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Monday, June 6, 2011

A travel journal: Burlington, VT

May 26th
6am - Arise early out of bed. Shower, arrange outfits, pack contents in bookbag. Fiddle around on the computer. Move like molasses.

9am - Head out the door to catch metro to Regan Airport. (DCA)

10:30am - Arrived at DCA. My sister who Marc'ed from northern MD arrives to DCA minutes later from Union Station. Our flight is scheduled to depart at 12:35pm. Looked on board for our gate. Couldn't find the information.(Red Flag #1) My sister comments our flight is departing out of gate "so-and-so". I asked her where she got that information from. She replies: Online. She checked the stats prior to arrival.

10:37 - Attempt to scan our boarding passes at TSA using our blackberry bar code scanner. Didn't work. (Red Flag #2). Was sent to ticket counter.

10:52 - After waiting in line, my turn to speak with agent. Took him two seconds to realize I was at the WRONG DAMN AIRPORT. (*Sirens go off* Code Blue! I repeat, Code Blue!)

11:12am - Racing back to Metro to get to Dulles (IAD). Info desk lady says commute is about 40 minutes. We have to take Yellow line, switch to Orange line, and pay a $10 fare to ride the Washington Flyer Express shuttle to the airport.

11:17am - Check flight status online to see if by any chance our flight is on a delay. It isn't. *sigh* 

A little after 12pm: We get on the Flyer shuttle. It wasn't long before we were on the road.

12:32pm - Arrived at IAD airport. Proceed to ticket counter to find out about travel options.

2pm - After learning we have to pay a $75 standby fee (W.T.Entire.F?!?!) We conferred with our bosses who approved of the additional fee. New boarding passes in hand. Next flight scheduled to depart 4:35pm.

2:30pm - Starved after a long morning of no food and no coffee. We pig out on Cinnabons, Pizza (for me) & burger (for sister)

3pm-ish - Chilling at the gate. Listening to music and snapping pictures. Sister is telling me about her recent break up with her boyfriend. (Who wasn't a really good bf in the first place) Around this time we learn our flight is delayed. Scheduled to leave at 5-something pm. (Oh, now we get a flight delay!)

5pm-ish - Learned our flight is further delayed. Sister & I rolled our eyes. We listen to Prince. I introduce her to some new (dirty) songs.

6pm-ish - Learned both remaining flights to Vermont is cancelled. *Frustrated sigh* While standing in line at customer service, I'm on the phone with United. Less than 10 minutes later, rebooked on flight departing the next day out of DCA. I tripled check with the agent that this was the correct airport. We would arrive at noon. This would give us two hours to check in at hotel and report to expo to work.

7pm-ish - After calling hotel and the company about new travel plans. Sister & I leave IAD. On the city bus. Fare is $4 cheaper this way. We nibble on a snack and in bed by 11pm. We sleep in our travel clothes. We have a 4:45am wake up call.

A whole vacation day lost. Had things gone according to plan, we would have been in Vermont by 2pm and a whole 24 hours before we were due to work. 

Friday, May 27th 
4:45am - Awake. Teeth brushed. Bags repacked. (I left behind an outfit and shoes)

5:30am - On bus heading to metro. Checking once again online that DCA was our departing airport. It was and we have a smooth commute there.

6:15am - We arrive at DCA. Pick up boarding passes.Enroute to gate and sister decides she wants starbucks. I suggest she purchase her coffee after TSA. She disagrees. After coffee is purchased, I realized at that moment that her drink will be turned away due to the whole 3oz rule. (No, seriously, I forgot to tell her this prior to her purchase) I explain this to her. She fumes and attempts to slam her drink without burning her tongue.

6:30am - At the gate. 30 minutes before our scheduled departure.

7:15pm - Boarding the plane. Chilly. Forgot to pack socks. At least I brought a blanket.

7:45am - Take off

Less than an hour later: Landed in Philly. A whole 3 hours before our connecting flight to Vermont. I have Dunkin Donuts coffee & bagel for breakfast. Sister has a strong craving for McDonalds and was willing to walk to another terminal to get it. I warned her Philly airport is huge. She shrugs her shoulders. She's a woman on a mission.

Fifteen minutes after that: We still haven't reached the McDonald's location. I park myself at A17 gate & tell my sister I'll wait for her there. I was thru walking.

Twenty minutes later: She returns with her food. I flag down a cart. We ride the long distance back to our terminal.

9:45am - Armless chairs at our gate! I spread out on three chairs for a nap.

10:15am - Sister awakes me with bad news. Flight is delayed. #%$@ !!

At this point we all knew there was no way we were going to make the 2pm check-in time at the expo we were scheduled to work. 

Long story short we learned around 1pm-ish flight is cancelled indefinitely.

3pm-ish: Boss has arranged for a rental car. We are to drive 9 hours from Philly to Vermont

4:09pm - After some hassle with the rental agency, sister & I are finally on the road.

We breeze out of Philly. Hit traffic in NYC (freaking car accident) Stop in New Rochelle for road trip snacks.  around 9:45pm, I turn the wheel over to my sister. Awake by 11-ish because we needed gas. We stop by McDonalds to juice up our dying blackberry phones and snack on ice cream (me) & chicken nuggets (her). Back on the road with an eta of 1:08am. We soon hit heavy fog. 12:45am, sister wakes me up. She's too exhausted to drive. I take over. Because of the fog, our eta was extended to after 1:30am. I  navigate thru the fog, easily find our hotel and check in at 2am.

Text the boss to inform of our arrival. He begs me to get some sleep after the 7th text. I make sweet music to the softest bed eva. 

Saturday May 28th. 
6:05am - Awake and dressed in 30 minutes.

7am - 7pm - Work the Keybank Marathon Expo. Luckily a vendor was passing out free coffee. Ben & Jerry's was on site with delicious marshmallow ice cream. We are caffeinated & sugared up.

8pm - We eat dinner at Al's Fry Shack. I'm pissed cuz a large bucket of fries was like $5. Shocked to learn this restaurant won a James Beard Award. I throw *major side eye* at this tidbit cuz JB is a prestigious honor and the Fry Shack wasn't exactly a prestigious restaurant. The fries taste aiight. My sister comments her burger was the best she ever had. (She ate nothing but burgers this entire trip. I chastise her about this.)

9pm - I purchase a bottle of wine and a pack of gum.

9:30pm - We both are in bed. Wine is poured. Movie on tv.

9:35pm - Take two sips of wine

9:37pm- KO'ed asleep.

11pm-ish -Open one eye and shocked to learn 3/4 of the wine was consumed by my sister alone. Good Lord!

Sunday May 29th 
6am - Awake and take a quick shower. Pack & head downstairs to handle last minute work related paperwork & shipping.

7:49am - Check out of hotel and heading to rental car agency.

8am - Car returned. Shuttle to airport.

8:15am - Check in and TSA goes off without a hitch.

9:20am - Begin boarding. Yes. Looks like were going to have a smooth trip.

9:50am - Take off. Sleep the entire way.

11:10am - Touched down safely in DC

* the end *

This whole trip has made me realize air travel simply isn't my cup of tea. Those of you who followed this blog knows of my excessive complaints from ticket prices to my annoyance of TSA and their silly rules. 

I've been road tripping just about every other weekend this spring. I will need to do a separate post on just how much money Alamo collects from me. I heart them. Megabus too. I don't heart them. 


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