With Rob gone, I planned on going to Illlinois to visit my mom for Christmas. I didn't decide this until after Thanksgiving, so I was really screwed when it came to flight options and prices. I ended up booking a flight into Peoria, which is a little over two hours from where my mom lives in DeKalb. We thought it was worth the extra distance, however, to avoid the craziness that is O'Hare or Midway at any time of year, let alone at Christmas!
I left on Friday the 21st, and made it to my stopover in Atlanta with no problem. That's when the chaos began. It was incredibly foggy that day all over Illinois, so my flight to Peoria kept getting delayed. Eventually they announced that it was canceled...and that there wasn't another flight to Peoria until 9:00 the NEXT NIGHT. Well, that wasn't going to work for me, so I asked if they could get me into Chicago instead. Luckily they were able to put me on flight to O'Hare at 10:00 the next morning.
In the meantime, my poor mom had driven almost three hours to Peoria in this dense fog just to find out that I wouldn't be flying there after all! So she turned around and spent another three hours of tense driving to get back home.
Since the cancelation was weather-related, the airline wouldn't pay for a hotel for me in Atlanta. They also wouldn't retrieve my luggage for me, so I was stuck without a single thing I needed. I didn't bring a single thing in a carryon because I didn't dream that I would end up stranded halfway to my destination. Apparently the stress of the day had a rather bizarre effect on me...I broke out in the worst hives and rash that you've ever seen! I had huge welts on my face and upper body, plus a nasty red rash all over the rest of my body. And it itched like crazy!
My whole body looked like this! And this was taken after I soaked in a bath and put lots of cream on it; it looked much worse a couple hours earlier!
The airline at least made a reservation for me at a nearby hotel, so after I got checked in I took a cab to the nearest drugstore to stock up on everything I needed for the night...contact solution, makeup, a flat-iron (vain, I know...but you gotta do what you gotta do...), etc. And of course lots of stuff to try to get rid of this rash!
Luckily the rash was MOSTLY gone by the next day. I got to the airport at 7:30AM, but of course the flight to Chicago was delayed...more fog! We finally left in the early afternoon (and I was upgraded to first class, which definitely made it more bearable!) I got to Chicago, but that wasn't the end of my problems...
In Atlanta, I had been ASSURED by Delta that my luggage would be transferred to the flight to Chicago. Yeah, right. I knew that wouldn't happen, and it didn't! Neither of my bags made it to Chicago. So on Sunday, when it was incredibly windy, snowing, and cold (wind chill of 10 below zero), I didn't even have a coat or hat or scarf because they were all in my checked luggage! I really didn't think I would see my luggage until I returned to Virginia, but luckily it did show up Monday night...right in time for me to take it back with me when I left the next morning!
Despite all the hassles, we still had a good visit. Since I had no luggage for most of the weekend, I was FORCED to go shopping and buy lots of new clothes! We ate out way too much, drank a lot of wine, and shopped 'til we dropped!
I came home on Tuesday (Christmas Day). Luckily there were no flight delays that day and everything went smoothly! And now the true countdown begins...Rob will be home in less than a month!