Our travel adventure ended well, in that we arrived in Michigan, unscathed, and before Christmas Day, by about 15 minutes.
We got to Springs in plenty of time for the great Pack-n-Play drop off (thank you, Newlands) and with about 3 hours to check in, clear security and wait with bated breath for our connection to Chicago, where we would catch yet another connection to MBS, a mere 20 minutes from home. I was fairly confident that these flights were still scheduled, as I had signed up for the "Flight Change Alert" call system.
We got to the airport check in, only to find that our second connection had been cancelled, and that no flights would be leaving Chicago until Wednesday to get to MBS. Huh, interesting. We had just dropped off our rental car, having been confident of our departure. The agent scheduled us instead to fly to Denver, then Chicago, then to Grand Rapids, a 2 1/2 hour drive from home. We would arrive at 8 something. OK, well, a phone call to mom & dad confirmed that they could pick us up.
One 34-minute trip to Denver later found our flight to Chicago delayed - first 3 hours, then 6 hours, then 7 plus hours. To complicate matters, Chicago seems to be somewhat of a hub *grin* so this was affecting a LOT of travelers. The airline was down to one customer service center, with a queue about a mile long. It really probably was, considering the bendy configuration. We found a sympathetic agent who switched us to a different airline and printed off some official looking documents (which really only means too many codes for me to make sense of them) and sent us on our way, which at this point meant Denver direct to Detroit, another 2 1/2 hour drive from home.
To make an already long-enough story short, the sympathetic agent apparently did the switcheroo wrong, and we ended up running (ok, walking briskly) between concourses for a solid 2 hours trying to find a way to get out of Denver and back home. Michael commented that he didn't remember signing up for the Amazing Race.
Thankfully, we arrived in Detroit with few issues. When we boarded that plane, I was so relieved to be heading closer to home. Aaron was a fabulous traveler, napping in the carrier during our airport escapades (thank you, Michael) and for a short while on the plane. Thankfully, dad made the trip to come get us.
Our luggage has yet to arrive. I think it went to Grand Rapids without us. Since we switched airlines, there is really no telling if it will arrive before the weekend. Or all together. Or at all. The (no doubt) overworked agent who reported our baggage delayed neglected to enter one of the tracking numbers. Fabulous.
A very unexpected bonus - upon our arrival to Detroit, we had no car seat. We were expecting a loaner, similar to the situation in Colorado Springs - we returned their car seat when our bags and seat arrived. In Detroit, apparently, they "can't" take them back. Or don't, but regardless. We got a brand new Evenflo convertible car seat, very similar to the one pictured above. Now we have to decide what to do with it. I have a few ideas...
I keep having to learn these lessons about my own expectations and the plan that God has for us. I keep having to learn that despite the situations that seem stinky to me, God has not forgotten, and He is carefully placing each new event in my life. He might be doing that to see how I respond, He might be doing it to stretch me, but I don't really need to know why. I just need to remember that God has it all under His control. Whether it be a death in the family, a nasty case of a mystery virus, or lost luggage and a longer trip - His control does not waver. He is good, all the time.
And when I can, by His grace, remember this - all is well! I do not worry, fret, and wring my hands! I can focus instead on the post-travel clutter, the stack of accumulated mail, and the installation of our new (FREE) Superman-logo-embellished keyboard and optical mouse. And maybe, just maybe, my house will be spic and span and ready when our luggage arrives.