Monday, July 28, 2008

summer fun: weddings and travel

Greg and I went to a wedding this weekend and had fun dancing the night away.  The bride was Greg's good friend and longtime neighbor Lauren, who he says is responsible for the fact that he passed his high school math classes.  Greg grew up in an almost Norman Rockwell-like neighborhood, where all the neighbors know each other, there's a traditional Christmas party, and you can always run down the street to borrow sugar.  It's an experience far removed from my own (I grew up on the mean streets, baby) and I get a real kick out of hanging out with the neighborhood crew.  

It was also a good chance to spend a little time with Greg's parents before their upcoming trip to Spain and Paris.  They're going to see some friends who they have hosted in the past as foreign exchange students, and about whom the well of stories never runs dry.  Greg and I are super-jealous, but wish them a lovely trip.

However, we do have a trip of our own scheduled for later in August--we'll be heading out to Chicago to see our friends Jamie and Jimmy, as well as to watch the Phillies play the Cubs at Wrigley Field.  (Three guesses as to who is more excited about that.)  

The only problem is that, as the date draws nearer, we are getting more concerned about actually getting there.  You see, we are flying US Air.  

If you have flown US Air before, I probably don't even need to say anything else, but if you haven't, let me clue you in.  DON'T FLY US AIR.  I started regretting my decision as soon as I booked the tickets, but they were so much cheaper that I couldn't resist.  When I have flown US Air in the past, it has almost always been an experience of delayed flights, no communication from the people in the know, lost luggage, and even having things stolen out of our luggage.  Oh yes, and the time that we had to get off the plane after sitting on the runway because the luggage truck had CRASHED INTO the plane while loading the suitcases.

Our fears are only compounded by the sorry state of air travel in general right now.  Andrea's friend Amy recently tried to get out to Indianapolis for a visit, only to be delayed for over 24 hours.  

Sure enough, last night I had an email from Orbitz.  It was very cryptic, something along the lines of this:  "Mr. Gregory James Cesare, your Orbitz itinerary has changed.  Please call this number 1-800-OH-CRAP and enter the following record code: !@#$%^&*()ABCDLKE))*WERNSDLKFNWERS.

I called the number, and in a reasonable 10 minutes, had managed to connect to a real live person and enter the code (and get dinner on the stove).  20 minutes later, the operator informed me that our flight out of Chicago would be delayed by 2 hours.  As she prepared to dismiss me, I asked, "Will that affect our connecting flight?"  She seemed confused by the question, but eventually managed to inform me that: "Your flight arrives in Pittsburgh at 11:36 AM, and your connecting flight departs Pittsburgh at 11:28 AM."  Long pause.  "And I can tell you that that will be a missed connection."

She put me on hold, I put the phone on speaker, and Greg and I proceeded to eat dinner and watch an entire sitcom before she came back on the line, only to let me know that she had to put me on hold again.  When she finally came back, I was so overexcited to grab the phone that I actually hung up on her.

Jamie, I hope to see you in August, but it's not looking good.

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