travel hell

The plan, yesterday, was (all times shown in Eastern):

08:00 leave home
10:00 arrive PHL airport
11:20 depart PHL, heading to MEM (Memphis)
14:20 arrive MEM
15:30 depart MEM, heading to PNS (Pensacola)
16:30 arrive PNS, picked up by in-laws

Instead, this is what happened:

08:00 leave home, travel on slush-covered highways full of scary drivers
10:30 arrive PHL airport, panicked about being too late to check baggage
10:45 check in; clerk says, "You don't have to make any connections, right?"
11:20 flight delayed until 12:15
12:15 flight delayed until 13:11
13:11 flight delayed until 13:40
14:00 flight departs
15:30 flight for PNS leaves without us
18:00 flight arrives in MEM, late due to 195mph headwinds (!)
      told we've been rebooked for a flight the next day
      ask ticketing agent to route us to an airport near PNS tonight
      spend three hours trying to keep toddler entertained in small airport
21:00 depart MEM headed for VPS (Ft. Walton Beach), 40 mi from Pensacola
22:15 arrive in VPS; our baggage has been "expedited" to Pensacola
      the baggage guy tells us that if we rush to Penscola, we can get it
      before the staff goes home for the night
00:00 arrive at PNS by car, everything is dark; find someone closing up and
      he gets our bags!
00:30 get to in-laws, only eight hours late

NWA gave us some food coupons in Memphis, and we got dinner at the Blue Note Cafe. It was total airport food. Martha’s diet for most of yesterday was french fries, although she had a complete breakfast and ended the day with some dried apricots.

The in-laws told us how we’d brought the cold down with us, and we’d be glad we had jackets on, but it was still at least fifty degrees out. Today we’re only expecting about fifty again, but the rest of the week is going to be in the seventies. I packed shorts. I’m hoping that the weather will make up for the travel.

Written on December 22, 2008