Monday, June 26, 2017

Houston, We Have a Problem

ISTE17 Adventure--Day 1

This week I have the opportunity to not just step, but leap out of my comfort zone.  As part of my summer professional development, I was approved to attend the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) conference in San Antonio.  I packed comfortable clothes and shoes, bought a backpack to use instead of a purse, spent hours looking over the schedule and arrived at the airport in plenty of time Saturday morning for my 7:25am flight.

It was a beautiful day to fly and I had been able to board in the A group so I chose a window seat.  The flight to Houston was just going to take a couple hours.  Unfortunately, bad weather had hit the Houston airport, so we were diverted to Corpus Christi.  We refueled there and made it to Houston around 12:30.  My connecting flight was delayed an hour, but it left at 11:30, meaning I missed it.  

We were told to get in the line of the gate we would have left from and they would help us.  After standing in line for over 30 minutes, I was told that all flights were full, unless I wanted one leaving at 3pm with two plane changes, including one in Chicago, then arrive around midnight, or I could wait until Sunday at 10pm.  At that point, I made a bold decision to rent a car and drive.

I was told my suitcase would be at the San Antonio airport, so I hopped on a shuttle for Enterprise Rental.  On arriving there, I was told they were not allowing any one-way rentals due to a shortage of vehicles.  I walked across the street to Dollar/Thrifty Rental and was in luck. My phone was down to 20% and my charger was in my suitcase, but I had a goal to make it out of Houston before it got any later.  At 3:30 the traffic was already heavy and of course, the navigation on my phone took me right through what seemed like the center of the city.  It may not be, but keep in mind that there isn't even a stoplight in most of the towns I drive in, let alone 12 lanes of traffic.  

I stopped at an OfficeMax to get a phone charger cable, which unfortunately didn't end up working.  It was a straight shot to San Antonio though, so I just turned the radio on and enjoyed the scenery after getting out of the city. It was a three-hour drive, that may have taken me a little longer, and I thought surely I'd see an airport sign when I got to San Antonio.  Silly me! I stopped at a gas station for directions and the girl had no idea except it would be exit 22 off of the Interstate.  I followed exits 33,32,31, then they suddenly jumped to the 1300s, so I stopped at another station.  "Aw, it's easy!  Just take...."  Of course, it was easy for him.  Long story short, I finally ran across a sign for the airport and after taking several turns around the same loop, arrived at the rental car place.  

They took me to the airport baggage claim, where I waited, and waited, for my suitcase.  The first plane to arrive from Houston since morning finally came in--the flight I was supposed to have been on, but my suitcase wasn't on it.  In retrospect, I don't know how I thought it could since it left before I arrived.  About 15 minutes later another flight from Houston came in and after watching what seemed like hundreds of suitcases, I finally spied mine!  I could have cried.  I was able to catch a taxi and get to my hotel.  

You may think the story is over, but wait.....when I ordered supper online from a delivery place, I didn't get a confirmation so called.  They said they were sorry, but they were closed because their oven had just caught fire.  By that time, it was too late to eat much anyway, so I called it a night.  I never cried, or yelled, or screamed, so I was pretty proud of myself for solving my problems and grateful the be there safely.  What an adventure!

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