Wherever you go then there you are – in this case we are in Monroe Michigan – home of General Custer, The La-Z-Boy recliner factory and of course, Monroe Shock Absorbers. Last night "A Musical Tribute to Johnny Cash" took place at the River Raisin Center for the Arts. Instead of sipping a hot latte in Amsterdam or eating fresh tabouli in Istanbul we have just finished a breakfast of reconstituted scrambled eggs sided with sausage gravy and biscuits at the Holiday Inn Express on I75. "But how did this happen? Last we heard they were boarding planes in Cleveland.
Well dear readers it was a cruel joke perpetrated on your hero. The airport was closed until 10am so there we were sitting in the Continental lounge waiting to hear what was going to happen next – then I saw a plane taxi past the window and they called for the Las Vegas passengers to board. Oh it was glorious! The tittering, the expectations ran 35.000 feet into the stratosphere – do you think we'll be called next? It's easier to take off than land – we just might get out of here. And then the friendly woman's voice came over the intercom system – all waiting passengers, report to your gates for boarding. Oh Kaloo Kalay we're going to Istanbul today!
Now Sara and I were on standby to Newark – we had called the night before to see what was up and decided to try and get on an earlier flight than the scheduled 12:30 one on which we had confirmed reservations. So there was no guarantee that we would even have seats – we were one and two on the list so all we needed were two folks to have given up driving to the airport in the blizzard and we were in. Welly welly well – happy time indeed, when we got to the gate two boarding passes with our names on them were waiting like obedient Labrador retrievers. We congratulated ourselves for being such savvy travelers.
We all shuffled onto the plan – everyone chatting expectantly – I can't believe they're boarding us - do you think we'll take off? As we sat watching the flight for Cancun pull away from the gate next to us the captain crackled across the speaker "Technically the airport is still closed we are just getting ready so that when it opens at 10 (it was now 9:45) we are out of here. Fifteen minutes later another announcement," We have been informed that the airport will remain closed until 10:30am" and then 15 minutes later we saw the Cancun flight pulling back into its gate and the final coffin nailed announcement "We are sorry ladies and gentlemen, the airport is closed for the rest of the day – no flights are leaving today, you may retrieve your checked luggage at the baggage carousel."
Oh crashing spirits, Mother Nature is a cruel mistress and she had just bitch slapped us across the head. I went down to pick up our bags and Sara worked on re-booking us. People's nerves were fraying a bit by now – the congenial chitter chatter was replaced by grunts and complaints, I steered clear as I waited for our bags which were going nowhere to return.
Sara came down to join me and told me she was successful in booking us on a plane the next day with one string attached – it left from Detroit. So after a series of train rides, a stop over at her daughter Katy's a ride back to the airport from her husband Doug (in the giant Ford 4x4 SUV that we have complained they spent to much money on in the past but never would have got where we were going without) we rented the quintessential old persons boat of a car – a Chevy Impala and we drove to Detroit in the blizzard of the decade!
Suffice it to say – it was a harrowing trip until we hit Toledo where the sun was shining. We stopped in at Tony Packos – had a fine dinner, there are a couple of left over stuffed cabbage rolls in our fridge here waiting 'til lunchtime for us – I challenge any of you to finish the Tony Packos feast menu item. I'll let the pics tell the story of our turnpike adventure.
So now we are a 20 minute drive from the Detroit Metro airport – where in 8 hours we are expecting to board a flight for Amsterdam and then onto Istanbul. Cross your fingers.