Traveling Home

After a fantastic 3+ week vacation in California it was time to go home. We left my parent's home in the wee hours on Friday, January 4th amidst a horrible rain/wind storm that was coming into Northern California. We got to the airport around 5:45 am and after returning the rental car, checking in, and going through security, we were at the gate by 7:15 am. We boarded the plane around 7:30 am for our 8 am departure, but after sitting on the plane for only a few minutes, it was apparent that we weren't going to be taking off on time. The wind was whipping and blowing our 767 aircraft like a branch on a tree... it was scary.

Around 7:45 am, the pilot came on the PA to let us know that all baggage loading was suspended at the airport due to the high winds and rain, and that they would let us know when it would resume. Thirty minutes pass... then another thirty... soon it was 9 am. The wind was unrelenting and after squirming in our seats for well over an hour, the United agents decided to de-board the aircraft and have us wait outside while they determined whether or not the flight would be cancelled. I was annoyed! While I normally wouldn't have minded the delay, I had made plans to meet my girlfriends Kathie and Alison (friends from Oman) in DC for the evening on a layover before we headed back to Israel. I was now late and my precious time with them was diminishing.

After waiting for over 1 1/2 hours, during which time they issued new boarding passes, the rains had died down enough for the bags to be loaded on the plane and for us to attempt to re-board and take off. The girls were SO tired after being up since 4:30 am that once we boarded the plane at 11am, they fell right asleep. Good thing as we took off around 11:45 am and had the most HORRIFIC take off I've ever experienced. The rain and wind had picked up again just a few short minutes before we took off, and our plane shook and shimmied for the first 15 minutes so bad that I grabbed the guy's arm next to me and buried my head in his shoulder. I was actually frightened, and judging from the oohs and aahs of the other passengers, I wasn't the only one.

It was a quick trip to DC with the girls sleeping a majority of the flight, and once we landed, we had help getting off the plane, getting our very rain soaked luggage, and then we caught the shuttle bus to the Embassy Suites Hotel where my friends were eagerly waiting our arrival. More of our visit, including photos in my next blog.

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