The Travel Gods Hate Me

I have recently come to the realization that I am not meant to travel by myself.  My most recent drive down to the ocean to meet my family, who were already there, resulted in hours of extra and extremely frustrating traffic.  And then I compounded the situation by almost immediately turning around and taking a trip to New York for the BlogHer conference.  By myself.  Leaving my family behind.  Meeting my co-bloggers in New York.  The voyage did not go well.

The trip began as most of my trips do . . . completely smooth and deceivingly easy.  I was able to leave work at a reasonable time, get to the airport with tons of time to spare, check in and even got a great check in guy who told me to go ahead and get in the priority line . . . everything was going super smoothly.  So, I was ready to take off, even with enough time to grab a latte before the flight . . .

That’s my plane! Right on time. Yay.

. . . and everything was going perfectly.  Too perfectly as it turns out.  I even got a window seat beside a skinny guy who did not want to talk to me or rub up against me on the plane (Holla!!), which is like winning the lottery!  And I arrived in Philadelphia a little before 8:00, with plenty of time between arrival and my connecting departure.  I would even have enough time to grab some food before getting on my 9:00 flight.  Everything was going according to plan.  I was due to arrive in New York around 10:00 and should have been at the hotel before 11:00.  That would have given me plenty of time to unpack and get settled in before getting a good night sleep before the next day of blogger meet-ups and what was sure to be a flurry of sightseeing and activities.

Then I got a call.  From a mystery 888 number that I didn’t recognize.  When I answered it, I heard a recording.  An update on my pending flight.  And the info was doled out as if each word was physically being pulled out of the speaker’s throat by a large pair of sharp metal tongs.  And it was just about as painful to me to wait until the recording finally got to the point . . . that my flight was delayed.  And had a pending departure time of . . . wait for it . . . 11:45!  WHAT THE FUCK?!?! . . . is what I actually said out loud on the transit bus I was on, surrounded by other passengers who thought I had lost my mind.  Oops.

So yes, that would be a THREE+ HOUR DELAY.  So I scurried to the departure gate and spoke to the woman there.  She said that all 3 flights due to arrive in LaGuardia were delayed because of storms in New York, and that all would be leaving around 3 hours late.  Sigh.  Was there nothing that would leave for New York earlier than 11:45?  Nope.  Ok, then.  Well then, I guess it was about time to find myself a bar.  Because if I was gonna have to sit in this airport for 3 hours, I was going to get myself a drink.  And some food.  Which is exactly what I did.

Key Lime Pie Martini . . . yum!!

So I sat.  And I drank.  And I had a sandwich.  And I watched the Olympics.  And I caught up on some of my fellow blogger’s sites.  Oh, and did I mention the table at which I sat already had a lovely young woman who graciously allowed me to share the table with her?  Yep.  Might one think that her graciousness will keep me from making fun of her Hello Kitty credit card?  Come on, now.  Have you met me?  Pretty sure you know the answer to that:

No, she was not a 12 year old Japanese school girl.

After about an hour and a half of passing the time in the airport, I decided to check on my flight.  When I got to the gate, the sign behind the (same) woman said CLOSED.  Panic ensued . . . did the flight actually arrive and leave without me???  No, the lady informed me.  It just changed gates.  She was then nice enough to check on the status for me.  “Uh-oh,” she says.  Uh-oh?  What’s uh-oh?  I don’t need any more uh-ohs, thank you!  She then informed me that my flight, that was now due to leave at 11:45, was actually just then loading passengers in Detroit, and it would not be due to even arrive in Philly until 11:47.  Wait, what now?  If my calculations serve correctly (unload passengers/baggage, clean up plane, refuel, reload passengers/baggage), we would be looking at a 12:30 departure time, if I’m being generous.  Oh HELLZ no! 

It was at this time that I decided that it was time for action.  Are there any other flights leaving for LaGuardia, I asked.  She told me there was an 11:10 flight scheduled, but that I would have to go to that gate to get on the flight, as it was “gate specific.”  Thanking her for her help, I headed to that gate.  When I got there, the attendant told me that they could not change me there, and that I would have to go to yet another place (customer service) to get the flight changed.  By the way, in case you are keeping track, I probably ran or walked about 3 miles since arriving in Philly, just inside this airport, moving between all these gates (and the bar).  Once I got to the customer service desk, I think I was delirious with exhaustion and frustration.  I pleaded with the lady to get me on that other flight and promised that if she could, I would “be her bestest friend in the entire world.”  Yeah, surprisingly, she was not receptive to that offer.  Weird.  Even despite my craziness, she was able to switch me, so I guess I have a new bestie now, huh?

The plane, despite my presence on it, actually took off as expected around 11:10 (give or take) and I arrived in NYC around midnight.  If you can believe it, my luggage was even switched as well and arrived within a reasonable amount of time at baggage claim.  Things are looking up, yes?  Pfft.  Amatuer.

