Nope, this was not a gambling junket to the biggest little city, but rather a visit to H's mother who resides in Carson City.
Warning, this rant is LONG!
I'm not one to whine much, but I have to tell you that the trip out and back were horrendous! We began our trip by leaving home at the ungodly hour of 3 a.m. The trip to the Bangor airport takes about 45 minutes and even longer in the dark. For those of you who live in populated areas where there is light from stores and street lights, you cannot even begin to imagine how dark it is up here in northern New England. Fortunately, we had a full moon to help brighten our way.
The flight from Bangor to JFK went off without a hitch and seeing how we had a 2 1/2 hour layover in JFK, we were not worried in the least about making our connection in Salt Lake City. Oh, foolish country bumpkins! About 1 hour before takeoff from JFK, we were apprised that there was a hydraulic leak in the aircraft which would need to be repaired before we could take off. The watch and wait began in earnest. We were finally able to take off around 11:30 a.m. and our flight from SLC was due to takeoff at 2:56 p.m. Mountain Time. We landed with 10 minutes to spare, however, we were in Concourse C and our gate was in Concourse B. H and I ran as fast as we could, but alas, we missed the flight by two minutes. TWO FREAKING MINUTES!!!!!!!
The next flight to Reno was at 8:30 pm. so we sat, cooling our jets for another five hours. By the time we made it to Reno, we had been up for over 21 hours. Gratefully, we had made reservations at a hotel five minutes from the airport. We arrived at the Atlantis hotel/casino and walked in to a wall of horrible tobacco smoke in the casino, checked in and got to our room as quickly as possible. The saving grace about this place was that it only cost us $100 for the three night stay. After about two more hours to settle down, we finally got some sleep after being up for 24 hours. I don't remember ever staying up that long, even in my teens!
The view from our 9th floor hotel window was nothing but lights across the city. There was a neat fountain below us that changed colors.
In keeping with the Atlantis theme, the lamps in the room had dolphins on them.
The visit with H's Mom was enjoyable and we were able to take her to a couple of appointments, go grocery shopping and help out a bit around her house. Mom has macular degeneration and is not able to see much, but with a bit of help from a magnifying device, she was able to enjoy a few photos and a video of her great grandchildren.
Friday found us gratefully winging our way back home. The flight from Reno to Los Angeles was beautiful and I managed to get a photo of the sunrise over the Sierra Nevada Mountains from the window of the plane.
After having been patted down in Reno because I won the jackpot and was chosen for the random "extra" security screening, we landed in Los Angeles only to find that we had to take a bus to the Delta concourse and this meant having to go through security once again. Sigh.
You would have thought we were Ma and Pa Kettle wandering through the LA airport. Everything seemed so big, bright and loud! H and I just hunkered down til time for our flight to JFK, which proved to be uneventful until time to land. The landing gear was down and were were just about to touch down when the pilot hit the throttle and took us straight up! Seems the plane in front of us had not yet cleared the runway. Soooo, off we took, went back around and got back in to line for another attempt at landing. Twenty minutes later, we were finally on the ground, but could we deplane? NOOOOOO! They couldn't get the walkway to connect up to the plane, so there all us 250 passengers were, standing in the hot airplane, sweating like little hogs about to be sent to slaughter. Fifteen minutes later, they finally found someone who could operate the darned thing and we got off the plane. Of course, we deplaned at Gate 11 and had to get to Gate 23, so once again, off we ran because our plane was due to leave in a very short while. I'll spare you the rest of the sordid tale, but suffice it to say, we got back to Bangor at 11:30 p.m., tired, hot and hungry, but eternally grateful to be back safe and sound in our beloved Maine.
Note to self: Do not, I repeat, do not ever book us through either JFK or LAX again!!!!
The boys were happy to see us again and after getting the wood stove up and running, we were all warm and happy to be together again.
And as Dorothy says, "There's no place like home"!
Life is truly good.....