My work week may have started like yours, like many of ours do. Mine was a random Monday full of meetings and phone calls, fires to put out, and issues to manage. After a quick pack-job, I was out the door by 5 so I could reach Omaha before dark.
Little did I know that when I left the safe, home-base perimeter, that all heck would break loose. Although, I should have. The Blue Moon arrives Friday and travel in the midwest is tricky even without lunar forces messing with us.
The Tuesday Omaha visit went smooth and I left the appointment precisely at 10:00 a.m. to make a 2:20 flight in Kansas City. TSA Pre-Check is the bomb diggity (heh, heh), so I wasn’t worried about arriving an hour before scheduled take-off.
Did it make me nervous that Terminal B parking was full? Nope! I parked in terminal C and hitchhiked the red bus to terminal B.
At least, that was the plan.
Midway through the route, the drivers needed to switch. We had to scour the circle lots before going back to B and NOBODY was in a hurry.
Just as we were entering the drive, a police officer stopped the bus. I had overheard on the radio that they were looking for a man with a “suspicious bag” and to keep eyes open.
Guess where they found the dude with the bag? Winner Winner Chicken Dinner!
Was I nervous?
Nope! I had all day to get to Nashville and still had forty minutes to make it through security. That said, I was starting to fidget–I don’t like cutting it that close.
After some minor shuffling and United Nations approved interrogation, the man was escorted off (with his suspicious bag) and I breezed through security arriving 10 minutes before boarding time.
Not that it mattered. The flight was delayed an hour. Everyone boarded the plane and then we sat on the tarmac another hour. We made it to Nashville and circled the airport for, you guessed it, another hour.
The pilots flew until the fuel light came on (they told us that later) and we finally landed only to find out that the storm had knocked out power to the airport. You wanna know how long we sat on the tarmac? Yep! An hour. Are you keeping track?
I should also mention that I started the week with a little (self-diagnosed) kidney stone problem. How do you prepare the complete stranger sitting next to you that he may need to perform emergency surgery? I was working on my medical waiver papers when we received the good news.
After some pleading from the crew (and other passengers with full bladders), TSA granted permission for us to climb down a makeshift jet bridge and enter the airport through the ground level. Of course the stairs were wet and slippery, I fell, and there was blood.
Was I rattled? No way. Tennessee is gorgeous, and the people here are so nice. There was even a kind attendant in the dark bathrooms with a flashlight so we could see to pee. But, who knew that toilets need electricity to flush? D-I-S-G-U-S-T-I-N-G.
The lower level of the airport did have power and I was able to grab my bag and a rental car. After a dead-to-the-world night of sleep, I got up early and headed out to Knoxville, TN–another three-hour drive.
It was a beautiful day!
I cranked the radio and penned a post in my head titled “Tennessee Moonlight.” It was going to be funny and poignant and insightful and full of pretty words and photos. Oh, my friends, you were going be to be wowed! I couldn’t wait to find a laptop. I was even going to make a Spotify play list that captured all of the favorite songs I heard during the drive.
By the time I arrived in Knoxville, I was in full work mode (as I should have been) and my brain went to population health, care pathways, and health literacy. I surfaced from the appointments famished, and the only thing I could think about was eating. Oh, and running.
Downtown Knoxville is fabulous. Even though I’m not an artsy person, I love looking at urban art, industrial buildings, and train stations. The Market District had it all.
Unfortunately, Knoxville is also very humid and the heat index stalled a planned 4-mile run at a measly 2. But, I wasn’t cheated on the work-out because it took another mile (or so) of walking in circles to find my hotel again.
I spend more time lost than found, but the pictures above were all taken during my “lost” period. Don’t you think the best adventures happen while you’re looking for your destination? It seems like these wandering themes repeat themselves on the pages of MamaMick – being lost, making mistakes, finding your way, getting back to the basics. Laughing so you don’t cry. Over and over again, the lessons I keep relearning.
The extra mileage carried me to The Tupelo Honey restaurant where I ate the best banana pudding ever and a cute, young waiter carded me (YESSSSS!!) when I asked for sweet tea with a kick. Come to find out, EVERYONE gets carded in Tennessee and I’m still as old as my driver’s license says.
Now it’s ~9:00 on Thursday night and I’m still in Knoxville. My flight was scheduled to leave at 3:16 p.m. and route through Philly back to KC. The ticketing agent must have been drinking spiked tea, too because who gets to Kansas from Tennessee through Philadelphia? Christopher Columbus?
After watching the board show a delay of one hour, two hours, three hours and finally cancelled, I needed a plan B. How does a sleep deprived, directionally challenged woman get from Knoxville to Wichita by 2 p.m. tomorrow?
Not by calling the airlines.
While I was on hold with US Air, I found an online booking tool and scheduled a 5:19 a.m. flight out of Knoxville. I retrieved my bags, and walked to the hotel inside the airport. The partner I’m meeting tomorrow is going to chauffeur me around Wichita and usher me back to the KC airport to retrieve my car so I can drive back home (another hour).
Hubby said that he has home base covered, that Dane has been fishing all day, and Tanna is gearing up for a move into a new apartment. I’m not even sure anyone knew I was gone.
This travel craziness has become the norm and it’s not worth getting upset about anymore. Life is too short, right?
These speed bumps teach us to be flexible and accepting of circumstances out of our control. Kindness goes further than frustration, and there are a lot of good people in this world.
My attitude is also enhanced because I’m on stay-cation next week. The only place I’m going to wander and get lost is in my back yard. You may not see me for days. No need to send a search party either. Unless they bring banana pudding.
Disclaimer #1: Edit, schmedit! Please excuse the grammar, gratuitous use of adverbs, accidental alliteration, and poor spelling. I haven’t had my sugar today.
Disclaimer #2: Sorry that I haven’t been over to visit blogs of my friends and readers. Part of stay-cation next week will be reading. As soon as I finish “Go Set a Watchman.” Scout’s honor 😉
Disclaimer #3: Please don’t report my unsourced images. The photos are mine, but the cartoons are from Pinterest and I have no idea how to work the hot links on an iPad. In fact, I’m pretty sure that the iPad has jacked up this entire post, so don’t judge.
Note #1: Please cheer on the Royals while I’m gone. Y’all, I can’t find a frickin’ baseball game to watch anywhere.
Note #2: Can somebody help me find my room?
Final note: For your listening pleasure