Travel poker

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Getting to O'Hare Airport on Saturday morning should have been simple and relatively quick. (Since this is Chicago we're talking about, that's heavy on the "relatively.") We allowed ourselves a bit of wiggle room, even, and hauling our suitcases over to the Blue Line station to board the train.

The train, of course, took forever to appear. Once we had boarded, we putted along at an infuriating pace. Then suddenly the conductor was on the PA system telling us that due to track work our train would stop at Jefferson Park, we would transfer to a shuttle bus, and we would board another train at Harlem making all stops to O'Hare.

I don't want to bore you with the details of watching the time tick past even as the train crawled at far less than the mandated 15 mph through the final stretch to O'Hare. Suffice it to say that once we finally alighted at the airport, a series of miracles occurred.

First, having checked in from home and printed boarding passes already, we went directly to our security gate and passed through unbelievably quickly. The TSA dude checking IDs told us it was the only slow period so far that day.

Second, having made our gate with ten minutes to spare before boarding, we were able to embark in a timely fashion and get all our carryon luggage on board.

Third, the flight took off on time, unheard of for O'Hare, and landed at Laguardia half an hour early.

Fourth, there was no line at the taxi stand outside. We made it to our Astoria destination and were inside our borrowed apartment four minutes before our flight's scheduled arrival time.

This is the traveler's equivalent of being dealt a hand of garbage and drawing to a straight flush. I fully expect that it will never happen again.

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William Shunn

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This page contains a single entry by William Shunn published on November 19, 2007 10:06 AM.

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