Monday, May 23, 2011

stuck inside of Mobile, at Gate 2 again

after parts of 10 days in Mobile County (Alabama), all but the last enjoyable, it took a bit more time to actually depart than we had hoped.
up in downtown Mobile at 8 a.m., to the airport by 9:20 for a 10:49 flight that was late coming in from Atlanta.
then during the clean-up, check-up changeover one of the flight crew noticed "a gash" in one of the tires.
of course, there are no spare airplane tires at the Mobile (Alabama) Regional Airport.
so we waited for the next scheduled flight to Atlanta (at 11:59 and completely full) to take off, fly to Atlanta, land, pick up a spare tire (and mechanic) and then return to Mobile for a tire change on the original plane so we could eventually depart at 3:15 (or four plus hours behind schedule for our Atlanta connection).

in the interim? an hour plus phone call (over half of that time spent on hold) with Delta customer service in an attempt to reschedule our connecting flight.
the customer service manager (who came on a little more than 45 minutes into the proceedings) did a bang-up job, but the first phone rep, who was only asked to reschedule our Atlanta connection, took us off of our original flight and re-booked us on the 6:15 p.m. flight out of Mobile, then lost her place, then tried to get us to agree to provide our own transportation to Georgia in return for seats on the 5:40 from Atlanta to LaGuardia as our flights were "paired," so that eventually (more than 45 minutes in) the customer service manager had to re-book us on our original flight as well as find us non-adjacent, non-aisle seats on the 6:40 flight because the 5:40, after all that time, had sold out.

the phone call was much, much worse than it sounds (one hold session lasted more than 12 minutes and another one nearly 10 and when she came back on the line she asked me to repeat what I'd asked her to do before she went away before).

the rest of our vacation, by the numbers:

0 - number of rainy days (out of 10)
0 - number of my three former homes within the Hillsdale Heights neighborhood still standing
1 - number of live, thankfully swimming (we, thankfully, were not) alligators who growled at us
1 - number of Mobile, Alabama Chick-Fil-A employees named Scaribou who served us
1 3/4 - number of miles, in width, of Dauphin Island's widest point
2 - number of meals eaten at Mobile's Dauphin Street Taqueria (there's no Dauphin Street Taqueria on Dauphin Island)
2 - number of trips through (or partially through) the Audubon Bird Sanctuary on Dauphin Island
3 - number of Scrabble games played (I won one)
3 - number of Chick-Fil-A sandwiches consumed by me within the city limits of Mobile
8 1/2 - number of hours it should've taken to travel from Mobile, Alabama to Long Island City, New York
13 1/4 - actual travel time, in hours, from Mobile, Alabama to Long Island City, New York
14 - approximate length, in miles, of Dauphin Island, Alabama
15 - preferred SPF of standard sun screen
slightly less than 21 - approximate number of hours it would take to drive from Long Island City to Dauphin Island
36 - number of navel oranges purchased for our host's margarita mix
55 - SPF of sunscreen used on a spouse's prematurely burned shoulders
1002 - street number of our Mobile residence
1258 - approximate number of driving miles between Long Island City and Dauphin Island
2358 - street number of our Dauphin Island residence

Amazon's servers are struggling to handle the demand for Lady Gaga's new disc, Born This Way (priced at 99 cents today only), tomorrow is Bob Dylan's 70th birthday (there's a reference up there somewhere) and our thoughts go out to Joplin, Missouri

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