One Big Headache

one big headache wallet

“I can’t find my wallet!”

Those 5 words started what was the trip from hell. I have never had one trip be such a big headache.

Last Saturday, my father-in-law passed away in Michigan. We scrambled to get everything in order at home, with our jobs and not to mention packing for 4 people so we could fly back home. Monday morning we took off for Logan airport and a full day of travel. To get to Michigan, where both our parents live, it takes planes, trains and automobiles to get there. Well at least planes, buses and automobiles for this trip.

Our bus to Logan was later than usual because of the traffic outside of the city. What should have been an hour 15 minute ride was really 2 hrs 15 min. That left us with 45 min to get through security and to our gate. As we were checking our luggage, I realized one little obstacle.

I didn’t have my wallet.

That meant no license, no credit cards, no form of ID.

Oh f$@?!

The next 30 minutes were a flurry of phone calls to the bus service to see if my wallet was on the bus, making my case to the TSA supervisor to let me through security without a photo ID and basically crapping my pants for the mess I was in.

Thankfully the TSA supervisor was the nicest person I’ve ever meet. He let me go through with my check book and a prescription with my name on it (which I learned actually didn’t have my name on it when he went to check it). I had to have a full search of my carry on and a major pat down. I then was one of those crazy people sprinting through the airport to make it to the gate before the door closed. I made it to the gate just as Ron and the kids were boarding (they went ahead of me just in case I couldn’t get through security).

Lake Superior Sunset |

You’d think we’d be able to settle into our seats and enjoy the ride to Chicago by then. Oh no. We first had to beg passengers around us to switch seats with us so our 4 year olds didn’t have to sit by themselves. One guy graciously moved. But no one else did. The first flight attendant I asked to help, wouldn’t. Thankfully another did help and we were finally able to settle in.

It seemed like the bad luck streak was over when we finally landed in Duluth, MN. I realized that I did not lose my wallet but had left it at home on the desk in front of the computer. My wonderful neighbor found it for me and was sending my licesnse out ASAP so I’d at least have a way to get home. However, as Ron got the rental car, I waited for our luggage (which included the kids car seats). And I waited. And waited. Till finally the baggage carousel stopped.

Our luggage was nowhere in sight.

It turns out our luggage never left Chicago with us. We had to borrow car seats from the airline and they promised our luggage would be delivered to us the next morning via an airport courier.

So we began our 2 hour drive to Michigan with nothing but the clothes on our backs. Oh and Miss A’s bunny slippers that she packed in her backpack. At least she had those.

So the perfect ending to this story would be that our luggage was delivered Tuesday morning with no hassle. But wait. There’s more!

Tuesday morning I received a phone call from the airport courier saying that he didn’t think he’d be able to deliver because it was snowing and “blowing really bad.” If that was the case, I’d completely understand. It was snowing. And it was windy. BUT we only got 5 inches of snow during the whole day (and Duluth only got 2 inches). This isn’t some place that doesn’t get snow or bad weather. In fact it happens ALL the time. It’s a normal, everyday occurrence.

I explained the situation that we did need our luggage because my FIL’s funeral was at 2 pm that afternoon. Long story short, the courier did NOT deliver our luggage on Tuesday as promised. We had to wear the same clothes that we had worn on the plane (washed of course) to the funeral.

In addition to being in a panic about all our stuff, my running clothes were in the luggage. My plan for getting in some miles Tuesday weren’t happening. I asked on my Facebook page what would you do in the situation – hope your luggage arrives soon or buy new gear? Sounds like a no brainer right – go shopping!! Unfortunately, we were in a small town with very, very limited selection. Meaning I couldn’t find my beloved Saucony shoes!

The next morning (Wednesday) the airport courier FINALLY delivered our luggage. I wanted to punch him in the throat when he said “Don’t you hate when the airline loses your luggage?” Really?

