For a while today ist looked like we wouldn't be making the trip to Chicago. With the plane scheduled to depart precisely at 3PM, I got a call from Doug saying he was still in the process of rounding up the house sitter and Walter the Dachshund sitter as well.
Kim and I arrived at the house at 2:05PM and still no Doug - then I got another telephone call from him saying that they were at Mega
foods picking up groceries for said house sitter. At 2:20, Doug pulled into the driveway and by 2:25PM we were on our way to the Eau Claire airport.
As we were unloading our luggage we heard the loud speaker blare that this was last call for the 3 PM flight to Chicago. We hustled in, last in line, and got through the removal of shoes and the magic wand that my artificial knee drove crazy and were the last to get to our seats. As my habit, I was way overdressed to stay warm, thinking about being outdoors at the ball games this weekend so it was a very uncomfortable ride all the way to O'Hare.
In addition, the air line attendant decided that my "carry on" luggage was too big to carry on and so they took it away from me and stowed it with the rest of the luggage in the belly of the plane. At the time that they did this, they handed me a sticker with a number on it but didn't tell me that I was to attach it to the handle of my bag. so instead I put it in my pocket so that I could identify my bag upon arrival.
There were about nine of us waiting for luggage and I kept trying to compare the numbers on the sticker I had in my pocket with those on the bags as the crew deposited them at our feet. Finally one of the crew saw what I was doing and told me that I was supposed to have put that sticker on my luggage.
Now I broke out in a cold sweat because all my clothes for the weekend were in that bag! Everyone collected their luggage and left me standing alone on the jetway. Suddenly the guy from the crew brought up one more bag and asked if this was mine. I said I wouldn't know without opening it. I opened it and luckily it was my stuff!
This put doug way behind in collecting his luggage at the carousel so we began the long trek through O'Hare, which stretches, it seems. aimlessly for miles. At one point we missed the turn to get to the carousel and ended walking and extra two blocks. Dragging all my stuff, and overdressed, I was about to drop in my tracks by the time we got to the carousel.
There was no luggage coming out so finally doug asked an attendant whast was up and she took him to where they had stored his bags because they didn't think he was going to show.
Our next trek was to find the way to ground transport to catch an El train that would take us as close to our hotel as possible. More walking. And lots of it.
We finally found the correct train and rode for 40 minutes to the stop closest to the Lincoln Hotel where we were staying - still some 13 blocks away.
We hailed a cab the driver of which did not know where the hotel was! He blabbered in a foreign language to someone on the radio all the way to the hotel with Doug's directions.
We checked into our rooms and collapsed until dinner at 8PM.
I hope we have better luck tomorrow!