Monday, January 19, 2009

The Remains of the Trip

by Pa Rock
Weary Traveler

I am safely home in Arizona, but getting here was truly a comedy of errors. Please read on...

To begin with my flight plans were a horror show, thanks primarily to my own naivete. I had airline tickets that the group bought - New York to Detroit to Kansas City - and airline tickets that I bought - Kansas City to Minneapolis to Phoenix (no direct flights!). When I boarded in New York yesterday, they would only give me boarding passes for New York and Detroit - even though all of my flights that day would be on Northwest Airlines. I did talk the clerk at Northwest in New York into checking my luggage all the way through to Phoenix.

My travels were complicated by the fact that the cold that I had been fighting for several days had settled in my head. The pressure during take-offs and landings was especially painful, and I felt like my ears were going to explode and cover my fellow passengers in industrial strength ear wax!

The day was uneventful until we tried to leave Detroit. I had a little over a two-hour window to catch my next flight out of Kansas City, but we were pulled off of the runway in Detroit to replace a compass that had gone out. While that was being accomplished, a passenger became ill, had to receive emergency medical treatment, and was removed from the plane. We had to wait on the new compass to be brought in and installed, and then we had to wait while the medical supplies that were used on the ill passenger were replaced. When we got to Kansas City, I hustled one counter over just as they began boarding for the flight to Minneapolis. Rush, rush, rush!

While I was enroute to Minneapolis, Carla called and left me a message saying that my suitcase had been off-loaded in Kansas City, and she had taken it to the Northwest baggage office and told them to get it to Phoenix pronto. When I arrived in Phoenix shortly before midnight I went to their baggage office and was told that my suitcase would be in Phoenix by noon the next day, and it would be delivered directly to me!

Great! It had been a helluva day, but life was once again beautiful. All I had to do was contact the shuttle from the Parking Spot, get my car out of hawk, and race for home where I would crash until time for my suitcase to get in.

It wasn't until the shuttle pulled up behind my car at the Parking Spot that I realized that my keys were in my suitcase - which was in Kansas City. I told the manager just to drop me at their office and I would call a cab. But a lifetime of good living suddenly paid off when the only other people on the shuttle, a young couple named Mason and Christy, asked where I lived. Goodyear, I replied sadly because nobody but me and the scorpions live that far out. Oh, they said, we live in Surprise (a community that neighbor's Goodyear), and we'll take you home. Praise Allah!

"I've always depended on the kindness of strangers." Blanche DuBois

On the way to Goodyear, another thought occurred to me. My apartment key was also in the suitcase that was vacationing in Kansas City. (Can you see what kind of day I was having?) I had Mason and Christy drop me at the apartment office so that I could get the management's evening number off of the door. There I discovered that those fine folks at Palm Valley Luxury Rentals no longer kept their phone numbers on the door - probably to eliminate those pesky after-hours calls. I found a young man in the apartment complex computer center and got him to let me into the office. He didn't know the number, but found it on-line. After three calls to the emergency number, I decided that Palm Valley probably wasn't that into emergencies, so I arranged couple of chairs on my porch and prepared to sleep outside - sitting up.

Almost an hour later one of the managers called and said that she would drive in to unlock my door. She assured me that she could be there in just forty-five minutes. But, a maintenance worker responded a few minutes later and saved her the trip.

I did get up this morning before my suitcase arrived. After fishing out my keys, I got on the Internet and finally located a phone number for a co-worker who was able to give me Benson's number. God love Odessa and Bobby - they rushed right over and drove me across the Valley of Hell to pick up my car.

So I'm home, my suitcase is home, and my little car is home! Tomorrow I will go back to work at a job that I love - and Barack Obama will start his new job. Things are getting better and better!

1 comment:

Brenda from Mac County said...

Rocky, this reminds me why I hate to fly anymore. But it sounds as though you handled it all OK, with your usual aplomb! Great trip report too.