Okay, so I’m NOT a morning person. My brain doesn’t fire on all cylinders prior to 9am, and if you get me up before daylight, it’s like waking the beast.
On a recent quest to find a great airfare deal for a family wedding in Connecticut, I booked a 7am flight. Which meant arriving to the airport around 5:30-5:45. Which meant leaving the house at 5-5:15. Which meant getting up while the clock was still in the 4’s. Which is insanity.
We packed the car the night before to minimize the need for early morning brain activity. While I showered and dressed in zombie mode, My Loving Knight took care of the dogs and made breakfast for us. He even had my breakfast waiting in the car for me! We rolled onto airport property at 5:45am. Cutting it close, but enough time that early in the morning.
Somewhere in the fog swirling around my brain, I heard my Knight say, “Did you grab my wallet?”
I panicked in slow motion, staring at him wide-eyed and cursing myself for forgetting his wallet and throwing our whole trip in jeopardy. But then my brain slowly caught up and said, “Wait a minute……”
“Did you ask me to grab your wallet?” He hadn’t, but in the early morning hours, he was clinging to a hope that I might have.
He screeched to a halt near the elevator in the garage and told me to go to the ticket desk and get us a later flight and while he returned home for his wallet.
I couldn’t think. Couldn’t process. Couldn’t reason or problem solve. The world was soft-focus slow motion. I got out of the car like he told me to, still not sure what was happening.
The patient man at the JetBlue counter (who has to actually be at work and functioning BEFORE daylight!) explained the next flight to Hartford would be after 4 that afternoon. That wouldn’t work. We would lose the entire day and miss out on visiting with our dear friends and my husband’s aunt.
I asked if they could get me anywhere in the Tri-State area. Newark, White Plains, NYC. Anywhere within driving distance of our final destination for the day, which was in New York. We settled a 10:20 flight to Newark, which would put us to our friends’ house early afternoon instead of late morning. Disappointing, but unavoidable.
My ticket was a simple $50 change fee. My Knight’s had been booked with award points. Non-refundable, non-changeable, sealed in concrete.
I begged. I pleaded. I may have teared up. Mr. JetBlue made calls. He begged and pleaded. He got results. Another $50 and My Knight’s flight was changed.
It still wasn’t daylight.
I sat in a waiting area shell-shocked, half-asleep, and still in slow motion. As I rearranged our itinerary in my head, I remembered we had gotten a great deal for a rental car on Priceline. We pre-paid for pick-up in Connecticut. Which brought me to the next non-refundable, non-changeable, sealed in concrete obstacle.
No amount of begging and pleading could change the rental car reservation, so I figured we’d just have to eat that cost and book another rental in Newark. With the two $50 change fees and the $100 rental car loss, we were already $200 in the hole. And it WASN’T EVEN DAYLIGHT.
It was worse than I thought, though. The cheapest rental I could find for same-day pick-up, over a weekend, with a drop-off in a different state was $750. Now I was definitely awake.
I went back to the ticket counter, meek and humble, to ask if I could change my tickets AGAIN to the later Hartford flight so I could keep my original rental car. Mr. JetBlue was on break. The not-so-nice lady at the station next to his, (who seemed just as excited as I was to be up so early), called him in the break room and on the phone and cheerfully said, “She’s back. She wants to change her tickets again.” I could almost hear him groan.
Mine was no problem. Well, it was another $50 change fee on top of the one I’d already paid. My Knight’s ticket? No can-do. You can only change a non-refundable, non-changeable, sealed in concrete ticket one time. He was flying into Newark no matter what.
I couldn’t think. I needed a Diet Coke. And more sleep. Part of me wanted to be furious with My Knight, but I was very aware of the many times that man has shown me mercy, grace, and understanding when I’ve made stupid mistakes. Plus, there was a bit of a disparity in responsibilities that morning, which could have led to one partner forgetting his wallet while the other partner simply showered and got in the car to find her breakfast waiting for her. Ahem.
In hindsight and daylight, I should have flown to Connecticut on our original flight and picked up our original rental car to drive to wherever My Knight landed. It would have saved time, money, and stress. But I couldn’t come up with such an elaborate plan when it was still dark out.
So we landed in Newark. Did a one-day one-way car rental and drove about two hours to Hartford, Connecticut. Picked up the original rental car. Dropped off the one-way rental car. Timing put us in rush hour traffic so getting out of Hartford took FOR-E-VAH. We would have made better time and a whole lot less travel, wear and tear if we’d taken the later Hartford flight to begin with. We probably would have liked each other a whole lot more at the end of the day as well.
We left home BEFORE DAYLIGHT and we reached our destination AFTER DAYLIGHT. Ten hours later than planned.
We got there. Safe and sound.
Forgetting the wallet wasn’t fun. But as with all things in life, it’s how you react to it. How you look at it. What you take away from it.
I learned that Connecticut is a beautiful state to drive through. When we finally did arrive, we had an incredible dinner with our friends — good food, good company, lots of love. I got an unexpected view of the Manhattan skyline. Always a treat.
And My Knight and I shared a quaint little lunch together. In Yonkers. Accidental pasta in Yonkers. Life is good.