Why, oh why is travel so challenging?

I must be a sadist at heart – or else why would I book another trip just a week after flying back from Korea? I mean – isn’t 25 hours of travel enough? It took me 3 days to recover from jet lag. Who needs more of this stuff? Well – apparently – I do.

Months ago my 2 sisters and I had agreed that it had been way too long since we’d had a decent conversation with each other. get-together with kids and husbands around were fun – but opportunities to actually talk – non-existent. So despite the conjunction with my trip back from Korea – we’d planned an “I’m not yet 65” birthday sisters weekend – in Lake Lure, N.C. This meant I’d fly to Columbia, S.C. on Wednesday, see my sister’s newly redesigned kitchen, then we’d drive the 2 hours to Lake Lure. Sounds great.

Bonus – when I go to check in on-line – I’m offered a $49 upgrade to business class! Winner. Amazing. Sure – I’ll take it.

So it’s Wednesday night – and here I am – at the Montreal airport – booked on a United flight thru Washington, D.C. I eat a lousy dinner at the airport – something billed as meat lasagna – but tasting more like cheap tomato sauce with meat waved in its directions and I join the suspiciously large crowd around gate C82.

Hmm – the sign doesn’t say Washington, D.C. yet – is says Cleveland.

But like most well laid plans, the weather angels decided it was a no go. Cancelled flights here, there and everywhere – just because of some rain and severe thunderstorms lasting 6 hours in a 250 mile swatch running across most of the midwest. Honestly. Is plane travel so retarded that they can’t land in a little rain? Maybe it was the cross winds. Whatever – no plane, no go. So sorry.

Options – I fly to Dulles, spend the night on my own dime (if I can find a hotel room – with canceled flights all over – likelihood not good), and fly on in the morning from there. Or – I go home, spend the night in my own bed – and just start over again on Thursday.

I opt for my own bed. Bad news – the guy who rebooked me doesn’t do it right – I lose my paid for status as ‘business class’ –

So now it’s Thursday. And with better weather, planes are at least taking off on time. I’ll manage to get where I want to go some time today.

Being a optomist at heart – I’m willing to forgive United the boo-boo – particularly because when I get to Chicago (mid-point of flight – nothing from Montreal goes direct to anywhere I want to go) – I discover what really bad looks like.

Chicago is a mess. No seriously – a mess. On Wednesday flights got canceled and delayed – and when they re-route, reschedule you because of weather – they have a lovely little pre-printed brochure that effectively says no food, no lodging, no refunds! I ran into a wonderful family of 4 that had finished a fab holiday in Spain, including a cruise, and were just trying to get home. They’d arrived in Chicago at 7:30 pm on Wednesday – I ran into them at around 10:00 am on Thursday – and it didn’t look good. They’d been re-booked onto a flight that got canceled early this morning – been standby (and clearly not made it) on two more flights – and were now officially giving up. They got an absolute booking for a flight on Friday – and were on their way to a hotel to sleep.

There are literally people everywhere – some just sitting and looking sad – some actually asleep. The stand-by lists to just about everywhere are filled – and I’m guessing that they can’t just bring in a larger plane – or 2 – or 3.

This is truly sad. On the positive side, a gentleman just got up to give his seat in this overcrowded waiting area to an older couple. Nice.

And just to make sure I’m awake – another guy just announced that there are severe thunderstorms forecast in my destination city.

If nothing goes wrong – it’s not much of an Adventure, is it?

Signing off – and hoping the plane flies…. The Soup Lady