July 21, 2004
I got up early and took the shuttle to the San Jose Airport. My flight was delayed by an hour and a half, although I was assured that I would still be able to make my connecting flight in Chicago for Charlotte since no flights were leaving Chicago because of the storms. Yeah, right! We landed in Chicago 1 1/2 hours late and the connecting flight had left on time despite the storms. Then the nightmare began. I was shifted from USAir to United several times until I landed a spot on a United flight. The terminal was a total zoo. People had been waiting for hours and I joined the parade of campers too. We did not board until after 8pm. Then we sat on the runway for over 2 hours after what seemed like 45 minutes of taxiing around. I really thought we were going to taxi our way to Charlotte. The flight crew passed out bottles of water and granola bars. We finally left Chicago at 10:25pm! This was 7 hours later than what I was originally scheduled. We landed in Charlotte and of course there were no connecting flights to New Bern until the next morning. Fortunately, I had my luggage and United put us up in the Wyndam Garden Hotel where I spend the night. My flight left around 9:30 am Thursday, July 22nd, so I arrived in New Bern about 11:30 am. By the time I retrieved my luggage and drove home, it was about 1:30pm. I have learned not to fly through Chicago and I will avoid it when possible.
I thoroughly enjoyed my time in Santa Cruz. It was another level of academic experience that I never would have had the opportunity to pursue. The chance to work with elephant seals and sea otters was one that I was fortunate to have encountered. The chance to see young people excited by science fueled my own excitement. The stories I have to tell my students are incredible. I am so grateful to have been a part of the ARMADA Project. I really want to work on a project next summer!
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