Okay, so we'll start from the beginning. Thursday afternoon we headed for the airport, after last-minute packing, a run (well, cycle) to Burger King, watering the plants, closing the windows, turning the AC way up, and opening the blinds just enough to let in sunlight so we don't come home to a plant graveyard.
Nothing of any note whatsoever happened at the Lubbock airport. We didn't even have a very long wait, although we did get a bit bored:
The real fun started when we landed in Houston. We arrived 20 minutes early, which is in itself pretty impressive. Except for one thing: There was no gate available for us. And, unfortunately, it took 25 minutes for a gate to be ready. Then, when we managed to get to what turned out to be a square of tarmac, it took another 5 minutes to get the shuttle bus to us. So our 20 minute early arrival turned into a 10 minute late one, in terms of us actually being in the terminal.
We had a fast layover anyway, only 40 minutes, now down to 30. We went up to the monorail to get to our gate, to find out it was having problems as well. So there goes another 5 minutes. At this point I am holding a very nervous conversation with my watch about how much time we have, while Chad is totally calm, cool and collected. Our terminal was the last stop on the monorail, and as things go, our gate was the furthest one at the other end of the terminal building. (I used to really like the Houston airport, but trust me, a lot of that fondness is now gone.) So we race up to the gate at 6:44, essentially waving our passports and shouting, "We're here!" Fortunately, the door of the airplane wasn't shut yet, and they hadn't yet removed our bags from the cargo hold, so the people at the gate told us, "Run!" as they phoned down to the plane to wait a few more seconds before shutting us out. So we did.
I'd also just like to say at this point that the Continental airlines people who got us on the plane were all wonderful, except for the one man at the end of the jetway who asked (thinking, I suppose, that he was funny) "Did you take the long way around?" At that point, I was not in the mood for wit, and this wasn't it anyway, so I snapped back, "It was the airplane and the monorail, not us!" I didn't add "so shut up!" although I certainly wanted to. We got a few glowers from other passengers as we got on, which I ignored since we were technically taking off at our correct time anyway. We got our seats, shooed off a woman who had decided this was her row, since no one was sitting there, and settled down. Fortunately, we each had our own video screen, which went a long way toward making me feel a resurgence of loyalty toward Continental.
So the flight was pretty uneventful-- thank goodness! Also, the food was great. IMO, British Airways has the best airline food, but Continental is almost even with them. At a very distant third (and by very distant, think me running a marathon against an Olympian athelete) is American. Bringing up the rear, and falling in behind school lunches, mystery meat in hole-in-the-wall red-light restaurants, and road kill you scraped up and cooked, is Sabena. I've never had worse food in my life than when I flew with them. In fact, I think they may be out of business now, and I would guess that's because their loyal customers all got food poisoning at some point.
Coming soon... Friday: Day One