Monday, October 15, 2007

Canada is a foreign country, right?

The Calgary Chronicles have not begun well. I spent all day in IAH terminal A waiting for a flight to Calgary. I was supposed to be on the 7:45 am flight with my boss and two other colleagues. Yep, I missed the flight. This has never happened to me in my life. In fact, I am the guy who usually arrives 1.5 or 2 hours before the scheduled departure time. I am ridiculous when it comes to airport punctuality. I guess I should say I was ridiculous when it came to airport punctuality.

I was up pretty late last night packing and getting everything ready to leave. Granted, it is only a three-day trip, but I still had to make sure that I had everything I needed. One of the items I packed was my alarm clock. Not to worry, though, because I have a travel alarm clock. I decided to pack my iHome clock so I would be able to listen to my iPod in the hotel and just rely on the travel alarm clock for this morning. That was my first mistake.

I set my alarm for 5:00 am. I was certain that would give me plenty of time to wake up, shave, get dressed, and still make it to the airport by 6:00 am. My plan was fool proof. Furthermore, I am not one who normally sleeps through an alarm. I have done it, and I am very prone to snoozing. But usually when I have make a flight, I wake up on time (if not early) and get up right away. You can clearly see where this is headed.

I woke up and thought to myself, “it is probably 4:30, so I have a few minutes.” But then another, more insistent, voice told me that I better check the clock. To my utter surprise and dismay, it read 6:25. What!?!?!? "You’ve got to be f---ing kidding me" were the next thoughts in my head. I apologize if that offends anyone, but it is just true. I need to begin praying for better thoughts in the midst of stressful situations. But back to the story...

I jumped out of bed (actually made the bed… not sure why), shaved, got dressed, and jumped into my car by 6:40. Fortunately, I had everything ready to go, so I didn’t need much prep time. I began praying that God would see fit for me to make this flight. Did I mention that my boss and two other colleagues were scheduled to be on this flight? Yeah. They were. Missing the flight would not go unnoticed.

So I was making good time, actually. I was sure God was answering my humble prayer. Then, as I was almost passing the George R. Brown convention center, I realized that I left my passport at home. Fool proof? Nice. Guess I am a bigger fool than my plan was prepared to handle. Holy flight emergency, Batman… what will I do?

Call my roommate. It was my only option. By God’s grace, he answered his phone and responded to my urgent need like a pro. I owe him big time. This call was made at 6:50 am.

I made it to Terminal A at 7:10, but Justin was a solid 20 minutes behind me. I asked the kind lady at the Air Canada desk if she thought I would be able to get on the 7:45. She was very kind, but responded with a negative. Great! Thanks for playing. But she did switch me to the 1:25 pm flight at no extra charge. Marathon is surely grateful for that small favor.

Justin arrived at 7:30. By this time, I had already called one of my colleagues (couldn’t get my boss’s number) and explained what happened. My prayer then changed from “Lord, please make it possible for me to get on that plane” to “Lord, please give me favor with my boss.”

At the end of the day (which it is as I post this) this episode is not a big deal. But I hope it makes for a funny blog post.

For the record, I knew that I needed a passport to go to Canada. But as I was packing my small bag, I was not thinking in terms of international travel. So that is why the passport was not with my wallet (where it normally should have been).


chet said...

Did you pack a hair dryer too? Never waste packing space with things that are provided by your hotel. In fact, the only thing that you truly needed on this trip was your passport. You could have done without everything else. If they lost your luggage, you would be without all of those "needs" anyway. When going to canada, the only true essential is a way back out of there.

EBay said...

Great story! Glad it didn't happen to me (and sorry it happened to you), but I enjoyed reading about it. :-)

Todd Richards said...

Chet... with all due respect, an iPod docking station/alarm clock is not a waste of space. And for the record, the Canadians are quite pleasant.

Dustin said...

I want to reply, but the f bomb still has me rolling. There is much to say about transparancy, my friend..... :)

Lori Latham said...

Oh dear me ... I laughed and laughed out loud as I read this post. I have a bit of insomnia and decided to catch up on the latest blog happenings and I'm so glad I did because the burst of laughter that erupted at your humor was worth being up at 3 a.m.

susannah said...

OK - I have TOTALLY done that. IAH afternoon flight to Calgary - except I leisurely arrived at the airport, proceeded to the checkout counter where the lady said, "passport?" I then did more than *think* a swear word, I'm pretty sure it came right out of my mouth. Canada is international?? Exactly. By the grace of God, and the resourcefulness of my admin asst, I made my flight. My apt complex let her in to my apt where she retrieved my passport, then she drove to the airport and hand-delivered it to me. How ridiculous is that?!?

gL said...

I was glad you could still join us for the Hoedown and glad to hear you will be riding the MS150. When you get a bike give me a call, I'll ride with you. I feel like Tom Skerrit from Top Gun right about now... ;)

Mandy said...

Did you make it back ok from Canada? :)