Thursday, July 24, 2014

Bad things happen in rules of three? {or more, maybe?} AKA our Intro to BlogHer '14

Oh my goodness, guys.

The past day or two have been a crazy comedy of errors and start to BlogHer '14.  Thankfully, I'm now officially in San Jose and cannot wait for the conference to start, but the getting here of it was a bit rocky.

It started as planned when I drove up to Chicago on Tuesday night.  Instead of flying out of Indianapolis {which would have been more expensive and required several connections}, I chose a less expensive flight from Chicago that was non-stop to San Jose.  I stayed the night with my parents and planned to fly out early Wednesday morning.

Well, the day immediately began with a bump as I slept through three alarms.  Three.  How do I even do that?  Anyway, my mom had to wake me up {I left the house feeling slightly like a teenager again, lol.} and I very quickly threw on yesterday's clothes, grabbed a banana, and ran out the door.

I was running just a twidge late at that point, but still was on course to make it to the airport with 1 hour and 30 minutes in advance instead of the normal 2 hours it's recommended to plan for when flying.  I parked my car, entered the Midway airport, and promptly realized that American Airlines doesn't fly through Midway.

Um, crap.

I don't know how I did that guys.  I was so nervous about flying for the first time in 7 years that I focused so much on the time of the flight that I completely missed the place of the flight.  I hopped the shuttle back to my car, popped the O'Hare airport address into my GPS, and off I went again.

By that time it was roughly 8:00 a.m., and my flight was scheduled to leave O'Hare at 8:30.  Unfortunately, I missed my flight sitting in rush hour traffic unable to even GET to the airport before it departed.

{Thank you to my very loving, wonderful husband, my still-half sleeping mom, and my friend and '14 roomie Drea for all the kind and reassuring words in the car on the way to O'Hare, I love you all.}

When I finally got to O'Hare, I parked my car and shuttled into the airport with my luggage.  I checked with a ticketing agent {the time was now probably 9:00a} who informed me that there were two other flights to San Jose that day, at 10:45a and 7p - but that both were overbooked with standby waiting lists.  She also told me their flights for the next day to San Jose were also already overbooked.  All the other flights they had that day with connections were also overbooked.

Basically, I had the option of trying to fly standby on the 10:45 flight at the tail end of a list of 20 standby passengers in front of me, or I could buy a new ticket for another airplane.

Since by that point it had turned into 9:30, I thought I'd take my chance on waiting for the 10:45a flight while researching other airlines.

As I sat and waited {in between intermittently crying to the gate agent and utterly freaking out}, I contacted Delta and purchased a second {thankfully refundable} one-way ticket where I would leave Chicago at 3p, fly into Minneapolis, and then finally make it into San Jose at 9p.  I felt a little better to have another option {albeit an option that was going to cost me $360 more in addition to the $480 I'd already spent on my first ticket}, but that still stung quite a bit.  And, the person who never flies was going to have to take two flights due to the connection as opposed to just the one that I mentally thought I could handle.

Thankfully, and by that I mean I was thanking ALL THE THINGS, I made it onto the 10:45 standby flight.  I don't know how, but I did.  DH promptly cancelled the Delta flight for me and off I went, straight to San Jose with no layovers or connections.

Thank all that is thankable.
Since Drea was initially supposed to arrive after me, but now ended up there an hour and a half before me, she had to hang back in the secured passenger area of the airport to be able to eat while she waited and missed picking up her bag.  Once I finally did arrive, we had to take a bus to the other terminal at the airport and attempt to find where her bag had been transported - which included a long line of people who were very upset about their bags being diverted to another airport.

Bag waiting.
Fortunately, it was a relatively quick and painless task to find her bag.  Once we grabbed it and went outside, however - it was a different story.  We had ordered an Uber cab to pick us up since we had a free $30 voucher each for Drea signing up, but once the Uber driver arrived 3 mins later {literally the second he pulled into the airport}, he was given a ticket for not having some sort of sticker.

Poor guy mentioned he'd been a driver for over four years and this is the first ticket he's ever gotten.  Although, from what the officer described, it was really a ticket {for $250,  yikes} that Uber needed to pay since they weren't requiring their drivers to have said sticker to pick folks up at the airport.  The driver continued to be very sweet, though, and dropped us off a few minutes later at our hotel.

Oh, the hotel.

The Hilton San Jose was very nice at first glance and we had no wait or issue checking into our room, but once we headed upstairs to look at our room, it was a little different experience.

View from our first room!

As soon as we walked into the room, Drea & I both noticed a rather funky smell.  We thought maybe the room just needed airing out, opened a window, unpacked all of our things, and left to go to Walgreens to buy some water and other necessities.  When we returned, we expected for the smell to be cleared out and we could go about our way.

It had not.

A few minutes later, we noticed a very wet spot on the floor next to the air conditioner.  After a quick call downstairs, a maintenance worker was up within minutes and diagnosed the problem as being the air conditioner.  He proceeded to start to shop vac the area while we waited for a new room.

Re-packing while listening to the lovely tune of the Shop Vac
Finally, we were able to get into our new room and get settled in.

Which meant wine and chocolate.
And lots of snuggles and smiles!
We haven't had any other snafus since that time, but here's to hoping that was all the crazy we needed from BlogHer '14 and that the rest of the trip will be easily enjoyable!

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1 comment:

  1. So maybe your nerves for the flight home were warranted after this debacle! Wowzers, girl!


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