I had it all planned out. There was a story about a boy. And a man. And his mother. There was a goat. And belly dancing. There was a sexy blogger crawling across the floor on her hands and knees purring for me. There were multiple cases of mistaken identity and confusion over whom I am married to.
Hint: It is neither Backpacking Dad nor TwoBusy.
But all of those plans came to a screeching halt when the clouds rolled into the Eastern seaboard yesterday afternoon.
I should have figured the Gods of Travel had something up their sleeves when I walked into LaGuardia airport and my terminal was in chaos because several flights to Montreal were canceled and there were no scheduled replacements until the morning. But I wasn't flying through Montreal; I was heading through Toronto to Edmonton.
After witnessing a woman being arrested at 5 am on Wednesday, then experiencing the joys of a delayed flight, a badly timed connection and the hell that is known as the TSA, I honestly thought the flight home would be cake. CAKE.
I started to get a little twitchy when our gate was late and there were 25 huge airplanes lined up like dinky cars all around the tarmac, waiting to take off. Tweets were streaming in about fellow bloggers being stuck on the runway, in their plane, for hours.
Surely that won't apply to me, I told myself.
It quickly became evident that it would apply to me.
Not happy. Slightly insane. And way gassy.
Still, my friend Zchamu kept me calm. Because that's what friends do. Well that and shove a mitt full of Xanax in your hand before departing for the airport. My friends get me.
Before I knew it, I had boarded the airplane. We were taxiing for takeoff. Or so I told myself. In reality, we were creeping in line with 17 other planes ahead of us, all hoping to be able to take off before the storm hit.
One hour of waiting crawled into two. The storm hit. Thunder. Lightening. Tears. If it wasn't for the hot gay man sitting next to me, cracking jokes and making me smile I may have cried. Dear Anonymous Gay Man who only broke up with his boyfriend 3 days earlier, I'm sorry I didn't get your name, but if you ever go straight, give me a call. I have an unmarried sister I'd like to introduce you to. Also, I love you.
I read one tweet after another, friends stuck in planes in front, beside and behind me. Some were stranded in the terminal, some were sent back to deplane after sitting for hours on the runway. My blood pressure was soaring.
Hour two crept into hour three. I had to pee. Air Canada hates its passengers and won't provide wifi but I didn't even care. I'll have to stand on a street corner in ripped fish nets and nipple tassels for weeks to pay for my US Data usage but it was either crack jokes on twitter or rip the legs off of the kid behind me to beat him to death with them after he refused to stop kicking my seat.
You want to know what friends who are stuck in the same situation but on different planes do to pass the time?
They send obnoxious photos of themselves to each other, in a desperate bid to remain sane.
Portrait of class. Zchammuuuuu!
And then, right before the magical 4 hour mark of having to turn off the runway, cancel the flight and deplane, our pilot announced we were cleared for takeoff. We cheered. Okay, only my new friend and I cheered but whatever. We were getting off the damn ground. We were pointed in the only acceptable direction at this point. UP.
An hour and so later I was back in my motherland. Oh, Toronto, how beautiful you looked. I looked at my watch as we landed and I realized I actually did have a snowballs chance in hell of making my connection to Edmonton and with cheers of "Go Tanis Go!" (Thank you fellow bloggers on my plane for cheering me on,) I was off like a shot.
Racing through the airport like the hounds of hell were chasing me. The travel Gods are cruel masters but they are not without their sense of humour. Just as sweat was dripping out of places sweat should not be allowed to drip I discovered my connection was delayed. I did all that cardio for nothing.
But I was going to make my connection.
I swear I could hear harps and angels serenading me as I plopped my sweaty arse into a hard plastic airport seat and waited to go home.
BlogHer Tarmac has not defeated me, nor did America manage to steal my soul.
Four hours later and I finally touched down in Edmonton. I was home. Ish. I checked twitter to discover so many of my friends were still stuck in airports, delayed by the weather and I was grateful for my hour-long drive through dusty backcountry roads.
I didn't even care that one coyote, a fox, two white tailed deer, a skunk and four!!!! rabbits all played chicken with me in the dark, under the stars. I avoided them all and FOURTEEN hours after I tried leaving America, I was finally home.
Don't get me wrong America. I love you and I am like a dirty trick who can't wait to be in you, but I like nothing better than leaving you.
Next time around let's not be so clingy.
I'll totally get back to regaling you all with the absurdities of a blogging conference but I'm gonna need a day to wipe the stink of America's sweat off me first.
*To all my friends who are still trying to get home from BlogHer and to those who spent even more time in transit than I did? I bow to you my friends. I bow deeply. And I'll bring the Xanax next time.*