A car takes us to the airport, drops us off, then drives away. We go inside to check in.
Our flight has been cancelled. (They voice-mailed us at two the previous morning, but we somehow missed it.)
We are told the plane had been taken out of service. We're supposed to be grateful that they didn't leave the plane in service and it fell out of the sky with us screaming inside of it as we plummeted to the ground.
We're only a little grateful.
We arrange another flight. But this one isn't direct. Instead of L.A. - D.C., it's L.A. - St. Louis - D.C. It's scheduled to leave later. We check our bags, and we take a cab home. It's not that far. An hour an a half later, we take a cab back.
We fly to St. Louis. (My "airplane book" is "Jewish Pirates of the Caribbean.") We wait in St. Louis. I spot an "unattended bag." I report it. When we board twenty minutes later, the bag is still sitting there. On the plane, I see a man carrying the formerly unattended bag down the aisle. I'm not sure I'm relieved.
We land in Washington. Not at five, as we were scheduled to, but at ten-thirty P.M. We come out of the airport. It's eighty degrees. And really, really humid. I would not be surprised to see alligators come crawling up onto the sidewalk.
We ask our cab driver to take us to one of the most popular conference-hosting hotels in the city. He's never heard of it. He has to use a GPS.
We arrive at the hotel. It is not a D.C. landmark. (I know landmarks. We passed a bunch of them as we drove in.) It's for conventions. We' re here for a psychoanalytic conference. But you know yesterday, it was foot doctors.
We go to our room and we crash. We're old and we're beat.