The Time I Spent the Night in an Airport

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A few years ago, back in December of 2012 my fiancee at the time, now my wife, decided to take a week long vacation to Washington DC. This trip was going to piggyback on our trip to Tennessee and Arkansas to visit my family for Christmas, giving us a two week vacation. It’s great to be young. Anyway we were going to Memphis for a few days to visit my dad and that side of the family, and then we were going to Arkansas on christmas eve to spend a few days in Little Rock with my mom and that side of the family, and then on the 28th we would be flying out of Little Rock, headed to our nation’s capital for the week. Everything was going smoothly in our multi city travel plans until day arrived, along with some winter weather. Don’t get me wrong, I was thrilled to see it and was actually excited about the snow, and even remained in good spirits the first two nights without electricity due to the ice. There wasn’t TV to watch but I had the new John Grisham book that I’d gotten for Christmas so I was happy as a clam.

When the twenty-seventh arrived and the ice had began to melt a little bit I figured that everything was fine and that by the next morning, when our flight was scheduled to leave the roads would be cleared, but the newspaper that morning told me otherwise. Little Rock was expecting another wave of the winter storms coming through early the next morning, with more ice and snow. The paper said the roads will be very unsafe the next morning so only leave the house if it’s absolutely necessary and do so with extreme caution. Our tickets to DC were non-refundable, so if we didn’t make it to the airport the next day, we would be out the money for the tickets, and couldn’t afford to buy new one’s, so we decided that the best thing to do would be spend the night in the airport, that way we would be sure to be there for the flight.

The unfortunate thing about that plan was that we were cutting our trip in Little Rock short by a night, so I wasn’t able to see my friends that lived there. Lucky for me I have some awesome friends, and three of them made the trip to the airport to hang out with me and my wife for a couple of hours, as we whiled the night away. After they left, the airport slowly started to empty and by eleven o’clock there weren’t many people in there at all. We passed the time by playing cards, and looking out the window into the cold wintry night. We decided that in order make sure our bags remained ours, one of us would sleep while the other stayed awake to keep an eye on the luggage. I can’t remember if Leticia ever got any sleep but I know that I didn’t. Bill and Hillary Clinton National airport in Little Rock sounded like a construction zone after midnight, too loud to get any shut eye. If that weren’t bad enough it got very cold, and remained very cold throughout the night. I’m not talking, a little uncomfortable in a short sleeve t-shirt, I had on multiple sweatshirts and was physically shaking I was so cold. Needless to say, the Little Rock national airport is not a great place to spend the night.

When the gates finally opened at five in the morning we were relieved to find that part of the airport was much warmer and had hot food. We feasted on burger king breakfast as we waited for our flight, hoping that the weather had not forced it to cancel, and our night in the airport was all for nought. Thankfully everything was fine and we were in the air on the way to Washington on time. That day we arrived in Washington, we tried to get out and do a little bit of sightseeing but we were literally so exhausted that it wasn’t even enjoyable. We went back to the hotel where I fell asleep watching Seinfeld on TV, which I think is on in the 6-7 time slot. So I fell asleep before seven and didn’t wake up again until the next morning. If you absolutely have to spend the night in an airport I recommend you do it away from Little Rock, so perhaps you can actually get some sleep rather than hypothermia.

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