Got back yesterday from a week in Chicago and Minneapolis, despite the best efforts of United Airlines. There were many bad things about the trip home, and by the time I reached lovely, familiar SFO with its display of pulp-era science fiction magazine covers and shiny robots, I was tired and very grumpy with travel that does not work.
On Friday afternoon, a cheerful automated voice called me to let me know that my flight out of Minneapolis was being cancelled, and wouldn't I be pleased to know that they had already booked me on a new flight that left several hours later and connected in Denver.
On Friday evening, a cheerful flight attendant announced that the flight to Denver was delayed due to mechanical problems. "But you'll be able to make your connections," she reassured us. "You'll just have to walk briskly." (notice the lack of reassurance on actual mechanical issues, ah well.)
On Friday night, after sitting on the runway for an exceedingly long time, the plane finally left Minneapolis and arrived (in one piece) at Denver ten minutes after my connecting flight had departed. An entire plane of grumpy people with missed connections (hardly anybody seemed to actually be staying in Denver) massed in front of the United customer service counter where they handed out hotel vouchers and new itineraries.
At midnight, we crammed into a hotel shuttle. Some people sat on the floor, squished together like well-packed sardines. I'm sure this is some sort of safety or traffic violation. There were definitely no seatbelts involved. The driver seemed to be exceedingly fond of the country music station, set on a volume high enough to shiver the window panes.
At least the hotel had an excellent shower. Lovely miniature soaps that smelled like limes and tropical cocktails.
At four o'clock in the morning, I got back on the country music shuttle and went to the airport, where there was a very foul cup of tea. But I read an issue of Lady Churchill's Rosebud Wristlet (picked up at Dreamhaven) on the plane, and watched an episode of Chuck, and had an idea for a story that involves telephones at airports, and when I landed in San Francisco, I was too tired to feel anything except vaguely astonished.
The parts in between the transportation were good though, particularly the bits in Minneapolis. I might write some more about the lovely Kat, handsome Sam, the four misstresses of catliness, and gallant Cabal, but for now I'll just share a picture of wee Siobhan. She is a cat and so probably knew that travel would be pointless.