Once I caught a taxi, I realized that even though I was pretty tired, I was also kinda excited to be in New York for the first time and was snapping pics of the city all lit up as I approached.  And no, none of them are good, because I was in a moving cab and it was nighttime.  Oh well.  I was still super excited.  We made it to the hotel in good time and I approached the check-in desk at around 1:00 AM, ready for my journey to be done.  The check-in girl was very nice and professional.  But then she said she would be right back as she had to check on something.  Uh-oh.  When she eventually returned, her news was not good.  She informed me that even though I had booked my room in February, there was no room available.  They had overbooked my room with 2 double beds and only had rooms with one bed available.  Um, what?  So, the choice offered to me was that I could either just have a room with one queen bed (in which Johi and I would be getting very cozy and much more acquainted than we had expected), or they could give me a different room that night and then give me a double room the next day at some point when someone eventually checked out.  Well, obviously I chose to take the room that night (I just wanted a freaking bed at that point!) and told them I would switch the next day.  Johi wasn’t expected to arrive until the next afternoon, so I hoped to have the new room prior to her arrival.  And so, I looked forward to some fun room switching excitement in the morning.  Woo-hoo!!

The room was pretty nice.  And it had a view.  Not that I discovered this until the next morning.  And of course, even though it was about 1:30 in the morning by the time I got in my room, I was all wired from all the travel and excitement of being in New York, so I wasn’t even tired at that point.  But I knew I had to get some sleep, as I was meeting my girls the next day and needed some rest for the pending excitement.  Six hours is enough, right?  Well, it was gonna have to be.  Look out New York . . . despite your best attempts, I’m finally here!!

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44 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Andrea
    Aug 08, 2012 @ 08:45:32

    I thought you were going to go all Planes, Trains and Automobiles from Philly to NYC…glad you made it!

    Reply

  2. Renée A. Schuls-Jacobson
    Aug 08, 2012 @ 09:17:26

    Omigosh Misty! You could have taken a train from Philly to NYC and gotten there so much faster! At least you had Julie to look forward to. I hope she shared her drink tickets with you! ;-)

    Reply

  3. Go Jules Go
    Aug 08, 2012 @ 10:07:39

    OMG Misty I had no idea! I feel like you could have walked to NYC faster. But thank gawd your luggage made it with you; I was worried about that the whole time I was reading this!

    This line was amazing: “And the info was doled out as if each word was physically being pulled out of the speaker’s throat by a large pair of sharp metal tongs.”

    Reply

    • mistyslaws
      Aug 13, 2012 @ 20:30:48

      I probably could have walked faster. I DEFINITELY could have driven faster, and most definitely should have taken the train. Next time I will be wiser. I was just worried I wouldn’t be able to bring my big suitcase on the train because there is no checking baggage on the train.

      I was SO worried about my luggage. I figured with my luck, I definitely wouldn’t get it on that flight. And in fact, there was a bunch of luggage that came out, and mine wasn’t one of them. Then . . . nothing for like 5 minutes. Me? Worried. Then it finally came out. Phew.

      Reply

  4. Steph
    Aug 08, 2012 @ 11:03:27

    This post would totally be me. I’ve a) never been to New York City but I’m sure that if I actually made it, b) all this same shit would happen to me. I was like Go Jules Go said… worried the entire time I was reading this! Can’t wait to hear the rest of the story! You and Jen have had me waiting so (im)patiently ! ;0)

    Reply

  5. bluzdude
    Aug 08, 2012 @ 11:42:30

    Renee is so right. The train is the only sane way to get to NYC from here. And then you get to strut aroun d Blogher and say, “Eh, I just hopped on the train and here I am…”

    Reply

    • mistyslaws
      Aug 13, 2012 @ 20:35:03

      Yes, this journey taught me that lesson well. I was between the two, but was worried there wouldn’t be anywhere to put my large suitcase. I should have just figured it out and done the train. Amtrak is indeed laughing.

      Reply

  6. Jen
    Aug 08, 2012 @ 12:25:55

    What the hell is it with you and planes, Girl! I haven’t seen such bad luck in an airport since the Alec Baldwin ‘Words With Friends’ fiasco. Still, it was worth it to finally meet you and SQUEE so loudly my mom heard us on the second floor. :)

    Reply

    • mistyslaws
      Aug 13, 2012 @ 20:35:53

      It is as I stated. The travel gods hate me. If I had taken the train, it probably would have been delayed because a cow died on the track or something. Such is my luck.

      Reply

  7. thoughtsappear
    Aug 08, 2012 @ 14:10:31

    So glad you finally made it! You had a Key Lime Pie Martini? Nice way to pass the time. Was it better than the ones we had?

    Reply

    • mistyslaws
      Aug 13, 2012 @ 20:38:18

      It was good. And since I got one on the way up and then another on the way back, I obviously enjoyed it. I’m not sure if it was better. It was a while ago that we had ours. And I remember they were pretty good as well. I think we might have to go back so that I can compare again. Would you be up for that sacrifice? ;)

      Reply

  8. JM Randolph
    Aug 08, 2012 @ 14:39:22

    Your post reaffirms two truths for me. 1) The assholes are actually in Philly, not NYC. 2) Flying into La Guardia is ALWAYS a bad idea. I once spent 4 hours stuck in traffic getting from LGA to my midtown hotel, and no I am not making that up and yes it was on one of those shuttles packed with strangers and yes I was the last stop. EWR is the only way for me.

