Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Michigan Trip, Part II

The next morning we were up bright and early for our final flight to Detroit, which they had so kindly scheduled at 7am after we had landed at 11pm the night before.  Let me tell you, that was tough.  I was pretty miserable.

When we finally landed, we headed to the baggage claim office where we were informed our bags had not even made it onto the plane in Phoenix the day before.  Southwest Airlines had just left them there at home.  So now they were on their way to the Detroit airport, but not before they stopped in Tampa and Denver (??).  Awesome.  They wouldn’t be getting into the city until almost 4pm. We had a carry-on sized suitcase with us, but we were really smart and filled it with all the essentials like star wars toys for C’s son. No clothes for me and only a white t-shirt and gym shorts for Cliff. Oh and several pairs of men’s white socks haha.

Normally, they deliver your bags to you when they arrive late, but if you are outside the radius of 80 miles, they overnight them to you by Fed-Ex.  Since we had been through so much trouble and only had the clothes on our backs (no makeup, no toiletries, no nothing) the customer service rep promised us she would override the computer and approve our bags to be driven to East Lansing, which was about an hour and a half away. Yay!  Small victories.  I left that office content. 

Next we headed to the rental car office.  I had booked a car with a great deal and was quite proud of myself.  That is, until we got there and they wouldn’t let us rent the car because the driver name (his) didn’t match a credit card.  Which we didn’t have….because it was stolen (see part 1).  We walked away and I calmly called Hotwire to see what we could do.  She said the only thing we could do is to cancel the booking (which is normally non-refundable) and re-book.  When she quoted me the price to re-book,  I lost it.  It was almost $100 more than the first time.  I started crying.  I had held it together so well until that point.  At that moment, I just couldn’t keep a happy face anymore. I told her we would call back.

We went back up to the car rental desk (we hadn’t even left the building) and asked what their cost would be.  She quoted us $2 more than the first car rental I had booked.  That was the moment I professed my love for the poor woman at the Hertz desk.  I was so happy.  I couldn’t give her enough compliments.

We finally got into the car and on our way.  On the way to East Lansing I stopped at an Ulta and told them I was meeting C’s family for the first time (which was true, just not his parents like I’m sure they assumed) and I had no makeup or anything.  I asked if someone could do it for me and I was in luck because the Too Faced rep was actually in the store.  She did my full face and I bought some lipstick.  It was actually pretty great makeup.  When I get money I am going back to buy the mascara, which comes off in tubes instead of running down you face.

I am so glad we did that because we went directly to the Michigan State football building. I was wearing short yoga black pants, a faded black spaghetti strap tank (complete with a hole) and a black zip up (very thin) sweater.  All various shades of black, which is totally fine for traveling. It’s not so great for meeting all of your boyfriends old friends and the staff he had grown to love over the years.  Or the head coach for the Michigan State football team.  Bet many people don’t meet him wearing an outfit like that.

I loved taking a tour of the facility.  It’s so neat to me to see an ‘insider’s view’ of that kind of operation.  We saw the gigantic weight room, the practice field, the trainer’s room, the equipment room and the player’s lounge, among other places. My favorite was definitely the equipment room.  It was really cool to see hundreds of boxes of brand new Nike shoes all piled up, racks of helmets shelves upon shelves of pads.  The trainer’s was pretty cool too.  A lot of the guys were in there getting massages (must be nice) and sitting in either the hot tub or the ice tub. Ice tub, now there’s something you couldn’t pay me to sit in! C was quite jealous when he saw the players lounge.  I guess they didn’t have multiple pool tables, gaming systems and 6 + giant flat screen TV’s when he was on the team….

After the tour of the facility and meeting pretty much every person who was working that day (we even intruded on a defensive coaches strategy meeting) we headed out again.  But not before they loaded me up with some pretty sweet Michigan State gear.  I guess I am going to have to represent now J  C was a little miffed because they only had girl’s clothes.  Too bad, so sad!

Next up…heading to meet C’s son and his mother!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Michigan Trip, Part 1

Oh man,  what a doozy of a trip!

I was worried so much about meeting C’s son and his mother than I didn’t even think about what else could go wrong…and boy did it!

The morning of the trip C went to the bank to get some cash out for the trip.  He had lost his debit card earlier in the week (and reported it lost so there was a hold placed on the account) and we were just going to have to use cash the whole trip.  Well…the hold apparently didn’t “hold” and someone found his account and drained it.  Seriously.  He had $8 to his name.  I am so angry at this bank that I don’t really even know what to say.  I work for a bank….I don’t know how in the world a hold can be placed on an account and it still gets drained.  Ugh. Still makes me mad. 

So ten minutes before we left for our trip we had to call my parents to see if they could loan us some money.  Which is perfect, because they were on a week-long trip celebrating their anniversary.  Nothing like one of your adult kids calling you with a crisis on your actual anniversary date.  I had to keep them on their toes J

So we get that covered and make our way to the airport.  Where we sit. And sit. And sit some more.  The first announcement tells us our plane has a little issue and they need to fix it and then we will be on our way shortly.  Next, they are still trying to figure out the issue.  Ok, now they’ve solved it and they are getting the part.  Still waiting on the part to get here.  Got the part, but it did nothing.  Ordering you a new plane.  OH BY THE WAY, YOU”VE MISSED YOUR CONNECTING FLIGHT IN CHICAGO AND ARE NOT GOING TO MAKE IT TO DETRIOT TONIGHT.

Awesome.  They were telling passengers they would just reschedule their entire flight and they could leave Phoenix in the morning.  C and I decided to just hop on this flight and spend the night in Chicago, because that way the longest leg of our trip would already be completed and we would only have a one hour flight in the morning to Detroit.  Which would have worked out great had the airline put our bags on the flight. 

C hopped on the plane to save us seats and I stayed back to ask some questions.  Because I was nice and not extremely rude like I am guessing others were, the airline paid for our hotel in Chicago.  Woo hoo! I don’t think many others got this deal…they had to pay for theirs. Everyone also got a $300 travel credit voucher each, which I have to say made it much more palatable!

When we landed in Chicago Southwest gave us the details of our hotel and we headed there by airport shuttle.  Too bad they gave us the WRONG hotel info!  We had to take the shuttle BACK to the airport and get the correct hotel information.  The customer service rep was so chipper about it too. “Oops sorry!  You are staying at the Hampton Inn not the Residence Inn!” I stayed nice and positive, but by this point it was 11:30pm and I had no clothes and we hadn’t eaten anything but airplane snacks since 11am so that lady was lucky. 

When we finally got to the hotel we ordered an authentic Chicago deep dish pizza, took showers, used up all the mini toiletries the hotel had to offer and crashed out.  Three hours later we were up again for our flight to Detroit....


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