Monday, February 13, 2012

The Amazing Race and the Many Reasons We're Not on Reality TV

It's been such a good week, amidst all the craziness of saying goodbyes and getting things sorted with the house, the dog, the housesitter, my job and all other matters and loose ends. We left Saskatoon yesterday and drove to MacGregor, MB to my sister-in-law's house and bunked over night. One last night with a big, brown lab as my only blanket and then a quick, not teary goodbye this morning at 0'dark'thirty as someone says...not sure who...just someone. My brother in law Lloyd shuttled us to the Winnipeg airport and we hit the tarmac and headed off to Toronto and then on to Washington, DC for what was supposed to be a quick connection. Upon arrival, we noticed about a 40 min delay posted for our flight and slowed to a reasonable pace and arrived at the gate in time to get boarding passes and figure out luggage in transit and grab a bite to eat. That was at 5:30. It's 10:30 pm now and after a few long and longer delays and a final cancellation on our flight, we sprung into Amazing Race mode complete with wrong turns and a few not so lovely words to a D.C. taxi driver that treated me like a moron for asking to go to the Landsdown Hotel vs. the Landsdown RESORT. For that, I should be truly sorry and yet right now, I still want to kick his tires and tell him he's the reason Americans get a bad rap.That is why I will never go on Amazing Race, I replay my own misdeeds often enough mentally without a video feed and twitter commentary on my bad behaviours! We did pull some good moves tonight though, if I may brag just a little. At 8:40, a third attempt at a departure time, we noticed some rustling and mumbling amongst the flight crew so Jason cleverly positioned himself front and centre with access to the desk at a moments notice of a cancellation announcement. As luck would have it, they announced that our rows would have to receive our hotel vouchers at Gate 41, not gate 63 where Jason was. Where were the boys and I cleverly hanging out and playing Scrabble Slam for the 50th time you ask? Oh, gate 41. Easton popped up just as a mob of 150 people came running down the concourse toward us and scored us the front of the line. Seriously, the kid has got some MOVES! I know we're supposed to be all sweetness and light, putting others first, but we grabbed our vouchers and hastily beelined for the arrivals level where a shuttle was due to pick us up. After 10 mins and an increasingly long line of grumpy safari type travellers in brand new vests and khakis, we decided to find out the cost of a taxi. Best $31 we ever spent. Adjoining rooms, cheerful front desk staff, free computer access, meals...and in the background now, I hear the dull roar of a long line of grumpy would be safari enthusiasts lamenting how "mickey mouse" the whole "operation" is and they should have booked through Tennessee. (Heaven KNOWS Tennessee doesn't have these city type problems!)
So, I'm signing off, going to sink into that luxury king size bed overlooking DC and brush my teeth with the hotel supplied mouthwash. Tomorrow, we'll slip back into our clothes for the second full day and hopefully be winging our way over the Atlantic towards Johannesburg. Sweet dreams friends!


Brooke said...

Safe travels! Thanks for keeping us posted on all the craziness. Excited for you guys to finally be there.

Melanie Cole said...

Hope the rest of your travels go smoothly. Stay safe all of you! I miss you already!

The Dumonceaux family said...

Great photos, VanBs! Hope you made it safety across the pond and are getting acclimatized in your new surroundings. The story below about Natalie giving Aidan the what-for during a game of street hockey made us chuckle. We had to explain it to Natalie, though, she thought it meant you had a new neighbour named Natalie!
Shelly, you are an AMAZING writer - hope you plan to publish some day. We will continue to keep all of you in our thoughts and prayers and follow your blog posts with great interest.
The Dumonceaux family

The Dumonceaux family said...

Easton, this is Nick. I have something important – very, very important – to tell you. HI :)