DAVE: We had a run of bad luck during the last days
before departure. My last assignment was at the New Jersey shore and
would end on Wednesday. I would fly home from Newark, be home around
11pm with a leisurely day Thursday to pack and a Friday departure at
10am (after a leisurely family breakfast). Hah!
When I booted my laptop in the hotel Sunday night, it would not run.
The hard drive had been failing now and then and picked this day to
crash. We needed the laptop for our Europe trip, to download the
digital camera, to upload pictures to the web for Lyn to see, and to
run the street mapping software. We all hit overdrive, working
channels at work (for a replacement) and at home (to rent a one-month
replacement). It took until Wednesday for the work machine to arrive
(returning the "rental" on Thursday), with our Friday
morning flight. Jesse had to learn the machine and then reinstall all
our software in just one day. Also, we needed a new power adapter for
our airplane cord. Of course, we would need PC power for the two ten
hour flights over the ocean and also to run off the cigarette adapter
in the car. Lyn had extra tips shipped overnight for the three
possible PC's that we might use.
In the nick of time, work provided me a new Toshiba, which matched
the new power tips and Jesse did the software install all day
Thursday. after his finals ended on Wednesday. But we were still not
comfortable with the new keyboard layout as we left for Brussels
Friday morning. Sheesh!
Then on Wednesday night, extremely bad luck struck. My flight from
New Jersey into Atlanta went fine, but then the outbound plane home
was delayed, then delayed, then delayed, then finally cancelled. It
was the last flight home (since the schedule contractions following
Sept 11th), so my two choices were to spend the night in Atlanta
(arrive home 9am Thur) or take a flight into Sarasota, arriving 1am,
and rent a car to drive home from there. So I flew into Sarasota,
arrived late, and rented a car for the two plus hour drive home. Of
course, my luggage did not join me, but would be delivered first
thing the next morning (sure). I finally arrived home after 3am,
exhausted, and this ruined our plans for a relaxed Thursday. The only
good thing was that the rental car would let Jesse and I drive
ourselves to the airport Friday, which would allow Lyn to see us off
at the driveway.
We ran errands Thursday, but my luggage didn't arrive! Of course, the
digital camera, the GPS, my travel packs for medicines and
miscellaneous (and the actual suitcase itself) were all needed for
the trip. The luggage arrived at the airport later than expected,
then sat before being put on a delivery shuttle. Finally, the shuttle
had a breakdown during its run, and had to wait for a
replacement (during rush hour, of course). We called to check every
couple hours, then the bag arrived promptly just after 6pm! We were
too tired to pack, but had gone to the bank and chiropractor and had
staged all the clothes and things. We went to bed at 1am, and set the
alarm for 7am to pack and leave home at 10am for the 11:40am flight.
So much for relaxing.
were up at 7:30, showered and dressed and started to pack. Then a
weird thing happened. At 9am we were finished and suddenly had an
hour to kill ("wanna go out for breakfast?"). We sat and
talked, then left right on time at 10 am, stopped to buy more
batteries (still not enough), then dropped off the rental car, and
checked our luggage. The lines at the airport were crazy, except
there was nobody in the Delta "medallion" line. Jesse
started to understand the benefit of the elite frequent flyer status