I opened my eyes this morning not to the sight of San Jose, Costa Rica, but the rain-drenched green of Illinois.   You were possibly expecting to see more pictures like the one above  or hear about our trip to Costa Rica, Day 1?  I was looking forward to taking some pictures and telling that story.  Here’s what really happened.

We got our carry-on bags packed.  No checked bags; you must remember that Spirit Airlines charges even for carry-ons and we had just under a week.  We’d made all the hard decision of “should it stay or should it go”,  crammed our little quart Ziploc bags full of toiletries  (planning to buy suntan lotion and regular lotion there), had a good lunch and packed some tasty, healthy food (and a dark chocolate bar) in my pack and been driven to the airport by Bill and his GPS .  We walked up to the counter to get our boarding pass.  Shannon told the young woman we were going to Ft. Lauderdale, then on to Costa Rica, leaving at 6:15 and she said…

in quiet tones…

“That flight’s been cancelled due to bad weather.”

The words dropped easily into the air, vibrated through the molecules, slid into our ears…and there was a short pause before our brains registered–No flight to Florida???  What to do???

The one unexpected thing (like the Spanish Inquisition); the single, unplanned-for, unanticipated factor that changes everything.

We looked at each other, then Shannon and the woman went through all the possible flight permutations: departure times, flights on other airlines, numbers of stops, cost.   When the calculator stopped calculating, the grim fact was that we would miss at least a day of our already not-as-long-as-we’d-like trip, even if she paid considerably more, and the decision became clear.  Cancel.  Get a refund.  Plan for another set of dates when we might be able not only to have the week, but the weekends on either end as well.

It was as if my…maybe not premonitions, but feelings about the airline and the trip, the feeling that it wasn’t all real, were now real.  Not much-needed break for Shannon; no trip to a new, exotic place for me; (no cool blog material.)  But we both looked at each other, laughingly said, “Wow, that was a short trip”, then realized that things could have been worse.  The canceled flight could have happened when we were already in Florida.  We could have had reservations in Costa Rica that had to be canceled and money could have been lost.  We could have been going when this trip was the only possible time we could go and thus lost the entire opportunity.  We could have spent lots of money getting ready and then not been able to go.  Shannon could have lost all her vacation days because she’d already put in for them.  We could have been so emotionally invested in going that we would have been crushed.  And we could have had to get closer to security than this:

Instead, we both laughed a lot, spend three somewhat crazy hours in the airport until Bill could come back to get us, notified a few people, looked at pictures on my iPad from Bill’s and my vacation in France last fall (which Shannon hadn’t seen yet), had some coffee and tea from Starbucks; then went back to Naperville, went to the sports bar, had some dinner and watched the rest of another hockey game.

Shannon won’t get her much-needed and anticipated break right now, but she did get a couple days off and some mother-daughter bonding time, although not quite what she’d expected!  I’ll get to spent four days with Bill and be home when our younger daughter comes back from France.  Maybe I’ll even be able to figure out some more things on my iPad.  I know I’ll get to read, relax and watch some more hockey.  And I can learn some Spanish before we take our trip to Costa Rica…whenever that might be.  Life is good.

*********************************************************

Thunder and lightning play in the background, tearing apart the darkness, then rumbling though the night.  I look forward to curling up under the covers and going to sleep.  After all, as Scarlett O’Hara famously said, “Tomorrow is another day.”

Comments
  1. Bummer Janet and Shannon! Enjoy your day together.

  2. Cindy Marsch says:

    What a great attitude! I don’t think I would have shared it!

  3. Sarah says:

    Wow! Glad to hear you turned what could have been a huge disappointment into something positive! Travel safe on your way home later this week!

  4. Shannon says:

    Make-up trip is in order! I’m sad we won’t get to spend mother’s day together 😦

    • We had a couple days that could have been Mother’s Day days…except you would have had to buy the lunch. 🙂 I’ll be looking forward to the make-up trip and that’s not makeup!!

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