Friday, April 28, 2006

bad Juju

My wife seems to think that I have done something untoward to the people of Louisiana, or elsewhere. Louisiana jumps to mind most quickly since I was just there last month to do some mission work in Lake Charles. I took a group of young adults from the Cal-Pac Conference and we got some great work done. But since then, my flying has had some mishaps.
First adventure was the trip home from Lake Charles. We got a late start out of the Lake Charles thanks to a delayed flight coming in, so we wound up leaving close to when we were supposed to be landing in Houston. Noone said anything about this on behalf of the airline, no we are running late, no we are going to see about trying to get you different connections while we wait, not even the reasons for the delay.
So we landed in Houston and the four of us on that leg of the trip were ready to go see what we could do, since our flights had already left. Continental was less than helpful. For the record, if your flight is ever missed or delayed "due to weather" the airline is not responsible for anything - yep, nothing, zip, zilch, nada. We were not happy and tried to get the best flight we could. We wound up going out on four different flights, rather than the two we had been booked for in the first place.
That was round one. Now we just returned from a trip in Alabama and once again the flights were not with us. I have to give a great shout out to a dear friend Stacey, who got our tickets, and played travel agent while we were stuck on the road. Which then begs the story as to why Stacey needed to do anything.
Getting to the South was not a problem, but getting home was once again an ordeal. We left Lower Alabama to get to Montgomery and return the car we had borrowed with plenty of time. One stop for breakfast, and we were ready to be on our way, only I tagged a car backing out of our parking space. Fortunately no damage was done, but it scared me and I took the time to survey any possible damage. It just hit the trailer hitch on the back of the car we were driving and didn't seem to do any damage to the other car we hit.
Then I tried navigating the streets of Montgomery to find myself out of range of what I knew and had to get directions and run myself in some backtracking to get to the right location. We were still an hour and a half worth of cushion ahead of the drive to Birmingham to make it to our flight.
So we continued in the adventure, finding a two hour delay on the 1 and a half mile stretch of highway on I-65 from mile marker 229 onto mile marker 231. Really bad juju. So we got stuck in Birmingham as we had missed the last flight of the day. Oh well, thanks to Stacey we had been rescheduled for the next flight available - the next day on the same flight. Needless to say we stayed close to the airport so we could ensure our arrival there on time.
We got a nice hotel room, and go to get the room - bits in the toilet, the room has a funk that just is not pretty, and the "Free in-room wireless" had to be located out in the hall. I went to see about another room and they did have such a thing, right next door, and so we shifted.
Setting up camp was not much of a problem. It seemed we could get the wireless in the room, there were still bits in the toilet, but not as many, and the smell of the room was such that it semlled like it had actually been cleaned.
We went to dinner and had some very nice food. It came time for dessert and the fried cheesecake was not a problem, but apparently making a chocolate brownie Sunday caused a host of troubles as it was delayed beyond the arrival of the fried cheesecake, not once, but twice. A comped dessert worked out alright.
We get back to the room and I start to get ready for the shower, and find a wet towel and bath products hidden in the folds of the shower curtain. I was miffed, but didn't really want to deal with changing rooms. as I didn't expect that changing rooms would get me anything better.
The next morning I reported it to the clerk who had changed our room the night before. We wound up with a comped room.
We made the flight, got the other connectors on the way home and arrived tired and ready to be home a day late and a few dollars shorter.
I think the South wants to keep me there, but I have yet to determine the true cause. Maybe I just interfered with the wrong person in Louisiana and I got some bad juju.


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