Have Dental Floss, Will Travel

Mapping the world, one waxy strand at a time…

A less than auspicious start

Abby and Brent Do Deutschland, Day One
Before we left the house at 9:45 this morning, we took a moment to take stock of our stuff.  Passports?  Check.  Drivers licenses, credit cards?  Got ’em.  Running shoes?  Left and right.  Rain fly?  Lonely Planet books?  Maps?  We were pretty sure we had everything.  And yet neither of us felt quite right.
It wasn’t until noon, just before we crossed over the George Washington Bridge into New York City, that we realized what we were missing.  Brent was on the phone with Ali, getting the rundown from yesterday’s Krista Griesacker Adventure Race, when we passed by a Continental Airline billboard.  
Airline… airplane… plane tickets… My mind started to wander.  Where are our plane tickets?  Shit.  Shit shit shit shit shit.
Because we used travel vouchers to secure our flights, Brent’s dad had picked up the tickets directly from the airport, and as a result, we were pretty sure we needed the actual slips of paper to get through security tomorrow.  
I called United to see if they could confirm whether we, indeed, had paper tickets, but the agent told me that it was against protocol.  “You understand,” she said.  “It’s about security.  We have estranged parents calling all the time to find out their kids’ itineraries in an attempt to kidnap them.”
So you can’t tell us whether we need to drive five hours out of our way because you think that we’re kidnappers?
“I would advise going to the ticket counter in Hartford,” she continued.  “They may be able to print you new boarding passes.  Or they may have to charge you for new tickets.  At today’s rates.  For day-of flights.”
Are you kidding me?
Not wanting to risk it, we turned around and began to retrace our steps.  Less than 20 miles south on the NJ turnpike, though, we hit the motherload of rainstorms.  The near-whiteout conditions that had just drenched Philly were making their way north.  We averaged about 30 miles per hour for the rest of the ride, and when we finally made it to our exit (close to three hours later), we found the entirety of Montgomery County under water.  15-passenger vans were submerged up to their windows.  School fields were under water.  Mudslides were hampering highways.
After three unsuccessful attempts, we finally got home and went to find the tickets.  I grabbed them out of the desk and opened the envelope.
And what did it say on the front of each?
After getting waylaid by the storm once more, we finally made it back onto the PA turnpike at 3 PM (this, after a cup of Panera soup exploded all over my lap).  Five hours later – nearly eleven since we’d first turned off our street – we finally pulled up to Brent’s parents’ house.
Let’s hope tomorrow’s flights go a little bit more smoothly…

9 responses to “A less than auspicious start

  1. RunToFinish August 3, 2009 at 1:03 pm

    well you got the bumps out of the way and it will be smooth from here on!!

  2. Natalie D August 3, 2009 at 1:08 pm

    Oh man – bad start, I hope the trip goes well!

  3. RunningLaur August 3, 2009 at 3:27 pm

    Oh no! Here's hoping all your bad luck is condensed here before you actually leave!

  4. X-Country2 August 3, 2009 at 6:51 pm

    Wow. It really has no place to go but UP! :o)

  5. Denise August 3, 2009 at 11:12 pm

    Ugh…what a terrible start. At least you made it safely. Get some rest.

  6. Angela and David Kidd August 4, 2009 at 12:31 am

    At least all that happened somewhere where you speak the language!

  7. xtina.c August 4, 2009 at 6:47 am

    OMG. That is SO FRUSTRATING. I guess it's better than what could have been the alternative tho. Safe travels!

  8. Kim August 4, 2009 at 1:14 pm

    At least you were just headed to the in laws and not to the airport and missed your flight.Today will be much better! Have a great time!

  9. I Run for Fun August 4, 2009 at 6:17 pm

    Oh no…sorry about the bad start. Now that it's out of the way, you can laugh about it. Hope that is all the bad luck you'll have on your trip. Have a fun vacation.

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