Friday, August 13, 2010

Riding off Into the Never-ending Sunset

We thought our flight left at 9:00 PM. I was working late to finish the conference, and told C that he could pick me up straight from work where we would head to the airport. A school colleague recently helped him get a prized marathon entry through a personal connection, and so he was eager to pound out some training miles while he waited for me. I finished sooner than I thought I would, and transferred some files on my computer while I waited for him to call. I must have lost track of time, because at 7:00 PM I received a frantic call from C, "We aren't going to make it! The flight leaves at 8!" 

He was twenty minutes away, so I checked the flight status: On Time. 

I called the park-and-ride lot, and notified them of our impending arrival.

I ordered a couple of turkey and swiss sandwiches from the deli, and as C pulled up, I crossed the street to meet him.

We raced off, but the direct-access streets were closed that led to the park-and-ride. C was prepared with plan B, which was to just keep on driving if we missed the flight, but still he sped on to find a new route to the park-and-ride. We arrived to find the shuttle waiting for us, and we pulled out tickets and ID cards, shoved sandwiches in luggage, removed all metallic items and prayed for short security lines. We handed the driver a $10 for getting us there by 7:30 and raced off. Our prayers were answered and we managed to get through security in a matter of minutes. C even stopped to chat with the security officer as I walked through the metal detector:

C: Well, it looks like you have the beauty detector turned off, otherwise it DEFINITELY would be going off! 

Officer: Wow, you're almost as smooth as me!

We raced down the walkway to our gate, arriving just as the First Class passengers were boarding. We made it. C took advantage of the boarding time to snag some chocolate covered pretzels and Swedish Fish, and once on the plane we ate the sandwiches. I'd skipped lunch and after a 12 mile run, C was a bit low on blood sugar.

What luck! We were on a packed plane with a waiting list, and yet sat next to a seat that looked like this:

Doesn't everyone dream of this? Well, it didn't last for long, but the tiny airline employee who occupied it as the flight was about to leave was no trouble at all. She slept like a rock the entire time while C and I snapped photos, ate our sandwiches, and played kissy-face while gulping down the never-ending golden, sunset-kissed horizons for the duration of the entire flight. Don't believe me?

At take-off: 

In the air...
1/4 of the way through the flight...

1/2 of the way through the flight...

  3/4 way through the flight...
Mt. Rainier: Almost there! (blurry, but you get the picture)

And they rode off into the sunset...

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