When planning our post block leave trip we where just going to do something simple, the two of us. Then the hubbs had the great idea to go back home to Texas and Arizona. I was 100% on board, going to see both of our families, ummm yes please. So the hubbs had the bright idea to drive from Tennessee to Texas and then from Texas to Arizona. Sounded like a great idea right. Then I started google mapping the route and the time it would take to drive. YIKES!!! 10 Hours from TN to TX and then 15 Hours from TX to AZ. Talk about crazy. I asked the hubbs why he wanted to drive, if there was a specific reason. He said "he figured it would just be cheaper". Makes sense. I was totally for driving from TN to TX but then to add another 15 hours to AZ after that, we'd loose 2 days just in traveling. I did a online search for plane tickets and found two round trip tickets for a week under $400.00. DONE!! I'm normally the one who is always trying to save money and take the easy way out but I was more than willing to cough up the extra dough for the tickets to allow us to have more time in each place.
The hubbs mom had absolutely no idea we where coming, she didn't even know we where in Texas. His dad knew though and he was in on the plan the whole time. Her birthday was the day after we where going to arrive and that was a big reason for going to AZ when we did. I couldn't wait to surprise her. We'd been sitting on the secret for MONTHS. Finally with in a few short hours she would have the best birthday ever!!!
After our dinner at OTB my NeNe drove us to the airport and dropped us off at the terminal I told her we where flying out of. We where already going to be about 1 1/2 - 2 hrs early but that was ok by us. We didn't want NeNe to be out driving late. That's when all H-E-Double Hockey Sticks broke out.
We started to check in at the kiosk and our reservation was not able to be located. The sweet gate agent informed us we where at the wrong terminal. (If you know DFW airport, you know you can't just walk to the other terminals) So back outside we went to catch the shuttle to the correct terminal. Along the way my phone rings, it was our airline calling to tell us that our 9:20pm flight out had been delayed till 11:30pm. Oh My Gosh, talk about frustration. (I missed a call at dinner from a 1-800 # but there was no message, so I didn't think anything of it (it was the airline) and silly me I never check our flights before we leave, lesson learned for sure.) The hubbs was already in a funk because we went to the wrong terminal, now we where delayed and going to be at the airport for almost 3 1/2-4 hrs waiting. Finally at our correct terminal and checking in at the ticket counter. The problems just keep coming. The hubbs was checking a firearm so we had to go through that process, the gate agent had clearly never dealt with doing this before. Then he so kindly reminded her that she needed to weigh our bag. (we packed ONE GIANT roller duffle bag and I had a small roller board carry on) I knew it was going to be over but I didn't expect it to be 29 lbs over. Yes our bag weighted in at 79lbs. I had two 5lbs weights in there that I was able to take out and put in my carry on but the bottle of wine, my blender (yes I packed my own blender) and all my Shakeology fixings had to stay in there. It brought our bag down to 69lbs, which over course was still 19lbs over weight, there was nothing we could do. I hadn't my CC over and paid the $100.00 fee, complaining would do no good we knew it was our own fault.
After the whole bag or-deal we head down to the TSA Over Baggage Office (which we had the hardest time finding) to have our bag and the Firearm searched and Declared (airline / airport policy). The guy sitting at the desk in the room was on his head phones in his own little world. "Excuse Me, we need to have our bag checked bc we have a Firearm" I said. He slams his phone down and throws his head phones off, as if we where interrupting his precious time. Excuse me, but isn't this your job. "Where's the gate agent that checked you in" he asked. "She didn't come down with us, she just told us where to come" I responded. Oh heavens that opened up another can of worms. "She's suppose to come with you, ugh." He takes our bag with this disgusted look on his face. Pardon me sire, we are just doing what she told us to do, I though. He tosses our bag on the table and opens it up, and again has this awful face when he opens it up as though our belongings smelled or was a complete disaster when he opened it. But it was anything but that. He did the search and went to put the test paper in the machine and as he did it the machine went down. Oh gosh this guys day was just getting worse and worse. So we waited while the machine rebooted. OMG, what else could go wrong. Finally that was done, I waited to make sure our bag was all closed up before walking away since we had to leave it with him. Off through security and to our gate to get settled in for our long awaited delay.
