Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Planes, Trains and Cancellations

Cameron graduated on Friday night.  On Sunday she left on a graduation trip with her good friend Brian.  This trip was planned in January....before she signed a lease on an apartment with a move-in date of May 23....and before her friend/boy Blake became her boy/friend Blake.  This is a trip she planned with Brian and it's what she wanted to do before heading in to grown up land.  

She and Brian would fly to Chicago then take Amtrak to Seattle and fly home from there. They booked a sleeper car for the 2 day trip on the train.  All reservations were made.  And paid for.  Even hotels were booked on either end.  All was good to go.

Until Sunday.  Four hours before they were to go to the airport. Brian had had a little trouble and was maybe going to have to cancel. It had been back and forth.....on then off then on again all morning.  But when we left the house to take our oldest, Jordan, to the airport it was looking like it was back on for Brian.

Chuck, Jordan, Will and I decided to pull through Sonic's drive-through to grab lunch to eat in the car. 

While waiting for our food...

Cameron texted Will:  Brian can't go.  You're going with me.

The next 20 minutes were a little hairy.  All 4 of us were yelling out over each other. Brainstorming, if you will.  In the drive-through lane...waiting for our food. 

All of the statements below were said OUT LOUD over each other.

Will:  I can't go. 
Chuck:  Why can't you go? 
Me:  Will can go.  Will you can go.  You don't have to work next week.  We'll have to take him home as soon as we get our food.

Will: I can't go.......I have training for my job this week.

Me:  (looking at my watch)We can't be late getting Jordan to Hobby Airport.

Jordan:  She just needs to cancel.
Me:  When?
Will:  Friday. But I have to do online training, too...and that drug test.....
Jordan:  What airline are they flying?
Chuck:  Can't you miss it?
Me:  Will, can't you tell them it was a surprise trip?  Besides you've worked there before....maybe they'll understand.

Me:  Jordan, look up the return policy on Amtrak!
Chuck:  She just needs to cancel.

Me:  Chuck,  she can't go alone.  No way I'm letting her go alone.  Will, no just tell them the truth.  Just tell the truth.  Tell them what happened.....they'll understand.

Chuck:  Will you have to go. 
Jordan:  What airline is it?
Chuck:  Southwest.

Me:  Well, if he can't go and I sure can't go....she can't go alone.  Blake starts his job this week......he can't go.  Cameron just needs to cancel this trip.  It was bad timing anyway.  She's moving in her apartment on Monday and she hasn't even begun to pack......blah...blah....blah.....
Will:  What will I do about my training?  And my drug test I have to have before Saturday?

Jordan:  She's flying Southwest.  You can apply it to another time or place if you cancel. That's why I love Southwest. 

Me:  Will, can't you call somebody at work and tell them this came up?
Will:  No.  I don't know who I would call.  It's Sunday.

Me:  How much were the tickets?  Chuck you may have to pay for the tickets.  Will, you can take your laptop and do the online courses on the train.
Jordan:  (reading the Amtrak refund policy off their site out
loud to us)
Me:  Chuck we would have to get Will some spending money.
Me:  Will, the minute you step in the house you have to start your laundry!
Jordan:  I love Southwest.
Chuck:  Does anybody have any cash? 
 I don't have any tip money. 

Food comes.  It's 1:19 p.m.

We head back home.  Chuck runs in.  Will's behind him.  Jordan and I wait in the car.  In suspense.

One minute later, they come back out.

Me:  What happened?
Chuck:  Brian can go now.

That was the loudest, craziest 20 minutes.  I was exhausted from it. I won't divulge Brian's reason for not being able to go for that off and on period of time.....but let's just say, his mother was very put out with him and it all worked out. 

Take a deep breath.  Head to Hobby to drop Jordan off....on time.

Trying to come down from the adrenaline rush.

No talking.  Just eating.


Will:  Where was I going anyway?

A few pictures of Cameron and Brian on their adventure.

They were going to try to spend the night in baggage claim...
  Only the young would even attempt that.  Or the very, very cheap.
Not that I'm calling Cameron young and cheap....
 At some point, they gave up and got a hotel room. 
Good call.

Cameron...all aboard the train for the last trip before Grown Up Land.

 Sunset in Minnesota...viewed from the dining car

 A reflection of their dinner table in the window

The middle of seemingly nowhere...according to Cameron

Brian....a very happy traveler

Stretch Break

Sleeper car

Two chairs facing each other during the day, fold down to make the lower bed. 
The upper bunk folds down from the upper wall. 

A map of the train location this afternoon. 
Final stop, Seattle......tomorrow.

So glad Brian got to go. 
For more reasons than one.


  1. it's true. i do love Southwest.

  2. My gosh, I'm worn out just from reading about it. Glad it all worked out in the end. It sounds like a fun adventure. I haven't been on Amtrak is ages!