Monday, November 8, 2010

Travels With Deb (Vol 1)

I feel nostalgic this morning. May be it is the turning of the seasons from Fall to OH MY GOSH IT’S SNOWING (which it did on Friday). Or maybe it is just one of those things that happens in my brain with for no apparent reason.

Most likely the second.

But I am feeling that I should tell you about some of the “things” that happen when we travel. I just never know what is going to happen when I drive out my garage door to take a trip. I cannot tell you every event because we all have to get on with our lives. But I can tell you a few.

IMG_0480 This is me in the Newark Airport at 2a after missing a flight to Delhi, India. A memorable trip

It really should have occurred to me early on in life that things happen, occasionally, when I travel. Take my second plane flight ever, when I was in 5th grade. Way, way back in time. We flew to Dallas so that the parental units could go to the Cotton Bowl with friends. They had a good time, I had a good time not going to the Cotton Bowl. We got on the plane to fly back to Chicago……and there is a snow storm. A BIG snow storm. We get into Chicago air space and we circle and we circle and we circle. And finally we have to go someplace else because it is either refuel or fall out of the sky. And the closest place we can land that isn’t affected by the storm is Pittsburg. So we fly over there and land and sit. Yes they refuel us but no they don’t give us any food and no they don’t pump the bathrooms which as I recall were pretty bad by this time. We are air born again and fly back to Chicago and are able to land but there are no gates to be had. SO we sit in a line of planes that I believe was around 20 planes long, just waiting for a gate. A two hour plane flight becomes a 20 hour nightmare. And this was way back before things like ipods. I could only listen to the music from the planes meager selection. Whenever I hear a song that played on that flight I am popped right back to that trip.


And then there was our last trip to Hawaii in 2005. Yes, I know I should complain cuz we were in Hawaii but…….this is a list of the things that we experienced.
1. Our car was robbed while we were visiting the Arizona Memorial. Smashed the window, popped the trunk, took the girls purses one of which had a copy of our credit card in it.
broken glass
2. HHBL and TMO were sick the whole trip. You can tell in pictures because HHBL looks like death warmed over.
3. Our flight back was canceled due to mechanical issues. The story of that whole thing is just too long to relate here. The airline put us up in a “Japanese Honeymoon Hotel” in Honolulu and gave us food vouchers that only worked for the restaurant attached to the hotel. Then the “fixed” plane that we got on the next day wasn’t fixed at all so they took us off that plane and put us on another plane, bumping all the people who were supposed to fly on that plane. We had to “walk the gauntlet” of some very disgruntled passengers.
4. And we COULD have flown 1st class, ALL OF US, the next day if the girls had let HHBL and I take the 5 seats that were offered the night before to give up our seats on a flight that didn’t even leave the ground.


And then there was Idaho 2001. HHBL’s family has a reunion every other year and that year it was Idaho and it was a blast. Flying back from Boise to the Frozen Northeast Ohio we had a layover in Chicago, at O’Hare to be specific. We were flying with all the progeny and our “Cousin Daughter” BareBonsey, who was living with us that year. The reunion was great. We had a blast going to the Idaho Potato Museum (the kids LOVED it) and white water rafting (Go Violet Vikings!)
image 21-2-2007 
And then it was time to go home……. We get to O’Hare. We go to our connecting gate and we sit and we sit and we sit. We are told that the flight that we will be boarding is delayed in Des Moines but will be here. Plane finally arrives several hours late. Passengers get off. We wait. FINALLY we are boarded on the plane and we sit. Now I have flown a fair amount and know a bit about what happens in the cockpit. I lean out and look down the aisle. The door to the cockpit is open and there are no pilots in the seats.

That is not good. No pilots in seats doing pre-flight check means no flight.

And sure enough, about 30 seconds after I turned to HHBL and said, “We aren’t going anywhere.” the dulcet tones of the flight attendant came on to say that the good news is that we were on the plane. The bad news was that the plane wasn’t going anywhere because the pilots were over their flying limit and there were no other pilots available and there were no other flights leaving that night. Nice. So we get off the plane, they re-ticket us for a flight the next day, give us food vouchers and truck us over, WITHOUT OUR LUGGAGE, to a less than lovely hotel by the airport.

The next morning, since we didn’t have luggage and were wearing the same undies as the last 24 hours and had nothing to eat we decided to just go over to the airport, get food and sit.

And that decision was VERY beneficial to us. As we were sitting at the gate, on a Sunday morning no less, the gate agent announces that the flight is oversold and they were looking for 6 people to give up their seats and that they would book us on the afternoon flight AND give us $600 PER PERSON travel vouchers.

We raised our hands and took that offer despite grumbling from the progeny. Bare Bonsey saw the wisdom of the decision as I knew she would. We reminded them of the grumbling when we used the travel vouchers to go to Mexico the next winter.


I think that is about all for today kiddies. May be next time I will tell you about our adventures in travel to Africa, or India, or Mexico, or Peru, or California or NYC. All fun times let me tell you….

and I will someday. If you want me to that is. Do you?

Just don’t leave me in boredom please.




  1. We have a lot in common but travel isn't one of them, probably for the very reasons you give! lol That's probably why I've never visited any place that we couldn't drive to in our own car.

  2. I love it when you reminisce with us. Those are some harrowing experiences (amazing how O'Hare pops up so frequently in them). Someday I'll have to do one of those, but the whole page will be taken up by our experience bring Dudette home from Armenia (includes a foot race through Charles DeGaulle, which is a small city in itself).

  3. Ah yes . . . the memorable flight back from Dallas on American Airlines, recalled whenever I hear the old Neal Diamond song "Sweet Caroline." Recall, also, the lady with the cast on her leg several rows behind us who had run out of diapers for her baby. That unforgettable flight actually took longer than our return trip from Hong Kong to Chicago a few years ago.

  4. We flew out of O'Hare only we taxied to the runway for takeoff I saw a sign out the window that read, "Pilots, check your compass". And I'm thinking...they fly by compass and the compass COULD be WRONG? lol

  5. Wow! You've been everywhere!!!
    I've got some airport stories too. I'll have to regale sometime...

  6. Woo-whooo! Thanks for linkage. While I'm at it, thanks for the memories. That was a great trip, mishaps and all!

  7. Fortunately, my travels have been dull as dirt compared to yours! :)


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