Cross-posted from Over A Candle.
Ronni and I hadn't been sure where we would spend Christmas this year. We toyed with the idea of staying home. In the end, we opted to visit my biological family in Missouri.
United Airlines, though, had other plans. Apparently, last week, Chicago had bad weather. Not bad enough to cancel flights, but enough to delay flights. We got delayed in Fargo, but our connecting flight was also delayed, so we thought we were okay. We finally got to Chicago, and waited around for our flight to Springfield. At the last minute, I got a call from United cancelling our flight and rebooking us on a later one.
So we trekked back across O'Hare to the new flight. Upon arrival, we found that the gate agent was at lunch. So we waited in line for half an hour. When she finally arrived, she informed us that we had been rebooked. For the next evening. I have never liked O'Hare, and I certainly didn't want to spend more than 24 hours in the place. So I asked if other airlines were flying to Springfield. Only American had another flight.
After lots of phone calls and being placed on hold, we managed to get a flight on American that would get us to Springfield before midnight. The gate agent told us that we couldn't retrieve our luggage, but that it would be going on the next flight to Springfield, arriving shortly before we would.
Further delays put us in Springfield after midnight on Wednesday morning. Sure enough, our luggage was nowhere to be found. The first flight on Thursday, we were assured. You can guess that it didn't happen. My luggage arrived at the end of the day on Wednesday, and Ronni's came in Thursday morning.
All of this confirms my initial opinion: I hate Chicago. If I never fly through O'Hare again, it will be too soon. I don't know why I thought this would be any different than every other time I've tried to fly through Chicago.
Still, upon arrival in Springfield, we had a very nice time. I didn't care about the luggage thing. I was just enjoying our visit. It was crazy and chaotic, and simply fun.
I woke up early Christmas morning, and sat with my brother Rick watching the tree while our mother slept on the couch. She eventually woke and we all sat talking quietly in the glow of the Christmas lights.
The stockings had been hung. Not by a chimney, but with much care. And one for everyone who was going to be there.
Soon people were up, and we chatted while waiting for Santa to pass out gifts. Ronni, Audra (Ben's wife), and my brother Chris had the arm chairs.
Rick, his girlfriend Katy, and my brother Ben were on the couch.
Other people were wandering about, in the kitchen, sitting at the table, or just grabbing seats where they could.
Gifts were opened, and Rick had given mom a wonderfully soft dragon blanket.
Of course, the star of the day, mom's new cat Pepper, had his own version of Christmas.
Naturally, no get together would be complete if Ben and I weren't hamming it up together.
Needless to say - but I'll say it anyway - a good time was had by all.
The next day, very early, we were up and flying back to Chicago on our way home to Fargo. Thankfully, Chicago seems to only take it out on me during one direction of my flights. Going home was smooth, and even our luggage arrived on time.
I missed my family in Ohio this Christmas, but we had a lovely trip to Missouri.