Monday, 29 April 2013

Travel Trials

I took a quick trip to Michigan last week for a planning meeting.  When I travel to the States, bad things usually happen with my flights (like this, & that, & don’t forget this!) & this trip was not exempt.

vm_53001_sol_a02[12]I had heard that the US had eased their regulations on flying with small pocket knives, so I opted to bring my ever present  small Swiss Army Knife.  In Charlottetown, I put the knife in the x-ray bucket & it was returned to me, no problem.

I had a nice itinerary, a 6 am start, followed by a 9:30 flight landing at 11.  My meeting started at 5, so that gave me plenty of time to do a little Stateside shopping first.  When I was given my boarding passes, I noticed that my second flight was a 17:55 departure.  I brought it to the gate agent’s attention, she said the 9:30 flight had been taken off the schedule & that was the only one from Toronto to Grand Rapids.  I’d have to check in Toronto for an earlier flight through another hub.

Toronto’s security took my knife away.  I asked about the new regulations, but they said that only applied to flights within the US, not international flights.  When I told them that it hadn’t been a problem in Charlottetown, they couldn’t verify other airports’ policies, but for Toronto, knives are not ok…  Good to know.

In Toronto I was given a flight to Chicago, & was told there were 2 flights to Grand Rapids.  One at 11:30, & one at 14:00.  The 11:30 flight was full, but they told me to try for standby.  I would land around 10:45, so it would be cutting it close.  We started the flight by sitting on the runway for 30 minutes for our turn to take-off.

During this flight I was told that since I was flying so many miles in one day I qualified for a free snack item!  I had never had that before, so I was quite pleased to get my free bag of trail mix.  I ended up not eating it since I was full, but PChad & the kids seem to really enjoy it!

Of course when I landed in Chicago, it was in a different terminal & I had to wait for a shuttle to take me b/w terminals.  Once I arrived in the right terminal, & found the gate for the 11:30 flight, the plane was just backing away from the gate.  I just missed it by minutes!

I walked around choosing the best lunch option…  An Auntie Anne’s pretzel & Dr Pepper.  It helped soothe my wounded spirit.

I arrived in Grand Rapids around 5 & met another member of the team at the airport who had been on the same flight.  At least I wasn’t the only one arriving late!  We made it to the hotel only about 25 minutes late, & it wasn’t a problem, but I sure missed all the shopping time I had planned on!  After the meeting wrapped up that night I did have a chance to nip out to the grocery store next door & grab a few essentials like Pay Days & Milky Way Midnights!Candy-PayDay-Wrapper-Small

Day 2 was full meeting day…  and I got the stomach flu.  It was joyous.  One of the perks of the trip was a Chinese meal at one of the best restaurants in Grand Rapids, but instead of going, I went to bed as soon as the meeting was over & slept 14 hours straight.  I awoke in the morning feeling a bit better & wondering what my travelling day home would end up entailing.

In Grand Rapids I was treated to a full body scan & they found the penny I had neglected to remove from my pocket.  The flight was on time with no problems to Cleveland.

I got a message from PChad’s cousin, who was also at the meeting, that her flight from Grand Rapids had been cancelled & she had 3 hours to kill.  I guess I must have passed on my bad luck to her!

Cleveland to Montreal, no problems!  But surely I’d be held up in the long lines at customs & miss my next flight…  Boy, was I surprised to find that our flight was the only flight in customs, & my little detour to the washroom meant that everyone ahead of me had already cleared out & I had a choice of which lane I could go through!

The Montreal to Charlottetown flight was super exciting, as we got to fly on a propeller plane, which is something I do not enjoy in the least.  It’s bumpy & noisy, but it was on time.  I also sat next to a fairly famous DJ, & despite having a conversation with her, in which she told me her name was DJ Kiss, & that she was coming to Charlottetown to spin at one of our top clubs, I had no idea just how famous she was until I saw in the newspaper that she’s quite the celebrity!  Well, I hope she enjoyed the anonymity I afforded her as I treated her as just another gal!

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