I really enjoyed the 757 and its dedicated flight deck radio channel on the audio system. This is a different plane, though, with fewer channels, and the pilot radio shares a channel number with kids’ music. On our way to California, kids' music was all it played, but... hey, here they have it switched to the pilots! Great – that will really help the time fly.
We’re pushed back from the gate and taking off shortly after 6:00. I’m curious what the reason for the delay was.
We turn south, following the Rocky Mountains. The sky is really pretty, with several layers of clouds in the darkening blue sky. This is set to be about a two-hour flight, and with adding an hour for the time change, the sun will set before we’re on the ground.
I’m again enjoying hearing the chatter between the pilots and the controllers as I watch the mountains slip off into the distance. I try to interest Brandon in listening to the same thing, but he gives up after just a minute or so – he doesn’t understand the jargon.
The captain talks on the PA system to apologize for the delay, but not explain it. He and the copilot were supposed to be finished flying for the day, but were asked to stay on to take this one delayed flight. They themselves were not told why the flight was delayed or what happened to the crew that was supposed to fly it.
The sky grows darker and darker, and we begin our descent into Dallas / Fort Worth International. We approach from the north, so we pass Grapevine and the immense Gaylord Texas hotel – the Vocal Majority has performed there a couple of times since I’ve been in – and the newer Great Wolf Lodge. Becky’s friend Wendy and her kids are supposed to be staying there tonight. We wave to them as we fly past.
Once on the ground, we’re at the gate quickly and out to the luggage claim. There’s no long delay this time before our bags hit the carousel, so we gather our still gold-threaded luggage and step out into the cool night air.
Ugh! Did I say “cool night air”? Okay, that is something we enjoyed in California, but this night air is not cool. It’s probably in the low- to mid-90’s here. I guess it’s better than if it had still been daytime.
We pull our bags out to the “shared ride” area to contact the Super Shuttle representative, and... there isn’t one. Hmm. We are a couple of hours later than planned. I call Super Shuttle from my cell, and the lady on the phone is very nice and says she’ll contact the dispatcher to have a van sent.
While we wait, a CityCab worker tries to get us into one of his vehicles. Sorry, we’ve already paid for the Super Shuttle. Can’t blame the guy for trying, though.
The van arrives within ten minutes, and we load and go. We’re mostly quiet now. That this is the end of the trip is getting more and more real. With little traffic on the road late on a Wednesday evening, we’re at our house in no time. Becky’s parents get their car and go, and we’re home at last.
As my last official act of the vacation, I update my Facebook status one last time for the friends who have been following my adventures there: “Wombat and his silver medal are home. Unpacking can wait until tomorrow. Good night.”