What do I mean? Well, I had the traveling experience of a lifetime, in a good and bad way. Other than a brief flight to Texas for Thanksgiving (in which I later discovered my step-brother was on the same plane,) I had never flown by myself before...so I was never really the one in charge of looking after myself, and making sure that I was on time and such. So, I was pretty darned nervous for the journey to Paris (among other reasons...) The first flight, from Salt Lake to Chicago went pretty smoothly. But once the plane landed...that's when everything went crazy!
Not unlike this.
Turns out, the plane was delayed an hour, and I only had an hour layover between the connecting flight after that one. So I was pretty nervous I wasn't going to make it. I called the BYU Travel Agency to see what I should do, they told me to talk to the airline themselves so I wouldn't get a penalty fee. Long story short, I waited in the longest line ever, twice, to be told to take my chances and get on the flight that had now been delayed 2 hours (They assured me D.C. would take care of me if I didn't make the flight, but it was possible I could because they could make the time up in the air and the plane could be held if they knew that this one was late.)
When I finally got on the plane, everything appeared to be going well and I started hoping that everything would work out and maybe there was a chance I could possibly make it. But twenty minutes in the pilot came on with an announcement. "Hello, this is your pilot speaking! We're gonna have to turn around and go back to Chicago...we're not feeling comfortable with the engines." Haha, I was like "WHAT????" and simultaneously, "haha, of course, not a surprise at all something this ridiculous would happen." All the people on the plane freaked out too. That was their connecting flight to European destinations too. One couple was on their way to a cruise and they were afraid they were going to miss the boat. Another lady had a funeral to get to. The lady next to me had a business conference. So I had to wait in ANOTHER line to get this mess sorted out. The result? They put me up in a hotel in Chicago, gave me a meal voucher and rescheduled my flight for the next day at 6 PM. PM!!! It was a straight shot to Paris this time which would be good, but would make me a day later than everyone else. The lady who rescheduled me said, "Ah well go see Chicago!" And I thought, "Why not? I've always wanted to see this city very much." So with the aid of my cell phone, and my sister Laurie on the other end of it I had one of the best days of my life the next day.
That night though, I went to the hotel restaurant to use my voucher (which I of course, left in the bathroom so I paid for it myself anyway..) and the guy asked me how many there'd be, I said "Just me." Haha, the guy must have thought I was way depressed because when he brought me the menus he told me as he handed me the drink menu, "Here perhaps is the more important menu!" Haha! After that, I relaxed a bit in the hotel and contemplated chickening out of seeing Chicago at all. But Laurie would have none of that.
Here's google image's take on some of the things I saw (except the pictures of the hotel and Sears tower I took), I'll post the actual pics I took when I can.