I made it to Toronto with no problem -- even with enough time to sit and have a drink at the airport bar. Unfortunately, the weather didn't read my itinerary and this ended up being my first delay. The flight wasn't all that rough once we were in the air but it was late enough to cause me to miss my connection in Frankfurt. The 'helpful staff' that was supposed to be waiting outside the gate to direct us to connections was not -- there or helpful (I guess that's redundant -- if you're not there, how can you be helpful?) I piled in line with everyone else who'd missed connections and was directed... hold it. It's obvious this is one of those posts where I list the painful details of everything that can and did go wrong on my travel day. Let me spare you the next six or eight paragraphs and cut to the chase.
- Four countries
- Two delayed flights
- One lightning strike on the plane
- One Air Traffic Control strike in Paris
- Two missed connections
- Five security checks (Two where I get my gear swabbed for bomb making residue -- not as fun as it might sound)
- Six unanswered calls to Brenna (poor woman - stuck in an airport with a stupid Serbian phone, waiting for hours on end with the kids)
- Lost luggage
- 32 hours door-to-door
It sounds worse than it was. I ended up making friends with a fellow traveler who was flying from Toronto to visit his cousin in France. He called ahead and had Coco, that's his cousin, looking for Brenna and the kids in the Marseille airport and he let me use his iPhone to call and email and facebook Brenna. When we finally landed in Marseille, almost 10 hours later than scheduled, and none of could find her, we decided we should go and have drinks and dinner until our luggage came in on the even later flight. I thought my family had probably given up, and was back home waiting for word. Coco had plenty of time to scope out Marseille and found a Lebanese restaurant while he was waiting for Imad, my new traveling friend.
My heart stopped! Oh No!! My phone was dead, so I plugged it in, and ran back to the computer. There was another email from him giving me the phone number of a guy he met on the plane, but the number was wrong, and I kept calling someone in Canada. The third time, he picked up the phone saying "I was going to say 'This is Bob', but that seemed too cruel." Nice guy, but I was too near panic to find the humor. I called a friend in LA, hoping that Bob might have tried to get in touch with him. He answered saying "I swear I put him on the plane." It was a joke. Wait... this could go on and on. I'll do it Bob's way:
- Spend 4 days in Barcelona with the kids, wishing Bob were there every minute of it.
- Get home on Thursday night a little later than hoped, but super-excited that we get our Man Soon!
- Check email, and realize that the Man has been waiting at the airport, with no way to get in touch with you, for hours, because you let your phone run out of charge and didn't bother to plug it in.
- Curse. Panic. Plug phone in.
- Call the number on the email several times in Skype, greatly amusing someone in Canada.
- Read several Facebook posts, all telling you that Bob is back in France. Good God! Everyone but ME in on the ball!
- Finally get in touch with Bob, after getting the correct number from your cell.
- Have 3 hurried conversations concerning a plan to rendezvous once the luggage has landed.
- On the 4th call, after he apologizes for being so late, and causing so much trouble, admit that actually, you forgot him, and were in Barcelona all day.
- Fall in love all over again with the man when he says in response "Oh My God. That is Awesome!!!", and cracks up laughing.
- Pick him up at 2:00am, at a closed and deserted train station in Avignon, thanking his new friends profusely.