Grandma and the haboob

The recent earthquakes and the hurricane news reminded me that I forgot to share with you all my haboob story.

As many of you likely know, a haboob is an Arabic word for a violent dust storm or sandstorm. Arizona has seen a few of them this summer, with a particularly violent one shaking things up on July 5. (HuffPo documented it well HERE.)

Another took place last week as I was trying to escape the <cuss> heat of the desert fly home. I'd gotten to the airport just fine but as I settled into my seat to await boarding, Megan called to ask if I was okay and how long of a delay I was facing. I had no idea what she was talking about; my flight wasn't delayed, all was fine and on schedule.

Five minutes later that all changed as every flight out of the airport was halted and delayed. The haboob had hit Sky Harbor.

From Megan's vantage point at home, this is what she saw on the news:

From my vantage point inside the airport, this is what I saw out the window: 

Megan texted a few times to make sure I was away from windows and safe. Bubby was concerned after hearing on the news that "the haboob swallowed the airport" and needed direct confirmation that Gramma was okay.

I confirmed that I was indeed fine, albeit feeling a bit claustrophobic with all windows showing nothing but a dust cloud:

Within less than an hour, things cleared around the airport and flights began taking off. About that same time, Megan sent this picture of the house across the street from her as the storm arrived in her neighborhood: 

At least she got a mini rainbow.

All I got was a delayed flight as the plane I was to board had been diverted to Vegas to avoid the haboob. Once it arrived and we boarded, there was another delay because of mechanical problems. We de-boarded, took way too long to board another, then finally, nearly six hours later than scheduled, we took to the now-friendly skies, headed for the mountains.

Having little to do with the haboob and much to do with the incompetence of certain airline staff, it ended up taking me longer to get from Megan's door in the desert to my door in the mountains by plane than if I had driven the entire distance by car.

Which is exactly what I plan to do the next time I visit the desert.


Today's fill in the blank:

My most frustrating travel story was the time _______________.