Three days of traveling. Where am I? Who am I?

I'll be spending the next week catching up and posting about the South America trip, as well as getting back in the groove at Dartmouth.

My travel adventure/nightmare after the east coast storm was epic.

3 taxis
4 airplanes
1 airport train
1 hotel shuttle bus
2 Greyhound buses
6 airports
1 hotel
3 rides in family members vehicles

Some airport I was in, sometime between Friday and Sunday. Maybe Chicago. (Canon SX 50 HS)

Day 1 - Friday 02/08

I started in El Calafate, Argentina on Friday morning. Shot an amazing bird reserve, showed up at the hostel, and was immediately told that I had missed the shuttle to the airport, which the had told me was an hour later. So, taxi to airport about half an hour away, then a massive line to check in, and another line to pay the airport tax, before going through both security and passport control.

Airplane to Buenos Aires was two and a half hours. Feeling ready for a long but efficient journey back home by noon on Saturday. Once arriving in BA, I proceeded to get my bag, then grab a taxi in rush hour to head over to the International Airport, which turned out to be an hour and a half ride. I show up and find my flight to JFK is cancelled, due to the storm. I can choose to either head back into the city immediately, get a hotel and come back to the airport the next day, or get on a flight to Dallas. I choose Dallas, and spent the next 11 hours crammed in the middle of the of middle rows, surrounded by sleeping people, ignoring my bladder.

Hard to believe shooting flamingos was how I spent Friday morning! Seems like ages ago and a world away. (Canon SX 50 HS)

Day 2 - Saturday 02/09

I show up in Dallas, and find out a little more about my storm. After going through customs and retrieving my bag, I go to a counter, where I'm told Logan should reopen later in the evening...but, I'd need to go through Chicago. I have a few wonderful hours and a tex-mex breakfast taco platter, while wandering the never-ending circle hallways that filter us travel-gerbils through the maze of commotion and commercialism. Two and a half hours later, I'm in Chicago.

I think it's around noon at this point, and I get to a counter to update my internal travel agent. I am told in no uncertain terms that I cannot get to Boston, but they can squeeze me into the last seat on a plane to Logan on Tuesday. Manchester, Providence, Hartford, Laguardia and Burlington? All no-go's with a high likelihood of lost baggage. But, I can get to Newark! Oh, beloved Newark, I await your loving embrace.

I stood by, but that's all I did. Finally I confirmed a place on a 6pm flight to Newark and did laps around O'Hare for many hours, while still consuming more calories than I was burning. I was getting close, I could smell the Ben & Jerry's already. EST, here I come.

I spent the two hour plane ride on a small commuter jet from O'Hare to Newark with a man who proceeded to tell me immediately about how his father used to beat him. I knew Sky Mall inside and out by now, so I smiled and nodded and regained full consciousness in Newark Airport. Lo and behold, my bag was there, and after a nice elevated train ride around the airport, I found myself at Parking lot P4 shuttle entrance, with another 200 people waiting for hotel shuttles. My timing was right on and after fifteen minutes of some human jenga in the Marriott Shuttle, I was in my room at the Springhill Suites. It was about midnight.

I think this is officially the first iphone photo that I've ever published. Nothing special, but I liked this view of the Chicago suburbs. The window on the plane definitely provides an interesting effect. (iPhone 4S)

This iphone photo has been converted into black and white. Again, it was out the plane window and believe it or not is the formation of the ice on Lake Michigan just off the coast of Chicago. (iPhone 4S)

Day 3 - Sunday 02/10

After a refreshing six hours of sleep, valued at $20/hour by Mariott, I rolled out of bed and into a taxi which took me to Penn Station in NJ.  Although I ordered my ticket the day before, I still needed to pick it up at the station. A nice doughnut and coffee in the lounge and a conversation with some dude who was certain I had met him there before (I hadn't) I was on a bus seated behind a man who was singing along with his music, for a hazy ride to the bus station in NYC.

Ah, yes, the bus station. My experience there reminded me of being a minor role in a Walking Dead episode. The bus I was supposed to take to Providence hadn't shown up in three days, which was readily attested by a number of quirky (to say the least) passengers who had been there all three days. Hallelujah!, the bus shows up and I somehow get a seat! Just three and a half hours later I should be in Providence, one step closer to home.

I-95 was a parking lot. The bus ride ended up being six and a half hours. My mother-in-law peeled me off the concrete at the bus station in Providence, took me back to their house and re-fueled me with a nice dose of Absara vietnamese food. It was good to see Otis and Tigran again, both of whom had spent three weeks with their human grandparents. (Is this a proper time to use Doggfather?)

At six, we were on the road and I was handed off, with the dogs, under a flickering light at the Holyoke Mall outside of a closed Macy's. It was all hush-hush.

Finally I got home around nine PM, and proceeded to watch the Celtics beat the Nuggets in an incredible triple-overtime game.

Today was a recovery day. 'Nuff said.


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