**Warning**: I am about to leak an international secret that may not be suitable for small children and more than a few adults.
Santa Claus summers in Sioux Falls, SD.
I know this because I saw him at the airport today.
Oh, he thought he was being clever in his cargo shorts and Hawaiian shirt. But there is no camouflaging that snow-white hair, that beard and those rosy cheeks.
I suppose, from the North Pole, Sioux Falls is a reasonable southern destination. Maybe he’s a fisherman.
I should have risked making the naughty list and blowing his cover to try to get some of his Christmas luck before embarking on my trip back to Denver.
Now, I will admit. I may have incured some bad travel karma earlier in the day, when I was listening to my team mates tell their travel woes while trying to connect through Minneapolis last night. Evidently there were thunderstorms in the area that caused them to suffer long delays and resulted in them not arriving until the wee hours of the morning. I may have been silently gloating about my hour long direct flight from Denver to Sioux Falls and back.
I won’t be doing that again.
It was, indeed, slightly over an hour for us to reach the DIA air space this afternoon. The flight crew came on to announce we were making our final approach and would be at our gate in 10 short minutes.
And then, 5 min later, we are suddenly banking sharply right and ascending towards the clouds again.
Our pilot comes on to let us know we are needing to circle around and approach from the other direction, due to a “weather anomaly”.
Ok, so I may have been craning to look out my window for Santa’s sleigh….
Our circling around, became at least 3 circles and about an extra 45 min in the air watching DIA from every direction down below us.
Now, I have flown A LOT, and have never once even come close to getting air sick. But whatever that “weather anomaly” was, made me think I may lose the lunch I didn’t have at least a couple times in those endless circles.
We finally land, pretty close to the Colorado/Kansas line, and drive approximately another 4 hours on the runway, just to come within view of the terminal.
Which is as close as we got. The pilot comes on to inform us that all airport traffic is on “hold” due to the weather in the area. Even the ground crews have been pulled off the tarmac.
Fantastic. I, for one, am a big fan of being delayed when you can actually see your gate right in front of you.
We finally are cleared to approach… and are told we will be deplaning via jet bridge. Onto the tarmac that 10 minutes earlier, it wasn’t safe for the ground crew to be on.
Oh. And by the way. Would those of you who checked your bags at the gate (because our plane was too small to have overhead bins larger than the average glove box), just stand to one side, on this tarmac, to wait for your bags.
I don’t know about you, but I certainly don’t mind acting as an additional human lightening rod for the Denver airport. It’s not like my hair was frizzy enough today already.
I will say this, though. Lightening and stormy weather do make the ground crew move a lot faster in retrieving and delivering our bags!
I really think I deserved for it to rain at least one candy cane after all that.