Monday, December 13, 2021

Graduation and Christmas

Due to recent circumstances, beyond my control. I made the decision, upon invitation, to attend my granddaughter's graduation from the University of Texas in San Antonio.  After her dad, my son, told her I was going to come to graduation she texted me to say, "since you're coming for graduation, you might as well stay for Christmas."  The prospect of spending Christmas in Englewood by myself was unappealing so the decision to spend the holiday with my Texas family was tempting.
My habit, when making plans to fly somewhere, is to try and get the earliest (first) flight available. I also prefer nonstop flights, but that option was unavailable. When flying to Corpus Christi I had to route through Houston and change planes before continuing down to Corpus.  First flight out left at 0700 which meant I'd have to leave Englewood by 0415 but I'd be in Corpus for lunch.

So, Jeff Hartman from Aero shuttle, sent a driver to pick me up at 0415.  About halfway there, driving through heavy fog, I get a text from travel agent Expedia saying flight to Houston at 0700 has been delayed for 600 minutes.  At first, I think it's a typo, but no the plane never arrived from wherever it was supposed to come from so the flight was postponed for 10 hours.  Oh great, I'm in Fort Meyers, two hours from home, and I have to wait 10 hours to catch my flight?  I have to remind myself to stay calm.

After standing in line for two hours waiting to check with a ticket agent, I get a text from Expedia saying I've been booked into a noon flight to Houston and a 1500 flight out of Houston to Corpus.  When I get to the ticket agent, about 15 minutes later, and show her my text, she checks her computer and looks back at me and says, " you are golden! you are all set."  she prints off my boarding passes and I'm on my own 'til noon.  I find my way to the gate, get through security easily, orient myself to departure gate and then go to a nearby restaurant to enjoy a leisurely breakfast.

After finishing breakfast, I took a seat in the gate area to people watch and watch planes load and unload.  The fog was quite thick outside 'til around 1000 when it started to lift and clear.

I slept for 2 of the 2 1/2 hour, uneventful, flight from Fort Myers to Houston.  We were a little late arriving in Houston and the time for my connecting flight was getting tighter by the minute.
The time to get to my connecting flight appeared to be only 15 minutes and a note from the airline telling me that it usually takes 15 minutes to make the distance.  Let me tell you, I walked as fast as I've ever walked to get to that departure gate (from C15 to B9) on time.  I actually made it in exactly 15 minutes, only to sit and wait an additional 20 minutes before we boarded.  But I was okay with that.  A couple glitches but overall, all went well, and I arrived in Corpus at 1600; just 5 hours later than scheduled, but in plenty of time to enjoy the evening and get ready for the next day's graduation in San Antonio.

Crystal LaRock with grandpa LaRock following graduation ceremony, 11 December 2021.

We left Corpus, after a leisure morning, at 1000.  Stopped for gas, and the bank for cash and then North on Rt.# 37 toward San Antonio.  Crystal had asked that we pick up her roommate, and best friend, Alessi, at their apartment.  A text from Alessi, who had to work, said she should be ready by 1330.  We arrived in San Antonio early enough to grab some lunch.

We went to Pappasita's Cantina    where I had a Modelo draft and Pappasita's ceviche.

Pappasito's Ceviche

shrimp, scallops & fresh fish marinated in lime & cilantro, with avocado

We Picked up Alessi at the apartment at 1330 and the GPS said it would take us a half hour to get from there to the Alamo Dome, where graduation was to take place, starting at 1500.  File under, The Best Laid Plans; the traffic was so heavy and congested that it took us over two hours to get into the parking lot.  We were late for the 1500 start, but we didn't miss any of the diploma presentations and fortunately Loraine and her parents, Hue and Dave, had saved us 3 seats.  The Alamo Dome is immense, and we were up quite high, so we had to photograph the Jumbotron to catch Crystal walking on stage to receive her Diploma.

After the ceremony we were able to get all the requisite family photographs.  Following that, Bobby and I returned to Corpus Christi to attend his police department Christmas party.


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