Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Planes, Trains and Stewardesses

My last-minute trip to Connecticut sure was an adventure of epic proportions. 

On my flight over there on Friday, October 26 there were murmurings of the pending storm but it was not yet the talk of the town. While in line for the restroom, I casually asked a stewardess if she thought the storm would really hit and if I'd be okay flying back to L.A. on Tuesday the 30th. She immediately said no. "I'm a New Yorker," she said in a thick, Bronx accent, "I've been through these before. I highly recommend you get out before the storm. Something this big will probably damage airports and planes and you don't want to get stuck." I took her words to heart and upon landing switched my reservation to Sunday night, a little overwhelmed at the thought of a 48 hour trip and a pending hurricane.

I was in Connecticut for the bestie's son's bar mitzvah. Let me tell you, he knocked it out of the park.   Here is a picture of him - the day after - the 13-year old 'boy/man' already towering over his auntie Melissa.

It was very fun to connect with old friends, meet new ones, jump around in some leaves (thanks Miranda for capturing the image!), eat lots of tuna and other delicious foodstuffs, watch an Earth, Wind, and Fire/Jennifer Hudson show without realizing who those fabulous performers were (long story - fundraiser at the hotel one night) and hang with the bar mitzvah boy and his fabulous family.

I was sad to say my goodbye's on Sunday (pic of my send-off crew at the Cos Cob train station), and miss the bestie's birthday dinner, but the storm was fast approaching and I was lucky to be getting out when so many of the BMBF (bar mitzvah boy's family) flights were already canceled. I hopped the train to Grand Central, took a quick photo, and grabbed the shuttle bus to Newark.

And this is where the chaos began.

To summarize: Flight at 6:30, announcement at 6:00 that a stewardess scheduled on the flight had to evacuate her home and they were waiting on another stewardess. Announcements all though the evening about that stewardesses whereabouts (she just landed, at Kennedy, waiting for driver, heading over, etc. etc.) All told, we were delayed for 3 1/2 hours. I made backup plans with the bestie, even though all public transportation had closed in NY at 7pm, and fielded texts and calls from friends and family who were wondering, like me, if I was going to get stuck in the storm. The wind started picking up - we could hear it in the airport terminal. I met a kind, Canadian writer who writes for How I Met Your Mother and we talked about Moishe's restaurant in Montreal, how we were going to get home, etc.

And then, in the middle of a phone call with my worried mom, a frazzled looking stewardess showed up, wheeling her little suitcase along. The entire waiting area erupted in cheers and by 10:00pm we were finally, finally, finally taxiing on the runway, trying to beat the pending storm. 

Oh, we hit turbulence upon our ascent, but it wasn't as bad as I anticipated (that, or my 2 Ativan kicked in). It all felt like the final scene in Argo, and when I arrived home at 1am I couldn't help but immediately switch on The Weather Channel to see what was happening back from where I just came.

We all now know how bad it was. Thinking about my agent who lives in Hoboken and the many friends in New Jersey, Connecticut, New York and Boston who have weathered this literal and emotional storm.

So, thank you stewardess #1 for suggesting I get out, and thank you  stewardess #2 for finally showing up, and thank you bestie and family for hosting such a wonderful event that made all the adventure worth it.

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