Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Our adventurous weekend

No, it didn't involve leprechauns, green beer or kettles of gold (or hammers, jigsaws, or radiators). Instead, our adventure was more along the lines of where there's a will, there's a way.

Saturday, my cousin got married outside of Philadelphia. Little did we know when we left our house on Friday that a horrible storm was going to reak havoc on many of the guests trying to get there on Friday, including yours truly.

We woke up at 5:30 a.m, heading to the airport to find out at 9:20 a.m. that our flight, along with the next 3 flights got canceled. Glenn and I used our real world power tools-a blackberry, a laptop, one cell phone, and our eyes and ears to immediately assess the situation and determine our best way of getting to Philadelphia in time for the rehearsal dinner that night. (or at the least, the wedding). I scoured the "departure" screens (a great perk at O'Hare as there are yads of flights everywhere) to locate the closest city that had flights going to it (new york, hartford, and boston were all showing cancellations)I noticed that flights were leaving every hour from B12 to D.C, so with phones to ears we started walking.

We were greeted by a line of 6 people at a "check-in desk" without an employee, an open door leading down the gangway and a ticket checker nearby. Glenn went in one line, and I walked up to the ticket checker asking if he had any seats on the plane. Well, yes, yes he did. I asked for them, he quickly obliged, grabbing our Philadelphia boarding passes and telling us he didn't have time to give us new boarding passes. Instead, he said head to 10A and 10B (exit row and together, no less!). By 9:55 we were on a plane to the east coast!

We continued our furious phone calls to rearrange our car reservation, find out about baggage, and alert family members. While en route to D.C. we came up with the idea to arrange lunch with my uncle and cousin (who were in town from Hungary). This involved a quick call to my Grandmom.

After lunch, we started our journey by car to the Philadelphia area. First, it was traffic and rain. Then, the traffic dwindled a bit, but it was ice, sleet, and some snow tossed in. At some points we saw car after car by the side of the road (having clearly glided out of control for a bit). We made a stop at Kohl's on the way in hopes of finding some wedding attire and other necessities since our luggage stayed in Chicago. (we checked bags because of the toiletry restriction). During our route, we got calls from various family members (including a franctic groom). Finally at 10 p.m. we showed up at the rehearsal dinner. After the dinner, we had to borrow an ice scraper, as the car was not equiped. (neither were we!)

The next day, we got up early to find some wedding attire for me and get some toiletries. (a rave for target on that! one stop shopping!) We had called the airline to ask that our luggage stay in Chicago as we wouldn't be able to pick it up. But, they decided to send it to Philadelphia anyway.

On Sunday, we had simple goals- (1) cheesesteaks with the family (2) visit my alma mater (Penn) to get a sweatshirt and show Glenn around (3) find our luggage in Philadelphia (4) recheck the luggage and safely travel home. But, remember, this weekend was about unplanned adventure.

First, we lined up all the cheesesteak partakers, creating a caravan of sorts. (1) Glenn and I in our rental (2) My mom and older brother in her car (3) my brother and his girlfriend in her car (4) a long lost cousin in his rental car (5) and my Dad and his wife in the caboose.

The sun was shining, roads were much better, and we were making good time. Then the red light goes on in the dashboard, the car seems to be overheating. We exit the highway (wondering exactly what kind of neighborhood we were going to) and the car makes it to the end of the exit ramp before promptly dying. The car rental place tells me it will be 2 hours until a replacement car can be delivered. Thankfully, I was finally able to get a hold of my Dad who came by and picked us up and we left the car by the side of the road.

At the airport, we had to sift through a sea of bags to find ours. Hundreds were just sitting there. I was really surprised that they weren’t locked up more.

So back we are, safe and sound. Despite the bumps in the road during the trip, I’m so thankful that (1) we maneuvered well on Friday and made it to the wedding safe and sound and (2) that if our car were to die it did so on a sunny day with many family members around and not on Friday in the middle of nowhere in an icestorm.



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