Friday, May 12, 2006
And we missed the connector plane...in Phoenix!!
Warning - this could be long! I had a LONG airplane ride to type out the events from the last two days!
We originally were going to take Joey up north on Wednesday night and then leave for the airport to go to Seattle on Thursday from Grandma’s house. Instead we decided to stay home on Wednesday night and then go up to Grandma’s on Thursday morning.
Thursday morning rolls around and there was a frenzy of getting this and that done before we left. Take out the trash, feed the cats, feed the fish, put water in the bowls for the cats, get last minute packing done (those last day things you can’t pack in advance). So much to do! So finally off to Grandma’s we go.
Halfway there I tell Joe, are we going into Caro to get the oil changed. He’s immediately mad at himself. He wanted to get the oil changed before we left. I didn’t know, I assumed we were going to the same place we always go to get it done. So we hoped we could get it done in the next city we would be going to.
Get to Lapeer and we find a oil change place – phew! Joey is taking a nap. We pull in and the guy recognizes Joe. Says to Joe, ‘Aren’t you Fish?’ which was Joe’s knickname in high school because of the last night Fisher. So they talk and we got our oil changed. While they were at it, we told them to replace all the windshield wipers. It was half raining and they weren’t working and we HATE to replace those things. It’s different for every type of windshield wiper you buy. So we got all new wipers – yay!
Now off to Grandma’s house. We rest there, have a bit to eat and then we tell Joey we need to leave. We are going to see friends and he’s going to stay with Grandma Kapa and Grandma Char. He is NOT happy about this. He starts to say ‘I’m ready, I’m ready’, which means he’s ready to leave and go with us. We tell him no, we are leaving. He starts to cry. It was really hard. We had to distract him with a sucker and put on a movie for him and sneak out. I was crying down the road. I felt like I abandoned my poor child. I wish we could take him with us but we knew the long flight (8 hours total if you count in the layovers) and not being potty trained and all would not make it a fun getaway.
Off to the airport we go. Joe and I had different ideas on how to get to the airport and we were running a bit behind. I pull out the map. There is really no straight shot from where Joe’s family lives and the airport. We end up going down to Milford and then out to the airport. This allows us to swing by the house one more time and use the restroom and pick up last minute stuff.
Off to the airport. Find a parking space, get on a shuttle, and then get our tickets, check in our bags, get through security and then find our flight.
Our flight wasn’t bad, but it was long. They had a movie called ‘Last Holiday’ on there that was pretty good. I saw ¾ of it and missed the first half but I liked it.
Once we got off the flight in Phoenix, AZ, we had an hour to make it to our connection which was wayyy on the other side of the airport. We called Grandma who said Joey didn’t take a nap until 5pm and didn’t wake up until 8:45 and now he’s wide awake. We were concerned and hoped that the next day he would get back on his normal schedule. 8:45 is normally the time he goes to bed, not wakes up! Poor kid! Once we got there we hadn’t eaten dinner so we looked for a place to eat. Joe kept saying we needed to get back to the gate but our flight didn’t leave until 7:15 and it was like 6:50. By the time we got our food and got to the gate it was about 7:08, the doors were shut and closed. The plane was there, the connector gate to the plane was still hooked up. I started to panic. We asked a person at the next desk if we could get on the flight, since the doors were shut. She phoned over and said, ‘Sorry, the doors are closed’. At this point I started to cry. I knew there was probably not another Seattle flight for the evening and if there was, it would probably leave red eye and I didn’t want to spend 8 hours in the airport. At this point I started to panic. Joe got in line at the customer relation desk. I was so pissed because we missed the door closing by like 3 minutes. The flight LEFT at 7:15 but they want you there by 7:05. We never heard a final boarding call or anything.
I called Caroline. I was crying like mad and really upset. Mostly at myself because I thought we had more time, and Joe didn’t think we did. I told her I would call her back.
Finally got through the line at the American West counter and they said they would have to put us on a flight in the morning at 7:30 am but we would need to find arrangements to stay and they wouldn’t foot the hotel bill since we had enough time to make it to the plane connection. There was no charge for the change of flights but we did need to now call and get a hotel.
Now reality sits in, we have no luggage, which is on it’s way to Seattle, and just our carry-on stuff. We were thinking of calling his Uncle John which lives very close by but it was already 7:30 their time and we didn’t want to bother them that late last minute.
