Saturday, March 13, 2010

Road trip, airport nightmare and blessings.

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Packing for a trip is stressful enough, but packing for one where you will be out of the country for almost 17 days is much more stressful than I ever imagined.

I was overwhelmed.

I didn't know where to begin.

So I started with the most important item I could think of and threw it in the suitcase first....

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And then, it was a second priority to put in my carry on bag this S-W-E-E-T new Sony E-reader that the hubby bought me for our trip.

I have all my new books loaded on it ... ready to help me get through the 10 hour plane ride to Amsterdam!

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We left town yesterday around noon to head to Austin. The plan was to drop little man off at my hubby's sister's home in Austin. Amy, Matt and their wonderful 4 children will be keeping our little man for the first few days while we are in Europe. And then they will all head to East Texas to let him spend some time with his grandparents.

We didn't leave town as early as we hoped, so the drive to Austin was LONG. We hit traffic on the way there. Austin traffic absolutely sucks!! We also learned on this road trip that little man has figured out the perfect way to get us to stop so he can get out and not be cooped up in the car...all he simply has to say is..."I have to potty...". Immediately, mommy and daddy will pull the car over, even if it is on the side of the road...


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I was bored while the little man was taking his time trying to find the perfect place to pee, so I decided to take some pictures of the cows who were staring at us...

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We spent about an hour at Jody's sister's home letting little man get settled in with his cousins and then we had to say our good-byes {something I have been dreading for months since we booked this trip!}. Our little man didn't even shed a tear. He simply hugged us and then got back to business playing with his 4 cousins. Whew...this made it a little bit easier to leave him knowing he was having so much fun, but as soon as we got back in our car to drive on to Dallas---the tears began to flow, both the hubby and me. Oh how we love our son.


We didn't pull in to DFW area until midnight...totally and completely exhausted.

We found the closest hotel we could to the airport, checked with the airline to make sure our flight for Saturday was on time {which it was} and were asleep as soon as our heads hit the pillow.

Got up around 8am, quickly dressed and headed to the airport to check in early for our flight to Atlanta, Georgia at 12:09pm and then to catch our next flight from there to Amsterdam. Yippee!!!

When we walked into the airport, that is when all our plans fell apart...the lines for Delta Airlines were unusually fact, I wouldn't even call what we saw lines...instead, just mass crowds of angry people on their cell phones and/or yelling at ticket agents. The hubby and I just looked at each and knew we were in for trouble. My heart sank...

To make a l-o-n-g story short, our flight to Atlanta had been canceled {supposedly due to mechanical problems}. In fact, all flights to Atlanta had been canceled until Monday!! Normally this would not have been that big of a deal...we could have just been reassigned to the next flight to Atlanta. The only problem is that this is the height of Spring Break travel season... the airport was packed full and every flight was overbooked. There were over 150 people just on our flight alone that needed new flights to reach Atlanta or their final destination. And therefore, there was no way we would make our connector to Amsterdam. We were in line just to get to the check-in counter for over 3 hours. Once we finally made it to the check in ticket counter, we were there another 2 hours working with 3 different ticket agents to work a miracle and find us a way out of the country and into Amsterdam in time to get on our River cruise boat by Monday morning before they set sail. Twice we thought we might have an option through Memphis and then New York, but the other airlines were overbooked and would not release seats to Delta for us. Ugh...what a nightmare!

The hubby was truly the calm in the storm. He demanded that we get to speak with the Delta manager. Enter Jody's newest friend, Dwayne. Dwayne was our man! After an hour of searching through flights and then a little of his sweet talking with British Airways, Dwayne finally found us 2 seats on a flight for tomorrow afternoon to Amsterdam. Poor Dwayne and his staff--we witnessed multiple events where angry travelers were yelling at them for the disrupted flights. At one point, one of the Delta employees at the ticket counter began crying after a woman screamed at her because she was so angry. Dwayne was very appreciative that we were calm and respectful to him despite our disappointment over the situation. I really think in the end we left satisfied {unlike many others} because we were more patient and kind than some of the others. {The Golden Rule proved to be true once again.}

We left the DFW airport 6 hours later tired, hungry from not eating anything all day, but relieved to still have a chance to make this trip, despite the airport nightmare we experienced today. We are keeping our fingers crossed that all will go smoothly tomorrow when we get to the airport.

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{Jody thanking Dwayne for all his hard work...}

The real bummer is that because we didn't get to fly out today, we will now miss the time that was allotted on our trip to tour Amsterdam... but oh well, that is life....we are at the mercy of the airlines at this point.

All in all, we are just so grateful that the trip is still on. Now our only concern is that British Airways just announced that the crews, flight attendants, etc. will be going on a strike soon which will affect all of their flights. We are just prayerful they don't go on a strike tomorrow...please, pretty please ... just wait until Monday so we can make it to Amsterdam to catch our boat!

I am little saddened because I got news when we got back to our hotel that my grandmother, Nanny has had a stroke and is in the hospital. I am praying that she will be okay and I can spend some time with her when we return from our trip. She and I spoke on the phone briefly tonight... she told us that we better continue with our plans to head to Europe and to bring her back a great present!

She asked us to bring her back a Swiss watch and the hubby asked her if Swiss cheese would suffice!!! She laughed hard on that one and so I think she is feeling better...

Who knows, maybe the canceled flight was a blessing in disguise so I could have a chance to talk with my grandmother. I pray that she will be okay while we are gone.



  1. Wow, what an ordeal. I am stressed out just reading about the flight. Hope your trip is smooooth sailin' from here on out.

  2. Your trip photos were incredible! I'm sorry you didn't get to tour Amsterdam, but glad you made it to your awesome cruise. Wow! Such beauty in those castles and old architecture.


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