We had said our goodbyes to Jessica, who had left us after dinner the night before to spend time with her sister and family. We had also said goodbye to Stephanie, who left before the crack of dawn Sunday morning.
It was a quiet, relaxing morning. Breakfast was fried apples, corned beef hash with fried eggs, and biscuits (Susan’s grandmother’s recipe, I think).
We said goodbye to Mandi. Tsh, Sarah, and I headed to church. The service was wonderful. Intimate, comfortable, and beautiful. Susan led worship. Peter preached. We took communion. Everyone ate a potluck lunch together. We talked. And talked. We stopped by Justin and Mel’s house for some target practice. (Really.) We stopped by Sarah and Charlie’s house, and I took a few headshots of Sarah. (Is she not beautiful?!) And then we said more goodbyes. (Sniff.)
I had just a few minutes to pack my things at the Bed and Breakfast and say goodbye to Mike and Tanya. Then Tsh drove me to the airport in Richmond.
My flight was delayed 15 minutes..then 30. So I grabbed a bite to eat. And then they announced that the 6:20 pm flight wouldn’t leave until 10 pm due to storms in Chicago. What?! Then they changed the departure time to 7:55, which was much better, but I knew I only had an hour layover in Chicago. The guy at the desk said that lots of flights were being delayed in Chicago due to the lightning, so I should just wait and see.
We boarded the flight. They made us check our larger carry-ons. Again. And for some reason they had to refuel after we were on board (why did they not think of that sooner, as the plane had been sitting there for hours?!). I had four young, flirtatious, drunk, swearing guys sitting directly behind me. (Boys, I’m probably old enough to be your mother.) (On a positive note, the older gentleman sitting next to me was apparently annoyed and moved to another open seat so I had room to spread out. And the young guys were silent once the flight was underway.)
We arrived in Chicago. Our luggage was supposed to be brought to the jet bridge where all the passengers gathered, waiting. And waiting. And then the lightning arrived. So the ground crew had to abandon our bags. Yep. And they told us it would be a half hour. But that we couldn’t stay on the jet bridge during the lightning. But we couldn’t go past the boarding gate agent or we couldn’t get back on the jet bridge to collect our luggage. So we all stood near the window between the jet bridge entrance and the boarding gate watching the lightning. And we waited. And stressed about our connecting flights. The gate agent told me that my flight had been delayed until 10 pm. It was after 9:30. They let us back on to the jet bridge where we continued waiting.
Finally, luggage in hand, I ran for my connecting flight. I arrived at the gate at 9:59. No one was there. I thought I had missed it until I looked at the monitor. Gate change. Flight now boarding. So I ran again. And then I was on the plane and breathing a sigh of relief. It took us forever to work our way through the rush-hour traffic of all the delayed flights taking off. I was watching the constant lightning in the distance.
The rest of the flight went smoothly. My mom was so kind to stay with the kids at our house so that Russ could pick me up at the airport around 2 am. I fell into bed at 3:30ish after being up for 23 hours.
And that was the end of my weekend adventure.