At this point we where both frustrated and annoyed with everything and where just exhausted from the back and forth.
Since we had a good bit of time to waste and had to get ahold of the FIL who was picking us up to let him know what was going on, We went back and forth on what we wanted to do. Do we rent a car and drive the hour out to the house at midnight when we land? Do we get a hotel and stay the night in PHX? Do we contact his cousin and stay there with them for the night? Do we still have his dad come pick us up? Do we tell his mom, and give into the surprise? We where finally able to get in contact with his dad to let him know what was going on. Even though we where getting in so late he still didn't mind picking us up. Have I mentioned lately how much I love my In-Loves, they are amazing.
While the hubbs was on the phone with his dad I heard something about a standby earlier flight. I jumped up and ran to the ticket counter. Only two wait in line forever to be told we couldn't get on because we had checked baggage. UGH!!!!
I was so mad. When I sat back down I said to the hubbs "I really wished I had that bottle of wine that is in the checked bag right now because I NEED A DRINK!!!!" He didn't realize I had pack it, because before we left I told him I wasn't going to take it to try and save on weight. Yay, when I knew we where going to be over I said what the heck and packed it any how.
There was a restaurant / bar right down from our terminal so we headed down for drinks and a slice of cheese cake. He finally convinced me that we needed to tell his mom because we where getting in so late and he felt bad having to have his dad come get us. I really didn't want to I wanted to surprise her. But I guess it was still a great surprise because her reaction when I told her was priceless.
Skip ahead a few hours, we finally boarded, gate checked my carry on roller (which had ALL my clothes in it just not shoes), landed in AZ, met up with the in-loves (best welcoming reaction from his mom ever!!!), got the carry on roller off the luggage conveyer-belt but no duffel. You know the one with the Firearm in it. We waited and waited and waited and nothing. We though maybe we have to get it at the luggage service counter for the airline because it has a firearm, or maybe they took it there because it was so big it couldn't go on the conveyer-belt. The line was insanely long with people trying to locate their bag or file a claim. I sat down the the folks while the hubbs waited in line. After what seemed like forever he was finally able to speak to a agent at the counter. I see her walk back to the back to check for our bag and shortly later she comes back empty handed. The hubbs head drops and I threw my jacket down and ran over there. You've got to be kidding me. Its not here. Hello freakout moment. Not only did we had the Firearm in there but collectively with both our new shoes, my BB stuff, clothes and birthday gifts there was over $3000 worth of stuff in that bag. The airline had no recored of the bag even being checked in and leave DFW. All that time we where waiting where the heck was our bag? The hubbs had nothing, no clothes, no shoes, no toiletries, No GUN. You could see the frustration coming, I was furious and stressed to the max, tired from such a long day and hungry. All they where able to do was file a claim for a missing / lost bag.
On the drive home I was googling and trying to call any one I could to figure out what we needed to do. Apart of me wanted to turn around and go back to DFW to get the bag. Simply because his gun was in there. Its one out of 100 (I believe) made, so replacing it would be quite hard.
I spent the next morning calling again and again trying to locate the bag. Finally mid-morning a recording update, our bag had landed in AZ. I checked the online website status and it to said it had arrived in AZ. It NEVER got on a plane last night. Seriously so where was the bag the entire time we where sitting on the DFW airport. I fully blame it on the TSA baggage office guy. He was such a jerk and probably left the bag sitting on the table after we walked away.
We got a call about a hour later saying our bag was going to be out for delivery and should arrive by 1pm. It was about 9:30am at this point, so that meant we had to hang out at the house till it got there. Sucks for them, because his parents live about a hour from the airport. Ya, sucks for us because the bag didn't end up getting delivered till 15 min after 1pm.
Everything was there and accounted for though. Thank freaking goodness.
We should have drove, but we flew. It will be quicker and less stressful I though, but it wasn't.
It was nothing but a HOT MESS.