Monday, September 10, 2007

A Horrible Ending to an Amazing Trip

Yesterday at 6 A.M. we began our long journey home. It was very sad because we had been having such a wonderful, relaxing vacation. All good things must come to an end sometime, I suppose, but still, realizing that you have to get back into the swing of things is never too much fun.

Anyways, our first flight left Tampa at 8. We got to Detroit at 10:30 for a three hour lay over. We made the best of that time and we all went to Chili's for a nice lunch. Finally, at 1:30 we all got on the flight to Elmira, which was SUPPOSED to arrive at 2:30.

At about 2:50 we were still on the plane. There was some insanely intense turbulence that was knocking us all around the cabin. The flight attendant even got knocked to the ground while he was trying to walk around. Even though I've flown many times, I was still horrified. A few minutes into the shaky ride, the pilot came on the intercom system and told us that because there were such intense storms over Elmira, we had to go to Orange County, NY (which is about three hours from Elmira). We landed at the airport at 3 and the whole flight crew told us that we would just refuel the plane and try to make another attempt at getting back into Elmira.

After sitting on the plane for a half an hour, the captain came out into the cabin and talked to us. She told us that the airport wouldn't respond to their request for gas. They couldn't find anyone to fulfill their needs. At an airport??? Give me a break! At 4, she came back out and said that Elmira wasn't a possibility because of the weather so we had to go to Allentown, PA. So again, we sat there and sat there some more.

A few minutes later, the pilot came out and said that the plans changed yet again. We could either ride back to Detroit and try to catch another flight into an airport closer to our homes or we could ride a van to Elmira. My dad thought that the idea of going to Detroit sounded better because we would get home quicker but he got out his laptop and looked at the flights. They were all booked! The pilot had no way of knowing that, but still, why offer us that if it's not a possibility? We also knew that we couldn't take the van because we had Brooke and we would need to stop along the way to feed her and let her get out of her seat periodically.

Finally at 5, after two whole hours of sitting on a cramped plane, we were able to get off and stretch our legs. We all decided to get a rental car and just drive back home because none of the airline's options were a possibility for us. What a long, frustrating ordeal.

In the midst of this whole process, we did meet some nice people. Most of the people around us were extremely patient and nice. We had nothing to do but talk so we all kind of got to know each other. There was an older couple next to us that LOVED Brooke. When we got off of the plane and were waiting for our luggage they came over to me and handed me 2 dollars. They said, "You're great parents and you have a beautiful baby. Put these dollars in her piggy bank." How incredibly sweet of them!!

When we were getting off the plane the pilot asked to hold Brooke. She gave her little plastic wings and a certificate of flying. The pilot was so sweet to her! I am going to put the wings, certificate, and the 2 dollars in Brookie's baby book so we always remember this awful flight!

Well now that I'm home, I have to go grocery shopping and finish up some laundry. Luckily John doesn't work until Wednesday so we have a few days to unwind together.

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