It was supposed to be nothing more than your standard day trip to New York City. BOS to LGA was a route I traveled regularly. Under 45 minutes from take-off to touch down was pretty typical.
I’ve always preferred a day trip to an overnight. No bags to pack, no sleeping in a foreign bed, and no roller suitcase to be your 3rd wheel at meetings, lunches or while you quickly dart in and out of taxi cabs and Ubers.
Now to be clear, just because it is preferred does NOT mean that it is risk free.
In fact, I’ve have had many day trips turn into unexpected overnights due to weather delays, mechanical problems and regular travel mishaps. It comes with the territory. In fact, I’ve landed in my share of sketchy last-minute hotels with a complimentary toothbrush and a ‘I ❤️ New York’ t-shirt from the local gift shop. I guarantee that eBay enthusiasts would be envious of my growing t-shirt collection.
Day trips are incredibly exhausting, in fact. I would argue that they require even more time and energy since you’re jamming travel plus delivering your very best game face, all in the same business day. And it is one long ass day!
On this particular day, I set the alarm for 4am and snoozed my typical 2 times (OK, 3 times) before I finally got out of bed. I wanted the extra time to curl my hair and pick a comfortable transitional outfit (and comfy shoes!) since I was headed to mid-town for a team meeting at Segment HQ in NY in the AM, followed by a fun team outing at Royal Palms Shuffleboard, in Brooklyn.
I was scheduled for a 6:30am flight on Jetblue, out of Terminal C. With a start time of 11am, I had plenty of time to get to my first scheduled meeting. And, it being June and all, the chances of a weather delay were quite slim. When they called my group number, I boarded my flight, and before even the flight attendant had a chance to start the announcements, I’d already fallen asleep.
I wake up to the sound of the flight attendant once again. Ready and energized I look to gather my belongings and suddenly begin to comprehend the announcement she is actually making. It’s 8:30am (2 hours later!) and we’re still at the gate in Boston. Air traffic control…weather related…no flights to LGA… We were all being instructed to get off the plane and wait for further announcements on what time the aircraft would actually be allowed to depart. Sigh…
We were all corralled out of the aircraft and instructed to sit and wait close to the gate. They could make an announcement at any time, they warned. Two hours later, we were all still waiting. Finally, the announcement came to say that we would be boarding at 10:45 for an 11am departure. I quickly did the calculations in my head. 11AM departure, 11:45AM landing, 12:15PM at the taxi stand, 1PM at the office. And with plans to leave the office at 1PM for our team offsite, I would be traveling to mid-town just in time to begin travel to Brooklyn. And not to mention, I would miss all of our team meetings!
I was also considering that the rain was only getting worse, and there was a good chance that my return flight could also be affected, causing a massive ripple effect to what was now looking like an incredibly unproductive day. I finally made the call to stay in Boston and not take the flight out. It was a very difficult decision to have to make on the spot. Of course I had been checking in with my manger all morning… And of course he had been incredibly supportive and told me to do whatever I thought was best… But of course I couldn’t help but feel nothing but absolute, extreme, guilt.
I huddled in a corner of the airport, buckled down, and just began to work. Cranking on emails, making calls, and taking scheduled zoom conference calls. I dialed into our team meetings. I didn’t miss a beat. I was incredibly productive. A few hours later, I had a free block and zipped over to Seaport and met my husband for a quick lunch before my afternoon of emails and work blocks. All of a sudden what was supposed to be an afternoon playing shuffleboard in Brooklyn turned into a massive block of time used to prospect, deliver 2 pricing proposals, and begin an RFP I had been dreading starting for some time.
When I got home around 6PM, I was fully expecting to be greeted by a dirty kitchen and 2 screaming kids. Instead, the babysitter had left a note saying she had taken the boys to see the Aladdin movie and that they wouldn’t be home until 8PM. Because after all… I was supposed to be traveling and forgotten that I had her booked until the early evening.
What an unexpected surprise! I had silence in an empty house. Holy shit, I just hit the jackpot.
I caught up on personal emails and puttered around the house tidying up a bit. Finally settled into a corner of my couch and started working on my book proposal (so that I can get ready to shop it around to editors by the end of the summer!) Not long after, the back door flung open and 2 rambunctious boys came flying to the house flinging their coats and hats and various knick-knacks they had picked up throughout the day, all over the house. My husband came home shortly after, and I got ready to prepare dinner and get everyone settled for mealtime. The usual household chaos ensued.
Later that evening, I was snuggled on my couch with my family after dinner when the phone alert came onto my display. “DELAYED.” I was horrified to see that my original 7:30PM flight back home would now depart at 11:0PM instead. (Much later in the evening, in fact, I found out that this flight was in fact cancelled all together…) In that moment, I immediately abandoned any and all remaining morsel of guilt and I knew once and for all that I made the right decision earlier to abort my trip.
Turns out, today would not be one of those days where I got to add a gift shop t-shirt to my growing collection.
Instead, today was the day I cranked on some much needed work, had lunch with my husband in the city, enjoyed a small morsel of quiet time to myself, and snuggled on the couch with my family watching Americas Got Talent and laughing uncontrollably together.
Today was the day I took a very long nap in Terminal C.
And sometimes, that’s better than OK.