Monday, May 24, 2010

Nightmare Start To Texas

My cousin, Michael, informed me that Delta stands for - "Doesn't Ever Leave The Airport'. Geez, Michael, where were you when we were booking our flights?!?! We arrived in Texas, finally, but 35 hours behind schedule. We traveled to Russia and David traveled to China quicker that Delta was able to get us from Buffalo to Dallas!! You would be amazed at the ridiculous series of events! I will outline below:

-We were supposed to fly out of Buffalo on Friday but our flight out of Buffalo got canceled. They claimed weather in Atlanta but (A) the Weather Channel didn't report any crazy weather and (B) many other flights on Delta and other airlines were going in and out of Atlanta.
-When trying to reschedule a flight, the next flight Delta was able to get us was a full 24 hours later.
-Our flight Saturday was delayed leaving Buffalo. We were concerned about the ability to make our connection but we anticipated that we could luck out.
-We landed in Atlanta and still figured that we could make our connection....this is, until the plane tried to pull into the gate and there was a broken down plane sitting at the gate we were supposed to pull in to. As a result, we sat in the plane for about a half hour until they figured out what to do.
-It was decided that they would pull us into the first gate that opens up. Instead of pulling into a gate in terminal A, we pulled into gate B1. We thought we were still going to luck out because our connection was leaving from gate B3, the next gate over.
-We got off the plane and our connecting plane was still there, it had not departed the gate yet. However, since they already closed the door to the jetway we were not allowed to get on the plane and thus, we missed the flight to Dallas. So, we were stuck in Atlanta overnight.
-By this time, it was quite late and we were traveling with a 4 year old who was up waayyyy past her bedtime. (I do have to say that through all of this, Madeline was really a trooper and considering everything, she has been very well behaved....yeah!) However, we still needed to secure a new flight to Dallas and a hotel for the night. The airline got us a hotel about a half hour away from the airport....great.
-Sunday's flight was for 8:30am. We got on the plane and thought we were ready to go however, there was a mechanical issue and a part needed to be replaced. So we sat in the plane a half-hour.
-Finally, that mechanical problem was solved. Ready to go?? NO!! ANOTHER mechanical problem arose and maintenance had to be called out again. Between the TWO mechanical problems on our plane and the broken down plane that was in the gate the night before I was "thrilled" about flying....NOT!
-FINALLY, we departed and arrived in Dallas a full 35 hours later than scheduled!
-Now the problem with the hotel....After our flight was canceled on Friday we changed our hotel reservation in Dallas to be Sat-Wed instead. However, when we missed our connection on Saturday I guess we had too much going on in our heads and we forgot to call the hotel so they booked our room. We were able to check in last night (Sunday) but cannot stay for the rest of the time we had planned on because our reservation was given away. There are no other rooms available in the area of the convention center (downtown) because of the conference that David is attending. I'll talk more of this later....

Yes, we finally made it. However, what really SUCKS is that we planned to depart on Friday evening so that David would have time to visit with his best friend Jon who traveled to Dallas from New Orleans to meet-up with us here. Also, we wanted to have the weekend to visit with Jon's mom, Shirley, (our "Texas 'mom'/'grandma' ") and Jon's brother Joe who both live in the Dallas area before David would be tied-up with his work obligations. So, needless to say, David was very disappointed.

The plan was to go to the Texas vs. Cubs baseball game. I thought that I would stay back from the game because I didn't want to roll up to "Texas Grandma's" kick Madeline to the curb and take off to the game. However, Madeline made herself right at home. She was intrigued with "Texas Grandma's dog, Shadow, and was instantly occupied with the swing set in the backyard. Also, Shirley had Joe's son, Geoffry, come over to help occupy Madeline. Madeline was not phased in the least so we decided to go along with original plan and head to the ballpark. Despite the fact that we didn't get to the ball park until the 4th inning (again, damn Delta), it felt great to relax for a while, have a beer, enjoy watching the Cubs win and enjoy some 90 degree weather. Yes, we are very disappointed that our weekend was ruined but we now have to make the most of what we have. (Gotta love David's silly smile in the picture...yep, the look of someone who missed too many flights!)

After the game, we went back to Shirley's house and enjoyed an evening visiting out on her back patio, enjoying munchies, cocktails and then some pizza. Except for a 5 minute nap, Madeline was still going strong and we were all amazed that she didn't stop running, having fun and being busy the entire time she was there (especially since she was sleep deprived from the night before.) Yet, when Madeline's head hit the pillow she was out in two seconds flat.

Now, we have to get ready to check out of this hotel. The front desk tried to find other accommodations for us and we did our own online search too. Pretty much anything that we could find would be a half-hour commute for David to get to the convention center. Now, no matter where we stayed, Madeline and I would be outside of the downtown area and would be limited to the hotel and its walkable surrounding area while David was at work. For those of you not familiar with David's days when he travels, they very often go from 8am until 11:30pm as he attends the conference and then takes the evenings to meet over dinner with various business contacts/opportunities. Because of this, we opted to make some lemonade out of this batch of sour lemons that this trip has provided so far. So, looking at the options available, we decided to make our new hotel reservation for the Great Wolf Lodge. The commute would be the same for David whether we stayed there or at one of the other available hotels, the cost of the room is actually less expensive than our original hotel, it is located closer to "Texas Grandma's" house and Mama-Dirtyfoot and Madeline will have plenty to keep us busy all day. It is looking as though things are starting to turn around.....let's hope!

1 comment:

Rebekah said...

GOOD GRIEF, AMY!!!! What an absolute mess! We traveled with Delta to Russia and loved them, but I may think twice next time we travel. Some people would not have been able to recover and make lemonade out of this. Way to keep reaching for the positive and enjoy what you are able to enjoy. Great Wolf Lodge sounds like FUN!