99 laps |

I was never so happy to see my clothes. More specifically, my running clothes and shoes! However, it was only 3 degrees outside with a real feel of -10. I needed to run but I didn’t have enough clothes for that type of weather. I could have gone to a gym to run on a treadmill for $8/day. Frugal me decided to run on an indoor walking track. I really don’t mind tracks. At least tracks that are regular size. For this one, it took 11 laps for 1 mile. I had 9 miles to do. Oh yes, that meant 99 laps of pure fun weaving in and out of the senior citizens and helping a little old lady set up a bike. It was so fun, I went back the next day for 5 more miles! With a temp of -14 and real feel of -27, I just couldn’t run outside. During every single lap that I ran on that track, I had to remind myself of two things – “If I don’t mind, it doesn’t matter” and “I’m building mental toughness!”

By now mental toughness should be as strong as nails!

By Friday, it had warmed up to 10 degrees (woohoo heat wave!) so I got to run outside with the lovely hills, a brutal wind and snow packed roads. Thankfully my dad had a pair of Yak Tracks that I could borrow. I wanted 11 but called it at 9 miles because I was dead tired.

Michigan Winter Running |

I’d love to tell you that the bad luck ended and our return flight when off seamlessly. It did for the most part except for having to beg people to move two more times to allow us to sit with our kids. And then there was the mad dash through O’Hare hoping to make our flight (we were the last people on board). And Ron finding that his shoes were gone from the suitcase.

While the majority of the trip was a complete mess, it was marvelous to spend time with family. Although, I told Ron that we are NOT going on a plane anytime soon. My deodorant needs a break from having to work overtime!

Has your luggage ever been lost?

What’s the smallest track you’ve ever run on?

30 comments on “One Big Headache

  1. This is crazy! It stinks about how bad the airline was losing luggage but at least you got on your plane and to your destination. I’ve never run more than a mile or so on an indoor track… I think what you did, running on it then running in all that snow, will make you mentally stronger for all your races though.
    Amy Lauren recently posted..Training for the All American Marathon (March 2-8)My Profile

  2. UUUHHHH no fun!!! So glad you did get your luggage eventually and you could sweat out that frustration!

    The smallest track I’ve ever run on was a .10 of a mile…and it was BRUTAL…but like you I was in one of those situations where it didn’t matter, I just NEEDED TO R U N run run run!
    Sarah@creatingbettertomorrow recently posted..Rest Days are NecessaryMy Profile

  3. What a trip, wow what a nightmare! That does sound horrible. Flying is such a bad experience for me most of the time, it really frustrates me as it rarely happens smoothly. Sorry you had to go through that. One christmas I was stranded in chicago from the 22nd-24th, and I was so scared I was going to end up spending christmas alone in a hotel room……but after a 13 hour flight (instead of 7) I finally made it home!
    Tina Muir recently posted..Meatless Monday- Sweet Potato and Almond Butter SoupMy Profile

  4. And I thought we had bad travel luck?! Holy moly!! You were tested this past weekend. Glad in the end, everything worked out. And bet that run was the best after all that stress! Kudos to you for keeping it together! 🙂
    Melanie recently posted..Weekly RundownMy Profile

  5. UGH I feel you sister! Although I’m glad you made it to your destination. We rode C&J down and back to Logan on Thurs because our flights out were cancelled…then repeated the same process the next day and never got to go on our trip! I’m officially over airports and airlines for a while! GRR.
    PS…That 99 laps is really somethin’!
    Ruthie @She’s Wicked Healthy recently posted..You Can Plan a Pretty Picnic, But You Can’t Predict The Weather: On When Life Has Other Plans for YouMy Profile

  6. OMG, that is quite a story. I’m amazed that TSA let you through at all! And I can’t believe the flight attendant wouldn’t help you try to get your kids to sit with you! I’m assuming you did NOT fly Southwest? My hubby flies for them and they are always so accomodating. They’ve even bribed people with drink to get me and my kids sitting together. So sorry about your FIL, at least you were able to get there for the funeral. My thoughts are with you and your family.

  7. What a ridiculous trip! It’s bad enough that your husband’s father passed, but to have such a hassle getting home to say goodbye? Kind of takes the focus off the real event. What a shame traveling has gotten to be so difficult. And boo to the flight attendant and those people who wouldn’t move so you could sit with your kids.

