Monday, December 22, 2008

I'm Not Dead & I STILL Have My Wisdom Teeth!

Although I think at times I might have wanted to be. Ok.. Ok.. a bit dramatic, but once you hear my story, I think it will all be much clearer.

Just as most of the world is doing their final Christmas shopping and trying to locate the perfect gift for friends and family, I am always packing for Vegas. My company has a meeting in Vegas every December somewhere during that second week to go over sales figures, introduce new products and ideas, and eat lots of food and drink lots of wine while sleeping very little. I partake in the meeting part and usually have a few presentations during on new concepts or updated school nutrition policies throughout the country, while trying to leave the gambling and staying up all night to the other folks. I don't do well on no sleep and meetings (trust me, I've tried and ended up falling asleep at a table with everyone starring at me as my head bobs).

The flight out on Sunday December 14th (I will give dates because this will be an integral part of the story as it unfolds), was generally uneventful. I arrived at 8:00pm and the meetings started on Monday and went through Wednesday. On Monday night we saw Jersey boys which was a delightful musical experience and I think I might be singing "SHERRYY.. SHERRY BABY" for the next six months. You should definitely go and see it if you get the chance. Meetings went well and I was even treated to a complimentary massage on the company as my Christmas gift.. how sweet!

On Wednesday the meeting was over at 1:00pm and I was scheduled to leave at 4:27pm. Everything to the airport could not have gone more smoothly - EXCEPT for the 4 inches of snow that accumulated in just over two hours between 3pm-5pm. It looked like a good old Pennsylvania white out. I knew it was bad as people around me at the gate started lining up at the ticket counter, their faces starting to turn sour. Quickly the airport became the worst chaos I have ever encountered. They cancelled just about every flight out that evening and by the time I called the 1-800 number they had provided to reschedule, almost every flight for Thursday and Friday was gone. I was able to get the 7:30am flight to Boston out of Vegas on Friday December 19th. After two hours, I got my luggage and headed back to the hotel. Who knew snow in Vegas could cause such a ruckus. I guess they don't have the equipment to deal. The bad news is I was supposed to get my wisdom teeth removed on Thursday. I really wanted to do it since I'm not training very heavy right now, but to no avail... I still have all four!!

The Luxor with a bit of snow!

After a relaxing day on Thursday, I left the hotel at 4:30am Friday morning. I had switched my flight to go through Phoenix at 6:40am at the last minute and that would get me home about 2 hours earlier. All would have been fine, had there not been ice on the plane. Unfortunately, the only de-icer in the place had broken yesterday (probably from non-use over the last 3 years!) and there was no way to de-ice except to wait for the SUN to come up... very technical if you ask me! However, this meant I would miss my connection in Phoenix to Pittsburgh. At the last minute, I hopped on a flight to Boston thinking I had done myself a favor by getting out of dodge.

When I arrived in Boston after circling the airport for almost half an hour, it was very obvious things were not good. It looked like the Arctic circle outside. Our windows immediately iced over and I received multiple texts from my friends..all flight out of Boston to Pitt had been cancelled for the evening. I was beyond bummed. After a few hours of trying to get rescheduled (MORE LINES) I finally got a hotel room and bunked for the night.

Boston on December 19th after about 6-8 inches

On Saturday December 20th I did some shopping with some friends of a friend, and had a really nice time! That was the plus of the day! Finally, I arrived back at the airport for a 7:30 flight out to Pitt. At 5:30 the plane had already been delayed to 9:45pm. At 7:30pm the monitor showed it leaving at 10:45pm. I was beginning to doubt I would ever get home. It had something to do with our plane not flying in from Virginia. I started praying about Virgina & the weather immediately!! After 6 or so hours in the airport things get a little tense. I had called everyone I knew on the phone and had just about had it! Finally, at 11:00 we boarded the plane to head home and I was convinced it may have been a miracle. We arrived at 1:30am only to find I had to wait in a line of about 50 people to get my luggage that had actually BEATIN me home!! By 3am I was back in the car and low and behold, and ice storm arrived. After an attempt to drive past our old house (that has yet to sell) in Cranberry, I made the decision to turn around and go sleep there for the night. On Sunday morning, December 21st, I drove home.

Trip Statistics:

Meals missed: 4-5

Hours of sleep missed: 5-8

Number of times I cried: 4 (probably partly related to the meals missed & sleep missed)

Days without luggage of any kind: 2

Number of times I have ever used that plastic comb they give you at the hotel: 1

Gratefulness for that plastic comb, deodorant, toothbrush & toothpaste: infinite

Date I tried to leave: December 17th

Date I actually arrived home: December 21st

Days in transit: 4

Number of days until I want to fly again: NEVER, oh wait, I'm going to San Diego on January 4th- Let us pray!!

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