The best laid plans and all that...I'm still in California after all. Last night I boarded a packed-full United flight and we took off from SFO at 11:20 PM. Usually I have a glass of wine and then take an Ambien. I felt a bit hungry, so I decided to eat some dinner first. Thank heaven for that!
About an hour and a bit out, I had finished eating and was about to take the pill and head to dreamland, when the voice of the pilot came floating through the dark...uh-oh! Seems we had a fuel line with a valve stuck closed. Have to jettison a whole lot of fuel and then return to SFO. Sigh.
Another hour plus back, and we landed around 2AM. The powers that be rescheduled us for TONIGHT at 11PM, so I'll be having all this much fun again tonight. I felt really sorry for many of my fellow travelers for whom SF is not their home destination. I was able to catch a cab and get home to our condo, but there's a huge Oracle convention in SF this week and there are absolutely NO hotel rooms available. The United gate staff was telling the passengers that wonderful information, and then saying "but we'll pay you $60 for a hotel room (which is not available anyway) and $10 for breakfast." What generosity! They followed up that useful information with another news note: "We have lots of pillows and blankets available for your use." Translation: Have a nice night on the floor at the airport. What a mess!
I tried to come in the condo as quietly as possible at 3AM, but of course woke DH up, scaring the stuffings out of him. Had to ring my in-laws, who had come up to Sydney to stay at a hotel overnight, so they could meet my 6AM arrival...not! Now they're in a quandary about what to do. I tried to convince them to just go on home and I'll find a shuttle service to take me from Sydney to Exeter on Saturday, but they're insisting they'll come back to get me. At their ages (mid-80s), I think it's just too much to get up at dawn's crack to get there to meet me.
I'll try to phone the Qantas airport staff who handle the pet arrivals this afternoon to see if their flight was on time and everyone arrived alive and well. Then I'll check a few hours later to be sure they've arrived at the quarantine facility at Eastern Creek. I'll be a bit nervous till I hear they're all ok.
Sometimes life's just like that, ya know? The glamours of international travel! Anyhoo, I'll post again once I'm in Exeter for real. Thanks for all your good wishes, everybody...I got your comments this morning when I woke up.