“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.
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).
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?
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.
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?