I am still alive...but...$#%#%$^&^*%#^%&^%!

Blog Post created by SkyGirl on Mar 8, 2015
  Okay, so I am supposedly on vacation.  I finished a grueling 4-day trip on March 2nd and my vacation began on March 3rd.  I spent that day washing, repacking and making sure everything was in order for me to leave my condo in DC for two weeks of fun, family and relaxation.  No real plans, just a suitcase full of clean clothes and the ability to fly anywhere for free!  Sounds great, right?
  Then...the big East Coast mega-storm weather reports started...  I decided to get the heck out of Dodge (DC) before the storm hit.  I snagged a quick flight to Fayetteville, NC, on the afternoon of March 4th.  One of my sons and his wife live there, but my son is currently up in Ft Leonardwood, MO, completing his Captain's training in the Army.  I thought it would be fun to pick up my daughter-in-law (hereinafter referred to as DIL) and take her with me to St. Louis for a few days.  Another of my sons and his wife live there and my Army son said he could drive down for the weekend and it would be five of us together for a few days.  But...
  There was NO getting out of Fayetteville, NC.  The airport is small and the planes are all tiny United Express planes. (We call them "Barbie Jets".)  So I rented a car and drove us over to Raleigh-Durham airport, which is about two hours away.  Couldn't get on a flight out of there either.  When a storm hits and affects a few major hub airports, it has a devastating ripple effect.  No, there may not be bad weather in Denver or San Fran or Chicago, but you can bet when stuff shuts down in JFK and Newark and DC, the entire system goes bananas.
  So DIL and I sat in the airport in RDU for an entire day, rented another hotel room, then went back and sat another 1/2 day in the airport...until DIL, whom I love but is very young, egocentric, volatile and verbal, had had enough.  She announced she was done "wasting her time" and told me she had rented a car to drive herself back home to Fayetteville.  A quick, obviously irritated hug, and she was gone.  Um. Yeah.  I can't get on a flight either, dear DIL.  An invitation to stay with you would have been nice, Girl.  Whatever.  I love airports.
  So...I decide to take the first possible flight out of RDU to ANYWHERE.  I finally,after 8 more hours, get a jumpseat on a 50-seater ExpressJet plane to Houston.  Houston?  Do I have any reason to go to Houston?  No.  But it sounds better than renting another hotel room in Raleigh-Durham.  So I take what is offered to me: the jumpseat on this teeny tiny plane.  It is a rusty pull-out-fold-down thing that sits in the aisle in the last row in front of the lavatory.  Seriously.  It is so old and un-used that when I pull out the elastic seatbelt, it sort of shreds. (I didn't tell anyone this until AFTER the flight because I knew they would not let me sit there if they knew...)  As soon as the seatbelt sign went off, I had to fold up the seat and go stand in the teensy tiny galley for 3 1/2 hours until it was time to land.  But I got to Houston, which is a huge hub of United and I just KNEW I could get home (Oregon Coast) or back to DC (my base) from there.  Um.  Yeah.
  I sat in Houston (IAH) for a day and ended up getting a Priceline hotel room because there were NO seats available to ANYWHERE.  Seriously, this is three days (72 hours!) after the East Coast storm hit and the rollover of paying customers who got canceled and delayed is still taking up every possible seat.
  I went back to the airport early this morning (well, I guess it's "yesterday" by the time I post this...), and sat through eight flights from Houston (IAH) to other United hubs (DEN, SFO, LAX, LAS,ORD, etc) and didn't get a seat on anything.  I started checking out "hop-scotching".  "Hop-scotching" is what we flight attendants do when we can't get from one hub to another hub.  We look at all the cities IN BETWEEN hubs and try to put a patchwork plan together.  I tried to fly to Oklahoma City, Albuquerque, Kansas City, Phoenix, Las Vegas, Reno, Orange County, Sacramento. El Paso, San Antonio, San Diego, and a few others...  NOTHING worked.  Finally, I got a jumpseat on a flight to Salt Lake City.  From there, after three hours, I got a seat (a REAL seat) on a flight to San Fran.  And from THERE...a seat to Portland (where My Beloved booked me a hotel room and will be driving in from our house on the Oregon Coast tomorrow morning to pick me up and drive my poor sorry exhausted ass out to our home so I can curl up with Barbie & Ken (pics to follow) and My Beloved for the entire day...  
  So far, this has been a NIGHTMARE of a Busman's Holiday.  And if you have to ask "what is a Busman's Holiday?", then you are much younger than I.  Like, waaaay younger.  
  On a lighter note, to all who have written to me in the last week...  Yes,YES, Nancy! I am so excited that you said "yes", that I can hardly stand it. I will contact you when I get back to DC about details.  YES, to G, it was my intention to see if you'd have me sometime during my vacation...but as you have read: the best laid plans... Nevertheless, I will contact you when back in DC to see if I can come to TN before we go to Nashville.  Brenda M, we need to talk about Nashville and doing that over brunch in DC is imperative.  I WILL answer the phone next time you call.  Or I will call you.  I'm so bad with phone calling...  Best you be persistant, Brenda, my dear, dear, DEAR friend.
  And Ellen!!!!!  My dear, dear, dear friend! Let's get this Nashville trip organized. I don't think I'd be planning this if you hadn't said you'd go, so you are SO going with me now!  DJ, you're still riding in the Old Lady Caravan to Nashville, aren't you? You'd better be! Don't back out.  We want you!
  More on T-shirts in my next blog...
  Deep breaths now....
  xxxxxooooooo,  Sky