But it was the best vacation we ever took.
My granddaughter Erin and I love to travel and when she suggested a trip, we pondered many places but chose to fly to Santa Fe, New Mexico. We ordered our airplane tickets, and her dad took us to the airport on the appointed day. As it neared time for our departure, a terrible storm came up and we were informed there would be a delay in departure as weather conditions did not permit the plane to leave until the storm abated. After four hours or so we were told that the crew that was to fly our plane did not have sufficient hours to fly to Denver which is where we were to transfer to another plane.
A new crew was flying in to take over. Every couple of hours we were told of further delays due to the storm. We kept getting messages that it would be another two hours until we could leave.
Finally, at 2:30 A.M. an airport employee came to inform us that our flight could not leave, and we would have to cancel our reservations or stay overnight at the airport. He further informed us that a National Firefighters’ Convention was taking place and no hotel rooms were available. We would have to sleep on cots at the airport until the flight could leave. Erin had gone to make a telephone call to her family and when she returned all the people were gone; some did elect to cancel but we had reservations at a hotel, and they were not redeemable.
When Erin returned, I told her of our overnight stay at the airport and we started walking in the direction I had seen the people go who were staying the night. We found no one in sight and finally came to a young policeman and asked him if he knew where we were to go to find the cots. He kindly informed us he had no idea but there was only one direction for us to take and he pointed it out to us.
When we reached the top of the ramp and looked around, we found ourselves in the front entry area of the airport. We saw people on mats on the floor and on the chairs and benches . Finally, an airport employee showed up and we asked him about the cots we were to sleep on. He informed us mats were the cots. However, I guess my gray hair influenced him; he said he would find a bed for me.
It turned out to be an army cot and he found a love seat for Erin to sleep on. With her legs bent and head propped up with a neck pillow, and an airport beam between us, we just started laughing. It was so ridiculous to see all the people in various places, and snoring going. A plane landed and disembarked passengers passed by us probably wondering if we were homeless people.
We finally made it to Denver but with a piece of damaged luggage, but it was minor. We barely made it to our next departure. When we reached Santa Fe, the airport did not have transportation into town, so we had to call an Uber driver to take us to the hotel.
The hotel was nice, food was good, and we were able to walk downtown to see the Indians sitting around the square with their wares for sale, visit a couple of interesting churches and shops. Woolworth had once had a store there and when the people knew it was going out of business, they purchased it as a city business and just called it the “5 and 10 Cents Store”. Erin found the store interesting, and it was fun for me to reminisce.
We did not expect New Mexico to be cold, but while we were there it snowed. We had a foot of snow on the patio. We did not bring jackets and had to buy some.
With all the calamities of the trip, we ended up laughing at all of it and decided that it was the best trip we had ever taken together.
Contributed by: Barbara Howell
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