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Leaving it to the last minute…

Posted Apr 14 2011 12:00am

I am a horrible person to travel with.  I will cause your flights to be delayed, which causes you to miss connecting flights, further causing your luggage to get misplaced.  I cause random storms and accidents that cancel flights, I misplace important documents, and I keep the anxiety up until we arrive at our destination…I am forever apologizing because it is the running joke that anything bad happening while travelling is caused by my bad luck!

Here are a few examples of times gone WRONG while travelling with me!  While pregnant with James, My husband and I did some holiday travelling.  We spent Christmas in Wisconsin and New Years in Canada.  Getting to Wisconsin was no problem, until I realized I left my passport in the seat pocket.  This was discovered as we were preparing to LEAVE Wisconsin.  The airport told us they did not have it in their safe/lost and found, so it was back to Vegas with only ID, no passport.  We got to Vegas at 7pm, had to be back to the airport by 9pm in order to catch our red-eye flight to Canada.  We missed every connecting flight due to weather.  They re-routed us, then we missed that connection due to worse weather.  We were about 13 hours late in arriving.  The passport?  It was at the airport the WHOLE time, so the father-in-law had to ship it to us.  We waited and waited, it got there the day before we left!  Bad luck, carelessness, and waiting for it to work out right until the last-minute!

When flying to Korea with James (he was 8 months old), everything went smoothly, they put me in first class for the 15h45 flight, it was great!  I was making comments left, right, and center about how it was the best travelling experience I have had….shut up, Groff!!!  Upon arrival in Korea, I was informed that my luggage was lost.  This included: stroller, car seat, pack-n-play, formula, all clothing and all baby gear.  This luggage was lost for 5 days!  It took over $300 to re-buy all of the stuff I needed to care for myself and James.  The airline refused to reimburse me….

When travelling from Canada to Wisconsin with my father and James (after our 2 year tour in Korea) we were informed at the check-in counter that although we had our confirmation, seats reserved, and our tickets, there was no room on the plane for us.  Did I mention we were the first in line to check in.  They offered to place us on a later flight and my father (who has less of a filter than I do…if that is possible) kindly told the lady: “No, that’s okay we are just going to go ahead and get on this one.”  Reply: “But sir, there is no room”.  Dad: “Well that sucks for you, because we are getting on that flight and you are going to end up putting us on that flight even though you claim there is no room.”  Long story short, we got on that flight, ended up snowed in overnight once we arrived at our layover in NY, waited another day and then made it to Wisconsin 36 hours late….and our luggage was lost for 3 days.  (The plus side, we got to see Ground Zero while we were in NY)

Now, on our way from Wisconsin coming here to Okinawa…Eric got another taste of my luck.  We were sure it would all be good to go…this was the funniest one yet!  We got to the airport and were told that our flight was delayed because a bird flew into it…seriously!  We waited it out and then go to Seattle where we were to catch a connecting flight to Japan.  Well, not so fast.  The airline that we were going to fly with….wait for it…went bankrupt and so all flights were cancelled.  This means a TON of military stranded in Seattle waiting to be re-routed.  We had to go to the Hilton where all military were being set up while they figured out flights.  People were sleeping in the lobby, laying with their luggage on the floors, it was crazy.  Eric rented us a car and we used the few days to go have some fun…make the most of it right?  We had the most fun at the zoo!!

Now we enter into our time leaving Okinawa.  Nothing bad so far, in fact this is a good news thing.  It just falls into the category of ‘leaving it to the VERY last minute’….remember that document I was waiting for from Canada in order to get my Visa……it JUST got here.  The only possible day we could do anything if it got here was today…I am not kidding.  They need one full business day to process and then we can pick it up.  That means today was the only day to get a full business day (they are not open Friday) in order to pick it up before we leave.  This means I WILL be getting my green card when we arrive in the States…OHMIGAWD, this was a shake your head and laugh because leave it to us to have everything work out at the last possible second.  We know how to keep the anxiety up (even though this was out of our control).

So now we just have to wait and give a call by Thursday afternoon to check the time we go pick it up.  These people were AMAZING, I could not believe how accommodating and kind they were.  They could see I was a bag of nerves (me, really?) and they just kind of laughed it off with me…although, my laugh was more of an anxious half-cry of relief.  I cannot say how amazing it was to see Eric walk in the door with that blasted fingerprint check from Canada…they literally took 118 days to process this….they say it can take up to 120 days if you are a criminal, that means I got a 2 day break ;)   So now I am on my way to being a dual-citizen…I let out my sigh of relief with a quote I have been known to say: “Thank you Sweet Baby Jesus in your golden fleece diaper….”

Cannot wait to see what adventures we face on this upcoming flight…I know it will be epic, because all of these experiences are.  You will be sure I will keep you ‘posted’ (hee hee, pun).

What kind of travelling mis-haps have you come across?  Do you like to travel or do you prefer to stick to your own stomping ground?  Lay your stories on me :)

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