Our journey started long ago, after qualifying for regional and then winning the state contest. Over the summer we busily fundraised and studied for the competition.
The journey to Arizona was a bit more eventful than we had bargained for. AtÂ 6 am, the day we were scheduled to leave, we received a phone call, saying that our plane had broken, and that we would not be able to leave. Later, when our advisor called the airline back, we discovered that another plane would be able to take us. So, we journeyed to the Cedar Rapids airport, a 5 gate complex, to catch our flight. When we arrived, we discovered that our flight would be late, due to bad weather. This would leave us a 15 minute window to board our connecting flight in Minneapolis. After checking every other possible flight combination and receiving about 5 different boarding passes and flight assignments, we decided to take the risk of spending the night in Minneapolis.
Soon, we discovered that our flight had been delayed, even more. To the point that we would miss our flight by more than 45 minutes. Luckily, we were able to convince the airline to put us up in a hotel for the night, for which we were extremely grateful. We also got food vouchers for breakfast. We worked really hard to raise money to go, so this saved us more than $150 overall, which was pretty thrilling.
Here I am on the first flight, displaying the information cards that everyone has memorized after their second flight.
When we arrived at the Phoenix airport, a day late, we discovered that they had given away the van we had rented, and given us an SUV instead. This was a rather problematic arrangement, because there was no trunk space, and only enough seats for the 7 of us (team members and chaperones). Thus, we had an extremely uncomfortable 3 hour ride from Phoenix to Flagstaff completely piled with luggage and unable to move.
But, the one thing I can say about the trip there was that it was extremely eventful, and not at all ho-hum.