Amelia Earhart and Me

Don’t ask me how but we both ended up stranded at the same hotel during a storm. Granted she was there a number of years ago but still, I slept in the same room. Called, strangely enough, The Amelia Earhart Room. The government didn’t launch a 4 million dollar search for me the way they did for poor Amelia, so I just waited for a clear runway.

I couldn’t make up a story that was more convoluted and fraught with ice, snow and derailed planes (that’s an oxymoron, I think). I already told you about the front end, trying to get OUT of O’Hare; it was essentially downhill from there. American Airlines ultimately canceled over 1200 flights but not until they delayed them all for 24 hours. As a result, they probably won’t catch up until Easter. I assure you, there are still folk in week old underwear huddled under their winter coats on airport floors across the Midwest.

The Landmark Inn is as elegant as the description and pictures suggest, perched there on the edge of Lake Superior. Personally, I have trouble looking at Lake Superior in the winter time and not thinking about the Edmund Fitzgerald and all those poor sailors who froze death in less than 5 minutes. It’s just plain cold. Cold,cold,cold in that way that makes you shiver just to see it. The Landmark stays cozy and warm with fireplaces in all the rooms and right now they have a tall and glorious Christmas tree in the front room. There’s a good pub and a fine restaurant so if a person has to be stranded it’s a good place to be, especially at the "hospital visitor" rate of 89.00/night.

I was at the hospital most of the time rather than in front of the fireplace in the pub. Bud’s surgery was more extensive than anticipated but he’s been on the mend for the past couple days. The day of, he had trouble shaking off the anesthesia and the brief moments he came to, utter nonsense was coming out of his mouth. He would be snoring and a nurse would ask me where I was from and when I responded, "Chicago" he’d come to and shout "Goddamn Bears. They better not trade him to the Packers!" and then he’d go back to snoring. I discovered that even in a coma, Bud conveys his political views. I was watching the news channel on the hospital room TV and every time they showed the President’s picture he would open his eyes, exclaim "asshole!" and then pass out again. I apologized to Bud’s roommate for his language and the roommate said he shared Bud’s opinion. When Bud did come around he asked me, "Well, how am I doing?" I said, "You’re doing fine but I didn’t think it was possible for you to swear more asleep than you do awake." Bud looked genuinely chagrined and said, "Oh, shit. I hope I didn’t offend the nurses." And then he asked every nurse who came in if he had offended her with his language and apologized for everything he might have said while unawares. Other than the swearing, he’s a delightfully funny, smart and considerate person and the nurses adore him.

My sister was en route to him when I finally got a flight out, with a lay over in Detroit and three more canceled planes. My last delay was in the gate area across from one of those airport tequila bars. The delay allowed two dozen businessmen to get thoroughly souza-ed as they yelled at football games. The UCLA game was on and that was of interest to all those Michigan fans waiting to find out UM’s final ranking. At one point someone screamed, "I LOVE that linebacker!" and someone else screamed, "He’s got man love!" and the next thing anyone heard was a whole bar full of grown men chanting at the top of their lungs, "Man love! Man love! Man love!"  What the???

Naturally they were all on my flight, with upgrades into the exit rows. Naturally, the plane backed away from the gate and then was delayed another hour on the runway. The flight attendants offered a beverage service while we waited- just what they needed. United gives out little cheesy crackers shaped like tiny airplanes along with their drinks. The last time I could bring myself to look back at the ongoing party, five men in business suits were waving around 1 inch crackers, making zoom-zoom-zoom noises and then shrieking with delight at their own amusement.

Is it any wonder women just shake their heads in amazement at the other half?

11 responses to “Amelia Earhart and Me

  1. It sounds like quite an adventure; I like those if I’m in the mood for them. And I would probably play with the crackers too, but only briefly. (I never drink while on a plane though, except Cranberry juice) I am strange enough without liquor.

  2. I am happy to know that Bud is on the mend and that you are finally home. Your adventures always make for good blog fodder!
    You missed an opportunity, though. You should have photographed the guys flying the cracker airplanes for us.

  3. You are quite the stoic traveler, Vicki. I love the part about Bud yelling “Asshole!” through a semi-conscious haze. I’m glad you were able to be with home, come hell or high water.

  4. I’m glad you’re back home safely after that wonderful experience. Glad Bud’s going to be all right.

  5. My only wish is that you’d had a video camera with you… Or, that Zoe and I had been there with you – I think that wold have been a ood first lesson in what not to look for in a partner 😉 Plus, we would have been able to keep you company 😀

  6. Glad to see you made it back to Chicago and Sophie. Mr. Rhett can stop crying and rest easier now.

    And I am very glad to know that Bud is doing better. That gallbladder is nothing to mess with.

    I still have 90 pounds of pumpkin so we have a couple more things to do… I may save my smallest one to hang for the birds.

    My mom has been having an increase in chest pain and shortness of breath. (I caught myself about to use my medical abbreviations for this… SOB… guess not) Her stress test was abnormal and she has to have an angiogram on Wednesday. Because of the diabetes she can’t have the extra dye needed to do angioplasty at the same time. They are trying their best to protect her kidneys. I believe she will have to have a stent or angioplasty, though I don’t know the time frame between the two procedures. We have been making the rounds to her doctors, sometimes two in one day. I think if I have to see another doctor I’ll just give it up…. therefore, am avoiding mirrors at all cost.

    When does Abby get in for the holidays? Nyssa’s last exam is the 18th but she has to stay until everyone else leaves in the dorm… an RA thing. So she won’t get here until the 23rd. Probably I’ll go up one of those “waiting” days to do my walk around Williamsburg.

    Now, head on out to the Russian Tea Time and have a nice pot of their steaming tea and relax. Give Bud our best wishes.

  7. I don’t know how you do it — make being stranded in an airport, a hospital stay of a loved one and drunks on a plane sound positively inviting.

  8. I’m glad to hear that Bud is on the mend. He’s lucky to have the love of such good people around him while he recovers. I always worry about cursing ever since I cussed out a dentist while I was under the influence of nitrous oxide. I was only 15 years old, and I thought I heard the dentist say something I did not like, so I moved that little suction device and said, “Fuck you.” He said, “Excuse me?” I said it again. Oy.

    You do tell very funny stranded-at-airport stories. Very visual, too. I can picture the men with their airplane crackers making zoom zoom zoom sounds.

  9. I wonder if there’s an alcohol that has paxil in it? I always wondered why people still drink tonic, although with mosquito populations increasing, maybe I should start.

  10. I am glad that you are home safe and sound and that Bud is on the mend. Are you too backlogged to give us drinks this weekend? I am perfectly willing to reschedule. Let me know. Roberta

  11. I just hooted at this post! Here’s to making good things come out of tough situations. (Clink!)

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