"The sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in
its net of wonder forever."—Jacques Cousteau

July 20, 2012

July 18-20 Getting Back to the Boat

Stuck in Chicago
Winter Harbor Marina

We decided to fly home this trip, because we didn’t want to waste days away from the boat or our granddaughter. We thought our flights home were horrible, but in hindsight they were as smooth as glass. Our adventure in getting back to the boat has been insane! We left Austin on Wednesday morning, flew through security and the flight left right on time, we even landed at O’Hare early…we should have known that was a bad omen. Everything went down hill from there and the nightmare began. First we were told our flight would be 30 minutes late, my friend checked online and said they were telling her it was 2 hours late….then the flight was canceled. The bad news was every flight going east from O’Hare was canceled! That put 1000’s of people trying to reschedule and being placed on stand by. Every flight was already over booked, they were asking for volunteers to fly later…definitely no room for stand by passengers.  They did find seats on a flight that would leave on Friday morning…at first we said no way. Instead we thought we'd rent a car and drive the 12 hours to Syracuse…that sounded like an easy option. Well…there wasn’t a rental car in the whole Chicago area for a one way rental. Ok…so we’ll take the train from Union Station to Syracuse…no, no way...all sold out for the next three day. The Friday tickets were sounding better by the moment, so we returned to the airport and reserved the seats, while we waited for stand by…hoping to get out earlier. We had no luck on the last flight to Syracuse on Wednesday night, so we needed a hotel…that was another adventure. We went online and looked everywhere and couldn’t find a room, so we thought we’d be stuck in the airport all night. Our wonderful son, who is great at planning trips, found us a room that was close by, Super 8, nothing fancy, but clean and away from the insanity of the airport.

On Thursday we returned to the airport and started the craziness again. We had to stand in line to receive stand by tickets and then we stood in line for security, and then the waiting began. Every flight to Syracuse was over booked and they were asking for volunteers to take the next flight…even though we were high on the stand by list, there was no way we were going to get on a flight. We stayed at the airport until the 4:00 flight took off and then gave up and took the shuttle back to the hotel. We did have our tickets in hand for the flight on Friday and we were assured there would be no problems…ok, I had faith and hope all would go well. After checking back in to the Super 8, we walked across the street and bought a few items we had been without for two days. It’s amazing how much better you feel once you take a shower, wash your hair and brush your teeth….and of course the beer we bought did help a little. We were resigned that we were here for another night and made the best of it. We had a nice dinner, relaxed and got caught up on sleep. Friday morning we went back to the airport and found out we had priority access, which meant we didn’t have to wait in any lines...wow, finally a perk for waiting 48 hours to get to our destination! No wait in the security line and we got to board first…I’m sure that was worth waiting for. Our flight left on time and we finally arrived in Syracuse at 12:24…only two days late. Our checked bag and friends were waiting for us and we were out of the airport in record time.

To say the least…we've never been so happy to be aboard The Pearl, what a wonderful place to be. We enjoyed a late lunch sitting by the water and making plans for our cruise tomorrow. It feels wonderful to be home! I hope our next adventure is a little more fun.

The view on the way to Syracuse
Home sweet home...she looks wonderful

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