The Travel Day From Hell!

Yes, I arrived safely in Florida. That’s the good news. The bad news is…Well, let me count the ways.

1) Traffic on the dreaded 405 freeway made us late getting to LAX this morning.
2) Every parking lot we tried to enter at the airport was FULL, forcing us to drive around and around until we got into a Southwest lot. (We were flying Delta.)
3) We dumped the car and shlepped our bags to an elevator – only to find the elevator was out of service.
4) We carried bags down three flights of stairs, then 1,000 miles to the Delta terminal – only to find the checkin line was out the door. The clock was ticking.
5) We made it to the security line – only to have them pull me and my purse aside for having a “sharp object” in it. I explained that I didn’t carry knives or even scissors on planes, but a thorough search of me and my purse had to be done – only to find that the culprit was a Marriott ball point pen.
6) We hightailed it to the gate and saw the doors were about to close on the plane. We begged and pleaded and they let us board.
7) Michael’s seatbelt was broken. The flight was full so he was stuck with it.
8) The woman next to me coughed the whole six hours.
9) The “food” available for the cross country flight was pretzels.
10) The stormy weather caused lots and lots of turbulence on the flight – my favorite thing.
11) The brand of wine on the plane was “Black Cat” – not a good omen.
12) We arrived at Orlando, waited at baggage and discovered my suitcase was soaking wet – as were my clothes inside the bag.
13) We took the Hertz shuttle and found our car – it was a Toyota. (They assured us it was safe to drive.)
14) We drove 3 hours in thunder and lightning to Stuart, where I’m speaking at the library tomorrow.
15) We checked in to the hotel where the library booked us – only to be put in a room where someone had slept in one of the beds!!!! I mean, euwww. They apologized and moved us to another room….only the lamp didn’t work.
16) I thought I’d write a blog before passing out – only to find the hotel’s internet service wouldn’t connect me…for, like, an hour.
Tomorrow has to be a better day. It just has to.


  1. mikeeff

    i’m not one for schadenfreude, but -well let’s not say i’m enjoying your suffering, but the way you describe IS pretty funny–glad you made it safe and reasonably sound

    when are you going to a game?

  2. junojen

    Hi, Jane. I can really relate to the soaking wet suitcase. Just one of the many downfalls of flying in to Florida during afternoon thunderstorms. I hope you didn’t have a flight full of screaming kids going to Disney, etc. You can pretty much count on that when flying into Orlando.
    Anyway – it’s over (for now). Hope you enjoy your Spring Training jaunt!



    Jane, I have learned to never say things can’t get worse. I did utter those words once and the following day the roof collapsed….so it did get worse.

    I hope you have sunshine, dry weather, a crowd at your book signing and lots of Yankee wins.


  4. crzblue2

    I am so sorry you had the flight from hell. Just because of that you will have an extra great time in Florida. Hope you soaked in a nice bath afterwards. I don’t drive all the way to LAX, instead I take the Flyaway. For you, you will have to take it from Van Nuys. It runs every 15 minutes. Is $7 each way and you can even check your luggage. I take the one from Union Station and leave my car there for all my travels. The site is:

  5. Jane Heller

    Mike, the whole thing was pretty funny – and I left out the part about the hotel room lamp next to the bed not working and the internet down. Blah blah. It’s sunny this morning, so all is well. We leave Stuart tomorrow for Tampa/St. Pete and will be at the games on Tues and Wed. Flying back Thurs.

    I like airline pretzels too, angry fan, but not when they’re all you get for 6 hours!

    Jen, I hadn’t thought about the screaming kids on their way to Disney. I guess we’re lucky because the plane was pretty quiet yesterday – except for the drunken guy who was watching the in flight movie (“The Blind Side”) and yelling things every time there was a football scene. LOL.

    That’s true, John. No earthquakes here. And the sun is out so things are looking up already. Should be a great day with spring training still to come. Can’t wait.

    We’ve thought about leaving the car home and taking the bus from Santa Barbara, Emma. And after yesterday we vowed never to drive ourselves to LAX again. Just too much of a hassle. Thanks for the link!

  6. Jane Heller

    Peg, I’m with you – I never say never – but aside from a room service breakfast that came late because they put the wrong room number on it, things are looking up weather wise. I’ll take it! Will report back after my talk at the library today.

  7. dtigger

    Oh My. What a day. Sounds like it was exhausting.
    And you think you had it bad, when the lady next to you coughed all 6 hours.
    My Dad travels for business a lot, and one time a lady was breast feeding right next to him. I laughed when he told me this.


    Oh Jane, what a stinky trip! I’ll bet you were glad to see the sunshine this morning. The weather looks good for the rest of your time there.

