Sunday, August 23, 2009

The Dirty Truth About Travel...Sometimes It Sucks

Traveling requires one to be flexible, a virtue I tend not to embrace. I try to be go with the flow, but as Matt can attest, that is difficult for me under the best circumstances and realistically my flexibility is proportional to the amount of sleep I have under my belt.

This vacation, although it only officially started today, is trying my patience and pushing my flexibility to the brink. Last night we stayed at the Sheraton in Revere Ma, so we could leave our car for the week and catch our 5am flight to Dominica. Well, lucky for us, the management of the hotel decided to put the honeymooners in the room next door. So, all night we heard yelling from multiple people (they were playing drinking games) and the lights on the wall actually moved around. That is how loud they were. This does not bode well for me when I need to be up at 2am to make my flight. The people did get kicked out of the room, unfortunately they were kicked out at the same time we were leaving. Awesome for us. Then there is a shuttle that takes you to the airport every half hour. So, we haul ass to get down there for the 2:30 shuttle. The driver was kicking out the honeymooners so he was late and then we realized that we forgot our battery charger in our room. So, Matt goes up to get it and they tell him that they can't bring us to the airport until 3 now because the driver wouldn't have enough time to get back. Great. So, we wait another half hour, finally leave and the driver gets a call on his radio that there are people there that want a ride. So, he tells the front desk girl he is turning around. I have a problem with this and proceed to tell the driver that no he can not turn around because I am not going to miss my flight. They were late, they can wait until the next shuttle.

We arrive at the airport and the ticket counter isn't open yet. So we wait...and wait...finally it opens up and then we wait for security to open up. My bag apparently has problems because they keep it under the xray machine for a good 5 minutes trying to figure out the contents (it doesn't zip so I'm not sure why they didn't just empty it out and be done with it) and then put it through the machine once again. We get through that and go and sit at our gate and its 4:45 and they still aren't boarding. Finally someone from the airline comes down and tells us that they changed gates and are now boarding. Wonderful...good to know.

We make it onto the plane and endure the frigid temperatures for 2 hours. Seriously, it was sub zero in there. I had on a tank top, heavy sweater and jeans and I still had goose bumps. Thankfully even though our flight was late we made our connecting flight from Charlotte to Puerto Rico. That flight would have been perfect. We had an extra seat in our row so I tried to catch some sleep, but just as I was nodding off, Matt spills a can of coke in his lap with some of it landing in my hair...so it looked like he peed himself and that pretty much woke me up.

We were supposed to have a 2 hour layover there so we got some lunch (I spent $10 on lettuce...seriously, the salad was ONLY lettuce and was literally $10). We finally found our gate and it turns out that our flight is delayed an hour. So we sit and wait. And then they say our flight is delayed another hour...so we wait. Finally we get on the plane and it stops in Antigua before going to Dominica. We are told that we will need to go to the transit area so we go and find out that our flight left without us because the plane that was supposed to originally take us from Puerto Rico to Antigua had mechanical trouble. So, trying to be flexible I try to let it roll off my back. They are going to give us a hotel and feed us and get us to and from the hotel and there are worse places to be stuck than Antigua right? Well, maybe Iraq but really after being here, Antigua isn't at the top of my list of places to visit again. We fill out paperwork, go through customs and then we pick up our luggage. Now everywhere else I've flown, that is it. You can just take off at that point. Not in Antigua. They go through ALL of your luggage. We stood there and watched customs people open everyone's luggage and go through everything in it. They were going through the pockets of all the pants in the luggage. Yeah. I really have nothing to hide, but I'd prefer some stranger didn't go through my underwear in front of a room full of fellow travelers. After about 45 minutes of standing and watching other people have their stuff gone though, we get the go ahead to leave, without having our stuff checked. I don't know why...but I'm not complaining.

We then go over to the cab station where the LIAT (the airline we were on) agent got us a cab. I was taking pictures because the grounds were nice, but then I got yelled at and told to put my camera away because I was taking pictures of the airport...yeah. Welcome to Antigua....I did a vlog in Laguardia! Seriously. Oh, and I'm pretty sure that our cab driver may have been drunk. Fantastic!

We get to our hotel and get to our room, after the chaos of getting rooms straightened out for half a dozen stranded people, and see that there are little ants crawling all over our bed. So, we get another room. We then go to dinner which takes an hour and a half...which of course bothers me. I'm an American. I want my food fast. Once I sit down, I want to be out of there in 30-45 minutes. I'm impatient. I can't help it...I blame my culture.

I'm reserving the right to be grumpy tonight and tomorrow after I get to Dominica I will fix my attitude...

1 comment:

Jessy said...

Oh, poor Sara and Matt - that sounds AWFUL!! I hope the rest of your trip makes up for it bigtime!