Tour 2011: Getting Back

So as most of you are probably aware, we’ve had some complications getting back home. We arrived in the US no sweat…a little behind schedule, but safe and sound. We went through customs and passport control fine, and made our way to the gate. As we sat there, we watched the airport around us begin to deteriorate…flights canceled, delayed, planes switched (our flight was switched to three different planes and two different flight crews). I was very suspicious that we’d make it. Nonetheless, we got the boarding call about an hour later than scheduled, so we found our seats and prepared for takeoff. I was still skeptical.

We take off fine…bumpy, but fine. The flight was pretty rough, one of the rougher I’ve been on. The flight attendant announces that we should prepare for landing. But the sounds that you normally associate with landing preparation were not normal. After about 15 minutes of “landing” they announce that we are turning back to Minneapolis because of slick runways and too much wind (we were on one of those small planes). Not fun, especially after already traveling 18 hours and getting up at 5 am in the Netherlands.

We get to the airport and its sort of a mad house. We get rebooked for the next day at 11:30 am. Great! The cellphones come out and everyone begins the process of calling friends and friends of friends to find places to stay. About 2/3 of us find places with people they know. The remaining 1/3, despite my prodding for hotels, elected to sleep in the airport. I strongly encouraged them to consider booking 4 to a room to save on expenses, but I think they just didn’t want to deal with the hassle, and they were wary of the cost (perfectly understandable). So I made sure we all had phone communications and we left (msp has great traveler accommodations, btw: cots, pillows, blankets, toiletries…all gratis).

*Update* I just spoke with Choir President Emily Burkland and everything went fine last night. They got some rest, and are at the gate now.

We will all meet up at the airport around 10 am and pray for the best. Right now I-29 is closed in spots, so if we get to Fargo, there’s no telling what the drive will be. We will have to play it by ear and, above all, be safe.

*Update 2* we have boarded. Starting the deicing process. Everyone here. Cautiously optimistic.

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