Another Don Day: Miracle or Curse?

19 06 2010

The following REALLY happened just now. I didn’t make any of it up. It’s not a TV movie script. If you’ve enjoyed seeing my occasional travel comments in USA Today, you’re gonna love this!

But was it a miraculous or cursed 48 hours?

Wednesday: June 16, 2010

3:00pm: Head to Philly airport after speech for flight back to Canada for speech the following morning. Was just in Canada 24 hours earlier. Now wondering why I accepted Philly speech, but what could go wrong? It’s only 700 miles.

5:00pm: Philly to Toronto flight late (1 hour delay).

6:00pm: Plane lands in Philly. Blows 2 tires (add 1.5 hour delay).

6:01pm: Tell USAir agent I can’t afford to miss connection in Toronto. She says “No Problem.”

7:30pm:  On plane finally. Enter 45 plane departure queue. (Philly can queue 45 planes? . . . Add 1 hour delay). Problem.

10:15pm: Land in Toronto. Miss last connection to St John.

10:35pm: Exit Customs. My Assistant leaves VM message – “Get to 10:55 Halifax fight. Client sending pilot there to fly you to St. John.” Finally. Good news. But only have 15 minutes.

10:37pm: Breeze through Toronto Customs. Miracle. First time in 20 years.

10:40pm: Air Canada security stops me. Says I’ll never make Halifax flight. Brief argument. They win. Next morning 9am speech in St. John now at risk.

10:41pm: Commence panic response. Start looking for private jet.

Thursday: June 17, 2010

2:00am: Hire private jet – $10K. Bless client.

5:30am: Wheels up.

8:00am: Arrive St John.

9:00am: On-stage.

12:00pm: Off -stage, No sleep for 31 hrs. Audience loves speech. Adrenaline stores exhausted.

1:00pm: DECISION POINT – Take private jet back and sleep, or go to Miramichi with guys for world-class salmon fishing. But I don’t fish and am extremely tired. Decision easy.

4:00pm: Standing comatose in Miramichi River wearing waders. Trying to look like I fish. Guide notices. Gives me first lesson in how to fly fish.

6:30pm: Still in river. 35 hours of no sleep. No fish but casting doesn’t look as ridiculous. Beer cans piling up on table back on shore.

7:00pm: In helicopter flying up and down Miramichi. New guy had flown his chopper in. (Top Canadian pilot. Flew the Pope. Really.)

8:00pm: In fishing lodge. Drinking and jamming with 3 other guys – bass, mandolin, piano. Me on guitar. Haven’t played guitar for 20 years.

11:59pm: Still drinking. Music sounding better. Feeling like rock star.

Friday: June 18, 2010

2:00am: Go to bed. Been awake now for 45 hours.

7:30 am: Breakfast. New Brunswick fishing-lodge style. Decide to blow training diet. Realize I already did that 8pm last night.

8:00am: Back to fishing in Miramichi River.

10:00am: Catch 11lb Salmon. Piss off other guys who’ve fished there for years and never caught a salmon.

3:00pm: Fredericton airport on flight home.

3:01pm: Thinking what the #&%*  just happened?

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5 responses

21 06 2010
Jon

That shit is priceless Don!

23 06 2010
Sarah Albert

So happy to hear you enjoyed our Maritime hospitality, as we really enjoyed listening to you speak. You lack of sleep gave me loads of clarity, Thanks

24 06 2010
donschmincke

LOL! Thanks for your kind words. The audience was terrific. I wish I could take you all with me to all my speeches. Hope to have some excuse to come back soon!

30 07 2010
Sesiri

LOL.. This is funny! I had a similar experience flying back to Texas once from Sri Lanka… Ended up going to JFK and fly back Dallas..

31 08 2010
Alyson

Is it possible to take pity and be jealous at the same time? Because that’s what I’m feeling right now! hahahah! Great adventure stories Don! 🙂

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