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Southern New Jersey

I am a Mom to 2 amazing and fun daughters and wife to a great guy and a wonderful father!

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Kayla, my oldest. She is 4 1/2 and is a sweet, loving and silly little girl. She took us 2 ½ years and 3 IVF’s to conceive. Kayla is allergic to dairy. We manage her allergy and work to balance her safety with giving her a normal childhood. Kayla loves to read books and play games - she amazes me every day.

Alysa, my youngest. She is 3 years old and is a silly little spitfire. She’s our monkey and loves to climb on everything. She was a “natural” baby, but it was only b/c of my wonderful doctors that we were able to stop an impending miscarriage. Alysa suffers from Acid Reflux Disease and sleep apnea. She may be little, but she has a big personality. She adores her big sister and is so much fun to be around. She keeps me laughing every day.

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Mothers Day 2009

Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Running on Empty
Even though this won’t post until sometime when I get home, this is a running commentary of my thoughts on this interesting trip to California.

It has been an interesting trip to say the least. J and I are on different flights, this way, heaven forbid anything were to happen, one of us should come out unscathed, so-to-speak. He is flying United and I am flying Delta. Delta allows you one “free” (since the flight was not cheap, I find the term “free” comical) checked bag and United charges you for even one. So we decided to put all of our belongings in one suitcase. This way we can save some money. My original flight was scheduled to depart at 5:25pm. I was going to fly into Salt Lake City, Utah and from there head to San Jose. Before leaving the house, I check on the flights only to find both J and my flights were delayed and we would both miss our connecting flights due to the delay. I called on J’s flight first. United was very nice and helpful. They got him on a different flight going into Denver and then on to San Jose. I on the other hand, am flying Delta – and they are a whole different matter. First, the person I spoke to gave me the runaround and didn’t know what I was talking about. Pretty easy since when your flight leaves Salt Lake City at 9pm and you don’t arrive until 9:15, you’ve pretty much missed that flight. I finally got someone to help me and at this point we were in the car on the way to the airport. I explained my situation and she told me that the flight out of Utah was the last flight of the night and she could give me one the next day. I told her that wouldn’t work since we are leaving bright and early from San Jose to drive to LA for the wedding. She puts me on hold only to come back and tell me that there is nothing she can do and that I can fly to Utah and talk to them about it when arrive? Huh? She just told me they had no more flights, so she wanted me to leave home to knowingly be stranded in Utah! I then asked to talk to a supervisor which led to more hold time. She comes back on and says they can offer me a flight into Atlanta and then on to San Francisco. Um…I need to get to San Jose? She told me that the airports are 30 minutes apart. So I asked her if they will shuttle me to San Jose from San Fran? She said no and she was sure to tell me that it was only 30 miles from San Jose. OK – so am I supposed to hike it to San Jose, suitcase and all??? I again asked to speak to her supervisor. She got on the phone and I explained that I paid them to get me to San Jose, NOT San Francisco and that if that is my only option, I am fine flying into SF, but…they need to get me to San Jose, as they were paid to do. She checked and I finally caught a break. The reason for the delay was not the very light and already over-with rain we were having, but an equipment problem, so yes, they would shuttle me free-of-charge to San Jose. OK – crisis averted – I was on my way to California, or so I thought…

I get to the airport; my Mom drops me off and heads off to drop J off at United. I got to curb-side check in since I only had an hour until my flight left. The guy weighs my suitcase and tells me it is 7 pounds too heavy. Um…what am I supposed to do? Take something out he tells me. Um…and do what with it? Put it in my carry on he tells me. If I left it in my suitcase, they would charge me $90 to take the extra 7 pounds. Let’s take note that the 7 pounds is too much for the basement of the plane, but…the cabin is fine, so as long as we move it to the cabin from the cargo area, we are good to go. So I tried reaching J thinking he can take something onto his carry-on too, the call would not go through. So I asked if he could page him for me, he said NO, that I had to go inside and wait on the 5 mile line. I went inside and was able to get a somewhat nice security person to help get me to a scale so I could empty out some things. I had to shove J’s dress shoes, my hair dryer and curling iron, a pack of baby wipes (which one person told me b/c they are wet. could not be brought on board – but they were allowed thankfully), my shoes and J’s fleece jacket into my carry-on. I then was able to use the kiosk to check-in to a flight delayed for a 6:20 take-off.

So far this has been an excruciatingly stressful trip. No one here at Delta has been nice except one flight attendant so far. Please note that nice does not = helpful. As I’m walking down the aisle of the plane, they announce they have no more room for overhead storage so everything must be put under the seat. Um…I have my now overflowing (barely can shut) carry on and my “personal item” being my sanity laptop. The attendant was able to get my carry-on it under the seat in the last row (thankfully – you’ll see why later). I am in the 2nd to last row. So here I am in row 43 with a now estimated arrival time of 9:00 with a plane jam packed with people and I’m supposed to get on a 9:30 flight to San Fran. That is not looking too good right now since I won’t even get off this plane until after 9:30. I’m a bit stressed and am thinking I’ll be good and stranded in Georgia tonight.

