Monday, August 22, 2011

hello again....

Well, we FINALLY arrived home Saturday evening after a long delay of 24 hours. So I thought I would tell you about the last part of our vacation first today, as it was indeed a very big part of our FABULOUS vacation!  When our wonderful vacation was winding up, we were ready to go home.  I think that is how it is with most people that have been gone for awhile from their normal routine.  We arrived at the airport a few hours early as suggested and checked in.  Once that is done, I am ready to relax.  Our boarding was delayed for an hour and then they called us to the gate.  We all eagerly went to our seats and awaited departure.  All the usual announcements came on and we were on the runway.  At this point, I might have dozed off for a bit and when I woke up, we were still sitting on the runway.  Another announcement came on that we were going back to the gate for 30 minutes or so, as we had a navigation problem and they were bringing the engineers on board.  I had a great view as my seat was right near the emergency exit that they had brought the stairs out to, so the techicians could get on the plane.  The flight attendants were fabulous, we were all comfy in our seats, we were served drinks and snacks, the kids were having fun playing up and down the aisles.  Well 30 minutes turned into nearly FOUR HOURS of sitting on the plane.  By that time, the natives were getting restless and hungry, and the flight attendants were looking a bit weary too.
Another announcement finally came from the pilot (he had been very good about updating us).  The navigation problem was fixed (finally!!) but now we had another problem - and that was the flight staff was over their alloted hours to fly, so they were canceling our flight for the night!  A major sigh could be heard through out the plane, but I have to say that everyone was still in great spirits and within minutes, they had buses to drive us back to the airport and we had to de-plane from the outside stairs.  Once inside we had to collect our luggage and they would let us know where they would be taking us.  It would take about 45 minutes for our luggage to come out, which was fine with me.  Believe me, when you have about 350 people and have to deal with a spur of the moment delay, patience is necessary.  45 minutes turned into 2 1/2 hours and that needed patience was wearing on alot of people.  I was standing back and just watching everyone and listening to all the info the various attendants were giving us.  I started feeling really sorry for them too, as they needed to leave to get a certain amount hours of rest before our flight could be rescheduled.  We had alot of people with small children, several elderly people, a few diabetic people that had left their medication in their luggage - that really needed to get to a hotel and eat something and rest.  Finally after our luggage arrived, the airlines provided buses for us to be taken to nearby hotels.  When that announcement came my guy and I high tailed it to the bus as I was STARVING and TIRED at that point and just wanted to get there.  We made it a few minutes after the second bus, as our bus driver went the wrong direction and had to back the huge bus up a very narrow alley way.  When we got to the hotel, the manager told me that they had been waiting for us since 9 pm (it was 12 midnight by the time we arrived.)  They had a fabulous buffet set up for us and we ate quickly and went to our room.  I was so relieved and wanted to relax with a bath and went to turn the water on, and THERE WAS NO RUNNING WATER this time, I was just laughing hysterically at the days events.  We went back and got a new room and the bath never happened as, as soon as I sat down to rest for a moment, I was out like a light (and I am not a sleeper at all!)  We had to be up at 8 am to catch a bus to the airport, but we decided to call a cab and beat the 350 ish people to the airport.  So that is what we did - our flight was on time and when the plane lifted off the whole plane started clapping.  They were very attentive to all of us during the flight with the pilot and crew apologizing for the long delay.  We landed at LAX and the plane erupted in applause again..WE WERE FINALLY HOME!!!  The pilot came on with an announcement that since we had an unscheduled flight, we didn't have a gate to go to, so it would be another 15 minute delay.  An hour later they finally found a gate for us and we headed quickly to immigration to get thru.  Another hour later due to a few flights coming in and one immigration officer that was truly being a stickler to anyone coming thru his line, we got thru immigration.  We headed out to find our driver and HE WAS NOT THERE...We had let them know our flight had been changed and gave them all the necessary info, but we had a communication error.  So being 45 minutes away from home, we hoped on a bus called The Flyaway - that takes us closer to home and my daughter picked us up there.  Needless to say, I am still very tired, but am typing this at the office...So I better get my rear working now!  haha...

Have a fabulous day, everyone! 
I can't wait to catch up on everyone's blogs!


Sherry Smyth said...

What a way to end a vacation!! But your spirits were good and you made the best of it and it sounds like the airline did all they could to make things as easy as possible for everyone. I know how it feels to be home -- holiday is great, seeing and doing fun things is wonderful but there is no place like home!

Jacqueline said...

Oh Cathi,
What a way to end a holiday.....still, it happens, and your wonderful happy-go-lucky demeanour saw you through. That is the way to look at it. It really helps I think.
I am always ready to go home when our holiday ends and, one just wants to get home as quickly as possible!!
I look forward to your posts all about the wonderful places that you visited. XXXX

Simone said...

Oh my goodness, 4hrs sitting on a plane would have had me freaking out a little!! Thank heavens for your sunny disposition Cathi :)

Quite an ordeal!!

Can't wait to hear more :) X

Adrienne said...

Oh my gosh...this post makes me want to never fly again! But you have such a positive, go-with-the-flow attitude about everything. I love that about you.

I am so looking forward to reading about your trip! And very glad you and yours made it home safely.

You must have some awful jet lag right are you coping at work?

Anonymous said...

sounds like quite the finale to your vacation

*Simply Colette* said...

Oh my! Glad you finally made it home safely..

Christina said...

Oh my word! So glad you had a good heart, about it all.

Lori said...

OMG Cathi ~ I am so glad that this is how is ended and not how it started! You must have wanted to kiss the good ole Cali ground when you landed. I am catching up today so I cannot wait to read about your vaca. xo


Blog Widget by LinkWithin