First, let me say the trip to D.C. was amazing but certainly not without "stuff" which stories are made of. We were fortunate enough to get bulkhead seats which made the flight a lot more comfortable. We get settled in, buckled in and all loose items stored away in the overhead compartment( I take flight attendant orders to heart). We sit back in our compfy seats when we hear the captain say "We are having engine trouble!" Okay, these are not words you want to hear, but at least we were still on the tarmack. He continues to tell us that it is a bad fuel pump, but he thinks we can make the flight without it since the plane has two fuel pumps. Okay, we are a bit nervous but figure he knows what he is talking about--he is a pilot not a mechanic--we must not let this logic interfere with our excitement over this trip. We are now sitting still and do so for about an hour--no more news until the pilots voice is once more heard through nervous ears, " We have had the pump checked (logic here) and have decided to disembark everyone and find you new flights .
We unbuckle, gather up our stored items and wonder if we will be able to get a flight and especially get another bulkhead seat. You have never seen agitation until you are on a plane with over two hundred agitated travelers. Never mind that we are safe--we run to the ticket counters, along with all two hundred plus others, , slinging our bags over hunched shoulders, clenching boarding passes in sweaty palms and praying we will be able to get those dang bulkhaed seats!
Shannon has been plagued with bad knees since she played baseball on the boys baseball team ( another story for another time), but this did merit us a ride on an airport shuttle bus. Whew! We made it to the right gate, which by the way was in an entirely different terminal--thanks for the bad knees, Shannon!! Yes, we were able to get the bulkhead seat!! The flight was uneventful, we get to Dulles Airport safe and sound altho hours later than expected. We land, start to unbuckle when we hear the oh so familiar voice of the pilot, "There has been a breech of security and we must remain on the tarmack!" Okay--at least we are close to our desination, we are tired, ready to get away from all things "airportish", but we laugh and open another bag of peanuts. Quite some time later we are told we can now deplane. Yea! We are now almost five hours late.
We FINALLY get to the Hilton, after taking a shuttle from the airport . We throw our bags into the room and decide to head to the city, which is a shuttle ride, a bus ride and a subway ride away> What do we know, we are from Texas where our neighbors still ride horses to the little store down the road. We get o the part where we board a city bus, all good so far. then the driver tells us he can get us to the city but the bus cannot bring us back! This is not working for us, so we (after Shannon has paid her non-refundable fee) get off the bus and head back to the hotel shuttle. Now, at this point you are probably tired of hearing about our first day in D.C.--well keep reading as the best is yet to come.
We pay the shuttle driver extra to take us to get something to eat. We get to the restaurant and guess what--yep--they are closing in five minutes. We go another restaurant, a Chinese buffet, and they have stopped putting food out , it is only 9:30pm , who does this?? We talk them into putting some of the , who knows how long it has been out food into a microwave. We finally get some food into our empty bellies and head back to the room to get some much needed rest. It is now past midnight. Shannon has to be in her meeting early. Oh, and by the way it has been raining and will continue to rain until the very last day of the trip. Have umbrella Outlaws will travel!! We hit the bed and fall into a quick sleep. 5AM!!! the hotel fire alarm goes off! A voice booms into the room telling us to leave immediately and do not worry about taking anything with us--just ourselves and do it NOW!Oh! I've got to tell you, by this time we are so tired all we can do is laugh. In the lobby they tell us it is a false alarm. Go back to our rooms. Shannon's and my eyes are now totally glazed over. Ummm sweet sleep..NOT ON YOUR LIFE!! the ALARM GOES OFF AGAIN. Shannon mumbles something about "I am not going anywhere" and snores away.I, being the mother, head to the lobby muttering "Are you kidding me?, stumbling along with the rest of the half clad hotel guests. We are told the issue has been resolved and it is at this point I notice all the handsome firemen dressed in those sexy hats and here I am in my ragged flannels and not a smidgen of mascara.
I head back to the room, get dressed, leave Shannon to what minutes are left of precious sleep and I head to the big city via shuttle, city bus, subway and big Texas feet.....
It really was an awesome experience seeing our Nation's capitol, walking where our forefathers walked and seeing lovely people everywhere. You can read about the important work Shanon was a part of elsewhere on this site. Take a look and see what the Outlaws are up to. Check out the photos and let us know how you are doing. I know there are going to be more adventures and we will let you come along for the ride--pack your best running shoes because we do not stay put for very long.