Desert Vibes

Desert Vibes
Photo: Ben Clark

Saturday, August 6, 2011

The "Getting to La Paz, Bolivia" Ordeal


It was Thursday, June 30th. I had a long day ahead of me to get from Longview, TX to La Paz, Bolivia. The total travel was to consist of three flights spread over 17 hours, which isn’t too bad. I’ve had far worse before. The flight from Longview, TX to Dallas, TX was short and uneventful as usual. I had a several hour layover in DFW airport before a connecting flight to Miami, FL so I ducked into my favorite place in the airport, Tigin Irish Pub, where I proceeded to drink like an Irishman. 

Of course, I lost track of time and missed the initial boarding of my flight. Good thing the gate was right across from the pub. As I got to the gate I saw people exiting the gate. For some reason they boarded half the flight and then said they needed to perform some kind of “security check” which required everyone to get off the plane. In the hundreds of times I’ve flown this was a first. Oh well…Finally, after at least 30-45 minutes of delay we started boarding again. This time the flight was completely boarded and looked ready to roll…Until the pilot got on the intercom and announced that due to weather in Miami the flight was cancelled. Cancelled! WTF?! 

After scrambling to try to get my flights rescheduled I finally arranged to leave DFW the next night at 7 PM to arrive in Miami at 11:30 PM. I would then leave Miami the next day at 2:30 PM for La Paz, Bolivia. Great, now I had to spend two nights sleeping in airports. Luckily I was able to reach an old college friend who lives in Dallas and crash at his place for the night. The next day while he was at work I spent the majority of the day at a place called The Ginger Man. This place has a pretty awesome beer selection, which for me was a dream come true at the time. After getting my travel plans derailed the only thing I wanted was beer. Good beer. And lots of it…

 Enjoying a beer at The Ginger Man in Dallas, TX

I proceeded to drink my weight in beer before realizing that I needed to meet my friend at his office to head to the airport. This is pretty much where my memory escapes me…According to my friend I had a burning desire to share my feelings on the drive to the airport…And that I did…I’m fairly certain he was happy to drop my ass at the airport. He did later inform me that he went to the airport parking lot for a while because he was certain they wouldn’t let my drunk ass in the airport. Somehow, someway I accomplished two incredible feats that day; I got my drunk ass both through the security checkpoint and onto the airplane! Damn I’m good…

 Drunk as hell at DFW airport. 

The next day I woke up on the floor of the airport in Miami with no idea how the hell I got there. I was lying by the window, staring out at the tarmac and some airplanes. I rolled over to see an entire room of people staring at me as they sat and waited on their flight to Port-au-Prince, Haiti. I smiled and got up, still half drunk, to head to Sushi Maki (my favorite restaurant in Miami’s airport) for a soba noodle soup. I’m usually hungover when passing through Miami airport and this dish always hits the spot. It didn’t disappoint. After finishing my breakfast (it was only 9 AM at this time) I decided I was feeling good enough for a Kirin beer. Thus began my day of drinking…

After a few more Kirin’s I decided to stick around for some sushi since it was damn near lunch time. The sushi didn’t disappoint either. Damn I love Sushi Maki. With only about 1.5-2 hours before my flight started boarding I decided to move along to a bar near my gate. I settled on some Caribbean-themed bar and proceeded to start downing Presidente beers like water. My flight eventually got delayed…Then it got delayed again…Then it got delayed again…The flight was supposed to leave at 2:25 PM, but didn’t take off until 5:30 PM…I can’t say that I was surprised.


The first of several flight delays

I left Longview, TX at 11:20 AM on June 30th with an original scheduled arrival in La Paz, Bolivia at 5:30 AM on July 1st. When it was all said and done, I didn’t get to La Paz until 11:30 PM on July 2nd…Just in time to start partying!


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