Rough start to vacation

Maybe Rocky had it right and I should have stayed home. Today was  one of those days where for every good thing seemed like there were 2 bad. I don’t want this to sound like I’m whining because I’m lucky to be able to travel at all.  But let me start at the top.

Our plane was leaving from Albany at 8:10 am. We needed to be at the airport 45 minutes before takeoff. Sandy set the alarm for 5am so she could finish packing , drive to Albany, drop the car at Park n’ Fly and take the shuttle to the airport.  I should have know how the day was going to go when the alarm didn’t go off. Luckily since I was sleeping in a strange place I woke up a little before 5 so it was no harm done.

We made it to the Park n’ Fly with no problem where we were met by 2 parking attendants who just about grabbed our bags out of our hands and hustled us to the office. I didn’t think much of that until Sandy reached for her sunglasses in Phoenix. They were still back in Albany in the car. Sandy hadn’t thought of it until we reached Phoenix where the sun was shining very brightly.

In the meantime I noticed that I didn’t have my insulated “hoodie”. I must have left it or dropped it when we were boarding. Wonderful! If the weather was like the last time evenings will be very cool and then it will warm up during the day. In any case, I would need a light jacket or sweatshirt. The Southwest attendant called Albany to see if anyone had turned it in but so far no luck. She suggested I keep trying.

And if that wasn’t enough when we landed in Chicago the pilot must have thought they didn’t need the landing gears anymore. The plane felt like it just dropped onto the runway and then bounced twice. It was the roughest landing I have ever experienced.But again no one was hurt so no harm done. We exited the plane and enjoyed a great breakfast at Harry’s Grill while we waited for our connecting flight.

After breakfast we returned to the gate to board for the 2nd leg of the trip but there was  a “delayed” sign. Yup they broke it! Or lost it..or something. Sandy was telling everyone who would listen “Broken Plane!” Cracked me up! About an hour later, a plane was finally hooked up to the jetway for boarding.

This flight was uneventful and the landing in Phoenix was smooth. Maybe things are getting better? We headed down to the baggage claim, retrieved our luggage and went searching for the rental cars….way down at the other end of the airport we found a shuttle to the rental cars. Now you would think they would drop you off at the rental kiosk. No they dropped us off at the farthest point from the kiosk we needed. Guess who didn’t get a tip.

Finally, sweaty and huffing and puffing we found the Payless counter. Long line! At least we had time to catch our breath before we checked in. All was going smoothly until the attendant told me my credit card wasn’t going through. I said WHAT! since I made sure there was room on the card for the rental. Turned out that he was charging the rental fee of $404.00 plus an additional $250.oo deposit. They also wanted an extra $10.oo/ day to add Sandy as a 2nd driver.  I kicked and screamed and protested to no avail. Sandy finally stepped up and gave them a card for the deposit. You can be sure I will not use Payless again!

Finally in our rental and on our way we took a detour to try to find the Scottsdale Trolley. We saw the trolley stops but we never figured out for sure how to track down the trolley we wanted and the driver, Boston Jim, that we wanted to meet. With the time changes and all we had no idea what time it really was but we were hungry. By luck we picked a place called Clancy’s Irish Grill.

Sandy spotted the Green Bay Packer’s banner as soon as we walked in so we figured we were on the right track.

 Turns out our luck may be changing because it was really good. We met a very nice senior citizen there who chatted with us until it was time to get on the road again.( Mary Lou it was really nice chatting with you. )

Since by now it was 4pm  Arizona time we couldn’t fool around anymore in Scottsdale. We’ll have to catch up to Boston Jim on our next trip. We still had several hours to Sedona and check in was 4pm. Guess we’re going to be late. I think I’ll just blame Southwest for being late.

We arrived at the Sedona Summit around 6pm and began the check in process. I knew they would want a $50.00 room deposit and made sure I had that available on another card. It gets refunded when you check out unless you trash the place. Imagine my surprise when the receptionist gave me my check-in papers and the charge was $100.00. By now I am felling like a real loser with a Capital L! I have to cross my fingers that my direct deposit gets in the account before some outstanding checks come in or each check is going to cost me another $27.00! I was feeling pretty low at this point.

We took our keys and let ourselves into the condo. We both just stood there in shock as it was a studio but the receptionist had confirmed it was a 2 bedroom???I began to look around and then it hit me. Try the door next to the one we opened and there it was. Mystery solved. The condo is beautiful. Full kitchen, balcony, living room , diningroom , fireplace and a big bedroom. The studio is bedroom # 2. We called the front desk and they sent someone over to unlock the adjoining doors. We each have our own bathrooms with showers and there’s even a jacuzzi. Now I’m thinking that things are looking up.

We started to unpack. I was missing a camera battery and a brand new box of tea bags. Tea Bags? What does the TSA want with Tea Bags? Sandy’s bags had been rifled too and they opened her bottle of conditiner..and didn’t put the top back on. What a mess!

So after a day of ups and downs we are sitting here enjoying a glass of wine with some cheese and crackers and drowning our sorrows. I’m looking forward to tomorrow and since there shouldn’t be any more financial surprises, a better day for the start of vacation.

I will continue to keep you updated of our adventures (mis-adventures?) for good or bad because that is what this blog is all about. If I shared only the good, how would that help you with your travels?:)

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