This trip has sure reaffirmed our decision to drive to Disney. Flying has gone down hill and it leaves everything to be desired!!!

I’m thinking it’s not such a good idea to stare at the little computer screen that says what time we’re due to land. Currently it’s 9:02. The guy next to me has a 9:15 connecting flight – at least I won’t be stranded alone. *sigh*

Oh goody – I was just served peanuts. Thinking of you Janeen.

It’s currently 8:30, still in the air – scheduled to land at 9:04. I am arriving at Gate B12 and leaving out of Gate A12. I’m getting an increasingly sinking feeling that I won’t be making my connecting flight… I hope J enjoys Sunny California and the wedding.

I was able to get some work done on our Christmas Cards. I think they are actually done this time (it’s my 2nd version). Oh and the guy next to me ask if I design cards for a living. With the night I’m having, I’m taking it as a complement. Heaven knows I need the boost right now.

I have 10 minutes left on my computer, so I’m going to shut down and save some battery for the long night in the Atlanta airport. Boy do I wish they had internet access up here.

Last update – arrival time estimated at 8:46 pm. I see a tiny glimmer of hope…

Well, thankfully I made it on my plane to SF. I’m still not sure how…but I am 1 hour into my flight and am currently over Arkansas. The plan landed in Atlanta at 8:52, but we did not get to the gate until 9:20 or so. I called Delta from the ground to check on my connecting flight and of course the one flight I want to be late, is on time. I was also told that although my plane had not taken off yet…they already had me booked on a flight out at 9:45am in the morning. How’s that for boosting my confidence? I was told they couldn’t do any more until I was off the plane. On the plane they made an announcement on the plane that some people had very tight connecting flights, and asked for anyone who did not have connecting flights within 45 minutes or were staying put to please be courteous and let those of us against the clock off first. Anyone want any guesses as to how well that went? Let’s just say my faith in humanity was not restored at all. I got my bag and began to say “excuse me’s” and “my plane leaves in 5 minutes”. It got me about half-way up the aisle until someone was like, me too. Yet, he then said he checked and his was pulling away from the gate. OK buddy that means it’s too late for you. So b/c you’re ticked you’re going to make the rest of us who have a chance miss ours too? So a woman behind me tried speaking loudly asking those in front of us to let us by who were on the verge of missing our flight. Then another lady started mouthing off to her. I tried defending her and us, but these people are just unbelievable!!! We did get off and some people (although a small minority) stayed and let us by and I made sure to thank each and every one of them as I ran by them. And of course, my plane was parked in terminal B and my other flight (the same airline mind you) departed in terminal A. Hmmm…that makes sense. So I had to run as fast as I could lugging my laptop and carry-on. I made it to the gate at about 9:35 and saw the plane had an estimated departure time at 9:50. Um…Delta? You may want to update your computer systems. That information would have been much appreciated by me at about 9:10pm. I got on, but b/c again, of lack of carry-on room; I had to check my carry-on bag. Not my laptop but my other bag. Which by the way still has my camera in it b/c I was pretty fried by the time I got to the door of the plane, so I forgot it was in there and not with my laptop. I sure hope it’s still there when I get to SF. On that note, I hope my suit case made it onto this plane too. Without it J and I will be going to Becky’s wedding in sweats. Becky? I love you and hope you still want us there! I have fake rhinestones on my pants and shirt if that helps any. ;)

So now we’re due to land at 12:24am (California time), which is 3:24am my time. Have I mentioned I’m exhausted? I sure hope J’s flights are going smoother than mine. Oh and they’re serving peanuts again on this flight….

Stay tuned to hear if I actually get the shuttle I was promised. No one in Philly would do anything about it for me. I was told I had to wait until I got to San Francisco. I still have a chance to be stranded somewhere…

Man I wish I had internet access up here…

Well, I did get the shuttle, but it took a while. Apparently the drive from San Fran to San Jose is not their cup of tea. I got to Ronnie’s house at 2:30 am, which is 5:30 am my time. She and Paul (her hubby) were amazing. They waited up for me and she even made me lunch for today’s drive. J had fallen fast asleep way before I arrived. I however could not fall asleep. Why you ask? Because my suit case was still in Atlanta. It never made it on my connecting flight. I was told it would be re-routed to LA for us for today. Guess how that turned out? You got it. No go! This morning, I called and was rudely hung up on not once, but TWICE. And I know it wasn’t me, b/c #1, I am just so beaten down right now I can’t even get mad. And #2, I have witnesses to my amazing restraint and niceness. Finally, the 3rd time was the charm and I got someone willing to help me. Well, sort of considering she was just honest and said there was not way my suit case would make it on time. She said there were no direct flights and the earliest it would arrive in LA was 6pm, that’s at the airport that has nothing to do with being delivered to our hotel. So…I had it stay in San Jose and hopefully it will get to Ronnie’s house by sometime tomorrow. Ronnie is such a great friend that she loaned me a dress of hers and J got a Wal-Mart special on a pair of pants, a shirt and tie. We both packed spare clothes in our carry-ons, but I don’t think sweats are what Becky had in mind. So here I am finally in the hotel room – after much drama this morning. I’m looking at the king size pillow top bed and thinking how I’d so love to sleep instead of leave this room.

