Saturday, April 18, 2009


Thursday, I went to Joann's to get a little present for the 6 year old niece that we were going to see in Canada this weekend. On my way to the check-out, my spying eye detected this stamp in the one Dollar bin and I thought it might come in handy one day.

Now, that I am looking at the stamp, I wonder why I still sitting here, if travel is supposed to mean 'exploring a place other than your own, LOL.

Oh dear, where do I start?
Denver was under a three day severe winter storm warning and we saw clear evidence of the very storm starting Thursday night. Heavy rain started to turn into snow that continued and has not stopped since. We wondered about traffic and if our flight was actually going to happen. We kept checking with the airline and were assured that everything was going according to plan. However, we decided to leave home much earlier than we normally would and boy, was that a good idea. While we were getting lots of snow for hours already, the metro area had only seen heavy rain thus far. But as we headed that way, the snow seemed to follow us. On the radio, they kept advising people to drive cautiously, not to exceed 20 mph due to slushy, icy road conditions and poor visibility. They also warned of accidents that were happening everywhere. As we slowly made our way to the airport, we did not need to be reminded of this, because the roads were 'littered' with stranded cars that had veered off the road. Luckily, we did not encounter any serious accidents.
It took us forever to get there, but we made it safely and were left with ample time for checking in and making our way through security. Via cell phone, we kept getting updates from the airline, announcing that departure was still as scheduled. NICE!

However, as the time of boarding neared, things seemed to slow down considerably and we were told there'd be a 15 minute delay. No big deal, we figured, since the weather had really been awful. As long as the flight did not get cancelled, which was starting to happen to all kinds of flights at neighbouring gates. Those planes were not able to come in, so there was no way to get out. No problem for our flight, because the plane and the pilot had already been there the entire time! We did, however, have to wait for the crew to arrive from Colorado Springs.

As these things go, our flight was delayed again and again. More and more flights were being cancelled and people shifted all over the terminal with gate changes.
I kept expecting our flight to be cancelled as well, but no, by 9:45p.m. we were actually to board our plane. (The flight was initially scheduled to depart at 7 p.m.). The crew had finally made their 10 minute flight from Colorado Springs and the poor flight attended explained that they had attempted to do so since Noon. The plane had been de-iced twice and sent back to the gate before finally leaving after the third de-icing.
So, at 10:00 we were finally on board, waiting for a couple more passengers. As soon as they arrived, we could head to de-icing... By 10:15, our plane made its way out of the gate, hoooray! A friendly captain explained we'd be well on our way very soon and they flight to Canada would take a mere 90 minutes. Of course, the car rental place would be closed by the time we'd finally arrive, but dh and I would deal with that when we'd get there. Anyway, the pilot said we could take off very soon. We'd only have to go through de-icing first, for which we were in line. Only, there were a couple of planes ahead of us. TEN or ELEVEN of them, as far as he could see.
An hour and a half later, he announced there were only three more planes ahead of us and it would soon be our turn, E X C E P T - he had reached the absolute limit of hours (16) he was allowed to work in one shift and he'd have to take the plane back to the gate!!!
20 minutes later, we were directed back to the gate where agents would take care of everyone. Needless to say, all outgoing flights for today and tomorrow were already fully booked and chances to get on stand-by were extremely slim. Especially, since everyone from our flight needed to get to Winnipeg as much as we did. We waited in line for more than an hour to find out the same as everyone else and then waited some more to get our luggage back. Only, while most people there prepared to sleep at the airport or dared to hope for a hotel room (fat chance, with all those cancelled flights), we at least could look forward to going home. We picked up our luggage much sooner than expected (we were told it could be another two hours) and hopped on the shuttle bus to take us back to parking. Obviously, nobody is surprised at that point, when the shuttle bus was stuck in front of a barrier that would not open for anything. He had to back up and park on the side of the road, waiting for someone to respond to him.
Anyway, we eventually made it to our car and it took us forever to get home in the thickest fog I've ever seen. You could barely see the road ahead, never mind what was along the sides. Most of the time, we had no idea where we were and only hoped we had seen all the exits needed. Closer to home, the fog gave way to heavy snow again.
A little past 3 am we got back home, when the car veered all over the place in our very own driveway and then got stuck completely in a ditch. It took some doing, but eventually, the car was in fact safely parked in the garage.

I kept saying there had to be a silver lining in there somewhere and joked that I'd now be able to put the recycling out on Monday morning. Our two bins are completely overflowing and the next one won't be for another two weeks. :)

Well, this afternoon I kept hearing this dripping sound in the family room, thinking it was outside, when I realized the water is actually dripping inside. There was a huge puddle on the wood floor and all around the window. The curtain was soaked and our new sofa kept getting splattered, too. We have no idea what to do about this. Obviously, a professional will have to be called in. In any case, I keep thinking it would have been a whole lot worse if this drip was unattended for another two days.

Last night, the airline was unable to book us on another flight for next weekend, which is what we finally decided to do. We will have to call them to do so. Why does the cynic in me already expect more aggravation in the near future, LOL?

I hope y'all have a good Sunday (for those of you who are still reading and still awake....) :)

1 comment:

Monica Hunter said...

What an ordeal! Do you get any free tickets out of the mess, or any kind of compensation for your trouble?

I'm glad you're home safely, and I hope the rest of your weekend is
VERY restful!