Recently we decided to visit Jeff’s dad in Arizona. We rarely travel without our camper. Once a year we head to the twin cities in the middle of winter to break up the monotony of ice cold North Dakota winter and that’s always a camper-less road trip. However, Arizona is a bit far for us to drive when we don’t have a ton of time to dedicate to the traveling portion so we persuaded ourselves to fly.
If you want to watch our video on the first part of our trip, you can find it here:
The plan was simple. Two first class tickets (because the upgrade was nice & cheap and felt good to spoil ourselves a bit) to Arizona leaving bright and early on a Friday morning before the sun even came up, putting us in Arizona by 10:00 a.m. This basically gives us the whole day still in Arizona which meant we’d get seven full days.
Unfortunately, “Delayed” became the theme of the day. Our first flight was out of Grand Forks and departed several hours late because there was a light in the cockpit that was burned out and they didn’t have a replacement. This made it illegal to fly until the sun came up and could provide the light necessary. When our plane landed in Minneapolis we were literally offboarded at the furthest point we could possibly be from our next planes departing gate.
So we ran. It wasn’t pretty. HAHA It was like one of those scenes from a movie. Quite frankly I’ve watched this scene on a big screen more times than I can count and never thought it actually happened – Two passengers running for our lives through a crowded airport that seems to somehow be a 5 mile run from where our last plane dropped us to where our next plane is picking us up. We are disheveled and desperately trying not to drop anything that would cause us to stop mid-run thus delaying us further. We “think” we’re ok because the flights’ doors aren’t closing for 3 more minutes according to the app. But as we’re running we see the gate attendant looking like she might be about to close the door, so we start yelling and flailing our arms about. She ignores us, closes and locks the door anyways, then turns around to meet her haters face to face. She was polite but seemed to feel much satisfaction while she told us that once that door is closed it can’t be opened again and unsympathetically apologizes. We proclaimed that the app said there were 3 more minutes before the gate closed and that it’s not our fault she closed the door early. We also whined a bit about how we knew damn well she heard us yelling and saw us running. END SCENE
YEP – that was us. So now it’s only like 8:00 in the morning and the next flight is 12 hours from now. They decide they can give us $20 in food concessions to use inside the airport. This didn’t help. It only agitated me as I thought about how I was going to need way more than $20 worth of drinks.
The upside is that we happened to be in a city we know quite well because we drive there to visit often so after a little airport breakfast we decided to hop the blue line and take a ride to the Mall of America. Suddenly halfway to the mall the train stopped and then a “delayed” message started scrolling across the screen. I had to laugh while I took this photo because not only was the “delayed” theme continuing but we’ve ridden this tram so many times and never once experienced it stop anywhere other than a scheduled stop. LOL
Once we got to Mall of America we needed lockers because we were carrying everything for our entire trip with us. We were getting tired, ya know, from being up at 2:00 a.m. and from the running. After about a 30 minute walk we found the lockers!
And guess what?!
They were out of order! ROFLMBO
It worked out fine, of course, since we learned they have more lockers, just another short 20 minute walk to the other end of the mall.
Now fast forward through our mall time. We ate, saw the movie Venom, did a little shopping, retrieved our items from the lockers and rode the blue line back to the airport. Now when we left the airport we made some mental notes and discussed our exit location so we could easily get back to where we were. And I am not even kidding you when I tell you that while we were gone in the middle of the afternoon they closed that entrance/exit. HAHA We had to get back on the blue line and ride it to another entrance, walk forever to get through security again, which put us AGAIN at the furthest point from our departing flight that we could possibly be.
That walk seemed like the longest of my life. But all’s well that end’s well and it did end well. We made our next flight and got into Arizona just fine
Let’s be honest. It isn’t like delays don’t occur or problems don’t happen when we travel with our camper. The difference, quite frankly, is we just prefer those kinds of delays. We can work to correct whatever issue arises, feel productive while doing so, have transportation in the interim and also a bathroom, a kitchen loaded with food and drinks and a bed.
Delays really do just give you new, unanticipated adventures, but we’d rather it happen in our camper. We love our camper.