Thankfully our suitcase was delivered to Ronnie’s Friday night at around 7:30pm, while we were at the reception. Thankfully I enjoyed myself at the wedding, despite my extreme exhaustion and lack of supplies. I don’t wear make-up all the time, but for a wedding, I was pretty bummed to be make-up-less. Especially with the exhaustion accenting the dark circles under my eyes. I was a catch that night, let me tell you. ;)

The next morning, we ran into more of a hassle at the hotel. The hotel was a very pricy one at over $200 a night. I was able to get a discount on the room, but it was still $170 plus taxes, of course. I didn’t find out until we arrived that there was a fee for parking. They only offered valet and it was $40 per night. This is the first time I’ve encountered a fee for parking at a hotel you’re already paying for. But…at the reception there was a stamp to validate your parking sticker and save $20. Of course, they told us the next morning it did not apply to overnight guests, only those there just for the wedding. Um…I was there just for the wedding!!! They did not care. I tried to explain I was never notified of a parking fee and they really need to do that. The room, although clean, was certainly not worthy of a rate of $200. It was very small and very old with a TV from the 1800’s. They were obviously not budging. This was so aggravating for me – I mean what is the $20 to them??? So I told the manager that I was leaving a very disgruntled and unhappy guest. I told him the room was not what I would consider nice, especially at the rates they were charging. I explained that they must tell their guests ahead of time about the parking fee (I would have looked to stay elsewhere) and that charging for parking on top of the room rate is insane. I told him the bride would be told about this and that I would never be staying with them again on any future trips to LA. He didn’t care – just more proof that customer service is severely lacking nowadays. This parking fee thing is like going to a retail store to shop, going to check out and being told there is a fee for parking. I told J he should pitch it to his boss – he could make some extra profit. ;)

True to form to the first half of our trip. What would the drive back to San Jose be without a little adventure? For those that don’t know, California is having a major drought right now and when we arrived, there was already one fire out of control. Well, the night we spent in LA, another broke out, right in the mountains that we had to drive through. So the highway we needed was shut down Saturday morning and we had to detour. Thankfully, Paul had already given us both the direct and scenic route. So Jerome got to see the Pacific Ocean for the first time and we still made good time heading up to Ronnie’s house. It definitely is beautiful out in California. We saw cow farms (remember good cheese comes from Happy Cows and Happy Cows come from California) and orchard after orchard.

Now that I’ve gotten all my venting done, I will leave you and will post all the positives shortly. I thank those of you that actually read this novel.

posted at 1:15 PM  

At 4:30 PM, Blogger ChupieandJ'smama said...

What, no pictures? Just kidding.
What a nightmare!! I'm so sorry you had to endure all that. Flying is definitely not what it should be. Hubs got into it with the Continental people on our flight from Disney because they seperated all of us. Kids included. They claimed that a large group had reservations and that's how the seating ended up. Too bad we made our reservations first. I guess money talks (it was some college sports team)... We did end up getting the kids. Mark got one and I got one, but we all weren't together.

I bet you're glad to be home :)

At 10:04 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

OH MY GOODNESS! I am so sorry that you went through all of that. Can I just say that I'm sure you were miserable and frustrated but you handled it like a pro and a real trooper!

I am the one that enjoys being bumped even when I have places to be and kids in tow. . you always get free airfare and money for food. I'm cheap like that :).

I can't believe they were going to charge you $90 for 7 lbs though.

At least they gave you your bag of peanuts for free, I heard some airlines are actually charging $.75 for those delicious little bags.

We're going on vacation in March and still can't decide to fly or drive, after reading this I'm voting on driving :)

At 11:18 AM, Blogger Typette said...

Holy Crap -- I felt every ounce of frustration, it seems, with you as I read... I don't know how I would've managed, especially being on my own with the flight and no one to vent to and share my annoyances with.

Alas, you are home... time to relax and prep for T-day lol.

At 9:50 AM, Blogger Blessed said...

Oh My...

And people wonder why I don't like to fly... :)

At 4:27 PM, Blogger Michelle said...

Oh my! I just got caught up on your trip; what an adventure that was! I don't like to fly anymore (ok I never liked to fly!) - it's just such a hassle. Sorry you had such a rough experience!


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