Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Beginning Late, Ending Early

Yesterday was a long day at the office. Longer than usual and actually not at the office. It was a travel day that began early in the morning as my alarm began annoying me (and my wife) at 4:30am. While I had planned on leaving at 5:00am I was, not surprisingly, 30 minutes late getting into the car and onto the empty highway.

The drive to the airport was much faster than I expected and when I pulled into the short term parking garage near at the terminal I was greeted with a pleasant surprise. Despite the sign telling all who got off at that particular level that the lot was full, I managed to find an open spot at the end of the aisle which allowed me to walk straight into the building with minimal effort. After printing out my boarding pass on the ground floor I retraced most of my steps and got in the long security line.

I was still running a little late by this point but had plenty of time to make it to the gate for the flight. Somehow, by the time I got to the other side of the TSA checkpoint, I was back on schedule as they singled me out for the expedited screening. From there I met up with my colleagues at the gate, boarded the plane, and almost immediately closed my eyes and fell asleep. By the time I woke up we were in Atlanta pulling up to the gate ahead of schedule.

The brief meeting with our client went well and by the time we completed our agenda for the day, we were even further ahead of schedule. So much so that while we chatted and got to know everyone a little better I was able to look out the window and take the picture above of Olympic Park. By the time our car arrived the lead we had on the day evaporated (thanks unreliable car service) and we were off to the airport for our return trip home.

By the time we got back to the airport I couldn’t help but think “while it was nice getting to Atlanta a little early, it would be great to get home early.” With scattered showers forecast in both Atlanta and Philadelphia and a TSA line that seemed to disappear beyond the horizon, it wasn’t looking good. Through security and near our gate, we took advantage of the 30 minutes before boarding was scheduled to begin and grabbed a quick bite to eat.

By the time we got to the gate we were expecting them to nearly be ready to start boarding. What we found was the plane just pulling up and passengers beginning to disembark. It wasn’t looking good but, somehow, the airline managed to get all the passengers off, clean, and board all passengers fast enough that we pushed back 5 minutes early.

On the return flight I was lucky enough to trade with my colleague for a window seat which both helped me to catch up on a little more sleep but also watch as the scattered clouds…

…got thicker…

…but almost disappear as we made our approach.

Somehow we landed early and I was back in my car as the sky was just beginning to change from day to dusk.

While I didn’t get home early enough to see my son before he went to sleep (I let him know what was going on the night before) I was home in time to watch the last glowing vestiges of the day burn bright on the horizon before night fell. It is good to be home.