Wednesday, January 29, 2014

"Surprise" Visit to Florida for CS's Bridal Shower & Bachelorette... The Journey to Get There

Back in October CS's sister and matron of honor contacted me to let me know when CS's bridal shower and bachelorette party would be.  She made sure to let me know with plenty of time so that if I could make it to the shower, it would be a surprise for CS.  Of course after discussing things with my soon to be hubby it was decided that we were in fact going to surprise CS for her shower and would be buying plane tickets as soon as we got back from our honeymoon.  Of course I knew I would see and talk to CS a bunch before the shower... which oh by the way was going to be in Florida... and I was super nervous I would spill the beans.  I made it through the wedding and honeymoon without mentioning a word to her about our upcoming trip to Florida.  I was doing so well.

If I was doing so well you might wonder why the title to this post has "Surprise" with the quotation marks around it.  Well it manged to be a surprise until just a few weeks before the shower.  Another friend invited me to an event on Facebook and when I declined with the comment that I would be in Florida that weekend somehow that comment showed up on CS's newsfeed.  Now CS DOESN'T EVEN KNOW the person whose event I was invited to... so I have NO IDEA how it ended up on her news feed... but it did... and the beans were spilled.  Of course I was absolutely devastated that the beans had been spilled because I had kept this a secret for MONTHS!  I mean I talk to CS just about every freaking day and tell her EVERYTHING... yet I manged to keep this a secret for MONTHS!!! How could Facebook do this to me?!?!?!?  I was so upset!  Thankfully CS was so excited that I was making the trip to Florida that I couldn't stay upset for long.

After our whirlwind of a trip to visit both our families for Christmas we made it back to West Chester for a few hours to unpack the car from Christmas, unpack our bags from Christmas, and repack carry on suitcases to head to Florida for a weekend.  I think we maybe spent a total of 2 hours in our apartment before heading off to the airport.  Getting to the airport was a breeze... getting through security not so much.  Thankfully I am a crazy person and wanted to allow for as much time as possible before our flight, so the fact that it took us over 45 minutes to get through security was really no big deal as I had allotted for disasters like this to occur.  I swear we stood in the same spot for over half an hour just waiting to go through security.  No clue why they were working so inefficiently, but needless to say it was not getting our trip off to a good start.  We make it to the gate before the plane starts boarding, so no big deal.  Trying to board the plane ended up being VERY interesting and taking FOREVER because the airline let people book seats in emergency aisles who couldn't speak English and/or had children under the age of 5.  Now anyone who flies... EVER... knows that in order to sit in an exit row you need to a) be able to speak perfect English and b) be able to operate the emergency exit which means obviously NO CHILDREN.  Obviously this means that we have to spend a while waiting to board the plane while they get this situated... which obviously means that our flight left late.  What kind of a flight leaves late because of where people are seated?!  Other than that the flight wasn't too bad minus the child a few rows in front of us who screamed the entire flight.  Man was I glad to get off that plane.

We finally make it to Florida and after getting our bags head out to meet the shuttle to take us to our rental car place.  Well after numerous phone calls and waiting about 45 minutes for the shuttle that  supposedly comes every 15 minutes we make it to the rental car agency.  When we get there we think it is a little odd that there are only 4 cars in the agency parking lot and there are 3 employees sitting inside plus our shuttle driver.  Regardless we are hoping for the best.  We get in there and it turns out that they have NO cars.  Yup, that's right, they had NO FREAKING CARS.  They said they had problems with people returning their cars on time and there were no cars.  We asked when they would have cars again and they said they didn't know.  At this point I am exhausted from all of our traveling and pretty much want to kill someone.  We ask them what they are going to do and they tell us that we can wait for the shuttle to come back and that it will take us back to the airport where hopefully we can get a car from one of the other agencies.  I ask how long it will take for the shuttle to be back because at this point it had gone back to the airport to pick up more people to bring them to the agency only for them to find out that they have no cars. While we were waiting for the shuttle to come back M and I were on our phones trying to find a car agency at the airport that had cars... but guess what... yup... you guessed it... ALL OF THE RENTAL CAR AGENCIES WERE OUT OF CARS!!!!!!!  So we go back inside and tell them that there are no cars to be found at the Tampa Airport and I am pretty sure that they guy had a mini-heart attack at hearing that news.  There was nothing that could be done at this point except head back to the airport and hope for the best.

We got back to the airport, confirmed that there were in fact no rental cars to be found and then had to figure out what to do.  We debated about getting a hotel room at the airport and then trying to get a car in the morning.  Unfortunately none of the rental car agencies could guarantee that they would even have cars in the morning, so that plan was out.  Thankfully CS is an amazing friend and bride and tired as she was drove an hour to the airport with her fiance to pick up M and I at like 11pm so we didn't get back to her house until 1am.  Now anyone who knows CS and her fiance knows that this is going above and beyond because they are normally in bed by 9pm.  We got back to CS' house at 1am the morning of what was the day of her bridal shower/bachelorette.  It was definitely a horrendous day of traveling and I am pretty sure I passed out the minute that my head hit the pillow.  I was just so glad to finally be in a bed and to be able to put a horrendous day of traveling behind us.

I think what bothered me the most about the fact that there were no cars was that they kept on shuttling people to and from the airport only for them to find out there were no cars.  Had they told us that there were no cars when we started calling them at 9pm we could have started the process of finding a new rental car sooner.... or we could have asked CS and her finance to leave to come pick us up sooner so that we weren't getting back at 1am.  I felt like this rental car company could have cared less about its customers and continued to shuttle people to their location only to have them get there and tell them that they had more cars.  I would have been so much less upset if they had sent someone to the airport with the shuttle to let us know what was going on instead of having us spend almost 2 hours in time waiting for the shuttle, being shuttled to their location, talking to a representative, waiting for a shuttle back to the airport and then being shuttled back to the airport. It was a customer service nightmare and you better believe that we will NEVER be going with this company EVER again.

As Always... Today I am thankful that I have my blog as an outlet where I can express myself.  I love that even if no one ever reads this that I have had the opportunity to put my thoughts down on paper.  I love that I have this record for myself where I can look back and see what I was feeling at any particular time.  I am hoping that 2014 is the year that my blog takes off and that I make more of an effort to keep up with it.  So far it is looking good as I think I have posted more this January than I have ever since I started this blog... in fact I think I may have had a year (or 2) where I had less posts than I have written this month.  This year is going to be the year that I continue to write down my thoughts and feelings.... so exciting!


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