So we called hotel reservation hotline and got a $55 hotel at the Clarion. We finally ate the food that MADE us late. Joe started to laugh and said it was the most expensive sandwich he ever ate (the $20 food bill + the $55 hotel fee). By this time we were actually laughing. What was done was done. There was no changing it. So we had to laugh about it. I did say when we were coming down the terminal originally that I’d love to see Phoenix. Maybe the ‘big guy in the sky’ heard me and took my comment literally.
So off to baggage claim to call the shuttle from the Clarion hotels. The guy originally told us to use the hotel call phones to call the shuttle outside. We went outside to find the phones and was instantly hit with HOTNESS. OMG it was so hot outside. It was like if you were to stick your head inside the dryer right after it stopped. It was so hot. We couldn’t find the hotel call phone so we went inside, asked a clerk who showed us where it was. We got a hold of the hotel and they said they would send a shuttle and it would be about 20 minute wait.
So back outside we went to wait. I think it must have gotten a bit cooler at that point. The sun had gone down. We called Caroline. She looked up the weather in Phoenix on weather.com and said it was 95 degrees but felt like 90. I was like, yeah, I think we can tell. It’s flaming hot. Now add into the mix the fact that I already produce heat like a furnace because I’m pregnant and you have a really hot preggo lady on your hands!
The shuttle finally comes and loads up our carry-on luggage. We talk to the driver who is very nice. He tells us about the town, and we told him we missed our flight. He told us what probably happened was they overbooked the flight, gave our seats to stand-bys last minute and then shut the door early when it was full. He said if it were him, he would have called and complained and at least got them to foot our bill for the hotel. I guess I really wasn’t worried about it. I was just glad they didn’t charge us for changing flights and that the hotel was only $55.
Once we got to the hotel we checked in and got our room assignments. The rooms are only accessible from outside so we had to go around this beautiful pool with palm trees to get to our room. At this point I am in heaven. Palm trees, warm weather, nice beautiful night. Ok, sure we missed our connection flight but hey, this was kinda fun!
So we got into our room, I hooked up the wireless internet connection though the connection was poor and was only 11% strength so it was very slow. I took a shower and we watched ER, which we had missed like 10 episodes this season. It was sad (which it normally is) but good. After that we went to bed. At this point it’s like 1am our time.
I woke up the next morning at 5am Phoenix time. I didn’t sleep really well. Not sure why. It could be the fact that I really had nothing to sleep in since we only had the clothing on our backs which was a bit uncomfortable for me. The weird thing about Phoenix is that at 3am, the birds start to sing really loud. In Michigan they start to sing only when the sun starts to rise – about 5/6am. The birds chirping woke me up right away. They were still going at it at 5am. They actually sounded really pretty. I really wanted to go see what they were. So we got dressed, put stuff away and went outside to walk around and take photos (see photos on this blog). Of course I needed to document how we missed our flight and ended up in Phoenix so we took some photos. Mostly of the palm trees, the pretty flowering trees, cactuses, and more. We never really did see the birds. They were in this tree with what looked like blueberries eating and chirping away.
So we went into the lobby and found out that the 5am shuttle couldn’t take all the passengers. At this point we needed to be on the 6am shuttle and were worried we wouldn’t make it if we didn’t pack now and get to the front of the hotel. So we went back to our room to pack – which wasn’t hard since all we had was our carryon items.
Off to the lobby we went. We got on the next shuttle that did leave at 6am. There was a guy who got bumped off the 5am shuttle who was pissed off because he was late and was afraid he would miss his flight and wanted to leave NOW. Luckily Joe and I were already on the van. They fit on one more women and then off the driver went to the hotel. We made it there in about 10 minutes which was pretty good.
Once we figured out where to get our tickets, we went to security which had the longest winding line I’ve ever seen. It took about 10 minutes to get through the line. I guess their security thing wasn’t working so everyone had to go in this contraption where you stand there, it blows air all over you and then scans to make sure you don’t have any weapons and such. It was really weird. Once you passed you go to go on and get your stuff.
We had starbucks for breakfast, which was ok. Everything is so overpriced in the airport. We finally made the connection flight for Seattle and got on the plane. We had the very front seats right after first class which actually has a lot of leg room so I can’t really complain. Joe is watching King Kong and I’m sitting here writing out my blog. I can’t wait to see Caroline and Jason!
Can I also add that I'm an American Idol watcher and can NOT believe Chris was voted off. I guess they posted the wrong phone numbers. See this article. Maybe they'll do a revote!