People love to visit Chicago. Wrigley Field, great museums, Rush Street, Second City, that ridiculous giant softball, ribs at the Twin Anchors (Positively No Dancing).....it has so much to offer. It is such a shame that during my latest visit I enjoyed none of this stuff, as O'Hare airport offers none of the things we love about the Windy City.
Maybe I shouldn't bother writing this. Everyone who has traveled at all has their own fun story about being trapped in O'Hare. Mine started with a 3:40 AM bus ride to DIA, where I was to take a 6AM flight to Chicago, then on to Buffalo in time to watch the Bills with my old friends back home. Early flights always leave on time, right?
As we are about to board, there is an announcement that the hose broke while fueling the plane, so there would be a short delay while they cleaned up the spill. No problem, I have 1 ½ hours to change planes. Then, once we're on the plane, the “tug” that pushes the plane from the gate breaks, and they have to summon another. While we wait for that, a guy on the plane turns as white as the ice at HSBC Arena, has a racing pulse, and needs to be taken off the plane. By 7 he's off, but then it takes another 20 minutes for someone to show up to close the airplane door again. After a stop for de-icing, we take off at 7:45. That gets us into O'Hare at 10:30, 20 minutes after my connecting flight, probably the only flight to leave O'Hare on time all day.
I”ll keep this brief and summarize the rest of the fun. The next 2 flights to Buffalo get canceled, as Buffalo is experiencing the kind of weather that made it famous, so I and my new best friends, all of whom were trying to make the same trip, spend 4 ½ hours waiting in line for “Customer Service”, then are told all kinds of crazy stuff and put on standby. One girl gave up and went downtown and took the train. The flight at 7 (which didn't leave until 8:15) had a waiting list of 78 people. I was #40. I start at 29 for the 9:45 flight, yet somehow catch a break and get the last seat on the plane (NO, I didn't kill 28 people in Chicago, although I considered it!), which left at 11:15. I wave a quick goodbye to Jody and Dan (who by now have probably built a home on the C concourse), my friends in suffering for the day, and get on the plane after on 12 hours of bad food, screaming kids, and that constant sound of mumbled announcements and beeping carts. Buffalo never looked so good.
It all ended with the fun of a 2:30 Am cab ride, being taken to Mom's on un-plowed roads covered with snow drifts, by a Middle Eastern driver who fishtails the town car all over the road. I should be driving him in this weather!
At least I made it to Ted's Hot Dogs for lunch, which is worth all the trouble.