Thursday, February 18, 2010

The travel gods

Ancient Egyptians used amulets and ancient Greeks certain rituals, intended to appease the travel gods and ensure a safe journey. Today, we use smartphones. But still, we can get tripped up when the gods of snow, wind and rain conspire against us.

Traveling in winter is tempting fate, I know, but Sela, my 16 year old, had a soccer tournament in Virginia. The operative word here is ‘had.’ Two feet of snow on the soccer fields canceled the tournament, but we had non-refundable airline tickets. Nora, 12, hates being the ‘plus one’ at soccer tournaments, but when she heard it was in Williamsburg, she said, wistfully, “ever since I got my first American Girl doll, it’s been my dream to go to Colonial Williamsburg.” Far be it from me to crush a little girl’s dream, plus, I’d never been there. So we went, leaving Sela behind (she was driving down with the team, and when the tournament was canceled, she quickly filled her dance card with the usual teen-age activities. Plus she could feed our cat!).

Our flight down was uneventful, but hours before we were to leave, my husband and I got calls that our return flight was canceled. It was hardly snowing in New York, but the new rage is for airlines to pre-empt any problems by canceling. So our 53 minute flight home was going to be a six hour marathon through Atlanta, landing around midnight. This did not seem good.

Rob consulted the web and saw there was a no-stop flight in less than 2 hours. Could we make it? We jumped in the car, ignoring Nora’s pleas that she needed lunch (and a bathroom) and raced to the airport, where our new flight was…delayed. And delayed. And delayed some more. In fact, it left an hour and a half after our original flight.

And let me tell you, the food in the Norfolk airport is beyond abominable. My bagel had the texture of a wet paper towel. Silly me, ordering a bagel outside New York or Montreal, but the only other option was pre-made turkey or chicken sandwiches, not a viable vegetarian choice.

For my next flight, I may try a St Christopher medal. Although I wonder, if I buy a Hermes bag

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