so lets think about traveling.
Well, Spring made a brief, and I do mean brief, appearance here at Chez Knit. She teased us with warm weather, sunny blue skies and melting snow.
And then she took a trip to Florida and left us with ice and snow and cold.
And that got me to thinking.
No, no! Don’t run away. It isn’t as scary as you think. I just am in a nostalgic, thinking about traveling to warmer climates mood. And since I am I thought I would inflict it on you as well. You know you like to read about travel. And so……
I thought I would spend the week reliving some of HHBL and my travel “experiences”. And we have had some doozies I can tell you. And it is quite possible that after reading the posts for this week none of you will ever want to travel with HHBL and I. Because when we embark on a trip we just know that things are going to happen.
Heck, that is the fun of traveling you know.
And some of these posts, heck most of them, might be a tad long. I apologize in advance for my excessive windiness.
I think today I will tell you about a trip we took to Idaho almost 10 years ago. One of the awesome Quigg Family Reunions to be exact. We had spent two weeks traveling the state, eating lots of food, going to rodeos, climbing large hills made of ash, white water rafting and just hangin’ with family.
And then it was time to go home. And we were ready to go home. We had been together for two weeks, HHBL, the progeny, Bare Bonsey and I. We love each other but it was time to have some alone time. So we boarded our plane for the trip home. One lay over at O’Hare and then we would be home in the Frozen Northeast Ohio.
The flight to Chicago was great. No problems, no bad weather, no nothing. That was still when you actually got food on a flight. Ah the good old days. We arrived at O’Hare, deplaned and made it over to our next gate, sat down and waited for the connecting flight
We were told that the flight was coming from Souix City, IA and that they had some bad weather but that they would be arriving, that they were taking off, that they were on the way, that they were in the air. All those various things.
Time ticked away. Other flights to Cleveland on other airlines left. We all sat and waited. And finally the promised plane arrived. The passengers got off. The plane was hastily cleaned. We were all boarded on the plane and in our seat. And then I leaned out into the aisle and looked up at the cockpit, turned to HHBL and said, “This plane isn’t going anywhere tonight.”
And do you know how I knew this? Because, despite the fact that we were all in our seats there were no pilots in the cockpit. And that is the kiss of death for a flight. Pilots need to be in the cockpit doing all that pre-flight stuff while you are getting on the plane. I know these things, my brother is a pilot.
And I was right.
Very quickly the poor, hapless flight attendant came on the PA and we heard….
Well, we have some bad news. The pilots are over their “flight limit” (meaning they can’t fly any more hours until they have rested) and we don’t have any more pilots available so we are going to be canceling the flight tonight. We are already working on rebooking you all for flights tomorrow morning and arranging hotel accommodations for tonight. Please come to the counter when you exit the plane. We will also be giving each of you food vouchers for dinner tonight and breakfast tomorrow. And you will not be able to have your luggage tonight as we will be flying out on the same plane in the morning.
Did you catch that last sentence. No LUGGAGE!!! We weren’t happy. But what could we do. So we exited. Got our flight reassignments and took a taxi over to the hotel. The hotel generously supplied us with toothpaste, toothbrushes etc. But we didn’t have clean clothes, clean undies. Oh how I longed for clean undies. Because of this little incident I ALWAYS carry an “emergency undies” kit when I travel. It has come in VERY handy. And can I tell you that the hotel we stayed at probably was very nice. But we didn’t see the very nice part. We were shunted to the basement rooms that hadn’t been remodeled since 1966. Dark, dank, dungeon-like with flickering black and white televisions and the possibility of ghosts of travelers past. And did I mention that we didn’t have any clean underwear and by the time we got to the hotel the restaurant was closed?
Night passed. Day came. Our flight wasn’t supposed to leave until late morning. But we didn’t have any food and we didn’t want to hang around our
dungeon hotel room so we decided just to go over to the airport, use our food vouchers and wait for our flight. The sooner we were out of there and on our way home where hot showers and clean clothes awaited the better. We found our gate, spread out over a row of seats and then everyone scattered to get food while I watched the stuff. It was a Sunday morning, all was quiet, there weren’t even that many people in the waiting area.
And then I heard a voice, an announcement coming from the counter, a pleading voice saying…
This flight is currently oversold. We are looking for 6 people who would be willing to give up their seats for this flight. We will re-book you on the next flight leaving at 4p, we will give you food vouchers for lunch and we will also give each of you a $600 travel voucher towards future travel.
$600 PER PERSON travel vouchers? Sign us right up! We have 6 people. We are flexible. So what if we have to hang around O’Hare for another 8 hours. And so we did. But I won’t tell you the reaction of the progeny. It wasn’t pretty. They didn’t see the benefit of it although Bare Bonsey did.
Time ticked along….slowly. There is only so much you can find to do for 8 extra hours at O’Hare. There is only so much airport food that you can stomach, even though you aren’t paying for it. But we were dazzled by the thought of $600 PER PERSON in travel voucher so we managed.
Finally it was time to wander down to the gate for our afternoon flight. The gate was full. There were actually a bunch of people that we knew taking this flight. There were lots of people to talk to.
And then I noticed the weather outside. Ummmmm, when had it gotten so cloudy? And ummmmmm, was that torrential rain falling outside? And, oh I hope that wasn’t thunder that I heard. Thunder often goes hand in hand with lightening and lightening is bad at an airport. Lightening often means that an airport temporarily stops operations. And even as that thought formed in my brain…..
Hi. We are trying to keep everyone up to date about the weather and the flight. As of right now the flight is delayed. The airport has just informed us that they have instituted a temporary closure of the airport due to lightening strikes. There is a possibility that the flight may be cancelled. We will let you know when we have more information.
NOOOOOOOOOOOOO! Can I tell you that if dirty looks could kill then I would have been a smoking pile of ruin because the progeny were slaying me with their laser like eyes. Even the thought of $600 PER PERSON travel vouchers wasn’t doing it for them.
And so we waited….and waited….
And watched the weather and listened to the thunder. And prayed. Hard.
And finally the rain stopped. And the clouds parted. And the airport started flying planes again.
And we boarded our plane. We were stinky. We were sick of O’Hare. We were not staying there another dadgum minute! I didn’t care if we all had to stick our arms out of the windows and fly the thing ourselves. We were going home.
And FINALLY we made it home. Almost 24 hours later than we expected. But we made it.
I have never been so happy to take a hot shower.
Well, that isn’t exactly correct. There has been another time…
But you have to tune in tomorrow to find out about it.