A post about my trip to Virginia (or: why airports suck).
I got back from Virginia this morning. I was supposed to get back yesterday, but I’ll get to that in a minute. I had a great time hanging out with Sabs!
I arrived on Wednesday after two uneventful flights and a boring layover in Charlotte. Matt was at home to watch Kaleb, so we decided to hit the mall. I was looking for a cute pair of pink heels to wear with a pink dress I bought for our engagement pictures. Didn’t have much luck.
On Thursday, we tried a different mall. I had more success and found a cute pair of strappy sandals at Payless on sale for $10. Woohoo! We also had some very yummy soft serve ice cream (mine was chocolate and peanut butter twist).
After grocery shopping on Friday, we hit the town that night. Matt drove us to downtown Norfolk where we went to an Irish Pub to drink wine. Yes, I know how much sense that makes, but we had a lot of fun drinking our white zin. I got to bring out my Scorpio-ness and scare a guy, which was fun. We met some nice people while waiting for a cab as well, and one of the guys tipped our driver to make sure we made it home okay. There are still some decent people left.
On Saturday, we drove out to Virginia Beach. I had forgotten how much I liked jumping waves. It’s probably been at least 10 years since I’ve been to a beach. We weren’t there very long though (just enough to make my freckles really come out) because Kaleb was getting a little fussy. Saturday night, Sabrina and I started up a game of Arkham Horror, but never really finished it because we were both exhausted.
She drove me to the airport on Sunday. I had a connecting flight in Washington DC. My flight there was pretty standard. However, this is where all the fun begins. When I was choosing my flights, I decided that I didn’t want to have another layover in Charlotte. I always have layovers in Charlotte; 90% of the times I’ve flown, that’s where I’ve had a layover. So I opted for something different on the flight back and chose DC. It was really neat flying in because you could see all the recognizable monuments and buildings.
I got to my gate, which apparently was a gate for a ton of places that required small planes that you had to get on a bus to get to. It was super crowded but I finally found a seat and continued playing Mario Kart. Eventually, I figured it was about time for the flight to be called, so I got up to stand around the escalator. Finally, the board read: “Nashville - Boarding” so a bunch of us went down the stairs. They said they hadn’t actually called the flight yet and to go back up the escalator. So we did. Then they called the flight. Back down. Made it onto the bus with about 5 other people. Then a guy gets on and says there are bad storms in Nashville and we need to wait 60-90 minutes. Ugh.
So we do that. About an hour goes by, I get a pretzel dog because I hadn’t eaten all day, and then a new time comes up on the board. My cell phone is dead, so I start trying to work up the courage to ask to borrow someone else’s phone so I could call Ben and tell him the new time to pick me up. Just as I’m doing that, an announcement: The flight to Nashville has been canceled.
I try to remain calm and get in line to get a new flight assignment. I borrow the phone of the lady behind me and call Ben to tell him not to go to the airport just yet and that I would call when I had more information. I finally get to the front of the line (after some confusion and a nice guy from Crossville let me cut in front of him) only to be told that the only other flight to Nashville leaving that day was already oversold, and would I like to be put on the 8:40 flight the next morning? This is where I’m really holding back my freak out. I ask if there’s any other option, and they say that there’s a flight with a connection in Philadelphia that leaves earlier but I would get to Nashville about the same time. I ask if they pay for hotel and get told no, they aren’t obligated when flights are canceled due to weather. Meanwhile, everyone is talking about how their friends and family say that Nashville has nice blue skies. Whatever. I take the 8:40 flight and get a piece of paper with a number to call to make a hotel reservation for a “discounted rate.”
I make my way over to the line of pay phones and call their 800 number. I get told that the chosen hotel is a Comfort Inn for $89 for the night and they have a free shuttle. Okay. Whatever. A bed is better than sleeping in the airport. So I think.
I have no working phone, so I can’t call the shuttle line since it’s not a toll free number. I make my way down to the hotel shuttle pick-up spot and wait, hoping someone else decides to go to the Comfort Inn as well. After about 30 minutes, I am in luck. Another lady asks if anyone is going to the Comfort Inn and I (probably much too excitedly) exclaim that I am. She lets me use her cell phone and I call Ben to tell him the new plan. I ask him to call my boss in the morning so that no one is wondering where I am.
We finally all arrive at the hotel and check in. I get put in room 405. Note to anyone who may be traveling in the area: do not get room 405 in the Comfort Inn - Pentagon. The first thing I noticed when I walked in the room was the smell. It smelled like wet towels. I guess, like mold. I don’t know. Whatever. I had a bed. I would get used to the smell. So I called Ben and left a message on his voicemail with the hotel number and my room, so he could call me back and I wouldn’t have crazy long distance fees on my bill (that one tiny voicemail was $4). He calls me back and I finally let myself freak out so I can stop being so tense. He calms me down and tells me to order a pizza and that he would see me tomorrow. So we hang up and I order a pizza.
Over the next few hours I discover that the hot water tap on the shower doesn’t work and the toilet doesn’t flush properly. I decide to just go to bed and discover that the TV will not lower below a certain (not so quiet) volume. I sleep fitfully. Which is a good thing because I discovered the next morning that the alarm clock doesn’t work either.
Finally, I get up and get on the shuttle back to the airport. Some more waiting around and then on the bus and on the plane. I feel like it’s too good to be true and that they’re going to make us go back to the terminal, but we finally take off. I arrive in Nashville at 10 am, and finally get to work around 11:30. Ugggggh.
So yeah, it was a good trip with the exception of US Airways and the unexpected and uncomfortable Comfort Inn. Pictures are up as usual.