Leave Indiana, 8:19 AM. Arrive Chicago. One hour layover. Leave Chicago, arrive Albuquerque, 11:30 AM local time.
Yesterday's flight actuality:
Arrive airport 0700. Discover flight is delayed one hour. Note to ticketing agent that I will most likely miss my connecting flight from Chicago. Get rebooked: now Chicago to Dallas/Fort Worth, then DFW to Albuquerque. One hour layovers. Arrive in Albuquerque 14:38. Still enough time; meeting is at 1700.
Encounter my Angel's coworker in terminal, waiting for 1000 flight. Get on my flight at 0920, arrive Chicago 20 minutes later than anticipated, run through O'Hare to my gate. Discover that the flight supposed to leave my gate prior to my flight is now boarding. Watch flight to Dallas/Fort Worth's estimated departure tick upward. Consult ticketing. Am informed that they hope I will make my connection. If not, the next flight is at 1540 and will arrive Albuquerque at 1630.
Board flight in Chicago 45 minutes late. Mention to boarding agent that I doubt I will make my connection. Hand over my boarding pass for her to book me on the next flight. Sit on tarmac. Arrive DFW ten minutes after original rebooked flight is supposed to depart. Examine monitors. Arrive ticketing counter and verify that I am indeed booked onto the 1540 flight. Good thing, too. It's full now.
Eat lunch, around 3 PM. Call the resident representative, whose cell phone number I happen to have, and tell her I'll be missing the meeting. Buy a book and have it signed by the author, a gentleman from the 82nd airborne who fought in World War II. He spells my name wrong, but adds a charming bit about me being a literary and WWII buff.
Board flight, precisely at boarding time. Sit on tarmac for 40 minutes. Arrive Albuquerque 1700.
Sit at the baggage carousel. Watch everyone pick up baggage. Watch the little blue bin come around that means there's no more baggage. Watch the carousel be empty. Note that when we came home from Nicaragua, an hour and fifteen minutes through customs did not allow our baggage to join us, and that apparently my luggage is doing a little sightseeing on its own. Be quite polite to the lost-luggage lady and explain my trip twice. Elicit promises that my luggage would find its way home to me at the hotel, soon.
Hail an airport shuttle. Explain that I don't have any luggage, because it took a side trip.
Get out of the shuttle at the hotel. Explain that I don't have bags to be helped with.
Check into the hotel. Discover that there is nowhere to buy underwear nearby. Resolve to wash underwear in sink in order to bear wearing it for two days. Run to make the orientation meeting, as it is now 1800 and I have missed the education committee meeting. Tell everyone my story. Get materials from the resident representative.
I am still smiling, O Best Beloved. Throughout all of this, I am smiling. I am entertained. I am watching my fellow passengers and telling my story and marvelling at how it all just snowballs. I have decided, beginning early in the morning, that it is not worth spending the energy to get upset.
Go out to dinner with the contingent from Indiana, including my AMWA mentor whom I've just met for the first time face to face, despite being assigned to her for two years now. It's at a place called jennifer james, where someone picks up the tab for each of our $50 meals, and I devour a positively delicious (get this) tenderloin. And a lovely wine, and dessert, and I don't have to pay for the cab back, either.
My luggage came today. Around noon.
How do you want the journal entries from Nicaragua: all in one big clump or bit by bit?