Travel Bloopers!

Barbara C Phillips, NP Bloopers!

Have you ever had a day where it felt like you were part of a blooper series? Well, that’s how a recent trip to KY felt where I was invited to speak at the Kentucky Coalition of Nurse Practitioners and Nurse Midwives annual conference.  It’s a fantastic and highly recommended conference and the people I met were wonderful! Getting there…we’ll that’s where my bloopers come in.

This year’s conference was in Louisville, KY. But I guess for some reason, my brain read Lexington, KY. So I dutiful made my flight reservations for Lexington, talked to everyone about going Lexington and continue to read about Lexington when I was actually seeing the word Louisville. (Our brains are so amazing…I was expecting Lexington and never registered Louisville).

Travel day arrived. I worked late to clear off my desk and then headed for the airport. Before I went to park my car, I remembered I needed some cash so stopped by the bank ATM. That was my first “blooper”. Suddenly after about 10 years, my PIN no longer worked and the system locked me out. Scrounging around the car, I was able to come up with about $3.00 in change. At least I could tip the shuttle driver.

I arrived at the airport with not a lot of time to spare. Apparently Sea-Tac thought it was late enough to close down all but one security line. Many of us waited and waited as the line slowly moved forward. Perhaps TSA thought no one would be flying that evening. Wrong!

I didn’t have to hurry though…unbeknownst to me, my flight was being delayed about 90 minutes. Actually both legs of the flight were delayed – which was good. Had plenty of exercise though running from one terminal to another to catch a flight that was not going anywhere.

Finally I arrived in Lexington. It was a beautiful morning after the all night flights. The sun felt great as I stood outside waiting for the hotel shuttle to come. And waited, and waited. I called twice – they kept telling me they were there, and I kept saying I was here. After an hour, I decided to take a cab. The cabbie was a very nice man, telling me all about Lexington. I kept asking him is he sure he was taking me to the correct hotel as I thought it was right next to the airport (it was…in Louisville). He told me it was the only one in town. Okay…I was tired, maybe I was wrong.

I arrived at the hotel to check in. I didn’t see any Nurse Practitioners and he told me they did not have me down for an early check-in. Odd. As a matter of fact, I didn’t have a reservation. Even odder. This very nice man (I’ll call him Jon) finally figured it out…I was in the wrong city.

No problem Jon tells me. He calls their sister hotel in Louisville to confirm I am scheduled to be there. And he proceeds to help me find a way to get there – 70 miles away. I go into the hotel restaurant to have some ice tea and a salad as it will be an hour before the rental car company can pick me up.

But…I wait and I wait. They don’t come…or at least they never came into the hotel where I told them I was waiting. Two more phone calls…I’m finally picked up.

It was a beautiful drive to Louisville from Lexington. Lots of horse farms. I had to stop a few times just to walk around as I was still without sleep. But finally I made it and had time to wash up before having dinner with friends.

The next morning (what time zone was I in anyway?), I had plenty of time to check in to the conference get ready for my presentation. A nice long shower was in order.  I left the bathroom door ajar in order to get some moisture into my room. Unfortunately, the smoke alarms mistook steam for smoke. It was a battle trying to keep the maintenance folks out of my room until I could get some clothes on. (“No you cannot come in…I’m naked!”)

Fortunately that was the end of the bloopers other than more delayed flights and last moment gate changes (no changes when I got off the first plane) causing me to sprint again to another terminal. (I’ll choose another airline next time).

So as I reflect on the bloopers, a few lessons come to mind.

  1. Don’t make reservations while doing 11 other things.
  2. Double check my destination (I might add day and time as well).
  3. Keep a $20 bill stashed in the car/wallet.
  4. Saying please and thank you goes a long way.
  5. Never stop laughing; it’s really not that bad.

I know I’m not the only one with bloopers, share your’s below.

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