Some Days You Gotta Dance

Sunday, June 5, 2016: Loíza and San Juan, Puerto Rico

Sunday marked my return to the continental US. I woke up late and spent almost all of it in airports. I planned to head fly from San Juan to Miami and Miami to Chicago and was ready to run from O’Hare to Tinley Park, where I would cap off a great week that started with the Indy 500 with a Dixie Chicks concert. Flight plans were not ready to make nice.

Summary of the Below Verbosity

  • Airport bookstore: I never caught the name of the bookstore I went to at the airport, but they had some pretty solid selections: The Japanese Lover by Isabel Allende, who is an old favorite of mine; Adultery by Paulo Coehlo, who I’d been meaning to read for a while; some other book by some other author who writes with a literary quality higher than what you expect in thrillers with shocking plot twists and faddish self-help drivel in which airport bookstores usually traffic
  • Church’s Chicken: Church’s Chicken is very popular in Puerto Rico, and the San Juan airport has at least one. The airport location offers espresso, too!

Notes and Photos

Saturday night was a late one of dancing on La Rumba and at La Factoría and driving all the way back to Loíza. Consequently, I woke up late the next day and had time for little else than packing, cleaning the AirBnbs, and driving to the airport. There was still so much to see in Puerto Rico, but I wouldn’t be seeing it today. Though I was sad to leave, I was excited to get back to Chicago to see the Dixie Chicks in concert. I even had a screenshot of my ticket saved on my phone in case my Ticketmaster or Wallet app struggled. It would be a tight-squeeze at O’Hare: I would hustle off the plane, grab an Uber for the 45-minute trip to the venue, convince the coat-check to accept my bag, and run in, hopefully without missing much more than the opening act.

At the San Juan airport, I washed down a boatload of Church’s Chicken with some espresso to get my mind and body in gear. I passed the pre-flight time by languidly leafing through some books I purchased at the airport store. Soon, the flight departed for Miami.

Miami greeted me with some disappointing news: The flight to Chicago was delayed. Announcements from the gate agents trickled out as flight time came and went and the delay was elongated further and further into the afternoon and evening. The cause of the expected delays was offered first: The flight crew was supposed to fly in from the LA, and the flight from LA was delayed. Then, the gate announced that the LA crew was just too late and was no longer in contention to crew on our flight. A surprising amount of time later, another announcement came that someone had gotten the bright idea to request another flight crew. The last notifications were that a flight crew had been found, that they were on the other side of the airport, that they were running here as fast as they could, that they were here, that the flight would be taking off soon, and that this, that, and the other person should now board the plane. Finally, we got in the air.

More comic ineptitude welcome the severely delayed flight with the substitute personnel in Chicago. The plane was on the runway, and we were taxiing to the gate, and presumably someone in Miami or from the airline had updated Chicago on the new plan, and it was late at night and there was not ample competition on the Chicago runway, and yet: There was nobody in Chicago to park the plane. Natalie, Emily, and Martie undoubtedly had exited the stage to thunderous applause well over an hour ago, and here this bumbling plane was, roaming the runway, looking for someone to guide it to the gate.

Rain or shine, as long as someone shows up to fly the plane and someone else shows up to park it

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