It's 10:15 AM and I am finally home from a supposed five day trip to Gainesville. I should have arrived last night at 8:30 pm but life had other plans for me.
I arrived at the Gainesville airport with my huge red suitcase ready to check in and hand over this red box monstrosity along with the $25 fee that goes with it, first hiccup: the help desk is closed until 3:45 p.m. and I arrived at 2:30 p.m. So I patiently sit and wait, bag in hand.
I check in, they take my bag and fee and continue to wait but this time at the gate, having passed security (I highly recommend TSA pre check) and again patiently waiting. All of a sudden I start getting bings on my phone from Expedia (delayed flight 20 minutes), wait a few more minutes (delayed flight 40 minutes), oh SNAP! I then get up to check with the gate attendant and it is at this point that Expedia is desperately trying to get my attention by sending in bold text YOUR FLIGHT IS DELAYED 2 HOURS!!!
It is now 4:30 and my flight connection leaves Orlando at 6:30 but somehow the Silver Airways staff think that the taxi driver can get us all to Orlando in less than two hours and make our flights. It is at this point, we all look at each other and say what the hell, let's get out of Gainesville. Hindsight, we should have driven some where closer to catch a connecting flight.
So....... five weary travelers hop into this van with Paco from Cuba and we go racing down the freeway. Paco was about in his 50's, a quiet man who was listening to top 40 music. I'm thinking he is trying to gauge our crowd on our music preference. About 30 minutes into our trip, I think it finally hits him that we are all around our mid 30's to late 40's (that's me the late 40 one) and he switches the station to 70-80's rock. So here we are barreling through Florida, going about 85 miles per hour listening to Mr. Roboto by Styx. The women next to me starts laughing uncontrollably from such a surreal moment. We are literally driving on the shoulder of the freeway at one point, at the same time listening to Safety Dance by Men without Hats. If it weren't for the fact that this fulfilled one of my bucket list (driving on shoulder as others were in stand still traffic) I would have been fearing for my life. But at this point, we all just hung on for dear life and enjoyed the sound track.
Having two hours of drive time gave me time to ponder our situation and I realized that we were not different then a one night stand. Silver Airways basically screwed us over, called a cab, and sent us on our way. The taxi being exchanged in lieu of a "Walk of Shame"!! I desperately needed a shower after that send off!
At this point, we all just kind of looked at each other and shrugged our shoulders. We all ended up having to get a hotel voucher and a meal voucher. Silver Airways made sure to find the seediest, nasty, unsafe hotel possible for us. I could not sleep because the sheets made me itch, the complimentary pubic hair in the sink, did not help matters. And I swear the comforter was from 1973.
There were some fun moments through all this. and I will save that for tomorrow's blog. The people I came across and the kindness showed deserves an entire posting to itself.