19 April 2009

Vegas Vignettes: Day 5 - Travel Hell

Our last day. *sigh* My husband was ready to go home; I hadn't yet reached my limit of people/crowds/noise, but I was close. We woke up and got ready at a leisurely pace, then wandered over to the Paris for another lovely, lovely breakfast.

Back at the hotel, we packed up, then headed downstairs to check out. To our dismay, we discovered that the lobby was just as crowded as it was on the day we checked in. *grumble* Fortunately, the hotel had some staffers making their way through the lines, doing express checkout. As we'd been in line for close to 20 minutes by that point, in front of some very loud, obnoxious, and obviously self-entitled people, we took the express option and ran.

Unfortunately, we still had a couple of hours to kill before our shuttle arrived to take us to the airport. We stored our bags with the bell captain, then hunkered down on a sofa in a quiet corner of the lobby to read and watch people go by.

A couple of hours later, now thoroughly tired of sitting, we gathered our luggage and waited by the curb. The shuttle was late - 10 minutes passed, then 15. I called the shuttle service; the driver, apparently, was stuck in traffic, but would be there soon. Another 10 minutes passed, and the shuttle finally arrived. The harried driver all but snatched our luggage from us, threw it in the back of the bus, then demanded payment. Alarmed, I told him we were on a prepaid package. He scowled and snapped that he'd need our booking number; I produced our travel documents, which he grabbed from my hands. When I protested, he muttered something about having to write things down and that he'd return it to me. Yeah. Right.

We boarded the shuttle. The driver tossed our travel docs onto the dashboard. Then we hung on for dear life with the rest of the passengers as the driver did his best NASCAR-driver impression through the crowded streets. When we got to the airport and stopped at our drop-off point, the driver bolted out of the bus, our paperwork forgotten. I snatched it up on my way out. Asshat.

We checked in at the airline, and my husband, tired of being smooshed into steerage, asked if they had any first class seats left. They did. Score! We then wended our way through the (mercifully short) security line, bought some bottled water and some BK for supper, then settled down at our gate to wait.

Everything else went fine until we were actually on the plane and waiting in line to take off. A passenger in the back of the plane started going into some physical distress, so we had to get out of line, go BACK to the gate, and wait for the Clark County EMTs to arrive. Once they get the guy off the plane, we had to wait to get refueled and fill out paperwork. When we get back in line to take off, we're now 10th in line, with another 20 minute wait. We're now a total of 90 minutes behind schedule.

We arrive in Milwaukee a little after 1 AM, tired, cranky, and fed up. If my husband hadn't had the foresight to purchase places for us up in the comfy seats, I would've had a meltdown by the time all was said and done. We got home and collapsed into bed by 2:30.

Vacations are great, but travel really SUCKS. It's good to be home.


Nancy J. Parra said...

I love new cities and new countries- but I hate to travel. I'm bad at it. Still, I don't let it stop me-just like it didn't stop you. Think of it all as an adventure! Glad you had fun... and thanks for sharing!