Travel Misadventure

Our flight was delayed. A detailed description is below the images on this page. We decided to stroll around terminal 3, as sitting around was getting tiresome. While walking, we came across an interesting art exhibition in the United Airlines Terminal in San Francisco. This was like visiting an art gallery. It helped to revive our lagging spirits. I took a few pictures that you see below. We leisurely enjoyed the exhibits, Second Chances, that used recycled material to create art. There were exhibits from many countries throughout the world. I was amazed and impressed how craftsmen around the world have used recycled material so creatively.

Old gas cans, and fishing lines make guitars, bottle caps, make crinkled hair, or wheels. Tootsie roll wrappers make dresses, old license plates make trash cans, suitcases are made from scrap metal. So are cars, cameras and jewelry.The exhibits are from the Collection of the Museum of International Folk Art, Santa Fe, New Mexico.

The pictures were taken through the glass that housed the exhibits and many are not very clear. You can read about this exhibition and then view at least 10 pictures, clearly and in detail at, Second Chances:Folk Art Made From Recycled Remnants.
Once you are on this page use the link at the bottom of the picture to view, 10 images of the exhibit.

The poster of Second Chances, recycling cans, wires, tires, to make crafts such as cars, radios, lunch boxes

The poster of Second Chances. The exhibit is a Collection of the Museum of International Folk Art, Santa Fe, New Mexico

baskets made from plastc coated telephone wire

Baskets made from plastic-coated telephone wire: From Johannesburg, South Africa

quilt made from cans

Recycled soda cans make a box-spring quilt. From Washington, USA

jugs, sieves and strainers made from cans and metal

Cans and other metals recycled to make strainers, jugs and sieves

Candy wrapper dress

Dresses made from Candy Wrappers. Artist Shelly Hedges Washington, USA.

Sandals made from old tires

Sandals made from old tires


Woven Chair by journalist, inventor & environmentalist, Svein "Slim" Sirnes, used discarded beer & soft drink cans to weave this chair, one of many of his creations. He also invented tools to cut cans.


“Freedom Bird.” This bird was created with pages from magazines, paper maché, made from cheap prison toilet paper by Chinese immigrants who landed in the US in 1993, when their ship ran aground, near Rockaway Beach, New York. While in Detention, awaiting their fate, they whiled away the time by making various crafts including this, “Freedom Bird.”, as it came to be known. For details, see, More about the Freedom Bird

Metal jewelry

metal jewelry

camera made from recycled material

Camera made from recycled metal

Recycled colorful plastic baskets

Plastic Baskets. Since the 1970's, many Hmong people settled in the USA. Many typically,served as weavers of cane & bamboo. Since these were hard to come by in the USA, they used plastic straps, from recycled material to create these baskets.

Lamps made from cans and other material

Lamps made from cans & other material

Radio made from old material

Radio:From South Africa


Fences enhanced with recycled material

The Details of the Misadventure

Our miles with Singapore Airlines was expiring in February, 2011. I did not have enough miles to earn a free trip, but I could pay $200 to add to the miles I did have. My husband, Indiran, had enough miles for a free ticket. We decided to make use of this bargain trip and visit our son who lives in Chicago. We had visited Chicago several years before & liked it very much. We looked forwarded to spending a few days with our son and seeing the sites of Chicago again.

Our tickets were purchased in February 2011, for a trip in May, 2011. We had to drive 2 hours to San Francisco, to board the flight that we had purchased via our frequent flier miles. During the months that followed, we planned a leisurely drive to San Francisco, taking in some of the sites, since our flight was only departing at 4pm.

Well, Indiran, a busy man, worked late into the night, on the eve of the trip, and began packing late as well. I too, got busy organizing the house, cooking a few things to take to Chicago, finishing up a few articles for my website and also went to bed late. I only printed the boarding passes around 1am. The boarding passes looked different to those I had downloaded from another airline that we used frequently. I just thought, since it was a different airline, the boarding passes looked different. I was quite pleased with myself for having arranged all of this, although it was so late.

Indiran asked me to help pack the rest of the stuff, the next morning. Now, we were only going to leave around 12 noon and make it just in time for the flight. No leisurely drive and seeing the sites of San Francisco.

On the morning of the trip, while Indiran had gone to work, I began packing food parcels for my son. Some baking was also done that morning. So, I too, was working at a hectic pace and scrambled to get ready for 12 noon. Indiran arrived around 12.30pm. looking all excited, saying, we have to move, it's getting late. He added that he had a problem with his glasses. One of the lenses broke, he was considering going to the optician to get it fixed. It was at least a half hour drive there and we were not sure if they would repair it in time.

