Wendy1 (Inman) and Dar drop us off at the airport in Norfolk. Something happened in the Newport News airport because they had diverted all the air traffic to Norfolk.
Needless to say, the flights all filled up, and Mondays flights out looked worse. We hopped the last flight out of Norfolk, which happened to be going to JFK (New York.)We were happy to get the flight. Like dummies.
Anyone who has had the pleasure can testify to the fact that JFK is a PIT.
We get there, and put ourselves on stand-by for flight after flight. They kept filling up at the last minute, so we resign ourselves to the fact that we are going to have to buy a ticket on another airline to get ourselves out of New York.
We ask the very helpful and friendly <-----heavy sarcasm there) staff at the airport where the courtesy phones are so we can check on tickets.
They told us we needed to go out into a completely different terminal where ticketing was located. So we drag our dumb bags five country miles and across a busy intersection. (Like Frogger!)
We get to the parking garage looking building that is Ticketing.
It was nasty.
Cold cement walls and dim yellow lights and some smell I couldn't put my finger on, but I imagine that this is what it smells like in the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Sewer Headquarters. Sort-of a stale sweat mixed with the anxious aroma of "sometime soon someone is going to sneak up on me and crank me in the head with a metal pipe."
We find a flight out of there to Vegas on another airline, so we get listed and ask the ticket agent where the other terminal is. It was inside the building that we were just in. So we head towards that building, and get stopped by security. We can't get into the other building without a boarding pass. We can't get a boarding pass because they don't give you those on stand-by. We hand them our stack of boarding passes to all the flights we had missed. They don't count anymore, because those flights have already left the airport.
So now, we can't even GET BACK INSIDE the airport.
Panic starts to rise like hot bile in my throat.
We try to get on stand-by to anywhere. Alaska, Paris, anything. Just to get back into the safety of the airport. Nothing.
The next flight we could try for was at 6 the next morning, and they could not issue us a boarding pass until four hours prior to the flight.
We were stranded. The least expensive hotel was $180.00 a night. That is a lot of Bazzill! We did not want to pay that for four hours. We were resigned to the fact that we were going to be spending the night at the airport, getting a boarding pass at 2am, and waiting it out until the flights started running again.
But remember, we are still in the scary parking garage!
Finally, we got a nice man to actually listen to us. I think it may have had something to do with the fact that I started crying. Not hysterical sobs, but those hot tears that you try to hold back, and you blink a lot to try to keep them at bay....yeah, those.
So he asked the obvious, if we were from somewhere else...yeah. And then I think he felt somewhat embarrassed by how rude everyone had been and our hopeless plight, and explained to us that not all of New York was this brutal, and continued to personally walk us over to the international terminal of the airport. He was nice. I was ready...so ready to buy an I DO NOT heart NY tee-shirt. That city wants to chew you up and spit you out.
The international wing was hopping. It is always hopping. There were people in sarongs and Orthodox Jews, and turban wrapped heads....and when we saw open food courts, we saw hope.
There were people sleeping all over the airport. This one guy unzipped his backpack and rolled out a freaking mummy sleeping bag, a pillow (not a bag of Craisins), noise reducing headphones and those eye-mask thingies. I was waiting for him to pull a Coleman lantern out of his Mary Poppins bag. He must do this a lot.
We ate, and felt better. And played some games, and finally, decided to sleep in shifts.
We curled up on a nice arctic-cold cement bench and Wendy gave it a go. She tossed and turned and finally used the bag of Craisins as a pillow. She slept a relaxing 17 minutes. Everyone in New York is so farking LOUD!
I think I slept a total of two hours. In 17 minute increments.
We cleaned up in the bathroom, and brushed our teeth.
Then we walked back to the ticketing garage. No one was working yet. We sat around, and finally got boarding passes to Salt Lake City at 7 am.
We finally had a golden ticket to get back inside the airport!
The Salt Lake flight filled.
The Atlanta flight filled.
The LAX flight filled.
For the love of all that is holy.....please, we need to GET OUT OF HERE.....
Our husbands were in more panic than us. Could be the fact that they have all 12 children.
They are clicking and conference calling and re-routing and finding anything to get us home.
There was a Vegas flight, and it looked hopeful, so they listed us, and as a back-up we were listed in the Orlando flight. Plus, they upgraded our stand-by status to a higher priority.
We made Vegas. It was only when the plane lifted up off of the ground that I unclenched my cheeks.
Not only did we make it, but got first class. So grateful. I can't even tell you how grateful. I would have sat on the toilet at this point, and helped wipe butts to get home. First class was awesome. Especially since it was a long flight. We mostly slept. And ate a good breakfast. Mmmmmmm...
We arrived in Vegas, and were on stand-by for the next four flights back to Salt Lake City. Plus, Sam was gassed up and ready to drive the four hours to pick us up.
We knew we were going home.
We made the 12:05 flight out of there.
We got into Salt Lake at 2:38.
Who else can say that this weekend they were in:
I came home, hugged the kids, gave them cheesy souvenirs, ate something, took a bath, and went to bed at 8pm. Slept like the dead 'til 8am, and I am planning on taking a nap today too. Maybe on a Craisin pillow, for old times' sake.
Trip details when I am coherent.