    Reply

    • mistyslaws
      Aug 13, 2012 @ 20:42:49

      I did not experience ANY assholes in NYC. I would concur about the Philly ones. Sorry Philly. Then again, I wasn’t pleased with the plane flying out of NY because it was so late to get to Philly.

      That sounds like a horrible experience. I would have been going crazy on that shuttle.

      Reply

  9. red
    Aug 08, 2012 @ 14:54:15

    Dude…do I see a “U” on the tail of that plane? You flew United, didn’t you. BIG MISTAKE! They are awful. They don’t tell you when your gate changes, then they’re rude about it when you try to talk to customer service. Yuck. If you can, change airlines for the return trip!

    Meanwhile, have fun.
    …and have a martini for me!

    Reply

  10. Carrie - Cannibalistic Nerd
    Aug 08, 2012 @ 15:47:51

    So how much would you make fun of me for my Mickey Mouse credit card?

    Glad you finally got there!

    Reply

  11. Leauxra
    Aug 08, 2012 @ 22:19:02

    Maybe you should do something to appease those Travel Gods… An offering of wine, or sacrifice a virgin or something. Seriously!

    Or maybe the Travel Gods were thinking about giving you an excuse to buy a WHOLE NEW WARDROBE IN NEW YORK… of course if they did THAT, they should probably help you win the lottery, too.

    I’m so glad you got to go! I stayed home and hiked an worked, and watched the Mars Rover land. Not quite the same level of excitement, but almost.

    Reply

    • mistyslaws
      Aug 13, 2012 @ 20:47:03

      Wait, there are virgins left? Where the hell would you find one of those?

      Yeah, maybe I should have swiped the Hello Kitty card, ya think? New wardrobe on her!

      I can see how the Rover landing would be exciting. The entire trip wasn’t full excitement.

      Reply

  12. Brett Minor (@brettminor)
    Aug 09, 2012 @ 00:27:00

    Sounds like you got lucky that it worked out. Red and I had some major problems with that same airline. Looking forward to your future posts about BlogHer.

    Reply

  13. She's a Maineiac
    Aug 09, 2012 @ 07:41:19

    See, this is why I won’t ever go to a blogging conference unless it’s being held in Maine.

    Reply

  14. Trackback: BlogHer 2012 Came and Went « Thoughts Appear's Blog
  15. mark
    Aug 09, 2012 @ 12:55:09

    Oh, Misty. I’m sorry. We best not travel together. Our worst experience, and there have been too many to count, was being delayed 6 hours for our 2.5 hour flight to Vegas. We nearly saw fist fights break out over the free pizza and canned beverages the airline attempted to placate us with after everything else in the airport had shut down. There wasn’t even alcohol available in that airport. We have not flown that airline since, the extra cost of other airlines is worth it. Have a blast in NYC!

    Reply

    • mistyslaws
      Aug 13, 2012 @ 20:52:33

      Yes, I fear that if we were ever on an airplane together, our combined very bad flying luck would cause that sucker to go down in flames! Let’s avoid that, shall we?

      Reply

      • mark
        Aug 14, 2012 @ 16:43:08

        Have you seen the movie “The Grey?” I’m picturing something like that. Horrible plane crash, then hunted by ravenous wolves. I’ll drink to safe and on-time travel.

        Reply

  16. madtante
    Aug 09, 2012 @ 13:05:46

    HOLY CRAP! Your blog is fantastic. Thanks for commenting on my comment (huh) at Juleseses. You have so much cool shite here all I can say is: That weren’t no crabby. That was a tick!
    (I’m from the Ozarks)

    Reply

  17. Inappropriately Nat (@natsnaughty)
    Aug 09, 2012 @ 15:16:16

    Holy crap. I’m not sure any trip is worth all that shiz.

    Reply

  18. cornfedgirl
    Aug 09, 2012 @ 17:56:13

    Well, I am glad that you made it safe and sound so that I could finally meet you!

    Reply

  19. mychaoticbubble
    Aug 14, 2012 @ 02:53:22

    All I could think of while reading this was I wonder if I can get a Supernatural bankcard in Australia? Turns out my bank doesn’t do them, yep already inquired, might have to ring around though and change banks if I find one lol.
    Sounds like a good trip besides the delays :)
    Australia so doesn’t have all the fun cool stuff that USA has, we’ve got some conventions showing up now, but you guys have the coolest things (like the BlogHer’12).

    Reply

  20. Trackback: If I Can Make It There: BlogHer ’12 « Misty's Laws
  21. FoghornUnicorn
    Aug 17, 2012 @ 21:08:10

    Yikes.

    Reply

  22. Trackback: The Perils of Travel | Misty's Laws

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