And The Mayhem Begins!

In my life, there have been a few times when something has happened that directly imitated an iconic film moment, or perhaps even the plot of the film itself. And usually, I revel in these instances (like when I saw a yellow VW wagon cruising the freeway whilst listening to Sufjan Steven's Chicago like in Little Miss Sunshine, or recently walking to school in a very very good mood, listening to Hall & Oates' You Make My Dreams Come True and the sprinklers went off just as I walked by akin to (500) Days of Summer. Well, as I'm sure you're all aware, this past week I set out on an adventure hoping to find something along the lines of Eat, Pray, Love except less long and boring! What I got instead (as far as what happened Wednesday and Thursday anyway) was more like a weird cross between Planes, Trains, and Automobiles and Ferris Bueller's Day Off.

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.

First off, they took us right from the plane, and onto the runway. No entry right into the terminal like usual, so I was so confused. Then I looked at the time and realized my flight was boarding in 15 minutes and the ticket didn't tell me what terminal to go to. I asked a lady only to find it was on the complete opposite side of the airport in which I had to take a shuttle to get to! I felt like I was waiting on that forever, and since I have my mother's paranoia I was freaking out a little. Finally, I get on the shuttle and drive by the terminal. I observe "Oh good! The plane isn't even there yet! I have plenty of time!" Haha, well I have now learned why that is not a good sign!

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.

So the next morning I had my very own Ferris Bueller's Day Off except without the love interest and best friend tagging along and set to the sounds of Sufjan Stevens in my iPod. The day couldn't have been more beautiful. It was sunny and warm. I felt empowered, alive and free. I loved every moment. I wish I could upload all of the wonderful pictures I took, but I only sent 3 to my email...the rest I cannot access since I don't have service over here in Europe. I'll just have to post them all in December. I did so much! I went on top of the Sear's Tower (now known as Willis Tower), saw Lake Michigan, explored the parks, ate lunch at A Corner Bakery, and also browsed the Art Institute in search of Cameron Fry's favorite painting. It was a serendipitous day; a journey of self-discovery! A great movie if I had found love, but certainly better anyway to me. It was seriously, fantastic. The days that followed have been full of more adjustments and emotions, but I wanted to write about my day in Chicago while it was still fresh, I definitely don't want it to be forgotten in the midst of all of this Europe business because it was one of my favorite experiences in my life. I'll always have a special place in my heart for that city.

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.


Laurie & Clint said...

Hooray for Chicago! I love that city. I'm so glad you went. Hope Paris is going well!

Johanna said...

Prayer answered in the strangest way. Do you remember that I prayed you would have no mishaps? Can't you feel the Lord smiling and saying, "Well, I have something else planned for Emily today." He always knows what's best. And you won't believe it, but that days was almost as stressful for me as it was for you! :) Worry genes unite!

But you, my daughter, are one powerful gal! And I love you lots!

And I'm glad you finally made it safely!

Sarah said...

I'm glad you had a lovely day in Chicago too. I've never had anything go wrong with my flights (at least in regards to departures and connections) so I would have been completely at a loss as to what to do! I'm proud of you for dealing with everything so well.

I can't wait to see your blogs on Paris!

Unknown said...

Well, I'm glad that Laurie convinced you to tour Chicago. It's a great city and not that bad to get around.