Note to self: Chicago has TWO airports

So, finally we’re back home but not without overstaying our Chicago welcome by 24 hours thanks to yours truly.

Thursday afternoon, after a full week of nonstop eating, we packed up all our stuff and hopped on the blue line train to O’Hare. The highlight of the trip was a big, scary crazy guy who looked kinda like a 6 ft 5 Anthony Hopkins from that mediocre Cuba Gooding movie, Instinct. He got on the train with his pants unzipped, floral underwear exposed and what looked like various plastic bags tied around his waist. He threw a heavy bag down that sounded like it was stuffed with metal scrap, started talking to himself, and toward the end of the journey started hefting a big metal tube in his hands. I kept praying he wouldn’t suddenly go apeshit and beat us senseless.

In spite of this disturbing travel buddy, we got to O’Hare in plenty of time and checked the departure boards to find our terminal. Our flight was nowhere to be seen and we were about to head to the same terminal we arrived in when I decided to pull out our printed itinerary and saw to my chagrin–no, to my horror–that we were at the WRONG AIRPORT. For some reason, I’d booked us a flight that flew in via O’Hare but out via Midway. I could’ve kicked myself but the look on Nick’s face was punishment enough.

We hopped back on the train with no hope of actually making our flight, rode all the way back to downtown Chicago, got on another train to Midway and arrived about fifteen minutes after our flight had left. A blase Frontier airlines employee confirmed my worst fears–since it was our fault, there was nothing they would do about our dilemma except put us on the same flight out the next day. The Frontier lady looked at me like I was mentally challenged and said that what we’d done was a common mistake. Somehow I don’t think that’s what she was really thinking.

With a whole 24 hours to kill, we got back on the train AGAIN and once more headed toward downtown. This whole mess would’ve been much more trying had it not been for my ex-coworker, good buddy and all around good egg, Laura P. Being completely out of cash, we weren’t sure what we’d do if we couldn’t stay at her place so we gave her a jingle and god bless her, she graciously allowed us to stay one more night. We arrived on her doorstep weary and bedraggled around 8:30 pm, having been riding trains for four and a half hours, and I could have kissed the hardwood floors.

Man, that situation sucked. I’ll tell ya, this one goes into the memory banks filed under “travel snafus”, right alongside this year’s horrible 36 hour flight back from GDC.

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