Saturday was a looong day - starting at 5 when Greg got up to go to work, while I finished packing up the house and my luggage
. He came home around lunch time, we moved the motorhome to Rancho Jurupa Park in Riverside, got set up, he took a nap, and we left to have dinner on the way to the San Diego Airport, where I had a 10:30 p.m. departure for Charlotte, NC, with a Sunday morning connecting flight to Wilmington. As we were getting close to the airport, we found ourselves in a heavy, thick fog - making it practically impossible to read even the largest of road signs. I called US Airways, who told me that there was no delay in my flight's departure. So Greg dropped me off at the curb to start the 2 hour drive back home. I got in a long line at check-in, only to hear a fuzzy announcement about flight cancellations... A rep from US Airways came along with a business card, telling all of us who were scheduled for the flight to Charlotte that the flight was cancelled because plane had not come in, due to the fog, and we were to call the number on the card to be re-booked - AND, they were NOT responsible for finding or paying for hotel rooms when cancellations are weather related! I called Greg back right away - and he decided to come back to the airport to wait in the short term parking to see what I could find out by calling that number. The US Airways rep on the phone indicated that I could be rebooked on a flight at 8 Sunday morning to Philadelphia, with a 3 hour layover before going on to Wilmington, arriving there at 8 pm. I went ahead and told her to book it, even though I suspected that they still wouldn't have a plane available at 8 in the morning
. In the meanwhile, Greg had come in and found me in the terminal, and said he would take me to find a nearby hotel that had an airport shuttle, before he continued his trip back home. (He didn't have to work Sunday, but had plans for lunch with friends and a surprise birthday party for another friend, both up in the high desert, another 2 hours from Riverside, so he was thinking he'd have to get up and get going fairly early to do that!). As we looked for a hotel in the pea-soup fog, I suggested to Greg that it might make sense for him to stay in the hotel, too, rather than drive 2 hours back to Riverside in the fog, when he might have to come back in the morning if my suspicions about not having a plane were correct. So, he did stay, and we managed to get a few good hours of sleep before my alarm went off at 5! I didn't see any fog outside the window, but the Weather Channel gave some information about rain changing to snow later that afternoon in Philadelphia, plus BIG snows in New England, which we know can impact all travel when planes can't hit schedules. I got ready to go, then decided to call the US Airways re-booking phone number again. At first, they told me that my flight was as scheduled - then, after few second's hesitation, they told me that it actually would be departing at 11 instead of 8 a.m. A quick calculation told me that, even if everything went absolutely perfectly on schedule, there was no way I was going to make the connection in Philadelphia. So, rather than risk another night in a spendy hotel (this time in an unfamiliar city) with weather issues threatening my ability to ever get to Wilmington for the visitation and funeral, I surrendered, and, although conflicted about it, I cancelled the entire trip
. I truly am sorry to miss the opportunity to give Cousins Adele, Amy, Janet, Michael and Richard a big hug while sharing great memories of my Aunt Adele's inimitable style. But, I am comforted knowing that, while she was around to enjoy our visits, we brought my Mom together with Aunt Adele and Uncle Tony many times during the last 10 years or so, celebrating lives that have impacted so many in a memorable way.
So, there ya go! My sad, sad, story of travel gone bad! Sure does reconfirm my commitment to motorhome travel as the ONLY way to go!
Poor Greg is back at work this morning, and we're both still exhausted, because yesterday, after the 2 hour drive back from San Diego, we quickly changed and got on the road 2 hours up to the high desert
. We had a great day with old friends, including a surprise birthday party for one, which I would have missed...but then had to face the very long, dark, 2 hour drive back here last night, in high Santa Ana winds. It really bugs me that my eyes are so bad that I cannot safely drive at night any more, leaving it all to Greg, even when he's totally wiped out! We did pull off the highway for a quick walk around and so he could get a Pepsi to wake him up a little.
We got home safely, and started the cycle of early starts over again at 5 this morning
The park here in Riverside, is a small but very nice county park, complete with two small fishing lakes, large picnic and playground areas, and an RV Park. Our site site backs up to and looks out at the smaller of the two fishing lakes, making it easy to watch the many coots, ducks, domestic and Canadian geese who make this their winter home, along with the large numbers of fishermen who come out here frequently to fish in the trout-stocked lakes. A couple of the geese are quite noisy, and aggressive, too!
It looks like Greg is going to be needed here for another couple of weeks, so we'll stay put here until the 26th of January, when we'll start our focused trip through Texas and into Florida. Our goal is to be in Florida before February 5th, when we're planning to attend some of the Daytona Speed Weeks short-track events with friends Ruth Ann and Frank, who are already down there.
After many miles on the car, an unplanned night in a San Diego Hotel, much time spent in lines at the airport and on the phone with reservations departments - I am writing this NOT from North Carolina, but rather, from the motorhome, in Riverside, CA.