Saturday, October 11, 2008

Failures to launch

Saturday, October 4th, 1am PST
We're sitting on our plane for Costa Rica. We booked an overnight flight to allow time for the drive from San Jose to Manuel Antonio and take full advantage of our one week in paradise. We're ready to start our vacation. The plane pulls back from the gate, but makes it only a short ways along the tarmac before the pilot's voice comes over the speaker. Some words in Spanish and then the English translation---a leak in the front hydrolics or something. The gist of it being that we head back to the gate. It's about a half an hour before a mechanic shows up to look into the problem. Another half hour before we find out they need some piece of equipment and are trying to get it from another airline. I doze off and it's somewhere around 3:30am when they usher us off the plane. This is followed by more waiting in the departure lobby before we are finally told we will be sent out on a flight tomorrow night. We head back home and get to bed around 5am, sleeping for most of the day.

We make it out without incident on the second try and arrive Sunday morning.

Friday, October 10th, 5:40pm
I'm on my flight heading home. We have pulled away from the gate and are told there will be a small delay before we are cleared. My wife is staying over until Sunday to visit her brother's family. I had signed up for a race Saturday morning so I'm flying home to arrive only a handful of hours before the start. After 20 minutes, we begin our taxi down the runway, picking up speed. I'm mentally preparing myself to get as much sleep as possible on this flight so I'm trying to settle in, ready to be in the air. Just at as I'm expecting to begin feeling the sensation of the nose lifting from the ground, the captain suddenly slams on the brakes and we all lurch forward in our seats. Apparently, an indicator had come on for one of the engines and the captain decided to abort at the last minute. We head back to the gate. More waiting. Our connections in San Salvador are lost. They plan to still fly us there tonight where we will stay and then head home the following evening. I opt to get off and stay in Costa Rica. Unfortunately, my luggage has already departed for the States on an earlier flight.

I miss my race, but gain back the lost day of vacation.

Saturday, October 11, 3:00pm
I'm sitting in my brother-in-law's house in San Jose pondering the above two events. My conclusion? They werre insignificant since between the two we had an absolutely perfect vacation.

From Costa Rica Oct 08

From Costa Rica Oct 08

From Costa Rica Oct 08

From Costa Rica Oct 08

From Costa Rica Oct 08


Rick Gaston said...

Way to swing with the punches Steve and the vacation shots of Costa Rica look warm and inviting. We definitely missed you out there but it's just a race and there's many more to come.

meredith said...

Well said Rick! Thanks for getting me set with a time in my head for raceday! It looks like you had a great trip. mer

Victoria said...

I mean, Firetrails was great, and I love the East Bay hills to death... but they're not Costa Rica! Hope you had a good birthday and enjoyed your extra day of vacation!

John Austin Reynolds said...

Looks like you had a great vacation! Sorry to hear about the yellow jackets... you do seem to be a magnet. I got just one at headlands and it was enough... can't imagine 10 of em.

olga said...

Hello, long lost brother! How come I wasn't visiting our (your) family??? Sorry the flights got all messy, but you know what, way to pick on a better side of things!