Friday, June 26, 2009
Here goes.... We started the day at six am on Friday the 19'th of June 2009. The day we had tickets for flying home. Our first flight was scheduled to leave at 1:55 pm but since we had to close up everything in the apartment and had a (depending on road conditions) 3-5 hour trip to the airport we had to get up and get moving. Other than several delays for construction the trip to the airport was smooth and uneventful in fact everything went very smoothly, getting there, checking in, the flight left almost on time (a rare occurrence when leaving the Romanian airport:) and we landed in Munich, Germany without incident. We had a half or so wait in Munich and then it was time for the LONG flight across the Atlantic to the Chicago O'Hare airport. The flight was about nine and a half hours long and the whole way was day time since we were actually headed back in time :) The flight was good though, we had good seats (thanks to a very nice man in the Romanian airport) and several movies to choose from to pass the time. We landed on time and made it quickly and smoothly through Customs and immigration. Since we already had our boarding passes we were able to head right to our gate and wait for our next flight that was suppose to leave about 9:30 to Buffalo, NY. By this time we had been up for about 21 hours and I for one was VERY tired. But we were relatively close to home and we both looked forward to getting to and sleeping in our own bed. It was about this point that we started listening to what the other passengers were saying who were sitting and waiting for the same flight we were. It seemed that due to weather most of the airport was shut down and there had already been multiple flights canceled, some of the people there had had seats on earlier flights to Buffalo and had had their flights canceled before we even got there. We're thinking "O No, not a good time to have our flight delayed or canceled" We weren't there long when some one said "it's been delayed to 1:30" I think it was about this point that my headache, which I had from being so tired, got decidedly worse. Since we were coming from over seas where we had planned on being for a year or two we had no phone with which to communicate with our parents at home who were suppose to pick us up so Curtiss went to find a pay phone and get us something to eat at McDonald's. After waiting half an hour or so and having the time for our flight get pushed back further and further it was canceled. Everybody got up and went to stand in line at customer service (the line there was VERY long and it wasn't moving quickly) and we were left there trying to gather ourselves together and figure out what we were suppose to do. A guy from United Airlines came and we found out that because of all the flight cancellations there were no flights available until Monday and that everybody was going to have to come and be on standby and hope that they could get seats on one of the flights. Because we weren't pressed to be home by a certain time Curtiss went to talk with him and see if we had to go on standby or if there we would lose our tickets if we just had them put us on the next available flight two days away. The guy told us that we wouldn't be able to do that but he would check and see if there were any other flights that we could go on that would at least take us close to where we needed to be. There wasn't anything to Rochester or Syracuse or even Cleveland but he found a couple of first class seats that were available for the next afternoon (Saturday at 4:45). He told us not to tell anyone else but he was going to make an executive decision and do something that he wasn't suppose to do and give us those tickets, for which we were VERY thankful. After that all we had to do was make it to a hotel for the night... simple right? HAHAHA :)
The airlines gave us a pink slip of paper with a number on it that we were suppose to call and get a discount on hotel accommdations so we called the number were given a hotel name with a confirmation number and told that we could take a free shuttle from the airport to the hotel and that we had a room ready and waiting for us when we got there. So we found the shuttle (which took a while) and made it to the hotel. We weren't the only ones who were stranded there so we had a bus full of people armed with pink slips and confirmation numbers on our way to the hotel. At the hotel we waited our turn to be waited on and everybody was getting in with no trouble until we walked up to the counter. We handed the lady the slip and said that were had a confirmation number from the airport and she looked at it and turned to the guy who was working with her and after consulting for a few minutes they said that they were only suppose to take five of these pink slips and that they were full and couldn't take us. To make a long story short we ended up having to take a taxi to another hotel that didn't have free shuttle back and forth to the airport. By the time we made it there and had checked in we had been up for more than 27 hours and we were beat. It has been a long time since any bed felt as good as that one did :) Anyway we both woke up (most likely due to jet lag) after about six hours sleep and we were both wide awake and hungry. The hotel didn't have a free breakfast so Curtiss walked to the nearest convenience store and got us some breakfast sandwiches and we heated them up in the microwave that was in the room. After spending some time trying to get the internet to work (it turned out that the phone lines were down and none of the phones or internet in the rooms were working) and watching most of a movie on tv. We went to check out of our room. We were very blessed to have a nice lady working the desk, she allowed us to leave our carry on bags in a locked room after we checked out so that we were able to walk to a near by pizza place for lunch. After eating we walked back to the hotel picked up our bags and waited for the taxi driver that we had talked to to pick us up. We made it safely to the airport and back through security and made it to our gate several hours before our flight was suppose to take off. But the time passed fairly quickly, there were enough interesting people to watch and we got an ice cream flurry to eat (which tasted really good:) About an hour before our flight was suppose to take off we were told that we had had a gate change and that we needed to move across the hall. After moving over there we waited again for the flight to start loading. Right about the time that we were suppose to get on the plane it was announced that the flight was going to be delayed for a while because of technical problems. After waiting about an hour we were told that the mechanics had it just about fixed they just had to fill out paper work and we would be able to load. We waited and waited and all of a sudden the flight was canceled and we were told that we needed to go and talk with customer service. I guess it was a good thing that it was canceled it wouldn't have been good to take off in falty plane but we were ready to get home. The line in customer service wasnt' as long as it has been the night before but we were still one of the last ones to make it over to stand in line so we had a bit of a wait. By this time we were ready to just a get a pink slip, get a good nights sleep and rent a car so that we could make it home. Neither one of us wanted to wait on standby for three days until there was a spot for us on a plane. But by the time we made it to the desk United had scheduled a special flight for all of us stranded people (there were 26 people waiting on standby for the plane that we had tickets for that was canceled) The airlines paid for the night at the hotel (they gave us our registration right there at the desk so we were fairly sure we wouldn't have the same thing happen to us that had the night before) two fifteen dollar meal vouchers. The flight was scheduled to leave and 7:06am so we ended up getting up at 3:30 so that we could shower and make the shuttle and get through security on time, but that flight left on time and we made it safely home :)
There now that I have written a book that I hope is understandable, you can understand why I am still not completely recovered:)
Monday, June 22, 2009
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
Helping someone else get ready for a dance recital is so much easier then getting yourself ready. That is why it was very enjoyable to be able to help my nieces Havalah and Esther get ready for theirs. I didn't have to worry about forgetting my costumes or not being able to put my hair in a bun, it was lovely. And it was a whole lot of fun to boot!
After getting Esther's eye makeup all done we sent her out to the living room to see what she would look like on stage and the result was, " She looks like a CAT!" So, after calming down her makeup to look good on stage but not cat like we were all set. Except for waiting for her toe nail polish to dry which is what she is doing in this picture.
I think that Esther looks like a frog in this picture, she is so adorable!
She danced to the song, "Singin' in the Rain" She did a really good job, she was the only one following her dance instructor.
Havalah had two dances one was her ballet which was called, "Egyptian Princess" Here she is in her costume, she did an awesome job.
Her tap dance was called "Freeze Frame" and here she is posing for me. Her dancing gets better and better each year, I can't wait to see both of them again next year!