Tuesday, October 23, 2007

To Grandmothers House We Go (Or Try)

Beware: if you're tired of tales of my travel woes, read no further. But if you're intrigued about how one (very nice) person can run into so many problems with the travel gods, please join me on my weekend adventure.

I wanted to go visit my grandparents before I head back to Spain, so I booked a flight a few weeks ago to travel from Boston to Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. Friday night flight, 6:30, sounds easy, right? I was supposed to be in by 10:30pm. I got to the airport with no problems, despite the questionable weather, and was pleased when I saw my flight was on time. At first.

Our plane finally arrived in Boston and we were cleared to take off at 7:45, meaning most people would miss their connections in Philadelphia. The cutoff was 9:25 and my next flight was to leave at 9:30, so I was told I'd be fine. Well, when we finally landed in Philadelphia, I had enough time to run to the other end of the terminal, jump into the shuttle bus, and run to my next gate. Where, sweaty and out of breath, I said, "They told me I had to get a boarding pass here because they couldn't give me a seat in Boston. Sorry I'm so late." It was 9:25. The guy at the gate calmly handed me my boarding pass and said, "The plane hasn't even arrived yet."

It finally did, around 9:45. We were then told that the crew needed a 15 minute break because they hadn't eaten all day. Isn't there food on the PLANE? Anyway, this was the announcer's first mistake: get the passengers mad at the crew. Second mistake: His next announcement was, "We will board at 10pm but you'll have to sit on the ground for an hour anyway because there's such a huge back-up." No one on this flight was from Philadelphia, they were all connecting from other locations, mostly far away. Lots of grumbling ensued.

So, as promised, we got on the plane at 10 and proceeded to sit on the tarmac until 11. Halfway through the captain announced, "We have to wait for a storm to pass before we can take off." Storm? I looked out the window and there was no storm in sight. Because not only did we have to wait for the storm to pass, we had to wait for the storm to arrive. And when it arrived, it felt like we were in turbulence even though we were sitting on the ground.

Finally, after an hour or so, the captain came on again to tell us that by the time we'd get to Wilkes-Barre, the airport would be closed. So no takeoff tonight.

I was the lucky person who had a relative in Philadelphia. So while everyone else freaked out (the people at Philly airport didn't realize we had never left - they thought we were arriving from somewhere) and were told they might get on a morning flight and would not get a hotel covered, I took a taxi to Nicole's house. Her awesome house. I love her house, and I've never loved it more than I did on Friday night.

Added bonus? My dad was in town! So Saturday morning we had breakfast with him before I went to the bus station. That's right, I got on the good old Martz Trailways bus at 11am (after they told me there would be no seat for me until 5pm) and rode magestically to Wilkes-Barre. Actually, aside from the weird guy with the shaved temples sitting across from me who couldn't stop gnawing on his nonexistent fingernails, it was a beautiful and peaceful ride. The leaves were in full force and the only pity was that I didn't have my camera.

So I finally arrived at my grandparents house at 2pm, nearly 20 hours after leaving my office in Boston. And after a great weekend with them, would you believe that my flight was also delayed on the way back? First flight was fine, but then back at Philly airport the fuel truck didn't want to put fuel in the plane. So we took off at the time we were supposed to be landing, and I got home at nearly midnight rather than 10pm. Just in time for the Red Sox to win game seven of the ALCS and the church bells across the street to start incessantly clanging. And the people yelling and the horns honking and the police sirens wailing....


Gemmita said...

Honestly, I don't know how you manage to get in all this "trouble" but I have to admit that the way you write it makes it fun to read. Specially if I'm sick at home, potato couch and being tissues my best friends right now.
when are you back in bcn? I won't be able to join girl's soccer since it's at 7pm, maybe a day that I can sneak out.

NoellieBellie said...

Hey chica,

Sorry to hear you're sick. I'm back in BCN on Nov 4! Por fin!! :)