this is maybe not something i would normally post/share here, but it has been on my mind and was for sure life changing mentally....for me at least....i have devoured the Internet for other perspectives of the same event.
a getaway weekend with some of my dear friends turned chaotic just as my plane was landing at LAX a bit early around 10:20am on november 1, 2013. my friends plane form colorado was on the tarmac because a shooting had just taken plane near their destination terminal. our captain taxied our plane for 1/2 our or so before finally telling us the airport was unsafe and letting us off... we were given the option to:
A. stay on plane(?),
B. hang out at airport(that was totally closed down), or
C. walk to our taxi/car rental/friends/family
(which were literally several miles away... because a 5 mile diameter around airport was blocked off for safety. no traffic in/out.)
no way in hell i was staying. i grabbed my solo carry on and started walking in the 80+ degree heat. a surprise from the below freezing- defrost prep plane-temps we had just experienced in spokane. many people stayed at airport.. which didn't reopen for over 5 hours.. i still haven't figured that out?? why would anyone stay that was capable and given the option of walking away? (my friends from colorado ended up locked in a terminal for this entire time..) i walked , walked walked, walked, walked.. through industrial LA. there were dozens of helicopters and news stations circling overhead the entire time.... and hundreds of cop cars/ ambulances/firetrucks flying past us. many of us with no clue where to go...people carrying infants & children/ sr citizens, luggage...etc..etc... the farther we walked.. the sparser the crowd became, phones and electronics dieing off... my phone died. pretty soon i realized i had no idea where i was or where i was going and no one around me..i had a slight moment of panic, thinking i may need to find a place to sleep for the night. but thankfully i spotted a business man walking a ways ahead who looked safe enough to tag along with as we are passing unsafe locations/ sketchy characters .. i'm sure i annoyed him, but i asked him to let me walk with him and asked if he'd look up my car rental location on his phone. he was kind enough to walk with me for about 45 minutes until it was safe again and an enterprise shuttle FINALLY showed up! Such a relief to see the rental car shuttle. enterprise was the only location driving around picking up customers. i was SO grateful that they swung by to get me!! even though i had already pretty much walked to location..felt so good to see a familiar name and get delivered a few blocks to location.
getting in the car, i loaded my stuff/changed clothes and locked the doors and just bawled!! then i sat in silence for a moment...prayed that my friends were safe, thanked God that my crappy luggage didnt fall apart while i was dragging it all over the universe (...i was SO thankful that i had decent shoes as well.. there were ladies in high heels/flip flops.. men in dress shoes...im guessing it was 4 miles? I circled the same areas trying to figure out where to go and walked from 10:45am-12:30pm.) charged my phone and made contact with my husband who was a little paranoid at this point. i was a sweaty/gross/lonely mess. my friends phones were mostly/nearly dead so i was getting minimal contact from them. i just knew that they were still locked tight in airport as they searched for additional shooters and cleared the airport of safety. i was SOOO thankful i was the one who had made the rental reservations. i was afraid to travel too far away from airport... but literally circled the airport no less than 5 times, which was a crazy mess with all of the highways/freeways/main roads closed off...traffic was SOOOO backed up with travelers trying to come and go but all flights shut down for 1/2 of the day at an airport that sees 1600 flights a day... it took around 45 minutes to make a 6ish' mile loop. it was difficult to go visit the beach...2 minutes away... while my friends where still in the airport.
random iPhone/instagram shots of the chaos and the craziness of walking out of that scene. seriously felt like the walking dead/twilight zone. didn't help that my friends were still locked up inside the airport for 4 hours or more!.... much of the time i was wondering if they were safe! so thankful to look back with some piece of mind.
it was heaven to watch the sunset hours later in huntington beach- nasty, tired, sweaty and all!