Post 499: MIA?, Portland Trip, and non-revving nightmare

Thank you to all those who checked up on me to see if I was okay. “A week without blogging? Are you seriously ill?”, several people asked. No..I’m not ill – just in need of a break from the rigors of creativity and daily blogging.

The Portland trip was exciting and exhausting. Rosie and I flew in Friday night and stayed in Tualatin with the Grahams, a family that my family has known for decades. Saturday was fun, start to finish. I had breakfast with Coral, a middle school friend, at Rose’s in West Linn. We had the cinnamon roll french toast (to DIE for) and got caught up on all we’ve missed in the last 12 years. Next, we drove back to Tualatin by way of the Wanker’s Corner general store (where we got drinks and snacks.) Our original purpose for going to Portland was to attend a wedding reception for Rosie’s cousin…but we didn’t realize we’d put the wrong date down until after we got their gift. We met Carisa, an elementary school friend, for drinks at Starbucks. She’s getting married this year, and it was fun to hear all about her fiance.

For lunch, we went to Newport Bay Restaurant with my aunt Laurie and cousin Christi. We hadn’t seen each other in 7 years at Grandpa Gene’s funeral, so it was lovely to have some family time with relatives I rarely get to see. We did a little shopping around Washington Square Mall, then I followed Laurie over to Auntie Dona and Uncle Bob’s house. Their daughter Margi found out I was over and she immediately joined us. We caught up and reminisced for the afternoon. Aterwards, I dropped by my cousin Jillian’s apartment. Her husband just graduated medical school, and they’re off to Colorado at the end of the month for Ben’s pathology residency. They gave us a McCormick and Schmick’s gift card, so we had a free super-fresh seafood dinner there after pics at the Portland Temple. We arrived back at the Grahams’ around 9, visited until my eyelids could no longer stay open, and set my alarm for 3:40 am.

We woke up, packed our bags, and went out to our rental car. Once inside, we realized that things were missing…my Blackberry and Ipod chargers, some papers and food items. It didn’t look like the car had been broken into, so I’m guessing the rental car’s alarm clicker wasn’t working. Luckily the chargers can be replaced. We drove to the airport, grabbed some breakfast, dropped off the car, and waited through a horrid security line at PDX. I complained over the 40 minute wait…but little did I know the non-revving disaster I was about to encounter.

We tried for the 6:00 am ATL flight – we were part of the 9 that didn’t make it on. Then we tried for the SLC flight – denied again. Tried for a MSP NWA flight – nope. Tried for another ATL and SLC flight – was told our best option was to get an ID-90 pass from Horizon, fly to Seattle, and get a SEA-ATL non-stop flight. We waited till we didn’t get on another MSP flight, went out of security, purchased the passes, walked across the airport again to Horizon’s gates, where the gate agent said our luck was pretty bleak to get on a SEA flight standby. So we went back across the airport to try for the last SLC flight – denied again. Finally, we made it on a MSP flight at the last second, and we had to check our bags. Once we were in Minneapolis, we were too late to make it on any outgoing flights. Taylor Priceline’d an “airport hotel” that didn’t have a shuttle and was nowhere near the airport. We paid so much in cab fare that we could have gotten a really nice hotel. We got about 5 hours sleep before the 3:30 am alarm woke us up, the cab took us back to the airport, and we were crossing our fingers for the 5:15 am ATL flight. We were top of the list, made it on, and were able to sit together. We touched down in ATL just before 9:00 am – which meant I was late for work.

It was a bittersweet trip: wonderful visits and horrible trip home. Was it worth it? I say yes cautiously : this experience has put the fear of the flight Gods back into me. I don’t think I’m going to tempt fate like this again when flight loads aren’t wide open. The next time I fly will be on a confirmed positive space ticket.

  • Rachel

    I was wondering what happened to ya! Glad you’re back! That’s a bummer of a non rev trip, but I’m sure it was worth it to catch up with family!

  • Lori

    You and your non-rev flights! It’s a cheap way to go but with all the hassle….YUCK is all I can say.

  • Laree

    I’ve been wondering where you were too!

    I so understand the joys (not!) of non-rev. Living in Dallas (a major hub), we usally are ok BUT, we’re right now considering moving across country to a minor hub, and it would always be 2 flights to visit family. Ugg. Usually I don’t even try for a flight that has less than 10 flights open. And that would mean we would have to coordinate 2 flights.

    Decisions, decisions, decisions!

    glad you made it back eventually!

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