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If you read my blog regularly, you’ve probably noticed that I wasn’t around much last week. As I reported before, we went on a kid-free vacation to Runaway Bay, Jamaica, that was mostly paid for with credit card rewards. I expected to have some access to wifi while we were there, and I did, but it was extremely slow and I wasn’t always able to return emails or schedule posts. Anyway, I’m sorry that I was missing in action and I’m glad to report that we’re back….but only after a whole lotta drama. Let me explain.
We left Indianapolis on Friday, February 7th, at 5:50 a.m. and arrived in Montego Bay at around noon that day. Customs was a breeze and our driver had us picked up and on our way within 30 minutes upon landing. After an hour-long car ride, we finally arrived at our destination, paid our driver, and went on our way. It was absolutely beautiful there, the weather was gorgeous, and by Saturday the friends we were meeting arrived at the resort as well. Swimming, snorkeling, and loud karaoke parties commenced, and we had an absolute blast.
Snowpocalypse Takes Hold
Then, all of a sudden, it was time for us to leave. But, there was a problem. Snowpocalypse was hovering over the Southern United States, and we were scheduled to pick up a connecting flight in Charlotte, North Carolina. And after checking my email on Tuesday night, I learned that our flights were cancelled and that I needed to call US Airways to reschedule our flight. So I did, and I sat on hold for an hour before hanging up. After that we tried to call a few different US Airways numbers that we found on the internet and were unsuccessful in our attempts to reschedule our flight online. So we called the US Airways number back one more time and sat on hold for another four hours before hanging up. And by the time we did, it was almost 2:00 a.m. and all we could do was go to bed and try again in the morning.
The next morning arrived and we finally got ahold of someone at the Montego Bay airport that could help us. Unfortunately, flights were backed up and there was nothing else available until Thursday morning. So we booked a flight to Philadelphia and hoped that we could fly out the next day. Then we had to figure out where we were going to stay. The way we saw it, we had two choices: 1) We could spend another night at the resort for their distress rate of $260 2) We could check out with our luggage and try to find somewhere else to stay. Since we didn’t have transportation and didn’t feel comfortable trying to find another place to stay on the fly, we chose to spend another night at the resort for $260. Ouch.
The next morning we got up and began packing when Greg decided that it might be wise to make sure that our flight was still on schedule. After getting online, we quickly found out that Philadelphia was in the middle of a snow and ice storm that had literally shut the city down the night before. And even more distressing was the fact that there weren’t any other flights available that day, except to Charlotte, North Carolina (the flight from Charlotte to Indianapolis was cancelled so we would have been stuck in Charlotte). So again, we were forced to stay another night at the resort or go somewhere else. For the same reasons, we decided to stay another night at the resort for $260. It hurt, but at least we felt safe and our food and drinks were included.
By that point, we were also completely out of tip money as well so we had to get another $40 out of the ATM to tip the people who cleaned our room and prepared our meals. Grand total so far: $560
What the F’Hell
We were supposed to land in Indianapolis the next night at around 7:00 p.m. but didn’t get home until almost 1:00 a.m. due to several more flight delays. So again, we had to spend money on food that we didn’t plan to spend. Fortunately, we were able to eat a decent dinner for around $30.
All in all, we spent around $1,500 including the cost of two additional nights at the hotel, the money we spent on additional tips and food, and lost wages since Greg took the two days unpaid and I had to forfeit several writing jobs due to the ordeal. We might be eating Ramen for the next month, but at least we’re home, tan and happy, and with our kids. And there’s nowhere else I would rather be.
Have you ever had to spend more than you planned due to unexpected circumstances? Have you ever been stranded somewhere?