Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Planes, Trains and Automobiles-Oh My!

I'm back. I went to visit my Sister in Philadelphia for a few days and then up to NY to visit my Mom who is out of the hospital and seems to be recovering well. It was a whirlwind of a trip...

For starters, I left Fort Rucker at 4:45 am on Saturday morning and drove 3 1/2 hours to Atlanta to catch an early flight. When I checked in, the kiosk informed me that there were no seats available on my flight. Of course there aren't! I love how they let the kiosk be the bearer of bad news. I suppose there is a method to this madness as the kiosk seems not to notice as I and several other passengers rant and rave. So, I head up to the gate after waiting in the security line for almost 45 minutes to see if I can get a seat on the flight that they overbooked. After some whining, I manage to get a seat- phew! 45 minutes later as I am finally getting settled into my seat, the captain announces that there is a problem with the engine (not exactly what you want to hear as you are about to take off) and that our flight has been cancelled. Of course it has! Swell! I head back out to the gate and wait in an incredibly long line and watch the US Airways employees become increasingly exasperated with the line of passengers they have to re-route to Philadelphia. It seems that there is only one other US Airways flight to Philadelphia that day and it is already booked. Of course it is! When it is my turn in line, I smile, try to be as pleasant as possible and explain my situation to the nice woman behind the counter. She manages to get me on a Delta flight leaving at 5:50 pm. Only 9 hours to burn in the Atlanta airport! I thank her and head to the Delta counter. Once at the Delta counter, I kindly explain my situation to the nice lady behind this counter and she is able to put me first on the standby list for an earlier flight leaving at 1:58 pm. I was able to get on this earlier flight, which I was grateful for but apparently it was a bad day in the airline industry and after another 45 minutes of sitting on the airplane, the captain announces that there is a problem with a part that impacts the engine RPM's-but they are attempting to fix it (again, not exactly what you want to hear!). Here we go again! After I don't know how long, the aircraft is supposedly fixed and we prepare for takeoff. I can't help but be a little nervous at this point. I finally make it to Philadelphia but my luggage does not. Come on, say it with me, of course it doesn't! I file my luggage claim and hope that the adventure is coming to an end but soon find that it is just begining. This is where the transportation tango begins, or shall I say continues. Let me remind you that at this point I have already driven 3 1/2 hours in my car, rode the train at the airport to my terminal, boarded a plane, de-boarded a plane, rode the train to another terminal, boarded another plane...

So, my sister Dayna and I have reservations for dinner at 7 pm with 2 of her friends and her boyfriend, none of whom I have met before. It is a little after 4 pm when we leave the airport to catch a train to catch a subway to catch a trolley to catch a bus to catch another bus to catch a taxi! Did I mention that I get carsick?! Oh, I almost forgot to mention that as we are standing in the subway station, my toes inches from the yellow zone, my sister tells me not to stand in the yellow zone because people have been known to get pushed into the subway track for standing in the yellow zone. Back away from the yellow zone! All in all, it took us 3 hours to get from the airport in Philadelphia to a restaurant in Philadelphia- not NY, not NJ- but maybe 6 blocks away in Philadelphia! And it only cost us, I mean, my sister, close to $50. The cab fare alone to take us a total of like 3 blocks cost $27! I could have driven the entire way and still made it in time for dinner! Ok, not really but close! This was all fascinating for a small town girl like myself.

At dinner, I look forward to relaxing with a nice glass of wine but before my first swallow, I excuse myself to use the bathroom and find that my period has started early. Of course it has! I find it rather important to mention here that I am wearing white pants, with thongs no less; and did I mention that I have no luggage! After finding that the restaurant does not have one of those sparkling silver boxes containing feminine products and/or other adult novelties I did what all woman in this situation do-improvise! When I get back to the table I consider drinking the entire bottle of wine but somehow managed to refrain from doing so. Oh, what a day! I wonder what tomorrow will bring. My luggage????

Here is my Mastercard Moral of the Story

Plane Ticket: $203
Parking: $44
Train fare: $7
Subway fare: $2.50
Bus fare: $1.25
Cab fare: $27
Surviving the Transportation Tango and the Yellow Subway Zone in Philadelphia: Priceless


Katie said...

What a nightmare. Just be glad you didn't have any kids with you! Hope the rest of the trip was better.


Oh Ms. Lisa....what a trip! We're so glad you survived! Mommy said that she's glad that your Mommy is better thought - and you got to spend some time with your sister...just forget about the planes, trains and automobiles! :-) Love, Abby
PS - Did you ever get your luggage back?

Amy said...

OMG! What a trip!!! Why is it that they always have those little boxes in restrooms when you are in there with a preschool age kid who wants to know what they are?!?

Dayna said...

Ok, so I'm just now reading this because I have homework to do and for some reason I find it ABSOLUTELY necessary to read EVERY post on your blog...For the record, the Airport is 14.3 miles (not 3 blocks) from Zesty's!!!,+19127&sll=37.0625,-95.677068&sspn=29.854268,59.238281&ie=UTF8&z=11&om=1, and I have to ask why you felt it necessary to use a pic from 2 years ago when I was still 6 months away from my Weight Watchers goal!!! Gee thanks. You look great, but I look chubby. I suppose with all sampling we did of Philadelphia's wonderful public transit options, we didn't leave much time for scenic picture-taking, did we? :-) Thx for making me lol. Love you.

Dayna said...

Fun Halloween Poll: Which Philadelphia transit option do YOU find most scary?

(a) Bus
(b) Trolley
(c) Regional Rail

Personally, I find them all a little scary, but each in their own unique/special way...