Catch up - Airport saga

Trip Start Apr 23, 2008
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Trip End May 28, 2008


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Flag of United States  , Ohio
Wednesday, April 30, 2008

I'm back online catching up from Lebanon, OH.  Steve, our host (who is currently winging his way to Ireland), kindly fiddled around with the laptop last night and got me back up and running.  We've been here in the USA exactly one week now - what a wonderful country!  Everyone we have met to date has been genuine, helpful, warm and welcoming.  It has been an amazing experience.

But I guess I should pull out my note book, back up a little and start at the start.  My travel blog will be less long winded so if you want the brief version, go over there and take a look. 

This day last week, after almost 11 years, we took to the skies.    Admittedly I was more than just a little apprehensive but the kids were great and the airline staff fantastic. Having sailed Irish Ferries all UK routes and to France, I really didn't know what we were in for.  Our ferry experiences were consistently dreadful - we lugged a wheelchair, our daughter, babies and buggies up several flights of steps to board and on the European sailing which thankfully had elevators, the lift down to the overnight cabins was either out of order or disabled by the staff.  But Aer Lingus are A1.  We were assisted with check in and once on board the plane, one of the hostesses secured a spare row of seats on front of us which meant that Miss T got to stretch out.

The flying conditions were very good (a relief as I detest turbulance) and six and a half hours later we touched down in DC.  Having TG and the little guys enabled us to go through security in 45 minutes instead of the estimated 2-3 hour wait.  Once all ten digits were electonically scanned (finger printed) and our mugshots taken, we were in!  All we had to do now was hook up with our van driver in arrivals. 

Sometimes our plans are not for the best as was the case this time round.

One hour passed with no sign of the driver.  Then another.  We got a couple of fiesty information ladies on side who joyfully took up the cause. They called the van hire company and basically the driver had gone walkabout with his mobile switched off.  His boss and family didn't know where he was - apparently.  Another hour passed with no show.  Our group of little weary travellers sat huddled together at what would be after 10pm back home, as I fed them a dinner of Cheezits, beef jerky and Hershey bars, courtesy of the airport newsagents (way over priced)

Experience has taught me that there is just no point getting stressed in such situations as it achieves absolutely nothing.  We had accommodation booked two hours drive away and athough hubby had kipped on the plane, we'd only gotten less than four hours broken sleep the night before so he was pretty whacked.  Airport car hire online had nothing to meet our needs.  'Thrifty' did have a van but would only rent for 4 weeks and the rest came up blank I really hadn't a scooby what we'd do should this guy fail to show.

After three hours, our advocates suggested we get an airport rental.  They touched base with one company manager who stated that they had a suitable vehicle and asked him to give us a good deal which he assured he would.  We proceded to make our way out of the airport, hopped on the bus, only to find that the manager had gone home.  Just as hubby was completing the paperwork our guardian angel from the information desk who was on her way home, entered and changed things a little!  I will be forever grateful to this woman, a force to be reckoned with.

We gathered up our bags and made our way to where the beast stood.  Suddenly the male folks came alive.  I stuck my head in the car door amidst whoops of "woah, it's a Dodge", and did a mental seat count.  Seven seats ... I couldn't believe it. So back to the office hubby went.  At the stroke of midnight back home on a beautiful sunny evening, we finally exited the airport for our drive east.  Three hours later, we rolled into bed location Seven Bends River, Shenandoah Valley, Viginia.

Not only did we not have to leave our driver back to Alexandria, we missed rush hour traffic and ended up with great, fuel efficient car which cost less than the van we had planned to rent.  God is good.
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