Monday, May 16, 2016

Southwest Adventures

If you've known me for any length of time, you know if I'm driving or in charge of directions the trip will be an adventure.

Friday was no exception. Although this time was not my fault.

A month ago, my mother and I decide to go to my cousin's wedding in Richmond, VA. Naturally, we begin looking at flights and, of course, the Southwest 5:45 a.m. flight is $200 cheaper than the normal human wake up time flight on United. Since it's two of us, we decide that $400 was much better spent on something else, like let's say a hotel room.

Unfortunately, we were quite mistaken.

Friday morning comes, and by morning I mean the middle of the night. It's 3 a.m., and my mom and I are rolling out of bed, throwing clothes on, and running out the door...mostly on time. We get to the parking lot, to the terminal, through security (and my normal pat down) and to our gate with Chick-Fil-A in hand without a hitch. The flight is on time and we're boarding in the coveted group A. All seems to be going perfectly.

We get on the flight to Atlanta because going anywhere on the east coast requires a stop in Atlanta. I am a little nauseous, but that is kind of normal for me at that time of morning with travel nerves. We take off, and I still haven't eaten my chicken. This is generally unheard of. Food is usually consumed within minutes after receiving it. My mom knows something is not right in my tummy, and gets my barf bag and hers ready just in case. As we take off and get to cruising altitude, I realize there's no way I am going to feel better without using the little bag in my seat back pocket. Praise the Lord for barf bags! And my mom sitting next to me instead of some stranger. Of course she has extra napkins!

Minutes later the plane descends quickly and the entire plane knows something isn't right. The flight attendant even made an announcement that they needed to be seated. I half expected the oxygen masks to pop out of the ceiling. Not the most exciting thing to experience especially when you're still not feeling great. The pilot comes over the intercom stating that the cabin is not holding pressure and we will have an emergency landing in New Orleans. The only other time I have been to New Orleans is when we had an emergency landing on a trip while I was in college. Not sure I ever want to intentionally fly to NOLA now.

As all of this is happening, I realize that I might not be feeling well because my blood sugar is high. In my world if something isn't right, blame diabetes. And in this case, diabetes was partly a cause. My blood sugar was almost 400. It should be 100. Great. I changed my insulin pump site on the plane, which proved to be a challenge, but it worked and I am alive to write this. I knew I would start to feel better if my sugars levels came down and I was able to keep liquid in my system.

So we land in NOLA. We're told there's a plane coming from the hangar. We're all thinking an hour max we'll be on the ground. LOL how naive. The plane takes awhile to come, and then they announce that we will be waiting until 9 a.m. for a new set of pilots to arrive. WHAT HAPPENED TO OUR OTHER PILOTS?

As I discuss the stupidity of this with my first set of travel buddies, another mom and daughter duo, I decide getting some of my grading done would be a good idea. Also, I finally feel well enough for my delicious chicken. PTL.

At 9:30, they have us board the plane. WOOHOO! Everyone except the people continuing to Richmond have a new connecting flight. When we leave NOLA, we still have no idea how Southwest is going to get us to Richmond. Mom and I start making terrible new plans, like driving from Atlanta (8 hours). We were delirious, I think.

At 12:30, we land in Atlanta and rush the customer service desk with HOW ARE WE GETTING TO RICHMOND questions. They tell us the fastest way to get us there is to fly to Dulles in D.C. and take a Super Shuttle to the Richmond airport. The saga continues...

The Dulles flight doesn't leave for 3 hours, so we have time to eat more Chick-Fil-A and take a nap on the benches without annoying armrests. Chelsea gets credit for this because this is where she took a nap on Thanksgiving when we flew through Atlanta after the Macy's Parade.

The Dulles flight is fine with no problems, but the genius Southwest people told us that our luggage was going to be rerouted to Dulles instead of Richmond. LOL Like they're going to dig through all the luggage to find 20 people's bags and reroute them. NO.

Raise your hand if you're surprised our bags weren't in Dulles. Right. That's what I thought.

We get on our Super Shuttle with my new group of travel buddies

  • Janice-Asian girl freaking out because she's missing hanging out with her friends before graduation. She graduated in December from UVA.
  • Melissa- the mom trying to move her daughter out of the dorms and to a storage unit before their 1pm flight on Saturday.
  • The mom and dad duo with their 2 year old and 2 month old- bless them
  • my mom and me
  • the crazy driver from Africa- he speaks French, Spanish and English fluently and likes to weave in and out of traffic without a blinker while going 90 mph. 
Thankfully, we make it to Richmond alive at 8:30 pm. It was a pretty marvelous sight until we got inside baggage claim and saw our bags through a glass window with the lights off and door locked. SO. CLOSE. We call the number on the window and the man is there within a couple of minutes. 

Mom and I head to the taxis where we get a ride from the first guy. He's Russian and the coolest dude ever. He escaped communist Russia 20 years ago with $300 in his pocket and his family. He tells us about the realities of Russian mobsters and what they were capable of, and immediately follows with the importance of Jesus is in his life. What?! Of course our taxi driver is a Christian and there to remind us of the real reason we are on this earth despite the ridiculous day we had.  Love how the Lord works. 

At 9:30 pm, we have finally checked into the hotel, and my aunt and uncle arrive with delicious food from the rehearsal dinner. 

Approximately 17 hours of travel on Friday and a wonderfully stupid story to go with it. I'm so glad I captured it for my Snapchat story...enjoy.

Side note: A huge shout out to Southwest for doing everything in their power to get us to Richmond as quickly and safely as possible. 

In the midst of all this crazy, I am glad I experienced it with my momma and was still able to go to the wedding on Saturday. #brightside 

Stay tuned for Ben and Kate's wedding excitement!

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