it ends the same way? You wrote this a day ago and I've been in constant contact with you and some of the others so I already know how it ended for you but I still needed to read it in your blog to make sure it really ended the way it was supposed to.

    Doesn't it amaze you that the airlines can't find a way to get you to your destination but they can find a way to get your luggage there? Of course, it often happens the other way around.

    It surely had to be something of a relief to finally get someplace--anyplace-- where you were actually supposed to be.