Sunday, March 12, 2006
Wet and Wild in Little Rock
Last Wednesday I went on a short trip to Little Rock. Nothing fancy. Fly there one night, come back the next afternoon. How exciting could it possibly be?
Well, as it turned out, slightly more so than I would have expected. The flight to Little Rock was uneventful but extremely rough. I flew on Continental Express with one of their city-hopper jets, and they get bounced around quite wild in serious turbulence. Not at all to my liking (even though I know that turbulence are just a nuisance). But we got there OK and it was just a short flight. I got to my hotel about an hour late. As soon as I got into my room and sat down, there was a car-accident right outside my window. Quite violent, but I think in the end, nobody got hurt. It looked like two cars got totaled. After that excitement, we had a surprisingly good sushi dinner.
The next morning, I got woken up early. Severe thunderstorms and heavy rain woke me up initially, but a tornado alarm finally got me out of bed! Tornadoes this early in the season? I had no idea. I always thought that was more of a summer thing, but as I learned, I was wrong. March through May apparently is prime tornado season. So there was some excitement there, but it all worked out OK. No tornadoes touched down right by the hotel.
A few hours later, I had a taxi drop my off at the University of Arkansas. The weather was still pretty crappy, but at least the tornado warnings were over. The driver claimed he knew his way around the university campus and promised to drop me off right by the building I was supposed to go to (I was there for a small software developer event that was otherwise unrelated to university happenings). Of course, he was wrong, and he dropped me off at the completely wrong end of the campus, so I ended up dragging all my luggage through the rain for 20 minutes. But it turned out I wasn't the only one who was late for the event. Luckily, my presentations started a bit later, but some other people who flew in that morning got delayed so badly due to tornado activity, that they completely missed their talks.
My presentations were over right after 1pm, and I got a ride back to the airport right away in the hopes of catching an earlier flight back to Houston. That did not work out quite that way though. Too many flights ended up being canceled that morning, so absolutely no open seats were available. This meant waiting until 5:30pm. Or so I thought. It actually turned out that all flights were delayed and my flight left even later. Oh well. The flight back to Houston was slightly bumpy, but not nearly as bad as the day before. When we touched down, we made up most of the time and were only slightly late. However, as we were taxiing back to the terminal, the pilot all of a sudden slammed the breaks and stopped. A few minutes later he came on the speaker and informed us that there was a security break at Houston airport and it would be at least 30-60 minutes before we could pull up to the gate. A security breach?!? Great! Luckily, it didn't take quite that long. My guess is that someone forgot their bag somewhere ("left it unattended").
So was this the most exciting trip ever? No, certainly not. But I am still surprised how much did happen on what I thought would be an uneventful trip not worthy of a mention on my travel blog...
Posted @ 2:26 PM by Egger, Markus (email@example.com)