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 . . .
. . . 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.
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:
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!!