    I bet you were pretty happy to get home….
    Wendy@Taking the Long Way Home recently posted..Spring forward…slowly…My Profile

  8. Oh my goodness, Angela. What a week. I’m so sorry about your father-in-law, first and foremost. And then what a nightmare of a trip. I am amazed that TSA let you through–what a stroke of luck!

    You definitely built some mental toughness on that run on the track. Wow. Boston is going to be easy for you after this winter!
    misszippy1 recently posted..Marathon recovery–week oneMy Profile

  9. Oh my word you are amazing for making it through that weekend! This can only mean that you’ve got a weekend if incredible surprises and fortune coming up to make up for all that!

  10. I’m sorry for your loss – and for what a total nightmare it was to get to the funeral!! My mouth fell open reading your post! I don’t know if I’m more stunned that the TSA agent let you through, or that no-one wanted to move/help on the plane. People can be so discourteous. I would move in a heartbeat to help out parents trying to sit with their kids!!! At least it’s all over now, right?
    Carly @ Fine Fit Day recently posted..5 Ways to Celebrate the Women in Your LifeMy Profile

  11. Oh Lord. no, no, no, no- this sounds like something that would happen to me. Why did you have me laughing when I know you were doing nothing of the sort when all of this was happening? Mental toughness is an understatement- you are a machine! As for the douche bags that wouldn’t change seats? let me at em! I will unleash my bear on them! Who does that? Unthinkable!
    Lisa @ RunWiki recently posted..The Gift and Curse of PassionMy Profile

  12. Dang girl, things were definitely not in your favor, but it sounds like you made it work. I think those things happen for us to truly appreciate the gifts we have on a daily basis. I sure you are ready for a quiet, uneventful week/weekend at home now!

  13. prayers to you and the family for your loss. You could not catch a break for sure! I am really surprised that they let you on the plane at all- I guess that was the break! You will always have a funny story to share. I had a passenger take my luggage from the airport once but we were home- so that was mildly annoying- the airport did deliver it to me at work after the guy brought it back to the airport. My hubby had his lost in NYC and we had a NY Yankees event to attend- yup my hubby was in the same thing he wore all day- guys don’t get to worked up about it. Glad you are home safe!
    Mary Beth Jackson recently posted..#NoTextRed kind of weekend!My Profile

  14. OMG!!!!! That is truly awful. Sometimes you just cannot catch a break and I really can’t believe people were so unwilling to move (and the flight attendant to help!) so you could sit with your kids. I mean really?? And that track – oh you poor thing. You are absolutely right – your mental game is ON POINT!!!!
    So glad you’re home and I hope you’re in for some good weather…there’s actual real sun out here today. I can’t hardly believe it!
    Allie recently posted..The Rundown: Everything Is OkMy Profile

  15. Oh mo goodness, I am so sorry! I have only flown with my son one time and when I went to check in online we were not sitting together. I about had a panic attack. I ended up paying $100 more to upgrade out seats so we would be together. I think that is ridiculous. Airlines really need to do something about that! Kids should be with their parents no matter what and for no extra charge!
    Betsy recently posted..How To Carry Water On A RunMy Profile

  16. Quite the unexpected and stressful adventure you guys had! Glad you got to be with family (even if for a sad reason) and get some runs in at least. I’ve yet to lose luggage at an airport and I hope it stays that way!

    I heard a story recently of a woman who lost her luggage and it was delivered to her within a few weeks – as well as some luggage that she had lost 20 years ago or something! So crazy.

  17. First of all, I am so sorry for your loss. What a nightmare…not only dealing with grief, but have to negotiate the travel experience from hell. I’m glad that you all are okay, and hope that someday you can look back and at least enjoy the humor of the experience. I did lose a bag once, but it was on the way home so it didn’t impact my travel. And I gotta say, what jerks…people who won’t move their sorry butts so a family can sit together!
    Debbie @ Coach Debbie Runs recently posted..Taking the Leap and Running Through RedlandsMy Profile

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