The Mitten was a whirl of hugs and weddings and baby necks to snuffle. Altogether very satisfying.
On the way to the Mitten, the entertainment system apparently malfunctioned on the flight from San Francisco to Chicago. I wouldn't know. It was a red eye, and the only thing to do on a red eye is drift off as the plane takes to the air and partially wake up only to shift positions until you have to actually wake up to stumble off the plane. That is precisely what I did, although I vaguely recall feeling annoyance at the repeated announcements being made about the entertainment system when they had promised to talk as little as possible so we could sleep.
I got an email, however, offering me a free gift because of the inconvenience I suffered on a flight on which directv was unavailable. (Side note: there is approximately a zero percent chance I would pay money for directv on a flight. I bring these amazing items of entertainment with me: books. Also, I have an iPod. And the clouds below provide endless entertainment. I actually switched seats on my flight back from Amsterdam to Newark to sit in a row with non-functional entertainment systems. I had a book, and those rows had empty seats. I value sleep over television to a degree I cannot describe. One can never have enough sleep.)
I redeemed my free gift for a $75 credit toward my next flight.
On the way back to State of Happiness, I got caught in the debacle that was United Airlines last Tuesday. I don't know the extent of their computer malfunction, but I can tell you that it made my flight to SFO just late enough that the doors had closed to my flight to Universe City when I got off the shuttle across SFO at gate number no, we cannot be bothered to maintain in working condition a terminal for flights so piddly and small. (Lie. It was fine, just old.)
The last flight of the day arrived in Universe City just after midnight. My roommate, J., had to work early the next morning, so she couldn't really stay up that late, and I had to pay for a taxi home. I also had to be at work at 8:20 the next morning. It was unfun.
The moral of this story is that United Airlines will give me a $75 credit for their failure to provide me a service that I did not miss and would not have paid to use in the first place, but nothing at all for costing me several hours of my life and actual money that I couldn't really afford to spend, here at the end of the month. Odd.