Happy Ground hog day! Yes, we are on the ground and back in the USA but it was quite a trip. I was up at 4 AM to see Larry & Kay Shank, Dory and her mother, Boyer and crew, an all of our bags off to Port-Au Prince on the bus. After that, I just relaxed and kept the coffee going till every one was up. We tap-taped to the Jacmel airport at 7 and I think our plane arrived at 8AM. The flight over the mountains was as beautiful as ever and I enjoyed it. Then it is the race into and out of the small airport, board the bus, and drive to the mail airport. There we claimed our bags and totes and proceeded through the first security. The Miami plane passengers made up the line to the ticket counter so we stood for 1 hour while they checked in. After our turn to check in, we cleared immigration with no lines and that was unusual. Next came the second security screening and again encounter no wait time. Next I proceeded to the upstairs shopping/eating area for our traditional hot dogs & beer. I browsed though the shops for awhile, purchased my 5 bottles of rum, and went to the departure lounge, and the third security screening. The inbound flight was late so we sat for quite awhile. We landed in Fort Lauderdale around 2 PM and it took 1 hour to deplane, pass through immigration, get our bags and pass through customs. Next we walked to the terminal 3 where our next plan was located. We ate some lunch (I had a great salad) and waited for the next flight. At the gate area, American Airlines announced that we had a plane but no flight crew so we waited. It seems that the pilot was in Miami and had to be driven to Fort Lauderdale. The first officer was due in on another flight so we did not leave Fort Lauderdale much before 6:30 PM. We arrived in Chicago and had to circle to the west to land. When we landed, the announcement was made that we had no gate so we waited some more. When we exited the plane we supposedly had short time to get from the H concourse to the G concourse for our next flight. Various rumors floated that the plane as either on time, delayed or canceled. We were able to contact Kay & Larry who were joining us on the last leg (they were flying with frequent flyer miles and had different connections). They told us they were t the gate and the flight was set to go. So we rushed to G and were told that, again, there was no crew for the plane. So, at 10 PM we were finally told that the flight was canceled. American Airlines did contact Peoria Charter Coach and the 10 PM bus was held up so we could run over to the bus staging area to catch it for our ride home. We arrived at Peoria airport at 1:30 AM after stops in Pontiac and Normal to discharge passengers. I got a ride home with Mary & Jay Hedges and walked in the door at 2:00 AM. So, yes, I am tired today.
Some small points then it is off for a nap. It was fun watching Dory, the small Haitian girl that we brought back so she could have an operation to correct some birth defects and her mother react to the snow and the cold. I ordered a Strawberries and Cream Frappacino from the Starbucks counter and let her try the last of it. I never got it back as she loved it. They did shiver in the cold as they had no warm clothes so we loaned them some of our travel blankets. They were going to go to Shellie and Jerry Coleman’s but it was decided that they should sleep at Sue & Eric Behrens’s home due to the lateness of our arrival back in Peoria. I wonder if Dory gets to play in the snow today.
I need to finish my inventory but I’d better leave this and spend some time with my wife. So, until next time, I‘ll sign off for another day. Thank you for all your prayers for our safe return.