Friday, August 19, 2011

A Cancelled Flight, A Rental Pickup Truck, and Northeastern Ohio

Now, don't get me wrong. I love the grand home state. Anyone will tell you that. I am the first one to actively proclaim my love for good ol' OH-IO! Maybe I should clarify. I love all things CINCINNATI. And Columbus, to an extent.

I've never actually explored all that much of northeastern Ohio yet. Until today, that is. I was in a small Ohio town this week... certainly a different feel than Chicago, Illinois. But charming Ohio, at its best, if you will.

However, I was sooo ready, set, PUMPED for this weekend. I'd been planning to attend this Healthy Living Summit in Philly for the past couple of months and I had been looking forward to it since before I'd even booked my tickets.

So I arrive at the Canton/Akron airport around 12:30 PM, when my flight to Philly only left at 5:45 PM, because I just carpooled with my co-worker to the airport for his earlier flight. And, let's face it, there were no other flights (earlier OR later) to Philly from Canton/Akron today.

So what happens when a flight to Philly gets cancelled? Well, I am quickly finding out.

After being stuck in the darn Canton/Akron airport for 5 1/2 hours, I find out that the flight is cancelled due to storms in Philly. UGH, this SO would NOT be happening if I were flying Southwest, I know that for a FACT. A few options were available- either get booked on the next flight to Philly tomorrow morning at 7:30 AM, drive an hour to the Cleveland airport and take another Philly flight tonight (hoping and praying that THAT flight isn't cancelled), or DRIVE to Philly (it was only eight hours... if I left around 6 PM, I would arrive around 2 AM, which would be fine by me).

Surprisingly, that third option was actually the first one I was opting for. Okay, so when you're stuck in an airport waiting for delayed/cancelled flights, your bound to make some new friends right? So this one girl, this one guy and I had befriended each other and were starting to make plans to actually rent a car and DRIVE to Philly tonight. The poor guy had to get to New York for WORK tomorrow (God, his life blows).

Considering I didn't even know these people's names... I'm actually kinda glad this option didn't work out. Could've been interesting, could've been disastrous.

I ended up going for the second option. Drive to Cleveland and hope and pray for that flight to come in. The primary reason I wanted to do this, was because I wanted to get to Philly at LEAST tonight, since the Healthy Living Summit starts at like 8 AM tomorrow morning... and I didn't want to miss a SECOND of it.

Sooo... I end up going to the National rental car desk (since it was the ONLY one with no line) and they quickly got me a rental car... and by rental car, I mean rental PICKUP TRUCK.

Ummm. Again, do NOT get me wrong. I have nothing against trucks or anything. However, I can 100% say I, myself, have never driven, nor really CONSIDERED driving, a truck.

Desperate times call for desperate measures. A pickup truck to roadtrip through northeastern Ohio.


Once I got into the truck (God), I immediately Google mapped directions to the Cleveland airport. Considering the directions included SIX highways, I already knew I was going to have to buffer some time for getting lost. You're talking to a girl who has NO sense of direction here.

Thankfully, luck was apparently on my side, and I quickly saw the highways come and go, just as I expected. It was all going like clockwork. Faster than clockwork really... let's just say I am LUCKY I did not get a speeding ticket today.

The whole time I was speeding down those highways, the primary thought running through my mind was: if my driving isn't going to kill me, my parents will. Because, not only was I averaging about 80 mph in 55 mph speed limit areas... but I was all the while thinking about what a terrific blog opportunity this was- and snapping a few pictures along for, well, documentation purposes!

As if it weren't enough that I was driving the hour to the Cleveland airport, I of course, of COURSE, came across a toll road. Which requires stopping. And paying. Even more than I already paid for this darn rental car.

Awesome. I can't even remember the last time I saw a toll booth. Hell, I can't remember the last time I DROVE... big city girl, that I am.

I guess that would explain the slightly maniacal driving habits. And by slightly maniacal, I sure do mean I was passing everyone on the highway. Nothing was stopping me... not even construction zones, BABY! (I wish, oh I WISH, I'd snapped a picture of the construction zone. But that would have 100% resulted in an accident. And please. I'm the picture of responsibility. HA.)

Welll... I guess I was going faster than I expected. I actually got to the Cleveland airport in a little under an hour! Wahooooo!!! Well... until I realized that the rental car place is like out in who knows WHERE. Ugh, it was like a neverending nightmare. I hastily drop off the rental car and hop on the rental car shuttle... and thankfully, it was like my personal valet service. It jetted off as soon as I boarded. Wahooooo!!! Again!

Okay. So I get to the airport, hurry scurry through security once again, basically RUN to my gate... to find out my Philly flight is delayed. And it hasn't left Philly yet, due to storms.

I swear, if this flight gets cancelled, I'm going to cry. Cry.

Screw prepping for the Healthy Living Summit. Screw it. I'm having a Dr. Pepper.

And some cookies.


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