Lifestyle, travel

The Stuff of Nightmares: Flying Through Winter Storm Riley

Winter storm Riley was all she was cracked up to be. The winds were fierce , and the brunt of the storm was causing major damage. This was not weatherman hype.

I KNOW BECAUSE I WAS ONE OF THE FOLKS FLYING THROUGH THE SKY.

Smack dab in the middle of Winter Storm Riley, was hubby, my son, his fiancé , and me.

EARLIER THAT DAY …

Paradise Island beach photo

 You are thinking. What was I thinking?

Why was I traveling during this violent Winter Storm Riley?

How about we just skip that embarrassing topic. Okay, I wont completely dodge the obvious question, but I will say that it was so picture perfect on the island  were at, see post here, that it was difficult to fathom that a storm of such magnitude awaited us. We read the news, and I will say that I voted to wait, and travel the next day. My decision was swift and immediate, but was vetoed by my other family members. It was decided we would wait a few hours and research it fully.

By then, however, the flights were cancelled and it would be days until we got back to New York. Limited numbers of hotels were available and they were far from our hotel. A well,  hubby and I both had medication for a couple of extra days, but not  for 4 or 5…There was work deadlines, meetings with international clients and a host of other responsibilities .

Further, I do trust Jet Blue. Flying has been difficult for years now; especially out of the NYC metropolitan airports. Jet Blue has always been an exceptional airline though, and I have never had a bad experience. I trusted that they would not fly through dangerous air pockets. That trust was well founded.

OUR PILOT GREETED US CHEERFULLY , PROMISING UP FRONT THAT WE WERE IN FOR A BUMPY RIDE. HIS HUMOR AND TACT HAD AN IMMEDIATE CALMING EFFECT. HE WAS NOT DENYING THAT OUR FLIGHT WOULD BE BUMPY AS BLANKETY BLANK, BUT HIS MEASURED WORDS WERE REASSURING, AND THE FIRST 3 HOURS WERE RELATIVELY CALM.

THE FLIGHT ATTENDANT HAD BEEN ON BOARD FOR THE EARLIER FLIGHT THAT MADE HEADLINES FOR BEING SO TURBULENT THAT EVERYONE THREW UP. EEK! THE WINDS WERE CALMER NOW..

FOR PERSPECTIVE, HERE IS A SHOT OF THE ISLAND AS WE LEFT. SMOOTH SAILING, RIGHT? 

sunset photo at Atlantis Cove

I ASKED THE WARM AND RESPONSIVE FLIGHT ATTENDANT TO ALERT ME WHEN WE WOULD BE CLOSE TO THE MOST TURBULENT PART OF THE FLIGHT. AS WE HEADED FOR WASHINGTON DC, SHE SOFTLY MENTIONED THAT NOW WOULD BE A GOOD TIME FOR MEDICATION. I HAD CHEWABLE DRAMAMINE WITH ME, AND LOTS OF IT!

Jostled like freshly made pop corn is how we felt. Yet it wasn’t as bad as the prior flight. Winter Storm Riley was pummeling coastlines as storm swells were battering everything in its wake.

As we got close to landing the turbulence intensified, but the wind velocity was too high to land. So the plane circled , on a rocky path, as we bobbed and swayed. . WE were strapped into our seats, but all of the vibrations and rapid motions made it feel as if we were not actually occupying any solid space. This time, as we landed, the wind subsided in those 10 minutes needed to descend;  just enough to get safely to the airport. We were LUCKY! We were not in real danger at any point, if they winds were too high we would have been re-routed to a safer destination. But it sure felt scary!

OH YES THERE WAS THUNDEROUS APPLAUSE WHEN WE LANDED!

We disembarked the aircraft and got our luggage. There was no wait! Fortune greeted us as our car, an SUV we ordered, was there right on time. Steeping out   we were pummeled with sleet that was propelled by such fierce winds, that it felt like tiny daggers on our pink faces. The driver was nervous, asking up to hurry in, as the sleet was icing over the roads.

Forty minutes of driving though swirling winds and sleet that came down in angled sheets made for anxious traveling,  but we made it home without mishap.

Being on vacation was heavenly, but it did not compare to the sweet safety of being home;, calmly situated  and ready to dwell on the happy, rather than the harrowing!

Later the next morning I took a photo of the street, and despite poor visibility, and slippery roads courtesy of winter storm Riley, Manhattan was still moving.

Cars, buses, taxi, pedestrians,  even bikes made their way as if it was just another day.

winter storm Riley IN NYC

THE BIG APPLE IS TRULY THE TOWN THAT NEVER SLEEPS, OR EVEN PAUSES MUCH, WHEN BAD WEATHER STRIKES.

You may want to read about the flight from Newsweek,  right before ours… it you like that sort of thing. Harrowing!

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I hope you are well and warm. I think since I have written this some sun has peeked out fo the clouds! Will it stay a while?

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Let me know what you would have done in this situation. I am curious. Had it been just me, I would have said no. Maybe I should have said NO more forcefully and abandoned the democratic vote, we were all four adults; but I am the mom, the one who feels most viscerally in charge of keeping her family safe.  What say you?

the elle diaries

16 thoughts on “The Stuff of Nightmares: Flying Through Winter Storm Riley

  1. Oh dear, dear Elle! What for a bumpy experience! I don’t like flying, though I always “have” to do it. In quotation marks, because it’s my choice, of course.And turbulent flights are awful, but I am glad you landed well and that the pilot was nice, as well as the flight attendant. But yes, having a lovely time on the island to get back that way, oh no! I am happy you are on the ground, now! Hope you have a great weekend! Hugs!
    DenisesPlanet.com

    1. Thanks so much Denise!
      It was a bumpy ride for sure and not terribly pleasant . But the trip was fabulous and I am so glad to be home . ❤️

  2. Holy smokes, how terrifying! I’m so glad you and your family are okay – what an adventure! Glad you are safe and sound at home again, Elle!

    1. Yes it was quite intense. Add to that, that I’m not allowed to drink alcohol! Lol . But I am so very glad to be home. Thanks so much for reading . ❤️

  3. I do not like traveling when their a storm in nerve racking. Thank god you all made it safe to your destination.

  4. Oh I wouldn’t have liked that at all! I’ve been stuck in a plan that circled the airport waiting to land, it actually spent more time circling than the flight was, it was an hour flight and we were up in the air for over 2 hours! At least the weather was calm so I had a snooze for that extra hour, haha! I couldn’t imagine waiting around for an opportunity to land in such bad weather – you are braver than I am!

    Hope you are having a good weekend 🙂 We are having a quiet one to recover from our busy week!

    Away From The Blue Blog

  5. Gosh what a journey!! I feel for you, we got snowed in during storm Emma we had here and the winds and freezing temperatures with the snow was crazy. I cannot imagine flying in that, you’re so brave! Glad you got home safely! I imagine that must have been overwhelming when everyone started cheering when you landed xx.

    Raindrops of Sapphire

  6. So glad that you were all safe! Last year, we flew out to The Dominican Republic in the wake of Hurricane Irma. There was some minor damage and grey skies on our arrival but it passed quickly. A few days later we were drenched by Hurricane Jose and then had to fly home two days earlier than scheduled to avoid Hurricane Maria. No harm done and it’s better to be safe than sorry! x

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