California Bowling Writers

December 3, 2006

By the Time I Get Out of Phoenix
By Bette Addington

The rush of excitement all comes back to me. The Women's National tournament is returning to the Bowling Stadium in Reno in 2006. Can't wait!

Aah, I remember it like it was yesterday! A bright, clear, June morning in Bakersfield and I was all packed and ready to go to the airport. The temperature was just right, the birds were chirping and I was ready to bowl! My bowling equipment was with my teammates who were driving and traveling together. I was the only one flying.

Getting checked in went without incident and before I knew it, my flight was lifting off the runway headed for Phoenix. It was just after 12 noon and I was going to land in Phoenix around 2pm. Good time to catch a light lunch with the little layover I had before I left for Reno.

When I landed in Phoenix, the mid-day air was so hot and dry. Thank goodness the airports are so well air-conditioned. I proceeded to my connecting flight's gate. Before long, I heard an announcement that my flight was overbooked and they were taking volunteers to change to the later flight to Reno. I thought about it. I'm not bowling until 10:30pm that night but decided against it. If I took the later flight, I might be cutting it too close.

My layover time was just about up and I was getting anxious to board. There were hardly any open seats in the waiting area. I guess it was overbooked!

Next thing I hear is an announcement that our flight was being delayed but it would be arriving shortly. No problem. Our scheduled boarding time was still 20-30 minutes away. The lady in the seat next to me starts grumbling about how these airlines can never stay on schedule.

The next announcement comes about 10 minutes past our scheduled boarding time. This announcement gives us a little more information. It states that our flight has been delayed and they don't know exactly when to expect it. It's so comforting to know the boarding sign at our gate still shows our flight number and still shows us departing at our scheduled time. I now start to learn about the family on my right and where they have traveled from, their dog's name, etc.

An hour later, we remain in the same predicament. No word on our flight but that it has been delayed. The sun is starting to set.

Update. We are now informed that our flight has now just left Santa Barbara and is on its way. Should we be excited or worried?

Nightfall comes. The lucky volunteers who took the later flight are now boarded and off to Reno. We are still getting announcements every now and then about our flight being delayed. It's comforting to know we are not forgotten. I just learned the lady across from me used to be a judge for the Miss America beauty pageant. She still dresses like she did back then! This is getting old. I am starting to calculate how much time I have before I touch down in Reno. Will I make it in enough time to bowl now? I think I had better contact my teammates and let them know what's going on.

My teammates are checked in to our hotel in Reno and headed over to the Stadium. I'm still stuck in Phoenix waiting to board my flight. This is not good.

At long last, our flight arrives from Santa Barbara. But, wait, another announcement. It appears we have a bit of a wait until the aircraft is checked before we can board. We finally are told we are boarding.

We take our assigned seats and then as we sit on the plane for a good 20 minutes, we hear yet another announcement from the pilot. "Folks, sorry for the delay but we now are waiting for a flight to arrive from Cabo San Lucas that has passengers on it that will be on this flight that need to go through customs." Oh, no! I'm squirming in my seat. It's now practically 8pm and I am still in Phoenix?!?

I did finally leave Phoenix and make it to Reno but it wasn't until 10:05pm!

By the time I get to Phoenix, they'll be bowling…..