Thursday, September 10, 2009
I ran around like a crazy woman all day trying to get everything "just so" for my trip. I wanted to have the house totally clean so that mom and David wouldn't have to worry with that. I wanted to have all of the laundry done and clothing matched up for the girls so that David wouldn't, in Katie's words, "dress them funny". I wanted to have groceries in the fridge, the GPS loaded with caches in Massachusetts, a new travel playlist on my iPhone, the carseats cleaned out, the confirmations for all of our hotels printed, my hair fixed, my clothes that still fit packed, my carry-on loaded with interesting reading material and my boarding passes printed and ready to go.

I accomplished about 75% of the things above, and the rest I just had to let go... The house WAS mostly clean, but not perfect. I did get the clothes picked out, so that was good. There were a few things to eat, so they probably wouldn't starve. I got my GPS mostly loaded. The iPhone playlists didn't happen, but that's OK because I managed to forget my phone charger, anyway, and couldn't waste the battery power listening to music on the plane. The carseats were filthy, but still installed and safe. We had hotel confirmations, but because of later events we didn't need the first one after all. I had NO good reading material, which sucked. You can only read the Sky Magazine on a Delta flight so many times before you totally lose it!

I had my boarding pass in hand when I got to the airport and was ready to roll. After a lot of praying and some good advice from a few friends I was feeling better about leaving the kids. I made it throught security without a problem, got a sandwich, called Rhonda to confirm that she was at her gate at XNA and got on my plane. We made it to the runway right on time, and then we STOPPED. Right on the runway. It turns out there was a ground stop in Atlanta. I had never heard of a 'ground stop', but this is the definition that Google returned.

GROUND STOP: The affected airport's acceptance rate has been reduced to zero. Flights that are destined to the affected airport are held at their departure point for the duration of the Ground Stop.

The ground stop essentially meant that no planes were being allowed to land because of bad weather. This was bad news for Rhonda and me. I had 54 minutes to make our connection and she had 62. Our flight to Boston was scheduled to leave Atlanta at 9:20pm. We both left our initial airports with the hope that the ground stop would delay our connecting flight. No such luck. I RAN the minute I got off my plane. I don't mean in that attractive TV commercial way. No, I mean I RAN. I arrived at the gate, sweating and panting, as they were closing the flight. I asked the gate agent if there was any way to hold the plane for Rhonda, who was on the ground but not in the correct terminal yet, and she just flatly told me "NO". I could either get on the plane without Rhonda or miss the flight. I chose to miss the flight. Travel woes are always more fun when they're shared!

I went to the Delta Airlines service desk and waited for Rhonda. I noticed that there was a flight to Providence, Rhode Island, that was scheduled to leave in 20 minutes. Providence is about the same distance as Boston from Eastham, Massachusetts, which was our final destination. I briefly discussed it with Rhonda and we decided to go to Providence. The friendly agent at the Delta desk happily accommodated us and we were on our way. We got to the gate with plenty of time and even managed to get a woman to trade with us so that we could sit together.

It was an uneventful flight, thank goodness! We made it to Providence around 11:35pm and talked to David. My darling husband was able to cancel our hotel in Boston and book us a room in Providence while we were on the flight. I love him for that! We called the hotel and they sent a shuttle over for us. We were so glad to see our beds! Poor Rhonda had been up a total of 21 hours by the time we got to our room. She dove into her bed and didn't make another sound until the next morning. I stayed up for a little while trying to figure out how to get our rental car situation worked out (we were supposed to pick it up in Boston), but had to crash soon after Rhonda. I was exhausted!