Part I - Troubled Waters Over A Bridge
I hate being late. Scenes of rushing across an airline terminal, with just enough time to make my flight, are not my idea of fun. So, when I arranged for a limo to take me to the airport, for my trip to the Prudential National Sales Convention, in Las Vegas, I left plenty of time. The limo company suggested a 2 o'clock pickup should easily get me to the airport, an hour before my flight. I opted for 1:30, knowing that the driver would likely show up 15 minutes early. That gave my 2 hours and 15 minutes for a trip that typically takes less than an hour and a half. It should have been more than enough cushion...or not.
The ride started out uneventful. My driver, Barry, opted for the Merritt, saying that early afternoon, southbound, it was usually a better choice than I95. Not a bad decision, as we moved along at a fairly good clip. We were still making good time as we left CT and entered Westchester County. Since we were ahead of schedule, there was not much concern when traffic began backing up, as we approached the Whitestone Bridge. "They're probably working on the bridge and maybe have a lane closed", Barry assured me.
We were now moving at a crawl and things started looking more ominous. We could see the bridge and a few cars moving northbound but there didn't appear to be any traffic heading towards Queens. "This makes no sense", Barry observed. "Cars are moving forward but they're not crossing the bridge. It's just like the Twilight zone. Cars are simply disappearing."
As we neared the toll plaza, the reason became apparent. The bridge was closed and traffic was being diverted into the northbound lane. We'd have to try to make it across the Throgs Neck Bridge. My cushion was starting to deflate!! Needless to say, with two bridge loads of cars, trying to go across one bridge, movement towards the Throgs Neck wasn't progressing much better.
Even less encouraging was Barry's suggestion that I start to check on alternate flights. Every few minutes, I glanced at my watch and recalculated time and distance to the airport. It wasn't looking hopeful. Eventually, we crossed over, into Queens, turned off, onto the Cross Island Expressway and traffic started to flow. "We're looking good, now", Barry cheered. "Let's not jinx it. We still have a ways to the airport", I countered.
As we approached Terminal 8, Barry offered, "I think it's safe to say, we're looking good, now." We had made it to the airport, with 48 minutes to check my luggage, clear security and make it to the gate.
Remember that image of rushing through the terminal with just enough time to make my flight. Piece of cake!!
Copyright © 2009 Marilyn Katz, WestportCTProperties.com, All Rights Reserved, Travails of Travel - Part I