Thursday, March 20, 2008

Cancellations, Cancellations, and More Cancellations

OK, I'll lead with all the icky, rage-inducing stories first and then move on to happier themes. The day I flew home was pretty yucky weatherwise and I thought I was lucky to make it out of Green Bay on time. Then I land in Chicago and get a message from the airline that my next flight was canceled. But it was OK because they were nice enough to book me on a flight to Salt Lake leaving at 7 pm - the next day! I ran to the nearest gate and had an emotional breakdown for some poor American Airlines worker - What am I supposed to do for a day and a half in an airport with a toddler? Why couldn't they have canceled my flight before I left my family? etc. The nice man said he would put me on a flight to Cincinnati and then I would fly from there to SLC. Much better. All I had to do was walk down a different concourse and get a boarding pass from Delta for the flight from Cincinnati to SLC and then get my 4:00 flight out of Chicago. So I did that, to an extent.

I got a boarding pass and then had lunch. By then it was time to check in for the next flight so I walked to the other side of the airport and, of course, that flight was canceled. The next helpful person tried to put me on a flight for Cincinnati that left 2 hours later, not realizing I couldn't care less about going to Ohio. When he finally listened to me long enough, he told me to go back to another part of the airport to be put on standby for a direct flight to SLC leaving at 6:30.

After some frustrating gate changes, more delays, and some very non-helpful people treating me terribly, I finally got on that flight - I was literally the last person to board the completely full flight. Using Google Earth, James and I figured out that I walked about a mile and a half in the airport, dragging Zoe and a huge diaper bag around. And that's besides chasing her around for 6 hours. The flight was miserable - 3 hours holding onto a child who didn't want to be held onto, hadn't slept all day, and only slept for 30 minutes on the flight. By the time we touched down it was 10 pm and, as Zoe most eloquently puts it, we were "done." In every way possible I was exhausted. By some miracle my luggage got on the plane as well and I didn't have the aneurysm I would have, had our bags remained in Chicago or been sent somewhere else.

From start to finish I was disappointed with the service, or lack thereof, that I received from American. They don't even serve a snack, though they will sell you a $3 bag of chips. I think I'll stick to my old favorites Delta and Southwest.

OK, now for the more fun stuff. Zoe and I had a blast in Wisconsin. It was just like being at home, only with someone to talk to all the time and help with Zoe. My sister's oldest, Isaac (6), adored Zoe and constantly told me that I was his best aunt ever. He loved to help me and play with Zoe. The younger boy, Elijah (4), liked Zoe for about the first 2 days, then he changed his mind. If he had to sit next to her or if she was in his room he would whine that he didn't like her. I guess you can't please everyone.

My sister and I worked on projects, watched movies, and talked endlessly. One night I stayed home with the kiddos so she and her husband could have a real date. Zoe behaved perfectly the whole week. She ate more than I've ever seen her eat, including having a banana a day (no one tell her that a banana is a fruit or the spell might be broken), and she also took a 2-3 hour nap each day. For the most part, Zoe was content to play in the boys' room, jump on a large leather ottoman, and scale the stairs endlessly. She only fell down the stairs once, and it was only about 5 or 6. she didn't break anything and she was slightly more careful on them afterwards, so I guess that is the best-case scenario. If you can't tell from the pictures, my sister and her husband are remodeling their house.

As far as vacationing with a toddler (and without your spouse) goes, we couldn't have had a better time. I only wish we could get together more often.

7 comments:

Christian & Erin said...

Are you very kindly going to write a letter and threaten to tell everyone you know never to fly AA again unless they give you a free flight to anywhere in the world? I'm so sorry you had to go through that! I'm glad you are finally home safe. Hopefully that doesn't deter you from having a "next time."

Fern said...

Wow! What a disaster! I can't believe you survived 6 hours at the airport with a toddler! Just the thought of it is giving me a headache!
But you've lived to tell the tail!

Fern said...

Make that "Tale"

Cyndi said...

WOW! You must be supermom! I would have for sure been on the news for "woman going ballistic in airport!" it probally did'nt help that it was the END of a long trip either, thats usually when everything is 10 times worse than it really is!

Heather said...

Gotta love airlines who only want your money and could care less if you get where you are going in a timely manner. I can relate to the troubles with canceling flights and all that jazz!!! Glad everyone is home safe a sound!

Walnut said...

James, Desta is such a big fat winer.

April said...

This picture of Zoe gives me vague flashbacks. I can see james with the same length of hair as Zoe, smae smile and his pants hiked up his legs except a lot higher...just to gross people out with his upper thighs. Oh....the white glare.......