On Saturday, April 20, I woke at 3 in the morning to finish packing and get ready for my 6 AM flight to San Juan, Puerto Rico. It was raining gently as Colin drove me the few miles to the airport, and after everything that had happened the past week with bombings, carjackings, and shootouts, I was especially glad I’d booked my flight out of Portland instead of Boston. However, while I was standing in line at the ticket counter, I gradually became aware of an uneasiness, a sense of frustration from the passengers in line ahead of me. Was it the early hour, or perhaps the strange events in Massachusetts that had them ruffled? Then I realized the ticket agents weren’t taking anyone’s luggage. Uh oh. Once I got to the ticket counter I was informed that my 6 AM flight had been cancelled due to weather. Who’d have guessed? After an impressively snowy winter, this unobtrusive April shower had thrown the pilots for a loop. The agent could do one of three things for me:
a. Put me on a 6 AM flight the following day. This wouldn’t work since the cruise ship was set to sail in a few hours, and missing the boat meant finding my own (expensive) transportation to its next docking site, which wouldn’t be until Monday.
b. Put me on a different flight later in the day, arriving in San Juan at 6 PM. This wouldn’t work either, since the cruise ship’s final boarding time was 7 PM, and such a late arrival didn’t leave me enough time to retrieve my baggage and hustle over to the pier.
c. Put me on an 8 AM direct flight to San Juan out of Boston (a two-hour drive), where the flight was still listed as “on time,” though weather patterns could change that at any moment.
It was 5:00 in the morning and none of these looked particularly appealing. However, given these options, it was clear that only one had a remote chance of success. I texted Colin I needed him to come back to the airport ASAP and drive me to Boston. Thankfully, he wasn’t too far away, grabbing some breakfast at Dunkin’ Donuts. With anxious hearts drumming, wipers thumping, and a Daft Punk Pandora station pumping through the car, we raced to Logan International Airport. I had just enough time to use the restroom before boarding my flight to San Juan. As the plane descended into the city, streaks of rain splashed its windows. I was extremely grateful to step foot beneath Puerto Rico’s imposing palms and drizzle, a world away from the clouds that had grounded my original plane.
Colin was incredible for driving me to Boston and then driving himself back home in the wee hours of a Saturday, setting aside the plans he’d had for going back to bed after dropping me off at our hometown airport. Who else would spend four hours driving just for me? Okay, I can think of a couple people, but I still think it’s pretty gallant.