I spent an extra day and night at JEXIT Stop 3 because my flight got cancelled. Thank God for text alerts. Here’s what happened.
You remember I got back to my hotel from church that Sunday and had lunch. My suitcases were locked up and ready to go and my belly was full, so I picked up my phone to order my Uber only to see that I had some text messages waiting for me. I thought it was spam messages (I’ve been getting a ridiculous number of those – don’t you hate it when your mobile provider sells your information to companies so you get their stupid, useless ads via text message all day long?) but I’ve never been able to ignore those because I hate to have a clutter of notifications on my phone. I planned to just swipe into my text app and delete them all.
So imagine my surprise when I opened the messages to see that my airline had texted me to say that my flight had been cancelled due to weather conditions at my next JEXIT stop and I had been re-booked on another flight for the next day.
No worries, I took it in stride. As I’ve said before, one of the lessons that God has taught me this year is to keep calm and be flexible. So that’s what I did. I pulled out my laptop and got online to see what was what. Once I confirmed that they really had cancelled my flight, I spoke to my hotel’s front desk to see if I could keep my room for one more night. They said yes so that was fine. Next, I decided that I didn’t like the sequence or timing of the flight they had rerouted me on. My original (cancelled) direct flight would have taken less than 2 and a half hours but they had now changed that to a sequence that would send me south to go north and last for 7 hours. That wasn’t going to cut it so I changed it to a sequence that would take me only north and last for 5 hours, including one transit stop.
All of that took me about an hour to handle to my satisfaction. I informed all who needed to know then took stock of my hunger levels. My flatbread meal had been tasty but light and I could tell that I would need to eat again soon. That’s how I ended up at an honest-to-goodness all-American diner like you see in movies. It was just 2 blocks up from my hotel and I had put it on my wishlist of food stops for this visit but had been unable to work it into my schedule. I decided not to waste the opportunity that had dropped in my lap. I grabbed my purse and a book and headed out.
Look at what I had.
Yes, my dinner was a stack of 3 pancakes and a cup of coffee. Those pancakes were truly a work of pancake art – light and fluffy but still filling. IHOP may have lost their spot as my favourite pancake place. I’ve also already decided, next time I go to a real live all-American diner, I’m having an all-American burger and fries.
Once I was done savouring my true diner experience, I walked back to my hotel and spent the rest of the afternoon writing. Late in the evening, I rounded out the day with more eucalyptus oil (it was really draining out my nose and drying up all that nasty mucous; I wasn’t even bothering with the OTC meds anymore) and reading in bed. The day actually ended quite quickly, like all great days do. I went to bed again feeling very happy with how it had all gone, despite the delay in my plans.
The next day, my new flight wasn’t leaving until early afternoon so I had until late morning to do whatever I wanted to before I needed to leave for the airport. I decided to try out one more cafe. Google maps told me that it was a 20-minute walkaway so at around 8:45 am, I bundled up and headed out. It was actually more like a cold 30 minutes away but I made it and ordered my usual latte. It was nice but not great.
I actually enjoyed my cold walk. The neighbourhood was really nice – the perspective you get while driving through a place is totally different from how you see it on foot – and my walk gave me a chance to really take it all in. In all, I spent an hour and a half walking to the cafe, sipping my latte and walking back. It was time well spent. I also had a really nice moment with a fellow human being. On my walk back, a construction worker in a car smiled and waved at me and wished me Merry Christmas, all because on my walk to the cafe, I had indicated to him while he was sitting in his running car that he had left some things on the roof. It made me smile.
Back at my hotel, I checked to make sure that my flights were still on then I ordered my Uber and made my way to the airport. What followed was thankfully a pretty standard and hassle-free travel day and I finally made it to my next destination, despite a couple of days. Oh! And while I was going up an escalator in the Atlanta airport on the way to my gate, an old gentleman gave me another moment of smiles when he said to me, “Those boots are cute on you.” I giggled (yes, giggled like a schoolgirl) and told him thanks, then we both kept it moving, with not another word exchanged as we went our separate ways. I thought it was very nice of him to take the time to pay me that little compliment – I don’t think enough people do simple things like that, which can make someone’s day just a little brighter.
Anyway, yes, my plans went slightly off-script on that Sunday but it was OK. I got additional good food, coffee and walkabout experiences from it. What’s to complain about?
Onward to JEXIT Stop 4.