Vacationing in a Flood Zone - Part Deux
Happy Sunday, all and sundry.
I made it home from GA earlier today. Way earlier than my original flight, too. I tried to stay awake since I knew taking a nap would make the whole sleeping tonight process much more worthless, but I just couldn't. I completely unpacked(!!!) and then just needed to sleep. I set the nap alarm, but my body would NOT get out of bed (and I don't blame it all). It was a very exhausting Wednesday-Sunday kind of weekend.
Due to the flooding in Atlanta, we didn't do the tourist-y things we had planned (MLK museum & some civil war site - I was bummed about missing MLK, not so bummed about missing Civil War stuff) and it didn't matter anyway. I'm one of those anal travelers. Airlines tell me to get to the airport two hours early and I get there two hours early (the time I don't will be the time I miss my flight), so I was sitting at my gate waiting for my 10:30 am flight on Wednesday when a NorthWorst/Delta employee comes over and tells the few of us sitting there to go and get on that plane over there (if we were 10:30 flight ATL passengers). He said something about a mechanical problem, but I was really not sure what was happening. Turns out that the plane for my 10:30 was the plane with the mechanical problem and that flight out and out canceled. He had said our luggage probably wouldn't make it, but I decided what matter was that I get to GA. I land in ATL right around the time as HRH and we get the rental and head out to get some food as my luggage wasn't going to arrive until 3:00, which would have put paid to our tourist schedule if we hadn't already decided not to play tourist.
We head for our hotel in Lawrenceville and on the commute I said something about making dinner to meet college friends of mine. And she says, "Didn't you get a hold of her yesterday to cancel?" "No, I tried to get a hold of her to see how things were, but I never did and I didn't know I was supposed to cancel?" Turns out that when HRH had suggested just heading straight to the hotel and getting settled, she had just meant canceling the MLK & Civil War stuff, she met canceling dinner with my friends. I called my friends and there was no flooding there and even though there was flooding in L'ville (or so we were told), we never saw a bit of it. We checked in and ran and made it to my friends' house before the "man of the house" even got home from work.
We had a lovely evening with my friends, HRH and Man of the House and his mother (who was visiting to babysit the 3 daughters this weekend so my friends could go to Florida to hang with friends) got along famously bitching about health care. I heard the words "health is a privilege, not a right" spoken. I had already abandoned the table to help clear up, because I was not getting sucked into the conservative discussion. I knew the opposition and was not prepared to engage and heat up an evening with friends I don't get to see very often. Of course, just to set the stage - I was sitting in a 9000 ft house with secret doors and granite countertops the size of my bed.
Thursday we went to the track (Road Atlanta) and met up with one of our old racing buddies, DH1 whom we hadn't seen since Cleveland 2007. Even though the forecast had been rain and thunderstorms and cloudy, it cleared up and got damn close to 90F. And even though I put on my sunscreen (SPF 55) as soon as I sat down and again later, I got sunburned in interesting locations. *sigh* It was bad enough that on Friday I wore a regular t-shirt instead of my tank top. DH1 and I walked the entire track on Friday - saw the spot where Scott Sharp had a massive shunt on Thursday and put the entire schedule behind as they had to repair about 900 ft of catch fencing which had done its job of catching the car and throwing it back on the track instead of it ending up in the spectators.
We were all exhausted by the hot sunny day and didn't stay on Thursday for the combined night practice (we figured we'd see them race in the dark on Saturday). Oh, were we wrong. The weather prediction for Saturday was for rain all day to which HRH was looking forward, but I was not yet. It never fails that when she wishes for rain, we get a friggin' deluge and they "race" in the yellow which means running behind a pace car which means no passing - essentially a parade of race cars in the rain. This time, however, we got red-flagged which means they stopped the damned race, because of thunder and lightning. I had made a new friend, Liam (19 year old Brit whose father works for Panoz), at the race track (as I usually do) and was sitting with him down at the fence just before they disappear under the tunnel to go into the last turn of the racetrack. As much as HRH says she loves racing in the rain, she really hates the outdoor elements and she was watching in the van (rental, of course) and DH1 was watching from his truck. Anyway, Liam and I were being diehards and sitting the rain (in our rain ponchos and under Liam's umbrellas until the thunder and lightning came, and they red-flagged the race. We sat in the van drying to get dry and watching the rain run down the straightaway and carry red Georgia clay with it across turn 10a. We stayed for a few hours, but when they announced that the rain was supposed to let up in about an hour and half and that they would then start to prepare to re-start the race and this was 6:00 p.m., we figured if they ever did go racing it would be at 8:00 p.m. at the earliest and it would be an hour and half race at the longest. We decided it wasn't worth it and maneuvered our way around the freaking Honda minivan that was blocking us in. Liam called his parents to come and pick him up (at one point, he said, "I'm sitting in a car. pause with my buddies.") and we said we'd wait until his father got there so that he wasn't sitting in the rain with all of his stuff, and then we made straight for ATL as HRH had a 6:30 a.m. flight out to Toronto this morning. Our incredibly icky hotel room was directly under the flight path and I don't mean a few miles away, I mean planes flying about 50 ft overhead as they prepared to land. Good times.
I was up at 3:15 today to get HRH to the airport on time, and to deal with NorthWorst/Delta (whom I am never ever flying again - if Southwest doesn't fly to a destination, I don't need to go to that destination - that's my new rule) who had sent me an e-mail on Thursday telling me that my 2:30 p.m. flight was canceled and that they had moved me to a 10:30 a.m. flight - which in actuality was better for me, but I was still annoyed because if HRH didn't bring her laptop everywhere she goes, I wouldn't have been able to check my e-mail and find out about the change and in theory could have shown up at ATL at 12:30 for my canceled 2:30 flight). Anyway, I go to check in and it says I can't, so I find a real live person and she tells me that I'm on the 2:30 flight, I explain that I got an e-mail saying it was canceled, she checks again, etc. In the end, I gave the nice lady (she really was pleasant, but her charming personality doesn't make up for NorthWorst's shitty policies) my Southwest credit card to pay an extra $50 so I could get the bloody hell out of the Atlanta airport earlier than 2:30 p.m. (it was at that point 4:50 a.m.) I shall be calling Northwest, sending them a copy of the e-mail which said my flight was canceled and getting my $50 back. Fuckers. At this rate, I can pay an extra $100 for a Southwest flight and still be ahead when you take into account the ridiculous $15 baggage fee and the aggravation of dealing with the world's shittiest airline - Northwest/Delta.
And now it's time for me to get ready to go for dinner. A friend is moving to Atlanta and he leaves tomorrow. I shall miss him but wish him much luck.
I hope you all had a less eventful weekend - or at least less stressful, i.e., didn't have to deal with air travel! ;-)