Welcome to PDX, Your Winds Will Gust to 58 MPH

Sorry it has taken me so long to check in upon my return from one of my most favorite vacations ever. I haven’t known how to blog about it. So I will write it as I have been telling it.

I will start at the end. We had such a fabulous vacation. Nevis is a wonderful place with traffic patterns decided by wandering goats, donkeys and cows.

What? Do you need this road?

What? Do you need this road?

It’s a very long trip from the West Coast of the U.S. down there but definitely worth it. Nevis is a third world country, tiny, poor and also friendly and well-educated. I could live there as long as I was living in the ocean front villa that we stayed in. I was feeling quite proud of my new found attitude toward less than thoroughly western comfort, ass-in-butter conditions and then we got to our hotel for our lay over in Charlotte NC.

Nevermind.

I still need luxury and the $85/night airport hotel that I found in Charlotte? In an effort to prove how frugal I can be? No, that didn’t work at all and I wasn’t comfortable going barefoot in the room.

I’m still me.

We flew from St. Kitts (the island federation is formally known as St. Kitts – Nevis) to Charlotte, spent the night and then on to DFW and then to Portland. While sitting in the Dallas airport waiting for our next flight, the thought “this isn’t going to go well” popped into my head.

I was right and I was wrong.

We had a smooth flight, as all of our flights had been, going and returning. It got really bumpy closer to the Portland airport, which is surprising because Portland doesn’t have one of those airports where you think there will be issues. I was reading my book and noticed the bumpiness but thought nothing of it, we were almost on the ground. Wait. I looked at Derwood, “he’s going back up?”

Yep, we couldn’t make it down and then we spent what I think was another 30 minutes circling around and trying to get to the ground but the wind was tossing a rather large plane around like it was made of paper. The plane was completely silent except for the woman barfing in our row, poor thing.

I asked Deren “why isn’t he saying something?” He figured the pilot was busy flying the plane. Finally the pilot came on and said, “I guess you all noticed, we didn’t land. I’m going to go around again and land this time.”

Oh are you? It was the 2nd scariest experience of my life after the beach incident with the girls. The more we circled and tried to get below the clouds and then being thrown back up, the more freaked out I got. I was clinging to Deren and praying my Catholic ass off. I really don’t care if I die, I’m not scared to die but I can’t die because I can’t leave my girls. And that’s all I could think of as I spoke to my parents, this is NOT the time for me to check out.

Deren doesn’t often get strict with me but he said, “Maggie, you have to sit up straight.” And I thought, well shit, we are going down and I have to be ready for that. It was horrible, absolutely terrifying.

As you know, because I am typing this, we made it down.

Everyone cheered when the plane hit the runway. The pilot came on the PA and said, “I have landed on an aircraft carrier in winds of 50 knots and this landing was worse than that.”

Glad to hear that, once we got down.

So tomorrow, I’ll tell you more about this place:

sunset

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14 thoughts on “Welcome to PDX, Your Winds Will Gust to 58 MPH

  1. Margarita says:

    Glad you had a fabulous vacation AND made it home safely, Maggie. Like you, not scared to die, just nor ready to leave my loved ones yet! 😉 xoxoM

  2. Erin E. says:

    That’s freaking terrifying. I don’t do well with landings and I would have been going nuts over that. Usually I’m grumpy and ready to be off the plane, but I think in this instance I would have been okay circling for a bit. Can’t wait to hear about the RELAXING part of this vacation. 🙂

  3. Kathleen says:

    Your story reminds me of the short TED Talk by the guy who was on that plane that landed in the Hudson River and everyone survived. http://www.ted.com/talks/ric_elias?language=en
    It’s only 5 minutes but just watch the first 120 seconds. It’s not revolutionary, but his description stuck with me.

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