Thursday, June 23, 2011

Planes, Trains & Automobiles...

It was a wild ride for sure trying to get to the Vermont Quilt Festival...I have to give you the ending to the story before tucking myself in bed tonight!

I left you with my previous post that I had landed in Newark, NJ and was waiting for my flight taking me to Burlington, VT...hoping to arrive by 9:30 am. An announcement was made that my flight was cancelled...seriously???? After that 5-6 more flights were cancelled all due to weather. After the unending wait at Customer Service I was given another boarding pass that MIGHT get me to Burlington by 3:30 that afternoon but there were no guarantees. The weather out here has been awful.

I have this little voice inside me that when I'm smart I listen to. It was almost yelling at me to drive down to Burlington. I absolutely had to get there yesterday as I had a full class of students today. So I got on my netbook, got on MapQuest, wrote down two full pages of complicated directions. Those that know me know that I am directionally challenged and I was in a panic that I couldn't do it myself especially with less than 3 hours sleep in 36 hours. My little voice yelled at me again to find somebody to drive with me...and I listened.

I walked up to Customer Service and there was a nice couple standing at the counter and the agent was telling them the same story that she gave me...except they couldn't get out until 9 pm on standby status only. I think it was the look of desperation on their faces that convinced me that these were the people that were supposed to drive with me down to Burlington. So I asked them! They looked at me like I was nuts when I asked them if they would help me drive to Burlington...I really needed help as I was sooo tired..wouldn't cost them a thing...just help me get there and they agreed.

Soooo, I kidnapped Isabelle and Jean-Pierre (residents of Quebec, Canada) who speak beautiful French by the way, and we drove the 6+ hours to Burlington, VT in pouring down rain. It rained so hard at times people had their flashers on just so they could be seen. No wonder flights were cancelled.

I always say a prayer before I leave on each trip for safe travels and this prayer was answered. I was put in the tunnel in Chicago during the tornado warning and wasn't in a plane on the runway or in the air...and I was blessed with the safe and charming company of Jean-Pierre and Isabelle who brought me safely into Burlington.

And to answer the question that we were worried about the entire trip...yes, my luggage arrive safe and sound. I cried when they pulled it from the baggage claim room where they were holding it for me. I even took a picture of it. I was never so relieved to see my luggage in my life.

A huge hug of thanks to both Jean-Pierre and Isabelle for their wonderful company, conversations, and for being two guardian angels.

One positive side to the long drive is I actually got to SEE Vermont...what a beautiful and amazing state. I felt like I went back in time with the old Victorian homes, beautiful barns, rolling fields just being planted and just the whole overall feeling of having gone back in time.

Off to bed...had a great class today...have another great class tomorrow...and then I'm spending the evening answering a LOT of unanswered emails! Yawn, Cindy


janieg said...

Oh, are so brave as well as creative!! Any uncreative person would have phoned and cancelled the first class. Bravo!!

janieg said...

You are soo brave and creative! An uncreative person would have just given up and cancelled the first couple of classes. You are sooooo special!

PattyBYoung said...

Wow, what a journey you've had...glad you're there safe and sound...I love VT also! It is beautiful!

Amanda Sevall said...

I can't believe our stories ended in similar ways!! The trip we had to Wisconsin... the one with the tornados/cancellations in Chicago... we ended up driving with a stranger from Chicago to Green Bay to get there on time!! And I know exactly what you mean about the weather, the driving and the RELIEF of seeing your bags hop a plane to where you cannot :) The worst moment of that whole part of our trip was seeing our luggage being taken off the plane of the flight being cancelled on the other side of glass window and not knowing if it would make it the next day on a flight!! :) Glad you made it okay and that you at least got to see Vermont. It's GORGEOUS!!! :) Hope you are having fun!!

catspec said...

Sorry you had such a bad time, but so glad you got to see Vermont! :) I was at the Quilt Festival for those same days, and my question is: Will you be teaching again next year? :)