Monday, January 15, 2007

Weather delays en route to DFW

Willow Park finally got some real ice from our ice storm. Nothing like the poor folks in Oklahoma, but enough to really mess up our trip to the airport. I got up at 4:30 and made sure our flight was still scheduled to depart. Delta's online system said the plane was already at the airport, so we wouldn't be stuck by another flights delays.

The driveway had a thin layer of ice on it. The ice on the car was a bit thicker - about a quarter of an inch. I had put a big piece of plastic over the windshield, so it was pretty easy to clean off. My biggest concern, as I tried to get the driver's side door open, was that the door handle would break before the ice did. But with a combination of firm tugs and body slams, the seal around the door gave way and, once inside I was able to push the other doors open from the inside.

Watching the news, I knew we were in for a slow ride, so I got everything loaded in the car as quickly as I could, and got the girls out the door ahead of schedule. Kara had made us a quick breakfast of bagels and grapes, which we ate in the car. I drove as fast as I dared, taking careful heed of the cars that had spun out around me.

In the end, however, it was a pointless exercise, as we got to the airport no more than ten minutes too late to check in for our flight.

The next plane to Salt Lake was scheduled for three and a half hours later, so the girls and I made the best of our weather delay at DFW. There are a number of shops and restaurants, and Anna is very good at asking me to buy her things. "No," I said. "I won't buy you a $7 dolphin magnet. I just spent $15 on pretzels."

The five terminals at DFW are connected by a train. Two trains, actually - one that goes clockwise, the other, counterclockwise. We rode them both. We also bought a Sudoku book for Anna, ate the lunches that Kara wisely packed for us (even though our initially scheduled arrival in Salt Lake was well before lunch), and educated Anna on the joys of watching CNN. ("I've seen this thing five times already. Isn't there any other news?")

Our original flight had a 2-3 seating configuration, and we were all going to sit together. Our new plane was smaller, with 2-2 seating. Fortunately, Anna didn't want to sit by Alyssa, and I didn't want Alyssa to sit alone, so Anna sat by the rather large gentleman from South Africa, which is nice because I honestly don't think I would have fit.

We arrived safely, and Grandpa Ed dropped me off at work before taking the girls on to the house. As much as I enjoy working from home, it's great to be in the office and see all the old faces, and a few new ones, too. After dinner, the girls had a great time playing with Grandpa Ed's Lionel train set that is covering the basement floor, and while I'm a little over my fifteen minutes, I'll still be going to sleep early enough to get those elusive eight hours of sleep.

I'll need all of the energy I can pull together when I give the girls their surprise tomorrow: A trip to the dentist.

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