Irene and I

I thought it was about time I came out of hiding for a day or two and get this down on ‘paper’. Since being pregnant and being away, blogging has been placed a little on the back burner and perhaps it will stay there for a week or two whilst I collect myself. Damn you, jet lag/ morning sickness!

Ok, so Hurricane Irene paid us a little visit during our family holiday to Florida (by the way, I will post about the holiday soon- I have a great idea for a Florida Top Five). We were lucky. It moved north, away from us and the only effects we felt were a few more thunder storms and a couple of overcast afternoons. It was still hot and we were still on holiday.

*I must add that the thunder storms were AWESOME. I remember them from visiting Florida as a child, but I swear to God I have never ever heard a clap of thunder like the one we heard at Epcot. The entire theme park jumped ten feet in the air, fire alarms were set off and I was utterly convinced it was a terrorist attack! Seriously, Americans always do it bigger and better.

So Irene behved herself (relatively speaking) and by the time she hit New York, she was downgraded from the expected category 5 to a simple tropical storm. Panic over. Newsreaders already moving on to the next one, exotically named Jose. By the time we were due to leave Orlando, the sun was back and we were more than a little sad for our holiday to be over. I was gutted. Saying goodbye to my sister once more was, as usual, very difficult. Saying goodbye to my nephew was even more so, knowing they were headed to Sydney and not knowing when we would see them again. Thank goodness for the *lovely* man at the Delta desk who spent an hour and a half debating whether or not we should re-pay for the toddler’s ticket. Not only did he take up the last remaining hour I was planning to spend with my sister and her son, but he also cost me $250! Anyway, I fear I am digressing. That’s not Irene’s fault. That’s  whole other complaint.

So we arrive in Atlanta at 6pm to catch our connecting flight to Manchester. We leave the plane at 6.20. We get to our gate at 7pm. Yup, the airport is that big. It has its own underground train system to get from domestic arrivals to inernational departures. And guess what? Delta sold our seats!

Oh, yes- it’s true. I hadn’t even recovered from the emotional goodbyes and now it was Ghostwriterdaddy’s turn to cry. Never mind the hundreds of people who had been stranded in Atlanta thanks to Irene- we wanted to get home! They didn’t really care, to be honest. We were given one night in a hotel and after that we were on our own. Destined to return day after day on standby for the next flight home. The only available flights were business class which we could not afford and there were no hotels available either. So many people were stranded. Thanks to Irene. Did I mention this was all Irene’s fault?

For a moment or two it looked like we were destined to be the next Tom Hanks, living out the rest of our days in the airport. The maxi dress I had carefully chosen for the last day was starting to look a little crumpled and we weren’t allowed our cases so it was also looking like we would end our days in ‘I Love Atlanta’ t-shirts. *shudder*

I guess there is nothing actually wrong with Atlanta really. The view from our ropey hotel that night was perhaps clouded by the airplane fumes and our own desperation to get home. Perhaps we could’ve even enjoyed being there, had we known when we would be getting home. Oh, and had we had some clean clothes and toiletries…

Anyway, we’re home. Pity was bestowed upon the English man with his calm temper, angelic children and pregnant wife. And no, I’m not being sarcastic. The wonderful lady who sorted our flights the next day told us that she had wanted to help us mostly because we did not shout or stamp our feet. She is so wonderful that if the baby is a girl, we will name her after her. That’s not sarcastic, either. She got us home. And she has a lovely name.

So we flew business class to Dusseldorf (again, another post) and then to Manchester. Our luggage did not. But it is here now and we are embracing the English rain once more. I would like to say a sincere thank you to Irene. She gave us the chance to see how our family would cope in a ‘situation’ and she helped us to realise that it doesn’t really matter where you are or what you have. We were together and you know what? We had an adventure.

If you want to read how the kids coped, look out for a link to my Ghostwritermummy and Bump blog.

 

 

image source: jalopnik.com; frugal-cafe.com; examiner.com; robinashley.com

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