Secretly, I had hoped to spend last night in NYC wining and dining with friends from high school. Secretly, I really wanted to watch James Blunt perform in the middle of the Jet Blue terminal at JFK. Secretly, I wanted to arrive in Virginia this morning, rather than late last night. But, none of that happened. Let me explain…
I’m in Fairfax, Virginia for a couple days taking part in some meetings about conference centers. Yes, I go to conferences about conferences…go ahead and laugh. For some reason, the prices for all direct flights from Raleigh to Dulles were astronomical for this time of year, so I booked a ticket on Jet Blue and had a connection in JFK. In all, the trip went well, just a bit longer than expected. A typical January East Coast snow storm led to a 90 minute delay on my flight out of Raleigh. I made my connection to Dulles, but it was a close one!
I landed at JFK at 6:10pm, pulled up to the gate at 6:18pm, and deboarded quickly at 6:22pm thanks to the goodness of the passengers without connections who let me off the plane first. I then full out ran to try and make my 6:30pm flight to Dulles. As I booked it through the airport, I passed by James Blunt who was performing in the middle of Jet Blue’s terminal! Only in New York, I suppose. James, you’re beautiful.
As I ran, I couldn’t help but experience deja vu. The only other time I’ve been in JFK airport was on the way to Rome with my family in the summer of 2006, and since that day, I have dreaded returning. There was miscommunication as to which terminal our flight was taking off from, and I remember we successfully sweet talked the guard at the security line to let us cut in front of a hundred people so that we could make our flight. While waiting in line, it was decided that I would run ahead to the gate and convince the attendants to hold the plane for my parents and sister. We thought this was necessary as all the departure screens showed our flight as boarding while we were still in security.
The fun thing about security nowadays is that you have to take your shoes off. Not wanting to waste time, I told my parents to grab my shoes and carry-on for me, and I would just run. So yes, I ran shoeless and looked like an absolute fool. We all made it to the plane, boarded breathless, shoeless and sweaty, and then sat for 40 minutes before it even left the gate. So all that rush was for nothing.
Maybe the next time I’m at JFK I’ll be able to leisurely walk through it and be able to enjoy any impromptu concerts going on. But for now, I’m at the Mason Inn and Conference Center on George Mason University’s campus. It’s a beautiful property that just opened this past July, so it still has that great “new” feeling about it! I’m off to my meetings!