Oregon didn’t want to let me go!

April 2, 2009 at 9:23 am (Travel) (, , , , )

So I’m visiting Houston this week, for the first time in a year and a half. This is the first time I’ve been back since I moved to Oregon. It’s sort of surreal in a lot of ways, although I think I’m going to talk about that in another post.

What I really wanted to write about was my trip to get here. I’ve done a lot of traveling in my life, but I think yesterday’s experience may still have made my top 5 of “most memorable trips.” And not in a good way.

So, I flew Southwest, which meant I had to fly out of Portland. It’s a bit of a pain, because it’s a 2 hour drive, but it’s nothing terribly serious. I could have taken the Amtrak, but it would have been really inconvenient, and not really any cheaper.

I managed to get myself on the road by about 8:30, which would get me at the airport an hour and a half before my 12:00 flight. About 30 minutes into my trip, my car started acting a little funny, and then I saw rubber flying at my windshield. Thank god I realized there was a problem and pulled over, because yep, I had a complete tire blowout. Half the rubber was completely gone.

So I got to sit on the left shoulder of the interstate, in the cold (because it was cold), and wait for the AAA tow truck as cars whizzed past me at 65 mph. It was terrifying. But, after half an hour, the tow truck got there and changed my spare for me (I could have done it myself, but it would have taken me just as long, and this was just better all around). Then I got myself back on the interstate, not able to drive more than 50 mph, and drove 20 miles to the next town. When I got there, I went to a tire place and bought a new tire. So, one hour and $67 later, I was good to go…but it was 11:30.

So I called Southwest, and was able to change my flight to one that left at 3:00 and would arrive in Houston around 11:30. 15 minutes and $230 later, I was finally able to get back on the road to Portland. I made it to the airport without any more incident, although it was raining the whole flipping way there. I almost forgot to turn off my headlights when I parked, because the shuttle to the terminal was about to pass my car just as I was getting out, and I didn’t want to miss it. Fortunately, I know I turned off my headlights and locked the car, so there shouldn’t be anything the matter with it when I return to Portland.

So I got to the airport, printed new boarding passes, got through security, and went to Wendy’s for lunch. They started boarding the flight a little bit late, but I wasn’t seriously concerned because my layover in Las Vegas was an hour and a half. But an hour after we were supposed to have taken off, they announced that the airspeed regulator wasn’t working, and they’d either find a new one or switch planes. Five minutes later, they told us all to get off, collect a plastic boarding pass to get back on another plane, and go across the hall to another terminal. Finally, about 4:45 we were ready to take off, although by then pretty much everyone on the plane with connecting flights had to be re-routed.

So I finally got to Las Vegas around 6:30, with just over an hour before my next flight. I got myself a new boarding pass, and then got on a plane that didn’t even have B group because it was not even half full. That was kind of awesome.

And, at 12:30 am, I finally met up with my parents at the airport to go home.

So, here I am in Houston, hanging out with my dad. The dog maybe remembers me, but at the very least, he’s decided that I’m not scary or anything. He slept in my room last night, and it took him for flipping ever to finally settle down and go to sleep. At 5:30, he wanted out so he could eat. Then he came back right before 7:00 and decided that it was time for me to go downstairs, too. Lucky for me, I was going to get up at 7:00 anyway.



  1. Kristan said,

    OH MY GOD. You sound REMARKABLY calm in this post, whereas I can’t even COMMENT without using ALL CAPS to signify my FREAKING OUT. Can you imagine if it had HAPPENED TO ME?!?!??!


    I’m glad you’re home safe. Give lots of love to Puchinka!! I think he and Riley would be good buds, because Riley gets along well with fluffy dogs that are slightly smaller than him. 🙂

  2. Mary said,

    I did my fair share of freaking out right after I realized my tire was shot, I’d have to sit on the shoulder of the interstate for awhile, and I was going to miss my flight. I was finally able to calm down once I got on the road again. By that time, I’d resigned myself to the fact that my day was going to be completely different than what I’d planned.

    But, it helps that I didn’t have to pay for any of this, and that Mom and Dad didn’t have a problem with it. Plus, once I was actually at the airport and checked in for my new flight, I wasn’t as worried about making it to Houston. At that point, all delays became not my problem, and since Southwest had sold me a ticket to Houston, they had to get me to Houston somehow.

  3. Angie said,

    Agreed with Kristan, I think I would have gone crazy, especially with the tire blowout–and I’m glad you weren’t stranded without help. I’m glad you made to Houston safe and sound and enjoying that Texas heat!

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