Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Holiday Travel

We're entering the season where folks tend to bitch and moan about the horrors of holiday travel. Having just flown to Vegas myself earlier this evening for the Holiday o' Turkey, these horror stories are fresh on my mind, though not for the reasons you might think.

No, my trip was not horrific. In fact, it was quite easy and even pleasant at times. Okay, so there was a very stupid girl sitting next to me, who had apparently never flown or, I don't know, listened to directions ever before in her life. She had to ask me where to put her bags before take-off - "Are we supposed to put these under the seats in front of us?" - and later asked me if drinks were free after I ordered my Sprite. I didn't realize such naive creatures still existed in the world.

But even she wasn't too bad. My flight took off on time and even landed a little early. Everyone around me was friendly (if not so bright) and didn't impinge on my personal space. And my mommy was at baggage claim to meet me when I arrived in Sin City. What's to complain about?

In the spirit of giving thanks, I'd like to ask you all to forget about all your hellish holiday travel experiences, and instead, share one of your happy ones.

What was your best experience with holiday travel?


Anonymous said...

I've never traveled on the holidays, but... Let me tell you about my trip to a conference in Michigan.

The flight up there was groovy.

While at this youth activism conference, Michigan tried to kill me. I mean, I literally came down with the flu. Sore throat, chest cough, sinus pain, fever, chills... My roommate Adam Gregory would come back to the room to check on me and make sure I was alive.

I started to feel better the morning I had to fly home. However. The flight out of Detroit was delayed 2 hours due to a Thunderstorm. When we finally took off, the sinus pain in my head was unbearable.

We land in Atlanta (overshooting Raleigh)... And I've missed my connection, the very last one of the evening. So, I'm in great pain, sick, standing at the ticket counter at 11 at night... sobbing.

And I have to move into school at 8am the following morning.

I end up spending the night in the airport -- after running into my high school band teacher who sat in the terminal with me, keeping me company and keeping me safe while I slept in a cold medication induced stupor on the airport floor.

I got up the next morning at 7am for the first flight out, and got home at 8... A good 12 hours after I was supposed to have arrived home.

Oh, and I was sick for three weeks.

Michigan tried to kill me, I tell you.

Anonymous said...

You know... for some reason I can't think of one... that's odd.

But Happy Thanksgiving!

Anonymous said...

Is it Thanksgiving yet? I do not know...

Anonymous said...

I love planes. They signify a holiday for me, as I've never flown for business before - and so I LOVE the idea of flying!

Anonymous said...

My best holiday travel experience was driving through the night from St. Louis to upstate New York with my newly-wedded wife.

Anonymous said...

Like Alynda, I, too LOVE LOVE LOOOOVE planes. So much excitement and adventure. And oh! the people you meet. I've meet more fascinating people on airplanes and in airports than in the rest of my life combined. I could tell you some stories... :)

I've lived and travelled all over the world -- so that means lots of fantastic travelling stories.

A great experience was, surprisingly, traveling back from Ohio to Malaysia on Christmas Eve/Christmas Day. We had to go back to the states for a few days for my great grandpa's funeral, and ended up arriving in KL on Christmas Day. The flights were great, the flight attendant super nice, and everything was just fantastic! (Except for my little sister who came down with a stomach virus during our layover in Amsterdam and was throwing up the entire flight, poor thing)

Oh man, don't get me started on travel stories... :)

Guilty Secret said...

Earlier this year Baddie and I got a cheap package holiday to Greece and I was really worried it was going to be horrendous (I had never even heard of charter flights before) but it went very smoothly... and the whole holiday was fantastic! Great food, lovely weather, all wonderful :) And the journey home went just as smoothly.

I love the idea of thanksgiving. I must go to America for November one year.

Anonymous said...

When I was a kid my family had gone to my grandmother's for the Thanksgiving weekend, but actually had TG dinner at an aunt's house that was DEEP in the hills of WV. We all packed up in the van with some of our cousins our age for the long and winding trip to her house. The road was so steep and twisting that someone almost always got car sick on the way to her house. All the kids spent the last half hour belting out "Gobs and gobs of greasy grimy gopher guts!" until finally my mom made my dad pull over so she could puke. That may not sound like a happy story, but for a van full of 8-10 year olds it was pretty hilarious at the time.

mks said...

My holiday travel has always been easy since for most of my life I have lived .5 miles from my parents and my brother has lived .5miles from them and my grandparents were relatively local as well.

Anonymous said...

easy? travel?
i can't remember a holiday traveling experience that was a good one.
we always go to atlanta for christmas...and atlanta is a ridiculouly BUSY airport. and we always fly air canada....which is a ridiculously retarded airline.

Lara said...

sassy - GOOD travel stories i said! still, i'm sorry to hear that michigan had it out for you. have you taken your revenge yet?

lala - thursday, sweetie, but you were darn close.

guilty - you have an open invitation to spend thanksgiving with me and my family any time you want. :)

ali - it occurs to me that while you can't necessarily change your destination (family obligations and all), you might consider changing to a less retarded airline. just a thought, though...

Lisa said...

So I'm doing NaBloPoMo too and I totally can't keep up with reading blogs AND posting. Sorry I haven't swung by in awhile! I don't necessarily have a happy story but I do have an interesting one....my best friend and I were 16 and traveling to DC to stay with her older (male) cousin. Trip ends, we head home, only to be grounded in Syracuse, NY (we were supposed to land in Hartford, CT) The airline put us up in a hotel...where my clever friend decides to invite some random boys to visit our hotel room. I have no idea what she was thinking. Nothing horrible happens other than me getting stuck talking with the totally not cute one until the cops knock on our door--and asks for the boys that have been hanging out with us. We, being the scaredy cats that we are, give them up in a heartbeat and discover they were underage and had alcohol in their rooms and someone reported them....we were convinced our parents would find out and spent the rest of the night and the entire flight trying to come up with a plausible lie to tell them...
Not happy, but certainly memorable!

BetteJo said...

When I was a kid in the backseat of the family car, no seat belts and a litter of brand new puppies on the way to Grandmas house in Michigan. Nothing in particular, just a nice memory.

Wolf Lover Girl said...

Not really a holiday story, but coming home from my wedding so I think that's close enough! :-)

We were flying back from Vegas with my dress in tow. Of course I wasn't putting it underneath so carried it on. And if the airlines tell you that they have a closet to hang it in they're liars.

By the time I'm able to board I'm just searching for an overhead to put my dress in (at least I know where to store things!) and find one but am having troubles getting to it with all the people not moving and stuff. Finally one nice man (he was gay that's why I think he cared) got up and helped me put it in the overhead.

When it was time to unboard the plane, again I was having trouble getting to my dress. The overhead was actually a little behind where I was sitting and you know how everyone is up and moving to the front as if the plane is about to take off again with them on it. Again this great man helped me by blocking everyone and getting my dress down.

As Mr. M and I were exiting the airport terminal to the baggage claim area I saw my new friend walking down to catch another flight. I reached out to him and we clasped hands as I told him "thank you". I won't forget his kindness.

~ Wolf Lover Girl