So we decided that he would use another pair. While packing the last few things into his bag, Indiran asked me if he should carry his cell-phone charger and I shouted back saying, no need, as I had packed my charger, (we both have the same type of phones). After a hasty meal, we left home around 1pm. We drove, about 10 minutes, when Indiran realized that he had left his sunglasses at home. We debated whether to go back home, but as it was a hot day, with a blazing sun, I suggested he should go back and fetch it.

We were finally on our way. Indiran thought that we might not make it for our flight. Traffic seemed okay for several miles, then we got stuck in traffic for many more miles. All the while, there was that apprehension about missing our flight, throughout the long drive. We also planned to park our car on an offsite parking area, close to the airport.

When we got to the parking garage, it took a few minutes to get the paper work done. Then the shuttle took us to the airport. We had half hour to spare before our flight was to depart. Apprehension was mounting

We rushed to into the airport building, & found our way to the security section. We were asked for our boarding passes. I proudly presented the documents I had printed. The lady looked at it and then said that we we had to go to one of the kiosks and print our boarding passes.

We said,“ but, we these are our boarding passes. ” She said it was travel confirmation, but not the boarding passes and politely suggested that we go and print them. Indiran then took a look a the documents and declared, “ but these are not boarding passes, what did you print? “ We rushed to print the passes, while I was trying to say, but I thought they were boarding passes etc., all the while, feeling quite awful about all of this.

Well, when we attempted to print the passes, a message came up saying, boarding for the flight was closed. We could talk to an assistant at the counter. By that time, Indiran had to use the rest room urgently, and asked me to still check if I could print the boarding passes. I kept getting the same dreaded, message: boarding for the flight was closed. We could take the next flight at 6.30pm, for an additional $52 each.

So upon Indiran's return, that is what we did. In a glum atmosphere, we decided to have coffee, while waiting for the 6.30 flight. We called my son, to tell him about our new departure and arrival time.

We had a snack at one of the airport restaurants and it was soon time to board the 6.30pm flight. While waiting to board, United Airlines informed passengers that the flights were delayed due to computer hitches. The technicians were working on it and they would let us know when we could board.


This waiting stretched into hours. As my phone was low on power, I decided to charge it, while waiting. So I looked in my bags, and could not find the charger!! I was sure I had packed it. I had actually told Indiran, not to pack his, as I had packed mine.

So afer a few more minutes of going back and forth through all my bags, I concluded there was no charger and had to convey this news to Indiran. He did not say much, but the looks said a lot!! Really need to use a cheat sheet

Well, we spent time taking turns to walk around the the stores, while the other watched the bags. I had one bag loaded with frozen food for my son. I was hoping it would endure all this delay. Fellow passengers were lying around, reading, walking and chatting, while waiting. United Airlines would announce every now and then they could not tell us when boarding would begin. Passengers were saying that TV stations had news about the flight delays and they were using their phones to view the latest information. A lady kindly offered me her charger, so that did help. My son was told not to wait up and we could call when we arrived.

It was at this time we decided to take a stroll, and happened to find the art exhibition in this terminal. Details of the exhibits are at, Second Chances:Folk Art Made From Recycled Remnants.
Once you are on this page use the link at the bottom of the picture to view 10 images of the exhibit.

After the exhibition, we walked back to our gate. We had heard no announcements, but people were boarding the plane!!! It was around 10pm. Of course I could not help thinking that if were on time, we would have been in Chicago at 10pm, and not boarding the plane to leave. I tried sleeping on the flight but did not sleep well at all. We eventually arrived in Chicago around 4.30am. We rented a car & drove to my son's apartment. It was close to 6am.

It was good to see my son again. We decided not to sleep, and just go out for the day & when we did feel tired, we would come back to sleep. While I went to have a wash, Indiran tried parking the car. It took a long, long time to find a parking. My son had warned us that it was too time consuming to find a parking in the Lincoln Park neighborhood. He had sold his car, and just used public transport.

So that is how we got to the Navy Pier, Chicago, that early in the morning, around 7am. Here is a link to our Chicago Trip


Well, if it had not been for the delays, I would never have know about the interesting art, Second Chances, by such talented artists. I hope you have enjoyed looking at these pictures of our misadventure. Please do share your comments and travel experiences. Do you have a travel misadventure to share? You can reach Nirmala via the Contact Form or email Nirmala at:
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