Series of unfortunate events continued....
New York Travel Blog› entry 5 of 5 › view all entries
December 2nd, 2007 – by: gwizzle17
Shannon: Shouting, "Gwen!"
Me: Waking with a start, "What?!"
Shannon: "It's snowing!"
Me: "Ugh." Goes back to sleep.
I might've crushed Shannon's dreams but at 6 in the morning, I wouldn't care if Santa Claus was actually outside the window. =) Later, at a more decent hour, the sight of snow made our decision for us- definitely no conference. My mom's from Missouri so I'd seen snow plenty of times in my life (although it's only snowed once in 100 years in Brownsville!), but just knowing that we happened to be in New York for the first snow of the season was so enchanting.
Mistake #2 and a bit of backstory: I had won a photo contest at my STA travel branch in Austin a while back, but getting 3rd only got me a $25 gift certificate, which doesn't buy much at STA. A couple days before the trip, Liz and I went in to see what I could get in New York for the amount. The answer: not much. I could, however, purchase the airport shuttle that would pick us up from any hotel and take us directly to La Guardia for $16. Sure, I'll take it. I used the rest to purchase the same thing for my friend, and everyone else just purchased their's online.
Flash forward to Sunday around 1:00pm: Everyone else in our party had received calls confirming pick up time and place.
Me: "Hi, my name is Gwen. I'm just calling to confirm our shuttle today at 2:00pm."
Shuttlelady: "Sure, just give me your name."
Shuttlelady: "Hmmm....I'm not seeing that. What time did you say it was for?"
Shuttlelady: "Hmmm....are you traveling with anyone else?"
Me: "Yes, Liz __."
Shuttlelady: "No, ma'am, I'm not finding anything. We don't have a reservation for you."
Me: "Huh? I have a confirmation right in front of me. Pick up at 2:00pm at the Hampton Inn."
Shuttlelady: "No, ma'am. I'm sorry but I can't help you.
At that point I hung up angrily because STA failed to inform me of this necessary step. With little time 'til our flight and no idea how long it would take to get there, we had no other option but to take a taxi to the airport. It was pretty much the most expensive photo I've ever taken- $100 for the two of us(+$32 for the shuttle). I sadly parted with my $50, thinking STA better be ready for when I go in there on Monday. Because the cab was faster than the shuttle, we arrived 20 minutes earlier than anyone else. After passing through a long line at security, we feasted on the wonderful terminal food- pretzels, salads and brownies.
On the third trip to the Au Bon Pain stand, we noticed that our flight back to SA was delayed an hour due to the snow. While we waited for everyone else to arrive, we contemplated the consequences. Our layover flight in Houston was, of course, only 50 minutes long. Liz and I laughed at what would undoubtedly be major frustration for the rest(I didn't have class until 2:00pm the next day, so I wasn't worried). Sure enough, everyone else arrives, I tell them the news, and our driver(of all people!) gets angry at me, the humble messenger, because she has homework she needs to do. After many talks with the airline staff, we come to realize that many of the people on our flight also needed the connection so they would try to hold back the plane for us.
Not quite. The flight itself was uneventful. We were all entering the leg of the trip when, although you don't really want to leave, once you get heading home, you want nothing else but to get there. We checked one bag on the way back, as my friend couldn't easily stuff a nearly 50 pound duffle bag into overhead(!), so we went immediately to baggage claim, ready to drive the hour to Austin and sleep(since it was nearly 2 in the morning by this point). As we wait for her duffle bag to come around, I glance around the empty airport and spot our driver rifling through her bag a little frantically. I know something is wrong.
Mistake #3: As she approaches us, I brace myself. "Hey guys. So, uh, I can't find my keys.
"Lisa, do the lights in here usually turn on when every single door is open?"
After the appropriate amount of time and in near hysterical relief we get in the car, ready to go.
Crisis, finally, averted. =)
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