Yesterday started like most other days:
Sunflower butter and a banana on an English muffin and a coffee. There was also some panicked morning packing for Vegas, but that’s par for the course for me going away.
I went to work and killed my to-do list so that I could go away without worrying about things hanging over my head.
I went home at lunch because I remembered I’d left Bailey’s food on the floor and I was worried it might attract ants while I was gone.
I also threw out the remains of my Tumblr Eat-Up cookies. And left that baguette. Fail.
On my way back to work, I grabbed some chicken tacos from Chipotle because I had a hankering for some guacamole.
I finished up the rest of my to-do list and peaced out at 5pm so I could make my 8pm flight. Before I continue, let me explain.
I work in midtown Manhattan, and I was heading to JFK. One is 17.6 miles from the other. According to Google Maps (and my experience), this could take anywhere from 27 minutes to 1 hour and 50 minutes. While I usually take a cab to the airport (in part because I’m lazy, in part because I’m afraid of messing up the trains), I decided that leaving at 5pm and taking the train would be the less frustrating bet. At least I’d be moving.
So I began the journey. The 1 train from 50th Street to Penn Station.
The Ronkonkoma-bound train to Jamaica, where I’d switch to the Air Train. If all had gone right, from door to door, it would have taken 52 minutes. Longer than it would take to get to JFK in a cab without traffic, but certainly less frustrating than sitting in a cab for at least an hour in traffic.
The ladies next to me with their thick Long Island accents were discussing their sons getting married and how “kids” these days are getting married later in life. As a single lady, I was listening to them with a bemused smile on my face. I looked at my watch, and realized thirty minutes had passed, we hadn’t stopped yet, and this train ride should have taken twenty minutes.
“So, this is the right train to JFK, right?”
“NO! This is an express train, you needed the local train.”
“Okay, so what do I do now?”
Central Islip was one of the next stops, and they advised me to wait until the next stop. “It’s a better neighborhood. But, I hope you can still make your flight. If you get back on the train, it will take at least another hour just to get to Jamaica.”
At this point, it was around 6:30. A quiet panic descended over me as I resigned myself to missing my flight. One thing at a time, I told myself, and I decided to wait until I got off at the next stop, Deer Park. In the interim, I called my airline and realized there were no more flights from JFK to Las Vegas last night, but that I’d have better luck showing up at the airport and having them change my flight if I’d missed it than just calling and saying I was going to miss it. I was near the Islip airport, the ladies told me, so they suggested I check Southwest. If I was going to have to pay a change fee, they said, it might just be cheaper to book a cheap flight on Southwest. No more flights on Southwest either. I got off at the next stop, Deer Park.
Point A is where I should have gotten off; Point B is where I did get off. 32 miles from each other.
I lugged my bags off the train and stepped outside into a light rain. Of course I did. I heard a man yell “Taxi!” and ran towards him.
“Can you take me to JFK?”
“That’ll be $100.”
Fine. it beat missing my flight. Well, as if being 30+ miles past where you needed to be during rush hour traffic when your flight was boarding in 45 minutes wasn’t stressful enough, this cabbie’s minivan was beat up. As in, it shook every time we got above 60mph. But alas, it got me to the airport at a little after 7. Luckily, I was already checked in and wasn’t checking a bag so I headed straight to security and breezed through in about 10 minutes. I desperately wanted to grab a drink and/or something to eat, but it was 7:25 and my flight was scheduled to begin boarding at 7:29.
I sat down at the gate at 7:28 and the flight began boarding literally one minute later. Aside from some turbulence (where, of course, I thought I was going to die), the flight was fine.
Sights for sore eyes.
Since my adventure yesterday left no time to grab dinner at the airport and American didn’t serve ANYTHING (not even snacks which I happily would have paid for), I haven’t eaten since those tacos at 2pm yesterday, so I’m going to go find me a big breakfast while Ashley does her work thang.