The Worst Kind of Phone Callby david daly on 08/20/12
I had just finished packing up my overnight bag for a 2-day trip to Nantucket. My trusty mini-cooler was stocked with a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and a few granola bars to keep me well-nourished while lounging on the beach. My boarding pass was printed and I was all set for my 8am Jetblue flight the next morning from JFK to ACK that I had scooped up for $143. And thats when the call came from Maureen, my travel-partner-in-crime:
Hi Maureen!!! Are you all packed?
This is NOT good news!
And with those words I suddenly felt my imaginary Whales Tale beer being snatched out of my hand as I prepared for a last minute cancelation from my travel buddy.
To me there is nothing worse than the last-minute cancelation. We all have those flakey friends that you almost can count on to throw a curve ball at the last second. Maureen had been a reliable travel companion for several whirlwind trips including a weekend excursion to Alaska, a safari in Tanzania, an all-inclusive jaunt to the Dominican Republic twice, and a previous midweek Nantucket escape after which I swore off all rum-based drinks. However, those trips had all occurred during our 2 year hiatus from real life we refer to professionally as Business School. Nowadays, Maureens job makes it nearly impossible for her to schedule Thai food delivery so I was weary of committing to another whirlwind adventure to Nantucket with her. To ensure Maureens commitment to the trip, I insisted that all reservations be made using her credit card. These married-to-their-job types need to have skin in the game in order to show up. Or so I had hoped
Turns out Maureen had decided to make a trip to her hometown in the middle of Wisconsin- lets call it Wallawalla, Wisconsin since I can never remember the actual name. I guarantee that you have never heard of this town. Her flight out of Wallawalla had been canceled and it looked like there was no way she was going to make it back to New York in time for our 8am departure to Nantucket the next morning. I should also point out that Maureen had never mentioned to me that she was squeezing in a trip back home to the dairy farm in dangerous proximity to our Nantucket voyage. Her voice was filled with frustration and defeat as she tried to explain that Delta could not get her back to New York until noon the next day.
Unwilling to envision a trip where I would have to hit up all of my favorite island spots as a solo travel, I refused to let Maureen bail on the plan. Delta was able to confirm her arrival at LGA at 11:45am. That gave Maureen exactly one hour to dash across Queens in a taxi to JFK and get on the 12:45am Jetblue flight to Nantucket. Since she already had her boarding pass for the 8am Jetblue flight, the plan was to head directly to security and then to the gate for the 12:45pm flight to ACK and beg and plead for a seat. It was a longshot, but thankfully Maureen was willing to do almost anything to get a taste of the paradise that is Nantucket, even if just for 24 hours.
The next morning as I headed to the airport at 6:30am, Maureen was already at the airport in Wallawalla reporting that the first of the three flights on her mission was on time. Relieved, I embarked on my rather simple journey to the beach and awaited updates from Maureen who was staging her own stressful version of The Amazing Race. She arrived in Detroit without incident and then departed on time for LGA just as I was arriving at the sunny Memorial Airport on Nantucket. I headed into town to check in to our hotel and then boarded the town shuttle out to Surfside beach to set up camp for the afternoon and await the finale of Maureens expedition. Word of an early arrival at LGA set off a new wave of optimism that our plan may actually succeed! As fast as the flight attendant could open the cabin door, Maureen was on the move again and in the backseat of a yellow cab barking praises at the cabbies reckless maneuvers to get her to JFK in record time. She slipped through security seamlessly and at 12:12pm I received the text that was worthy of a celebration- I am confirmed on the 12:45 flight to Nantucket!! Somehow Maureen had managed to secure a seat after missing her originally schedule 8am flight without having to pay a change fee! This seems to be a benefit that only women enjoy- much like the ability to talk their way out of speeding tickets.
At 2:04pm as a floated in the warm calm water at Surfside beach, I spotted the Jetblue flight approaching from the south. I can only imagine the expression of delight and relief exhibited from one particular passenger who had started her day at 5am in Wallawalla, Wisconsin. Best of all, no one could accuse her of canceling last-minute.