Sunday, January 18, 2009

Travel Troubles

There was a day when travel was adventurous, exciting and just plain fun. Even business travel was like that, although it's always better to be on vacation than not. Somewhere along the line things have changed.

I was going to fly down to Florida with Mom and then come back in 2 days. I'd just stay the weekend, and Mom would continue to stay with Beth and Ed. Then my travel plans changed when I learned I had to go to London to work. OK, I would still fly down with Mom on Friday, then I'd have to fly out from Orlando to London on Saturday, arriving Sunday for work on Monday. Not the best scenario, but the only one I could do. Even then, it was not to be.

(This could arguably be in our travel blog instead of this general one. But that one is more about places we actually get to and actually see.) Friday's flight from Akron Canton to Detroit, connecting to the one to Tampa had equipment problems, and Mom and I would've missed the connection. You'd think they could just get us there some other way. Fine, except there was no other way. Everything else was booked solid. So Debbie had to pick us up and we had to return home.

It's tough on Mom, and even me, to get through check-in and security and all that. I didn't want to do it again early the next morning. Debbie and I went through all the other possible scenarios, including cancelling the trip and having Debbie take Mom down later, driving her down later, letting her stay with us the whole winter, etc. If I wasn't going to be taking her, then how would I get to London? For that trip I was booked to depart from Orlando and return to Cleveland. I could keep my CAK-DTW-MCO-JFK-LHR itinerary, which I didn't want to do, or try to rebook. But although NW would refund our first trip (with Mom), they wouldn't do anything without a change fee for the London trip because it was separate. I tried explaining that this was their fault...

We wound up with me taking Mom to Orlando (not Tampa), having Beth and Ed pick her up, and then me flying on to JFK and LHR. By some kind of dumb luck, all of the flights were mostly on time, and I made all the connections. And of course, Mom got to Florida for the rest of the winter in one piece. All it would have taken is bad weather in any one part of the country, and I would've been shot. It *was* cold - -10 to -15 for the second morning in a row.

After arriving at my Renaissance London Heathrow hotel, I completely crashed. It's a shame, because I had almost a whole day to sightsee. I'd thought about going to Stonehenge, Bath or brighton, but all were over an hour away. I just didn't want to drive anywhere. I also could've gotten to central London somehow, but had no energy even for that endeavor. So it was a wasted day. I guess I'm getting old.

The one good thing, besides no further flight delays, was that I did manage to get outside for a run on a nice day. More about that in my next post.

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