Sunday, December 02, 2007

Our Alabama Trip

Hi There,
Well it is December 2nd, and it is Winter here in Quesnel for absolute certain. Molly, and I returned to -25C temps/-30C with the wind chill on Friday, November 30th.
A far sight colder than the 60 something F we left back in Alabama. The locals say it is very unusual for it to be this cold in November...usually not until January or February.
I think we are in for a very long, and very cold winter. I guess I will get lots of practice on my knitting, and crocheting. :)
Molly, and I had an great visit with friends, and family while we were in Alabama. I am really sorry if we missed some of you, it was really hard to squeeze everything in, and we still had lots we didn't get to do, and for that we sincerely apologize. It is really hard to do much with a toddler with a schedule.

Anyhow, we started our journey November 14th in the afternoon. Our flight out of Prince George was to leave at 8:10pm. We were going to be taking a red-eye to Toronto, arriving in Atlanta on the 15th at 9:40a.m. Well it didn't exactly play out that way. It started to snow on us before we left to go to the airport, and the drive was pretty bad at times with white out conditions. We got to Prince George however, and there was no snow at I was hopeful that things would be just fine. Well, after we got there it started to snow, and it got bad, but not bad enough until Greg left us to go back home that they canceled my flight. I was already dreading this trip, and this was just the beginning of a nightmare that took over 48 hours.

I waited in line to reschedule my flight with Air Canada, and picked to go the next morning at 7:30a.m. They were able to put Molly and I up for the night in a hotel, as I was totally stranded. Greg was to leave the next morning for Alberta for work for the next several days. I didn't sleep well, and got up around 4a.m. I got Molly up, and went downstairs at 5:55a.m to catch my ride to the airport, only to learn my flight had been canceled. Air Canada says Prince George is a difficult place to get in, and out of this time of year, but West Jet seemed to be doing just fine as they landed their planes about 20 minutes after my first flight was canceled. So, I was able to stay at the hotel until I needed to go to my flight that had been automatically re booked for 2:45pm that afternoon.

Greg was coming through PG to pick up a fellow at the airport before their 15+ hour drive to Sundre, AB, and was able to bring me some diapers for Molly. I had only packed enough to get us there on a regular trip. So we got to see him again, and say good bye.
Our flight left on time , and we were to arrive in Toronto at 1a.m. EST. The trip over was not so bad, as the crew on the Vancouver to Toronto leg of the trip took pity on me, and gave me their seats in the back so that I could stretch out with Molly. Otherwise the trip would have been horrible, as it is always a full flight from Vancouver to Toronto.

I get to Toronto at 1a.m., and we had no reservations for a room, and instead of getting a room for a couple of hours, I decided to just stay at the airport. So, Molly, and I attempted to sleep in the Toronto Airport....Molly got about 3 hours....I got 45 minutes. I was so paranoid about falling asleep, and finding her gone when I woke up. I had my hand on her the whole time. We were perfectly safe though, as the head of security that evening helped us out, and took us a too a safe area. She had to retrieve my wallet that I left by the pay phone in the secure area. I left it there after I had called the Sheraton at the airport to only find out they wanted $289 a night. SHEESH!

So, at 5:30a.m. I decided to push my trolley of luggage, car seat, and Molly in the stroller to go check my baggage. I had to retrieve that too when I entered Toronto so I could go through US customs.

Well, if you might have heard about the major computer glitch that caused the reservations network to be down for several hours during peak travel time... I was part of that statistic. (News Story) . When I went to get in line there were easily 300+_ people in front of me, and the line only grew. When people got to where I was, they looked disgusted, only to find out that it just kept going, and going, and going, until they ran out of building, and had to start snaking around, and around . The end of the line passed the beginning very quickly. :(

I was able to get through pretty quickly after the system came back up, but having to deal with customs, and baggage I still managed to miss my flight, as so did half the other passengers. They let that plane leave with 15 people on it! So, they sent us back to where we started with an $8 dollar voucher for breakfast, and a new flight to leave in 2 hours. In the meantime, my mom, and step dad were wondering if I was going to call anymore. :)

There were a group of us that kind of hung together, so it was nice to have someone in the same boat as me. Molly had no trouble at all making friends, and she was so good. She had a meltdown towards the end of our wait in Toronto. The lady that was sorting passengers, said she felt like crying too. All in all I couldn't have asked her to do any better. Also thank the heavens that Greg got her a portable DVD player! That saved me so many times on this trip.

Our flight from Toronto left about 45 minutes late, as they were trying to get all these backed up flights out. After they loaded us on the plane they told us it would be a little longer wait as they were taxiing out another plane, then they had to load our luggage. HEH! yeah, ok....RIGHT!

Molly, poor thing fell asleep before we took off, and didn't wake up until I woke her up after we landed in Atlanta an hour later than originally planned.

I gathered her, and her things,left the plane to go get our luggage, and meet my step dad, and mom at baggage claim. They weren't there, but I soon found out they were circling the airport waiting for us to arrive, instead of parking a million miles away.

Well, you think the story ends here, but it doesn't.... I am soon to learn that our luggage, and Molly's car seat are still in Toronto!!!! I am furious, but not too surprised. It was only fitting. I think everything that could go wrong went wrong except the plane crashing, which is something I am happy, and thankful for.

I had to file a lost luggage claim, and they would deliver it as soon as it came in to Atlanta. I was ok with this, but I told them that I have to go another 2 1/2 hours to our destination by car, and I HAD to have a car seat! I wasn't about to wait until this luggage showed up. So they gave us a loaner car seat. I was so glad to get out of there.
Our luggage showed up the next day, and Molly's car seat showed up on Monday.

Finally, we could rest, and relax, and enjoy ourselves. We had a wonderful time, and had lots of good food. I did lots of shopping, and enjoyed the weak US dollar while I could. :)

Our trip home was without problems, but was extremely long, and tiring,. I wasn't so lucky on the Toronto to Vancouver leg of the trip back as the flight was overbooked, and completely full. I had to hold Molly the whole 5 + hours. I was miserable, and ready to have a meltdown by the time we got to Vancouver. We were late leaving, but go into Vancouver in plenty of time .

We arrived in PG at 7:50pm. and met Greg with tears, and hugs. We were both exhausted.
I had never been so glad to see him in my life.

Anyhow, I have decided that I won't fly with Air Canada again unless I am forced to. It was the worst experience in my traveling life.
We are home now, and glad to be home. It will take us a few days to recover I think.
Here are some pictures from our trip South.

We hope that this finds you all well, and in good health.
Peace, and Love!--

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