Thursday, June 28, 2007

We made it! We are home!

Have you ever had one of those moments when a thought goes through your head about something bad happening and as soon as it does you think, "I shouldn't have thought that, now it will happen"?

Somewhere about half way over the Northern Pacific Ocean, as our Boeing 747 cruised east, I thought; "this entire trip has gone perfectly. Not one single tiny glitch". OOOHH, I didn't think that. I really didn't think that. Please let me have that thought back!!! Too late.

We arrived in Detroit to rain and flight delays. The Huntsville flight is pushed back then pushed back again. Finally it is cancelled. Steve Carter and I descend upon a Northwest gate agent to find out what our options are. The next flight to Huntsville with seats for 4 or more people is not until Friday night!!! No way. Where else can we go close to Huntsville. The Carters opt for Nashville later in the evening and we opt for Birmingham a little earlier. Then it really started going downhill. Flights are being cancelled and pushed later right and left. The Carters finally depart Detroit around 11 pm or so and we are still being told the Birmingham flight will happen it will just be very late. I call and reserve a rental car at the Birmingham airport. I shouldn't have wasted a call. Around 1:30 am everyone waiting on the Birmingham flight notices that ALL the Northwest employees have disappeared and the flight has been taken off the status monitors. Until now we were just simply mad. Now everyone left waiting for the Birmingham flight are forming lynch mobs. We have to call the Northwest toll free number from cell phones to try to find out what's happening on the ground at THEIR hub!!!! Finally the annoucement that we all new was coming, flight cancelled. We have now been in the airport for over 12 hours. We have been traveling with a 3 year old for over 30 hours. We are exhausted, hot dirty, hungry and fuming. We are given vouchers for meals and rooms at the Ritz Carlton. Great hotel. It's a shame we only used the rooms for 4 hours. We were able to take a shower and put on the same dirty clothes we had been wearing for a day and a half and get in a short nap. Back to the airport and finally catch a flight to Nashville arriving at 10:30 am. Our friend Theresa was kind enough to pick us up at the airport and loan us her car to drive to Decatur. We finally arrived home today at 1:30 pm. 45 hours after leaving the hotel in Guangzhou. We have never felt this type of exhaustion. Paul William is going great guns tonight. We think it's just a 3 year old that is so tired he can't do anything but full speed. The 3 of us are walking (staggering) zombies.

We are so very disappointed that we missed one of the things we were so looking forward to, that being arriving at the Huntsville airport with our family and friends waiting to greet us. For that, Northwest Airlines will always hold a "special" place in our hearts. Particularly when we saw on the Detroit news this morning that the biggest cause for all the chaos yesterday was the Northwest employees who are apparently doing everything they can to destroy the very company that pays their salary. How stupid can people be? It's like they are saying "hey, I know how to get even with management. Let's make as many of our customers mad as we can. We don't have our luggage tonight. It was lost in the chaos. Northwest claims it is currently on a flight from Detroit to Nashville and will be delivered to us early Friday morning. We'll see.

We want to thank our friends and family for the food and gifts we found when we walked in the house today. Thank you so much. Driving down from Nashville we were dreading the prospect of having to go to the grocery store after what we have been through.

I will post more late, including pictures and updates. I have to go now since I keep falling over the keyboard from lack of sleep.

More later . . . .

Big Greg


The Woodalls said...

I'm so sorry about your amazing misfortune with the airline, but am so glad to hear you are finally home! (We've also had a bad experience before with Northwest Airlines during a connecting flight in Memphis.)


April said...

WELCOME HOME! I am so glad you finally made it! I hope you have found some restful moments since arriving!

What a disappointment to learn your flight had been cancelled. I took a few pics of everyone that was there waiting and the signs that some had made to welcome you guys home! Several of the kids had on red, white, and blue and were waving American flags! As soon as I download the pics, I'll email them to you!

Can't wait to see you! If you guys need anything, please let us know!

April Betterton

Jeff and Sonya Hodge said...

WOW GUYS! That was not a happy flight home once you were in the states!!! I am so sorry!
We are keeping you in our prayers as you try to get back on Decatur time.
Several of us want to do meals for you so let Kathie know when and we will not even brother you....we can drop it on your porch, ring the bell, and run if you don't want to have to smile at people yet! LOL!
Those first few weeks are very hard so please know that your little group is here and ready to help you anyway we can. We are a phone call away!

dkmba said...

WELCOME HOME OGLES!! We are thanking GOD that you finally made it home safely. It is a wonderful feeling just being home, isnt it?

We wont call or bother you, we will leave that up to you, no matter how long it may take, we will be waiting to see your precious and very busy son!

Much love!

markandbuffi said...

Thanks for telling us about your flight issue. We are also flying the same route...and are a little concerned. I called Northwest this morning to get some details. They explained what's going on a bit. I feel somewhat better...but we're also talking to our travel agent about it.

I'm so sorry you guys had to expereince this...but am thrilled you're home!!!! We really enjoyed following your journey!! Keep us informed on Paul William. We will love to see how he blossoms into your family!!!

alison said...

OH MY GOSH!!!!!!! I can't even believe how awful those last few hours had to be for all of you!!! So glad to hear you are home. What wonderful friends you have!!!

raabw said...

Welcome home! When we were at your house Wednesday night, I tried to imagine what it must have been like to bring Paul William into his new home. Was it much like Christmas morning where there is stuff everywhere, but a wonderful sense of family and peace? It's a new beginning now and Detroit is far, far away! Enjoy every minute and keep posting to the blog. You know how to get in touch with me if you need anything. I am so happy for all of you.


triciathompson said...

Welcome Home!

I'm so sorry about the horrible trip back. What a great story for Paul William one day!

While you didn't ask :) I'll give you some advice about being home! Some of the tips I've heard about coming home include all of you guys get outside during the day as much as you can. The sunshine will help ALL of you to get on Decatur's time. The other tip was to sleep when he sleeps.

I know that you guys will have a great start with him. I cannot wait to meet him and hear all your travel stories. I hope you remember all the steps you guys took so you can pass them on when my time comes!

Rest up and enjoy being a family of 4. Take care,

Tricia Thompson