Friday, August 17, 2007

UPDATE: * Written on Thursday, August 16th & Friday, August 17th *

WOOHOO! Praise the Lord! We are on the plane right now as I write and we are on our way home. I am seriously considering kissing the good ole’ GA ground when we arrive.

Well, maybe the Good Lord didn’t want our trip to take place on our terms, but it did finally happen.

Here is how the NIGHTMARE continued to unfold. We ended up getting bumped from 3 flights in Atlanta on Monday and spent a total of 16 HOURS there people! We could have driven to Pennsylvania by this time and our trip hadn’t even begun yet.

It turned out that the 8:57 p.m. flight moved to 9:10, then 9:35. At about 10:00, we were still sitting there and were told that the flight had been completely CANCELLED due to the runway at our destination closing early. We had to fly into another city and take a bus to our intended airport. So, we arrive in Scranton, PA FINALLY around 3:00 a.m. and there is not a soul in sight except for a security guard and maintenance man. We had to convince the security guard to let us into the holding room to find our luggage. I imagine we looked pretty pitiful to be honest and probably had the “all-day airport funk” goin’ on.

So, I manage to put E in her pj’s and we then wait for a shuttle to come and get us from the hotel and we eventually arrive there (extremely tired & delirious) at almost 4:00 a.m. (only to get up at 7:00 to start the 2-day meetings.)

Our 2 ½ hour nap was good, but evidently not enough to keep me awake by lunch time. The speakers were wonderful, but sometimes that only goes so far. My body needed rest and I was literally nodding off – head bobbing & about to drool – in the meeting and decided to go up for a little nap, along with mom and E. That was pretty refreshing – or enough to get us through until bedtime.

Wednesday was a much better day! I didn’t feel like an absolute zombie or like I was sleep walking. I did get a little drowsy, but kept the BAD coffee going in. Bad or not, I guess it did the trick. The meetings and speakers were wonderful & oh so inspiring. They certainly made me forget the drama that we had been through.

Oh…and it wasn’t over. So it’s time to leave on Thursday. We have a “Standby” ticket for a 12:53 flight out of Scranton and straight to Atlanta. I called to check on seat availability and the sweet girl told me there is no point in even coming to the airport because it “ain’t gonna happen today.” GRRREAT! Do you know how boring it would be to be stranded in a hotel with no exciting meetings to attend, nothing to do, no car to drive anywhere, bad coffee and too cool to swim? This can’t be happening – again!! We started praying…and crying…and laughing about it. Mom said it would be silly to not at least be at the airport and that we needed to give it every effort we could. Then, go from there.

Nope, no availability on this flight. There is one for 5:55 that is oversold so no hope there. They said our only option was to fly to Cincinnati and hope for a flight to Atlanta from there. We figured since Cincinnati was a bigger airport that it would be a smart move. At least if we were stranded there, that airport actually has things to do.

Well, needless to say – it worked. We were there for almost 4 hours and FINALLY hopped on a flight, with plenty of room, to Atlanta! We made it home after midnight and home has never looked, smelled or felt better.

If you’ve ever seen the movie “Terminal,” we have something in common with Tom Hanks now...poor guy. I looked for him, but maybe he finally got out of there. We saw lot’s of people hibernating on the comfy airport seats, which brings me to: Do you know how many people sleep with their mouths’ wide open by the way? It’s really interesting uh-hum (clearing throat)!

I did get to walk the hall with “DOG, the Bounty Hunter” lastnight. MAHALO…thankyouverymuch. He’s my Homeboy! Tune in and you may see me and mom assisting in someone's arrest...which by the way you won't see us cursing and praying for them at the same time, but that's another story!

Can you tell I still need rest?

One more thing: I don't mean to sound so negative with all of this. I have referred to this travel stuff as a nightmare on many occasions since Monday. But, I realize the blessing that these tickets were after all...referring to price ONLY. We were safe and it allowed for much more time together - just the 3 of us. My precious E was absolutely the glue that held things together. We had to be strong for her and she has never been such a good girl as she was the entire trip. She didn't act like a normal 2 year old after all...she was a pure joy to be stranded with!
And I did take a lot home from the convention...I just had to travel further and longer to get "it" home with me. So...

"Thank you Heavenly Father for your continued blessings on this trip. Thank you for your mercy that was not at all times apparent to us, but was always there and never failing. Your grace Was and Is sufficient for us and I am unworthy of you!"

"My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness." 2 Cor. 12:9

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