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Bullet the Blue Skies.

SXSW was awesome, and I wanted to write a recap of the Friending Pharma panel, but I also wanted to sleep in my bed last night.  Neither of those things happened, because instead I spent the night at the Baltimore International Airport.  Bullets?  Ya, sure.
  • I left Austin around 5 pm (central) on Tuesday evening, after spending the better part of a week at the conference.  The flight from Austin to Chicago was business as usual, and after a brief layover at MDW, we were en route to Providence.  That's when things became slightly unusual.
  • When they say, "We'll be landing in Providence in the next fifteen minutes," and then you feel the engines kick in and the nose of the plane is pointing … upwards? Instead of downwards? You are most likely not landing.
  • Having the captain come over the loudspeaker and start with, "Well … we've got some bad news," while you're 30,000 feet in the air, is not the most reassuring moment. (Sorry to the guy next to me, who I inadvertently hugged.)  Which is why hearing "We can't land due to the fog in Rhode Island, so we're diverting to Washington, DC" sounds a little better, after the shock of "bad news" wears off.  
  • Being rerouted to Maryland, when you're thisclose to Rhode Island, is frustrating.
  • Deplaning and standing at the ticket counter just outside of the gate for thirty minutes, waiting for information and feeling the crowd working itself into a frenzy, is frustrating.  
  • Hearing "You are all booked on the first flight out to Providence at 6:15 am, and everyone who wants a hotel room tonight can have one," is excellent news. Hearing that news at 1:30 in the morning, and knowing you have to be back at the airport at 4:15 am, is confusing.
  • It's at that point when you start to become a little blase about sleep.  "Eh. I don't need sleep.  I stayed up for like 37 hours in Dubai.  I can pull a 24 hour stint.  I'll play at the airport for the next few hours, no problem. I'm a wild animal."
  • But then you realize that nothing is open in the airport - no coffee, no book store, and the bathrooms are being cleaned.  You can't get your luggage, and So you are kind of stuck in the terminal and actively channeling Tom Hanks.
  • You get frustrated when a lady from the back of the line comes up, all huffy and angry, and wants to jam her finger in the face of the flight attendants, blaming them for the fog that diverted our journey and telling them how tired she is and how angry she is. It's understandable that she's angry, but yelling at the flight attendants makes her look and sound like a jerkface. And also, she cut you in line.  
  • So you quietly tell her just that, and she retreats.
  • And a man comes up and, in one fluid motion, sticks a yellow smiley face sticker on your shoulder"You told her off very respectfully, young lady. Thank you for making her behave." He smiled gently and patted me on the shoulder. "Because I thought I was going to have to cut her."
  • It's hard to recover from that kind of laughing fit, especially at two in the morning.
  • You realize you have eight glucose tabs left (SXSW requires lots of tabs), and you don't have any other substantive snacks in your carry-on.  So you ask the flight attendant if it's possible to grab a can of juice from their plane stash, just to have on hand.
  • And you're impressed when the flight attendant goes busting into one of the plane and comes back with cans of soda, water, crackers in their little crinkly bags, more peanuts than you can shake a stick at (and who shakes a stick at peanuts?), and promises that there are doughnuts on their way from the local Dunkin Donut's shop.
  • It's fun to watch very old people high-five at the promise of doughnuts.  
  • It's also fun to watch them bicker over why the blankets offered by the flight attendants are all scratchy.  "These smell like peanuts," one ancient man said, and his wife nodded vehemently in agreement.  
  • And it's amazing to see people, one moment fast asleep and curled up on their faux-leather airport chairs, spring to life at the quiet arrival of six dozens of doughnuts, then move like zombies towards the boxes.
  • (It's also slightly awkward to have just been talking to someone about diabetes, but then grab a doughnut with your hungry little paws because you haven't eaten since the cheeseburger at the airport in Austin.  Desperate times.)
  • A diet of airplane peanuts, doughnuts, pretzels, and the rogue, squashed banana you found in your carry-on will not do wonderful things for your blood sugar control.
  • Being home, after six days away and a full 24 hours without any sleep or proper teeth-brushing, is so, so nice.
Now it is definitely time for a snooze.

Comments

I'm so sorry that you had to endure such a tumultuous trip home. But glad you made it safely and hope you are able to get good rest. And enjoy this beautiful weather!

Glad you made it back safe, even if it was later than planned and you had to go and write this post that had me snorting water out of my nose.

Love that you got a sticker from that man! So funny!

Good lord! The fact that you can write this articulate of a post in the sleep-deprived state you are in surely earns you some sort of cape. Or at least a commemorative mug of some kind.

Have a great nap!!!!

Reading that makes me wonder what I'd do in the same situation with my T1/Celiac kiddo. More peanuts, please!?!? And that rogue banana, of course :)

Me thinks that airline pilots need to be taught how to break "bad news". Beginning with "we've got some bad news" isn't cool! I would have hugged my seatmate too. Interesting story, glad you survived. I bet that was the best nap ever.

I love it, Kerri. Made me laugh. I shook a stick at a peanut once . . . right after the cows came home from wherever they had been.

I am glad you made it home. I was following you on Twitter. My youngest was up screaming, so I didn't have anything else to do.

As usual, I was laughing reading your posts - and again, I can (almost) totally relate. One time we were on a flight coming home from LA and we were in First Class (the only benefit of hubby traveling so much for work - we get to use points to upgrade) and we were leaving at lunchtime so we had planned to eat on the plane. Then they came on saying there were mechanical issues and we would be delayed - for a couple of HOURS. I started to panic a bit because yes I had snacks... but I still needed/wanted to eat lunch. So I pulled the trusty diabetes card and asked the flight attendants if we could still be served our lunch and she said no .. So I asked if I could get off the plane to grab some Burger King, which was right at our gate. At first she said no, but then told me I could, but that I would need to show my ID to get back on - that's fine, no problem. I am sure I ticked off the other passengers that had to smell my deliciousness of a chicken sandwich and onion rings ..... but such is life!

Who goes around airports with yellow smiley face stickers, anyway?? ...and where can I get some! Your post had me in stitches as well!! LOL

I love the idea of someone who both carries around smiley stickers and correctly uses the phrase, "I thought I was going to have to cut her"

I once got stuck in the middle of the day in the Des Moines airport for like 7 hours. That airport in the middle of the day is like any other major airport at night. No place to sit. 1 place to eat (and it was day old muffins and microwave pizza, no lie). And 1 gift shop w/ nothing in it but "Welcome to Iowa" shirts and teddy bears. Not fun.
Sorry you got stuck in the airport. :( And I'm glad you made it home safely! :D

Good lord, I'm glad you made it home!

Hysterical, Kerri... thanks for the laughs. Except, of course, for the part about no coffee. To which I had to yell at my monitor, on your behalf. Because that's just wrong.

Oh how I love waiting in airports! Although with the offer of free donuts I'd be most likely to give a high five too.

Hilarious! I'm heading to AZ today (From maryland) and hoping we don't have any of the catastrophes you had. This is only my second time going through security with all of my insulin and needles and pump so I'm nervous. Thanks for the laugh.

It is times like these that make for wisdom. And interesting blog posts.

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