Friday, May 07, 2010

It is Friday morning at 8AM and we are driving up I-5 from LA towards Fresno. So we are into the 5th day of travel now and we AREN"T HOME YET!!!!! Here are the details:
On Monday morning when we checked in with US Airways for our 10:35AM flight which would have gotten us to Orlando at about 8:30PM (layover in Philadelphia), they said the plane was "broken" and since they were using a smaller plane, would we accept a move to an American Airlines flight that would get us to Orlando several hours sooner. Sure. So we took the first AA flight to JFK and when we arrived were informed that our next leg, to Orlando, had been canceled by AA and they were moving us to a Delta flight. That one didn't leave for 6 hours but was supposed to get us there by about 10PM. Then we sat at the gate for over an hour because the pilots were late, and had to wait on the runway, so we didn't arrive in Orlando until after 11PM. When we called our hotel for the shuttle to pick us up, they said it stopped running at 11 so we would have to take a taxi costing approximately $30. Because we were trying to get on the 7AM flight the next morning and would have to be back at the airport by 5AM, thus requiring another $30 taxi, we decided to just stay in the airport. Although we checked in at about 3 AM for the standby list, we were numbers 11 & 12 to get on the first flight and only 8 made it on. We then tried to get on every flight to DFW and every one was full and some had huge standby lists. We were numbers 35 and 36 on some of the lists! It didn't help that AA had canceled the 9:20AM flight. There were also big groups of high school kids on school trips filling up the planes, and apparently there was some kind of a golf tournament for AA employees and a bunch of them were flying standby back from that. By 6PM, when they told us there were no seats on any of the remaining flights, we got on the internet and booked a flight at 7:30PM on Delta that went from Orlando to Atlanta, and then on to San Diego, and it only cost $268 for both of us, which was actually a few less dollars than we had given for our standby tickets. So we arrived in San Diego at 11:45PM and Elaine's son picked us up and we crashed at his place.
Now for the next part of the saga. We enjoyed a nice morning with Darran and about noon packed up our car and headed for Fresno. This was now Wednesday. We made it through the LA area and were just starting to climb into the mountains when our car lost all power. Managed to get it pulled over to the side where there was a wide shoulder and when we got the hood up, it was smoking like crazy. Called our insurance company and they said they would have a tow truck out in 45 minutes. We were able to tell them exactly where we were because of our GPS. Somehow they screwed it up and it took 2 hours before we were finally towed. And we were only 3 miles from an exit where the gas station/tow truck was located! By now it was after 6PM. So they took us to a motel and said they would diagnose it the next day. The next morning they decided it was the clutch and they couldn't fix it there. It was going to cost about $800 to have it towed to Fresno. So we rented a car and drove back to Park Sierra, quickly got our RV ready to travel and drove back towards LA. After stopping overnight last night at a WalMart in Bakersfield, we have now returned the rental car, picked up our disabled car with our tow bar, and are heading back to Oakhurst to have it fixed at an automotive place recommended by other RV friends. CAN YOU BELIEVE THIS!!! Thank goodness the cruise and our time in Barcelona were so fabulously fun because the last 5 days of trying to get home have been rather Hellacious!


Nancy said...

If this was some kind of a test for you two, I believe you got an A+ for problem analysis and cool-headedness. Enjoyed the Barcelona stories very much. And glad you two are planning the next trip that we all can enjoy via your accountings. luv ya, Nancy and Jerry

CaliforniaGrammy said...

An amazing story . . . unbelievable! But you guys are smart and seem to be able to solve problems whatever they may be...with a good attitude — well, that part may be untrue. I'm sure there were a few choice frustrating words spoken!

Joyce Space said...

Glad you made it back. Sounds worse than any of our Panama trip problems!! We just got back to Vermont this afternoon.
Joyce Space

TravelingGrammy said...

OMG!!!That is one for the are publishing, aren't you? We're stuck in Reno till I can get treatment for my popped knee....I'm so impressed that you didn't blow anything (or anyone) up!

Laura said...

Dang I got tired just reading all the crap you had to deal with. Glad you are safe....Laura