Airports and the Longest Day

Really I had thought that I would be writing this last night (which was really this morning) but when I actually got to the point where I could pull out my computer I was ready to pass out.  Yesterday was one of the longest days (or at least longest feeling) and it was kind of a doomed day from the beginning.

The night before I had been asked to be our liaison to drive to Boston and meet the international staff who were arriving.  This was not so bad, I don’t mind driving and I like going to Boston.  I actually had been planning to stay overnight in Boston as we also had flights to meet today, needless to say, that didn’t end up happening.

It all started after breakfast.  A group of five of us headed out to the Portland Airport to pick up the 12-passenger vans that we rent for the summer.  This is when the shit really hit the fan.  Being on pointe for the operation I was talking to the agent who told us that they didn’t have the vans for us.  According to him (who happened to be a manager) they had not been able to reach via phone us to confirm the rental.  When I asked what phone number they were using, I couldn’t get a straight answer let alone a number.  I just find it very odd that they would have such an issue as the camp rents vans from them every summer at the same time.  It is not small change to rent four vans for nine weeks.

The manager told us that the vans were on their way up from Boston and that they would be there in an hour-and-a-half.  Well, I had to get to boston to pick up people who had never been to Boston or the USA before, so I was not going to have any of that.  It turned out that they DID have two vans that we could take, so I took one and headed off to Boston, we took the other, and one person waited for the vans that were being repositioned.  The manager was nice enough to offer to buy breakfast for the person who stayed to wait.  All things considered, it could have been worse, but we managed to get everyone on the road.

Before we hit the road to Boston I plugged all the flight info into the tracking app on my phone and we discovered that our last flight of the was already delayed.  As we got close to the airport the plane had been delayed even longer and in fact had not even left London yet.  By the time that flight got off the ground, it was 2:30 late, and I think that we had actually made our first pickup of the day.  Once we had collected the first 15 staff members I sent them off with the other liaison on the bus we had.  At this point I did have time to head home for dinner and then go back to the airport to make the last pickup from the delayed flight.

Since the flight had been delayed and we sent the bus ahead, I now had to make the return trip to camp with the last three staff members.  In leaving the airport after 9PM and having to stop to feed the weary travelers, we didn’t make it back to camp until after midnight.  Of course, that was not the end of the night since I had to help these guys get in to their cabins.  I think it was around 1:30AM by the time I got back to my cabin.  I briefly considered blogging then, but I couldn’t stay awake.  The drive, while uneventful was very taxing as it was raining for probably the last half.  I was probably out before my head hit the pillow, and thankfully the assistant director told me that I should just sleep in, skip breakfast, and go out and grab something whenever I woke up.

As long as day as it was, I didn’t really mind spending all that time in the airport.  It is very fun to go people watching, especially at the international arrivals door.  This week (and next) is also a fun time to go because there are lots of camps who are picking up staff and campers.  I probably talked to people from at least five or six other camps while we were all waiting for flights to arrive.  I may have had the wimpiest sign though (they forgot to give me a nice one when I left camp).

I probably should have taken my little camera with me so that I could have discretely taken people photos.  It is always so interesting to see how people react when they meet friends and family.  I think international arrivals are much more interesting than domestic on account of the fact that people have usually been away for longer.  I saw many great family reunions, lots of little children running to meet parents or grandparents.  Possibly the most exciting reunion was one girl who must have met family and she literally dropped all her bags all over the walkway letting out an excited shriek and giving lots of hugs.  People are so interesting.

I also realized that I went into full on counselor mode yesterday.  As soon as people started showing up I was checking off names on my list and constantly counting everyone.  I know that all these people that I picked up were adults, but I was supposed to be responsible for them and make sure that they all actually made it to camp.  It would have been really bad if I had left someone stranded in the airport!  Every time we moved I was counting heads, I think people even were asking me if they could go to the restrooms.  It was kind of funny, but I did get everyone to camp safely and in the most timely fashion possible.

It feels like the summer has actually begun now.  The staff is all in camp and the energy is back in the place.  I have good feelings for the summer!






Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.