    Here’s hoping your talk and seeing “our boys” makes that saga of misery all worth it. And it did provide you with a great blog post!

    It’s 40 degrees and pouring here. Enjoy the sun.

  9. Jane Heller

    Exhausting is right, Brady. But there was no breast feeding. LOL!

    Sorry about your rain, Melissa. Maybe the sun will move north now. And you’re right. Once I see our boys, the trip will have been worth every aggravation. So excited that A.J. will be pitching in the Tuesday game. Mo too.

  10. peggy3

    Hi Jane and fellow bloggers…

    My Oh MY Jane….that sure was the trip from hell…here’s hoping you have the trip from Heaven on the way home ..

    I’ve been super busy so I haven’t commented in awhile and what a post I picked to say hi again …lol. I’m heading to Florida to see them play a few games in Tampa the beginning of the season and I hope things go a little better for me but I am flying out of JFK which is supposedly a horror now that they closed down the main runway for repairs for four months. I am so NOT looking forward to the flight but the great part is that I am going to my first games of the season before I even get to the Stadium.

    Good luck with the talk at the library. I wish you luck with the weather too. I hope you get to see the game(s) with blue skies and smiling sunshine. Say hey to all the guys for me. ENJOY !!!!

    Go Yankees 2010 !!!

  11. ladyjane303

    Oh my! We al have travel horror stories but this takes the cake. Things can only get better from here. Have fun.



    I hope the parts of your story that I laughed at were creative writing, and if they’re true, I beg your forgiveness. Enjoy your time at the library and your days at the ballpark.

    Paraphrasing a line I often hear after one of my many lousy golf shots, “a bad day at Spring Training is better than a good day at the office.” And that counts even when you love your work.


    Yeah, think of that crazy lady breast feeding her baby. Sheesh, she could have let it cry the entire time. I’m sure your dad would have had a much better trip that way, Brad. ; – )


  14. Jane Heller

    Peggy, I read about the runway closure at JFK and I’m sure there will be delays. But the flight to Tampa from there isn’t long, so you’ll be there in no time. (Listen to me, giving someone else a pep talk about flying. lol.)

    Yes, things are better already, ladyjane. The sun is shining and as far as I know, no one has towed our rental car; the hotel swore to us late last night that we could leave it in the 15 minute parking space overnight!

    Nope, jojovanb. No creative writing at all. In fact I left out a few other things, but I’m glad it all made for good material for the blog. HAHA. Looking forward to meeting some Yankee fans at my talk today. (I hope there are some!)

    Great analogy, Jeff! The Black Cat wine was as bad as you’d expect too. Yuck. Will go for a Bloody Mary on the flight back.

  15. irishsoxkid19

    Jane, good to hear that you had a safe flight. Though the way you decribed only proved that my theory about airplanes is true. Hope tomorrow is a better day and that lady didn’t get you guys sick. And yes, BLACK CAT is a bad omen. As for the Jason Bay thing that’s on my post, I have no clue why they booed Bay, it’s not like he went to the Yankees. It’s only the Mets and they need all the help they can get!!

  16. kozmo

    Jane, I can’t tell you how sorry I was to read your nonetheless entertaining account of myriad pitfalls on the trip from he11. It sounds as though you need a glass or three of good wine, a good night’s sleep, some reliable Internet, a good meal, and a Yankees win.

    At least the Yanks came through today. Keep your chin up, kid.

    Jason from The Heartland

  17. Jane Heller

    Yeah, awful, Paul. But today’s been great so far! More to come when I post later tonight.

    Nope, the lady didn’t get us sick – yet, Holly. (No jinx. LOL.)

    Thanks for your sympathy, Jason. I didn’t have a good night’s sleep and the internet isn’t reliable, but the sun came out today and some very nice people showed up at my talk at the library. AND the Yanks came through against the Orioles.

  18. Jane Heller

    That airport is so crazy, bgrahmann. I made a vow I wouldn’t fly out of there anymore unless absolutely necessary!


    I’ve flown from Newark to San Francisco, JFK to overseas to Milan, and various other places…I have to tell you I’ve never had such trouble! lol The worst was probably the flight from Bucarest to Milan, someone coughed for about 2 hours, and coming back to the States we had to fly around a giant storm in the middle of the Atlantic, which added on about 5 or 6 hours of the flight (maybe more) to the all ready extremely long flight, so I was going a bit stir crazy…. Hope your next trip isn’t as bad 😀

  20. Jane Heller

    That giant storm you mentioned, seindsfeld, would be enough to make me swear off flying forever! I can well understand why you’d go stir crazy. I fly back to LAX tomorrow, so wish me luck!

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