|Storm Rolling In, photo by Andrew Ingersoll|
Hoping for the best for everyone in the NE,
Last week my husband and I took our annual summer vacation to beautiful Traverse City, Michigan. As many of you already know, Rick and my Mom, “the bug,” spend summers there hiding from the southern heat. I grew up in Traverse City and I love to return between the months of June and September. The average temperatures in TVC from June-August range from highs of 77-81 degrees and nightly lows from 52-57 degrees. Sunny days are spent walking along the bay, afternoons sitting outside the local coffee shop, and nights with the windows open and a cool breeze blowing in. There’s no “real” humidity so no need for air conditioning.
It’s a real treat going to Traverse City in August from South Carolina where our average temperatures range from highs of 92-95 and lows around 68-72. And any of you who live south of the Mason Dixon line know dang well those “average highs” are too low and “average lows” aren’t high enough. This has been one really hot summer! Traverse City is an amazing summer vacation for anyone, especially someone trying to get a break from the southern heat.
We flew on a United Airlines award ticket for 25,000 miles per person round-trip: first CAE to ORD, then ORD to TVC. The flights went well and we arrived Monday afternoon. I really wasn’t thinking too much about the hurricane headed for the northeast until I realized I had re-booked my ticket on a U.S. Airways flight to leave out of DTW and connect in Philadelphia, PA, last Sunday — the day the storm would be pounding the northeastern United States. Then it began: Late in the week, U.S. Airways called and left a voice mail that my flight from DTW into PHL had been cancelled. Here we go, I thought.
I called U.S. Airways and waited on hold for 30 minutes. I hung up and called again, this time for a 40-plus-minute wait on hold. I hung up again. Then I remembered that my husband has Gold status on U.S. Airways. Maybe we would get better service if he called, I thought. So he did. He used the Gold number and bam! a representative was there in one minute with a cheerful, ” Hello, Mr. W. How may I assist you today?” Thank you, God, that we have status!
U.S. Airways re-booked our flight but we still had to fly into PHL! Whatever. We went on with our vacation. The next day I got the same message that our flight had been cancelled again. So my husband called and they re-booked us again — no problem. Actually, we got re-booked on a much more desirable flight schedule that would leave at 10:30 a.m. out of DTW to fly into CLT, then CLT into CAE by 1:30 p.m. Fabulous. Now let’s just hold our breath, I thought.
We left on Sunday morning from DTW. Truthfully, I expected a bunch of chaos at the airport. We arrived two and a half hours early to an empty airport — no waits, no lines, no delayed flights. It was actually kind of an eerie experience. I don’t know how it happened, but I was glad it did. We got in Sunday afternoon and napped the rest of the day away.
Rookie Tip from this experience: Status is amazing and I want it all the time. And it is wise to keep some extra frequent flier miles around in case of an emergency.
Did any of you have trouble with the weather disrupting travel last weekend? Any tips? Lessons learned?
– Shannon, The Rookie