Sunday, August 17, 2008

The Dark Lining to the Silver Cloud?

So here it is--if my internet connection holds long enough to type this--the litany of woes of this vacation.
Day one--we leave for the airport a little late. Traffic, even though it is a Sunday, is ghastly. We arrive at the airport 40 minutes before flight time and it is a no-go. They will not check you in less than 45 minutes before flight time due to security regulations. The frustration of standing in the airport waiting for your flight to leave without you is extreme!
Well, it turns out that the next flight we can get on to any point in southern California is Monday at 5:45 PM. The ticket agent said that due to the Olympics (is LA the most direct route to China?) there were no seats to San Diego, Orange County, Los Angeles or other points south.
We swallow our disappointment manfully or womanfully in my case. Call the rest of the family who will be meeting us in San Diego and rearrange our plans a little. Unfortunately, losing the one day, means I will not get to see my aunt who lives in San Diego.
Next day we board the plane to San Diego with plenty of time to spare. The plane takes off and things are going smoothly when the pilot gets on the intercom to tell us that one of the hydraulics has lost fluid and we need to return to Chicago. He says it is not an emergency and our landing is routine but necessary. He does warn us that just in case our plane will be met by the emergency landing team in O'Hare. We land without problem accompanied by a large number of fire trucks and ambulances. Quite an escort! Our one bit of fun was that the passenger next to me was a naval fighter pilot and he regaled us with stories of his job. My youngest son was all in awe. I think my husband was too. Boys!
There was some delay in locating a second plane for us but finally we took off 5 hours late. This put our arrival in San Diego at 2 AM. We decide to stay in the closest hotel to the airport and climb in a cab. Now here comes mess #3 for the trip. I wake up the next day to discover that I do not have my purse. I must have left it in the airport or on the cab. Or someone stole it! So far no good Samaritan has appeared to return the purse and contents. I lost the usual stuff, money, ID, cell phone and the little camera I had bought to replace the little camera that was stolen last year. That camera must be cursed, like the Hope Diamond or something.
Fortunately no one has used the ID to charge items or empty my bank accounts so there is a small silver lining to the cloud.
I now feel sort of naked and a bit dependent on others for money. The hardest part will be seeing if I can get back on an airplane next week without a driver's license. According to the Illinois DMV, the best I can do is file a police report (done) and hopefully a copy of this will allow me to board a plane. If not, who knows?
The story still doesn't get better. Two days ago we get an e-mail from our house sitter. One of our two cats is missing! She is an indoor cat and we fear she got out one of the doors--we had a minor construction project in the house the day after we left, or worse the kitty is stuck in a closet somewhere and by now has died of thirst. I shudder even to think the latter. We still hold out hope that she is just hiding during the day and coming out only at night. She is a shy cat and that is possible although she knows our house sitter. My younger son is bereft but we still hold out hope the cat will turn up.
Could things get any worse? The superstitious do not want us to ask. So far we are all well and having a good time in spite of everything. This morning we woke up to discover that the key to our rental car (one of those electronic ones) no longer works. It must have a dead battery. At present we are waiting to discover what the solution is to this conundrum--will there be a new battery at the local hardware store (maybe open on a Sunday)? Will Thrifty drive to Three Rivers to deliver us a new key? I'll keep you posted.
It is still hard to post, especially pictures which have long upload times due to the instability of my internet. I have great pictures of the sights here in Sequoia, but those, and this post, will have to wait until the next time I am connected to the Net.


Kathe said...

Geez oh petes! You always have interesting travel stories.

I still say purses are highly overrated.

A Free Man said...

GOD! What a litany of horrors. The thing that I keyed in on was your air travel travails. Everyone, I mean everyone, seems to have trouble with flights in the States. Rather than taking it for granted, I think we should force the airlines to get their act together. As someone who travels a lot, both internationally and within the U.S., I can attest that it is an American problem and one that could be sorted out if the FAA was encouraged to DO THEIR JOB.

Hope the rest of your trip is reasonable painless.

Rayne said...

oh, wow! This has not been a good time for you at all, has it?
I hope things get better and some good Samaritin turns your purse in.
I sincerely hope nothing else goes badly for you. You have definitely had your share.

angela said...

What a nightmare! By the time you come home you'll really be needing a holiday...hope things improve for you.

I won't be posting regularly on my south of france blog as writing anything at all is beyond me just now so am going to add your link to my photo blogs. That way I can easily find your blog..