Oh my! Where do I start? I am sure most everyone knows that we have been planning on this July trip for camping and fun since September of last year. Sunset Bay State Park was a yearly vacation spot for my family while we were growing up. I have MANY lovely memories there. This was something I was so looking forward to doing with my sister and her kiddos and our Dad.
So, for starters, the plan was to fly on my sisters non revenue airline passes for the airline she works for. We were slated to check in at the coast on Sunday 19July for 4 nights. Being that the passes were standby and not confirmed, we were going to start trying to leave on Thursday beforehand. That way if we got bumped a couple times, well, we would still have plenty of time.
Well, me being the wonderful planner that I am, started bugging Jaime a week in advance to look at the flights and tell me what they look like. "Not great." She said. Tuesday before, I asked her again, "What do they look like?"
Her reply this time, "Bad. Do you think you could start trying to get out on Wednesday night? That way when you get bumped, you will start further up the list."
Now, let me tell you, about this "list." If you are on the "list", you are amongst a group of several people who watch a monitor flash behind the agents head at the counter. It shows the weather at your destination, the approximate arrival time, the upgrade "list" and the standby passenger "list." Your goal, if you chose to accept it, is to watch your name move up the "list", till it hits the number one position and your name is called to get the coveted, golden boarding pass. (It's really white, but for this story, they were golden.)
We drove to the airport for to try to get on the 430pm flight to Portland. The girls were excited. They each had their backpacks, stuffed with a blanket, crayons, coloring books, paper and 2 Webkinz of their choice. So much joy and laughter. Oh hummm...I should have enjoyed that more at that time. Little did I know that 3 flights bumped later, we would be going home. Now luckily we were already short 5 pieces of check in luggage because they waved goodbye at us from under the plane of the 430pm flight. I could have sworn that I saw them waving and mouthing the words, "so long sucka, see ya wouldn't wanna be ya!" It was a long drive home at about 9pm.
The first flight left at 9am the next morning, we were in the teens on the list, so there was plenty of hope from the day before. We had to leave about 645am to miss traffic to the airport. That sucked. The girls hate getting up early. There was still some joy though. We will definitely make it today, Daddy said he had a feeling. Or was that Friday morning when we left at 645am after being bumped 6 more times and sitting in the late 20's early 30's on the despised "list" and watching few other standbyes run away with our coveted golden boarding passes. We ended up spending 13 hours in the airport on Thursday. The girls were troopers though. They created Webkinz homes using their blankets. I uploaded a picture to Facebook, but just in case you missed it, here it is again.
Friday, I decided after listening to some tv preacher I had never heard before, that we were going to try a new approach to getting bumped. We were going to FROG everything that we got frustrated at. Instead of saying darn or poo and other words I should be using, I was going to use FROG. Fully Rely on God and the girls were too. That was thing number one. Thing number two... in order to always be in God's will, we were going to 1-Rejoice always. 2-Pray continuously 3-Praise in everything. So the same thing happened, 9a-bump, FROG! next, rejoice, we have each other and we are not ouside in the heat...pray, please God have mercy on us, Praise, you are so awesome God that even if we don't make it, you are here hangin out with us. 1020a-bump, Frog, rejoice, pray, praise, 1230p-bump -ahhhhh FROG, rejoice, pray, praise, ride the bus back out to the van because Miranda left our lunch in the car, note don't leave your kids in charge of lunches, 430p-bump (you get the picture), panic mode officialy sets in.
"Jaime, how do the flights look tomorrow?"
Frog, Frog, Frog! If we don't make today, we can't go camping. We won't make it in time. Back up plan, "Jai, can you afford to at least go if we can't make it?"
"Wendy, you have to get here, it is my vacation too."
"Jaime, you said if we don't make it tonight we won't make it tomorrow. We are still 30's on the "list."
"Let's see what happens on the next flight. Maybe you can get into Seattle and I will come get you." (Portland is a 3 hour drive from Seattle.)
Ok, next flight 630p, bump. FROG!! How is this happening? Why God??? Girls have been melting down. They hate the airport. They never want to fly again. They hate each other. They hate their Webkinz, which by this time are so dirty that I can't even recognize them and I don't even want to think of what they are dirty with.
Minds are racing now, what are the other airports that I can get into and who would be willing to drive to come get us. Reno! That is like a 5 hour drive from Grants Pass which is where my dad is. I call dad, "Dad, if I can get into Reno, can you come get us?"
"Nope, I have no power in the trailer and we are leaving at 10am tomorrow morning. Good luck, see ya on Sunday."
Yea, if we make it...
It is 7p and the last Friday flight leaves at 830p. No chance to make it and it is guaranteed we won't make Saturdays. The lady behind the counter said..."I have never seen anything like this before. It is just crazy. Ha ha..."
"What about Fresno? The flights has 20 something seats open and leaves in 45 minutes" she says.
"Fresno? How far away from Grants Pass is Fresno?"
"0h, six hours south or so...just below Sacremento."
"that's not too bad. Who's gonna pick us up is the problem."
"Who cares, at least you won't be in DFW anymore."
"True..." Yes, I did say that. "Oh, let me call Tim. (my brother) He is back in GP and I bet he would love a roadtrip."
Ring Ring...no answer on Tim's phone. Frog.
Who else can I call... ooo oooo, Laura, my BFF. I wonder if she has plans tonight?
Ring...Ring...no answer. She is still at work though, let me call back so if she heard her phone, she knows it's important.
Ring...Ring.."Hey, what's up?"
"HEY! I am so glad you answered...what are you doing?"
"Workin, what about you?"
"What are you doin tonight?"
"Going to work out?"
"You up for a road trip?"
I explained our plight and she said sure. Quick end to the story, we got on the flight, that ended up being delayed for an hour spent the night in Fresno that ended up being 8 hours away, not 6. Drove to Grants Pass on Saturday. I got to have dinner with my brother and I got to see my Grandpa who was not having a good day. Was yelled out to get my girls out of there by another elderly man, over and over again, till I finally took the girls out. That was hard. I got to see my aunt on Sunday morning and my sister picked me up at her house and we left for the coast. whew!
Come back for more, there is plenty to tell!
Until we read again...