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A little peek into my crazy weekend

The last few days have been a bit on the crazy side. I was scheduled to take a short trip to Los Angeles for a video shoot for a BBC project. Since it was going to be so close to where lives, she was going to drive up and spend the afternoon/night with me.

All went smoothly until I landed in Dallas. Then pretty much nothing went smoothly.

The flight was delayed by an hour. We took off and then had to re-land because something malfunctioned on the plane. They couldn’t fix it, so we had to wait for five hours while they found another plane we could use.

I finally made it to LA–where had patiently been waiting for over five hours for me to show up! Poor thing, I felt so badly she had to wait forever for me to show up!

But we made up for lost time and had a wonderful dinner in an outdoor French restaurant and stayed up talking until 2 a.m. We walked around Santa Monica the next morning and had breakfast at another cute crepe restaurant.

And then Jessica had to head back home and I headed to the studio to do 20 one-minute video clips. I called and asked Jesse to please pray for strength for me as I was wiped out and exhausted and wasn’t sure how I was going to pull off all that filming–especially since the whole on-camera thing is still way outside my comfort zone.

But it all ended up going really well, the crew was fantastic to work with, and I honestly forgot how tired I was when I started talking about saving money and simple things moms can do to make a big impact on their finances. And despite my fear of cameras, I actually ended up having a lot of fun!

I got back to LAX in the early afternoon and prepared for a nice quiet trip home. I should have known better!

When I got to the gate, I found out my flight had been delayed by 20 minutes. Not too big of a deal–except that meant my layover in Dallas would only be 20 minutes, and that was cutting it quite close.

I talked to the guy at the desk and he just shook his head and told me that it would be awfully hard for me to make it onto the second flight. However, he generously offered to move me up to near the front of the plane to help buy me a little more time to make it to my gate when we landed in Dallas.

We got on the plane and all was going well until about five minutes before we were supposed to take off. The pilot came over the loud speaker and said that the co-pilot was missing and we were waiting for him to arrive. Um, that was not a good sign.

We ended up waiting another 15 minutes for him to get there and my chances of making my next flight were pretty much evaporated by then. So I resigned myself to staying the night in Dallas as it was the last flight out on Saturday evening.

When we finally landed, I got off the plane as quickly as I could and made a beeline for the second flight, in the off chance it had been delayed. Nope, it had pulled out of the gate 10 minutes before I got there.

Oh well, at least I got in a good run. 🙂

By this time it was almost 10 p.m. and I was thoroughly wiped out. I made my way back to the gate I’d come from and got in line to get a hotel voucher and to get my ticket changed for the next day.

There were lots of people in line, it was chaos at the counter, and they were very under-staffed. I finally made it to the counter about 20 minutes later and a man who had just come on shift tried to help me get the hotel voucher and ticket changed. It was pretty obvious he didn’t know what he was doing and he had to make phone calls a few times to try and figure out how to get my flight changed.

He eventually got it squared away and handed over my hotel voucher and ticket for the next day. He told me to go run down and get on the gray bus marked “hotel shuttle” before it left. I hurried as fast as I could and located the gray bus, but they said my voucher wasn’t for the hotel they went to. Two more gray buses came and they both said that my voucher wasn’t for a hotel they went to, either.

I was beginning to get a little concerned. It was dark, it was late, and the airport was fairly deserted. And here I sat on the curbside waiting for a phantom bus to come pick me up. Finally, another bus arrived and they told me it was for my hotel.

I eagerly hopped on board, so thankful I was going to be able to go to bed soon! But I began to get worried when the bus drove quite a ways away from the airport. It seemed odd that the airline would put me up in a hotel so far away.

However, they’d told me it was the right bus, so I figured they must have just run out of hotel rooms close by or something.

When I got to the hotel, my gut feeling was confirmed: I was at the wrong hotel. Apparently, I was supposed to get on the red bus, not the gray bus. And of course, my voucher wouldn’t work at this hotel. They said they’d drive me back to the airport and drop me off to wait for the red bus to come.

The thought of going back and standing out on a dark, deserted curb at 11:30 p.m. at night to wait for another bus after everything that had happened over the past two days was just about the last thing I wanted to do. So, chucking my frugal nature out the window in favor of practicality and my need for sleep, I said, “Can I just pay for a room?”.

And I think it was $79 well spent. 🙂

{By the way, I did finally make it home in one piece at 11 a.m. yesterday morning. I was never so happy to be back home again!}

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  • suzanne says:

    WOW! Crazy and I am tired just from reading it. Hope you can catch up on some sleep at home, but then again, I know how hard that is with homeschooling lots of little ones. Thanks for the post though as it was humorous to read!

  • says:

    Oh! Bless your heart. I am wipes out just reading that!

  • Amy says:

    It has to be The Dallas airport. We had the same thing happen to us a few years ago. I know that feeling well of sitting on the curb waiting and waiting for a bus to show up. And for such a big city, that airport is a ghost towm at night. 🙂 Glad you made it home finally!!

  • says:

    I’m sorry you had to do all of that – I was a “road warrior” for 3 years – traveling 2-4 times a month all over the country, so unfortunately been there done that. 🙂 But the only times my travel was so messed up that I had to stay overnight was twice – both overseas where I had a similar experience – once in Tokyo and once in Amsterdam, and I missed my husband’s surprise pampering birthday present having to stay overnight in Tokyo – it was an interesting birthday, that’s for sure!

    • Jess says:

      That’s what my thought was too, unfortunately! Welcome to the world of working moms who travel. That’s why we don’t last long! You really never know when you will get home. It’s just too exhausting, and I would say Crystal’s experience at the airport is sadly typical. The stories are so bad, you can only laugh later.

  • Amy N. says:

    I have had many traveling stories similar to this one. One of my worst trips ever occured when I was almost 7 months pregnant. It was no fun to without luggage for three days! Anyway, it would probably be worth a call to the customer service team for your airline. I’m sure if you explained the circumstances they might refund all or a portion of your hotel expense. Despite the reputation, there are good folks that work for the airlines that are willing to help.

  • says:

    WOW! That’s quite a story. Glad you made it home in one piece! When/where will your video clips air?

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