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Archive for August 9th, 2008

Cross Country Trip From Hell

Posted by The Scroll Saw Lady on 9th August 2008

Now that I can sit back and relax, dad is doing better, mom is on the road to recovery, now I can sort of laugh about my trip to Arkansas.  Oh, it was an exciting one and I thought I would share it with all of you.  So, here is the very long story of my trip to Arkansas from Seattle WA.It started at 2 am when I had to catch a cab to take me to the bus stop to catch a shuttle to the airport.  No problems there except for the fact that I did not sleep at all because I was afraid I would not wake up in time.  Okay no big deal.

I get on the shuttle at 2:30 am and think this will be a good time to catch a couple of winks, as the ride to the airport is about an hour.  No such luck, the driver is practicing to be a stand up comic or something like that (stick to bus driving buddy) any way he won’t shut up!  Okay, no big deal, I will sleep in the airport.

I get to the airport at about 3:40 am, check in, go through screening, of course it is now 4 am and I have had no sleep so, One I have a bottle of Gatorade in my bag (bozo no no) they yell at me for that, fine!  Then my back pack has my laptop in it, apparently you are supposed to take the laptops out of the bag, again I get a scolding for not doing things the right way.  It is only 4 am how am I supposed to be able to function like a human being?

Alright, I finally get let loose from the detainees.  On to the loading area where I have about an hour and half till the plane loads maybe I could get some sleep?  NOPE, they have a very loud announcement every 3- 5 minutes, welcoming everyone to the Port Of Seattle!  At this point, It is like the Chinese Water Torture.  I am ready to hurt someone now, turn the damn speaker off and stop welcoming me to the Port of Seattle and letting me know that every day they recycle 4 tons of plastic bottles at the airport.  Come on….. 4 tons?  I think they are making that up?  4 tons?  Yes, it is permanently etched in my brain this figure of theirs!

No harm done, I hurt no one so far, but am definitely sleep deprived at this point and feeling it.  Can’t wait to get on the plane and take off.  We board the plane no problem, all is good. We do take a few really good hits on some air pockets when we get close to Chicago where I have to change planes to go to Springfield MO. 

Did I tell you I hate flying?  Hmm.. forgot to let you know that one.  Well, I hate flying and I usually take a pill to put me to sleep, I think my pills may be too old because they did nothing and I was wide awake through the whole bouncing around in the air pocket things, boy was  I happy about that!

Okay, so we get to Chicago alive, I am happy about that! I have a connecting flight now to Springfield MO, so I look for a departure board to see where my connecting flight is going to be leaving from.

Hmmm…. something isn’t right?  Nothing seems to make any sense.  The time the Springfield Mo, flight is leaving is not right? The flight numbers don’t match?  What the heck is going on?

Ohhhh…. I see.  Hmmm…. So, I am flying to Springfield Illinois huh?!?!  Well, that is horse of different color!!  How the… what the… I booked my flight to the wrong Springfield!!!  CRAP!!

I run to a ticket counter, “can you help me?”  No, not really, and if we do help you it will cost you one arm, one leg and well we see you are too old for your first born child, so, how about you also giving us the keys to your car!!!  Besides that, your luggage will be going to Springfield IL, anyway.  You do want your luggage don’t you?  ARRRGGHHHH!!!!!

Okay, now what do I do?  I am flying into Springfield IL which just happens to be about 5 hours away from where I actually wanted to be. 

I figure I have a car waiting for me in Springfield IL so I will just drive the rest of the way to my parents house, which is about a 6 hour drive from there.  I have now been on this trip for approximately 10 hours.  I am over this trip already.

I am in constant contact with my family, who after laughing their butts off at my stupidity are actually trying to figure out how they are going to get me to Mountain Home, Arkansas without having to drive for ever.  Not to mention they don’t want me to keep the rental car for 2 weeks, so, they want to pick me up somewhere where we can drop off the rental car.

In the mean time, they are wheeling my dad into the operating room to start the angioplasty, he is feeling okay and is ready to find out just what is wrong and why he is having so much chest pain as of late.  Bye dad, talk to you later!

Back at the Chicago airport, my family and I hatch a plan.  I am going to take the plane to Springfield IL and try to change my rental car to a one way trip to Springfield MO, drop the car off their and my nephew will drive the 2 hours to Springfield MO and pick me up, then drive me back the 2 hours to Mountain Home AR.

We’ll see, we know how accommodating the airlines were, we will see how bad the rental car place will be.  Have I told you my flight to Springfield has been delayed?  No, well that is okay, because by now, it has been delayed again, and then again!  It ends up being delayed for 2 hours.

We are now boarding the plane to go to…. yep, you got it now Springfield IL not MO.  Okay, we board all is good no problems, wait….. oooppps, small problem, the tower has just called and told the pilot they can not go anywhere as there is a storm rolling through and there is lightening!  We are going to have to sit on the plane in the 95 degree heat of Chicago till the storm goes away!  Ah, this day just keeps getting better!

We are literally sitting on the plane long enough for my father to get out of surgery and my sister to call and tell me everything went perfect.  They found an artery that was 99% closed!  Good gracious how was this man even alive?  Plus no signs up till this last week, he has been in perfect shape and no signs that anyone really knew was signs. 

Now, everybody says, well he has been looking tired, heat affected him very badly, he had a pain in his shoulder for quite awhile.  Just little things everybody thinks were signs they never suspected.  Men, pay attention to the signs, don’t let things go till it is too late! (women too, but men are terrible about going to the doctors!)

So, sitting on the tarmac the gentelman next to me hears all my conversations with my family, wishes me the best and tells me he will give me directions how to drive from Springfield IL to Springfield MO, no problems.

We finally, get cleared to take off from Chicago, I have now been on the trip for 14 hours and I am soooooo…. over this trip!!

We fly into Springfield IL and I go to the car rental place first to see if they will change my rental from a 2 week, both way rental to a one way, one day rental with out the need for one arm, one leg and the keys to my car! 

The car rental place is great!  They don’t give me any hassles, they are more then happy to change my rental.  Of course, the young man I pick to help me, has no idea how to change the agreement and spends all of his time asking the girl next to him what to do, she has processed 3 people already and he is still asking her what buttons to push.  That is okay, I am going to get out of here soon and on my way. 

They finally get the paperwork done, give me the keys, all I have to do is get my bag and get out of here.  Where is my luggage?  No, I am not kidding, where is my luggage?  I have been on the ground now for probably an hour, everybody else is gone, but there is no luggage on the turnstyle!

I ask the car rental people if they do something with the luggage and they say, yeah, now you have to back to the other side of terminal and they will have it locked up behind the counter of the United Airlines Ticket counter.

Okay, I can walk all the way back to where I first came from and get my bag and get out of here and on my way to see my dad.

I go to the ticket counter where no one is working and 10 other people are standing in line.  I ask them if they are also looking for their luggage 6 say yes, 4 others have missed their connecting flight because our flight was 3 hours late.  Okay, no problem, where are the desk people?

We wait, we wait, we wait, nobody.  I ask a security guard where the ticket counter people are, he says they do double duty and also have to unload the planes as they come in! WHAT?

Tommorrow,  the continuation of the story….. Luggage Held Hostage!  (you are hating me now huh, making you wait for the rest of the story?)

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