Every now and then, for one reason or another, I find myself staying overnight in airports like I did in Thailand, Austin and Baltimore. On my most recent trip to Hispaniola Island, my flight itinerary on Delta created two overnight dilemmas. On my flight to the Dominican Republic I had a ten hour overnight in Atlanta and slept very comfortably on their long rows of padded seats. On my flight returning home to the Bay Area, my overnight in Salt Lake City presented a very lovely Terminal experience but a very uncomfortable sleeping arrangement.
After escaping security at the Salt Lake City airport, I experienced the airport terminal like I doubt I had ever before. Most of the time, I am the person who knows what to do, where to go and is on a mission to get through security and the crowds of people to reach my gate. That night, I took my time.... observing the quiet stacks of chair and the abandoned Cinnabons and Starbucks stands. I walked very slowly, soaking in the rare emptiness of the airport. On the people-mover, for the first time, instead of walking on the left and excusing myself past slow, unaware travelers like I always do, I stood on the right appreciating the pure peace of riding it with no one around. As I listened to the quiet hum of floor cleaning machines, I passed wing after wing with zero fellow travelers in sight. Shear bliss.
When I arrived at my gate, E79, at midnight, I discovered the airport-overnight-sleeping-sign-of-death: armrests between every seat, meaning I had to sleep on the floor. I thought I'd be okay because during my entire stay in the Dominican Republic and Haiti, I slept on a comforter on a tile floor and had grown accustomed to sleeping very soundly on the floor. But I soon discovered quite the contrary. The floor was death. So as I tried to sleep, I imagined myself, like Tom Hanks, dismantling and removing the armrests and pulling two facing rows of padded chairs side-by-side to create a bed. A little smile grew on my face imagining all the ruckus I'd start if I actually did it.
At some point I woke up to find jets and small planes scattered near the gates. The bright lights outside illuminated the falling raining being swept by the wind. I felt the same wonder I experience when I see fireworks light up a pitch black sky. Everything glistened.
I'm pooped as anyone of 28 hours of traveling would be, so I will post additional pictures of my Terminal experience on another day. Good night! I've missed you, dear blog.