Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Happiness is.....

...getting the new Forerunner 205 that you have been drooling over for ages for Christmas. Thank you, Joshua. *smooch*

Monday, December 24, 2007

Travel Nightmare

December 22nd, Saturday. With a major storm brewing and heading toward Houghton, Josh and I decided to leave Houghton for Wausau a day early hoping that we could avoid any travel delays due to the weather on Sunday driving to Wausau to make our 4:45 flight. We had rain the first half of the drive, which slowly turned to sleet and heavy, wet snow as the temperature dropped. Once we hit Hwy 51, the conditions deteriorated to heavy slush on the road. We saw a few cars in the ditch, but the scariest thing was when a small car spun around three times in front of us. They stayed out of the ditch and so did we, but it was a close call. We got a room at Motel 8, ate some pizza for dinner and went to bed.

December 23rd, Sunday. We woke up early and checked the flights. Two had already been canceled and ours was delayed enough that we were going to miss our connection to Atlanta in Minneapolis. I called Northwest and they were able to rebook us on a 4:00 flight out of Minneapolis. Off to Minneapolis we go. The car was encased in ice and covered with six inches of snow and the weather was in full-blown blizzard mode. The plows either couldn't keep up with the snow, or they weren't running, because the streets in Wausau were nearly impassable to all but those of us with 4WD vehicles. The drive to Minneapolis was awful. Visibility was zero at times due to the blowing snow and the drifting on the highway was quite bad. At one point, the 2-lane highway was down to half of a lane. We saw many vehicles in the ditch along the way. It was a white-knuckle drive the entire way.
We made it to the airport around 2:00, parked the car and made it to the ticketing agent for our boarding passes. Turns out that our 4:00 flight was canceled and we were rebooked again on the 7:00 flight. Josh didn't freak out going through security, so we made it through in short time. We had four hours to kill before our flight, so we decided to go hang out at the Rock Bottom Brewery and have some lunch and drinks. Good beer there. We found out that our flight was delayed until 8:10. We wandered around some more, poked around in the shops. Flight delayed until 9:00. Back to another bar for a few more drinks. Flight delayed until 9:30, 15 minutes later, flight delayed until 10:30. We rode around on the tram for a while, going all the way across the airport to see what those people were up to. They were waiting on delayed flights, just like we were. We came half-way back and decided to grab an appetizer at TGI Friday's. No sooner did we order, then we found out that our flight was bumped up to 10:00. We informed the staff and they went into super speedy mode and boxed up our food and rang up our bill and got us on our way. We took the tram back to our concourse and went to our gate, only to find that it had been changed to the opposite end of the airport. We ran down there, thinking that the plane was going to be boarding by the time we got down there. Fortunately, they weren't because we were waiting for the flight crew to arrive from the gate they just landed at. We finally got on the plane around 11:00 and proceeded to wait on the plane for an hour and 15 minutes for catering to show up. After catering finally showed up, we waited around for another 15 minutes while the plane was de-iced. We finally get off the ground around 1:00 AM. Original departure date: 7:00 PM.

December 24th, Monday:
We landed in Atlanta at 3:45AM at the last terminal. That last terminal is pretty close to a mile from the main terminal. Normally this isn't a problem because there's a really fast train that zips you to the main terminal but the dumb thing wasn't running at that time of night. So, we walked. We finally get to baggage claim and our luggage doesn't show up. We waited around for 30 minutes hoping that it would show up on the belt, but it never did. We ended up finding it at the Northwest baggage claim office. Apparently it got on the 4:00 flight. That's the flight that the ticket agent told us was canceled. Next, we head to the car rental desk to pick up our car. Closed. Josh calls to see what we do about an after-hours pick-up. No answer. Screw this we say, we're going to rent from on of the two agencies that are open. The lady at Avis was sympathetic to our plight and started processing our information right away. I casually mentioned what a crazy day it had been for us, and to top it all off, the Alamo counter was closed so we couldn't pick up our car. She then tells us that all we need to do is find the Alamo bus right outside the front door and it'll take us to the car rental lot. Well then. We left to find the bus, promising to rent from Avis the next time we needed a car. Outside the terminal, the Alamo bus was waiting, just like the lady said. It took us to the car rental lot and within 10 minutes, we were sitting in our car, a shiny little red Toyota Corolla. Kinda cute. We head out to find a hotel and grab a few hours of sleep. The Nuvi found one a few miles from the airport, and that's where we headed. After 15 minutes of waiting while the night clerk closed out the books, we were with room. As we turned out the lights to get some much needed rest, I looked at my watch: 5:49 AM. Oy.