Sunday, May 24, 2015

Where are we going to sleep tonight?

I am writing this post on the flight from Chicago to Houston. A flight that was not included in our initial plans!
Almost 36 hours after our first scheduled flight has departed, we are still in the US and, as the title of this post says, we are still not sure where we will sleep tonight, bot even in which country!
It all started right back in Heathrow where a juggle of automatic machines sent us from agent to agent up until the last one that told us that we needed an ESTA (kind of a turistic/business meetings visa) to be able to do a transfer in the US. Then came the actual application online while the clock kept ticking and our time running out. At the end, with everything ready, we were too late and weren't aloud to join the flight even if we still had 45 minutes to reach the gate.
We appealed to the kindness of their hearts as far as we could, but there was no chance. Even before we got back from the shock, we were negotiating the re-booking "Do you want to stay here in London tonight, or catch a connection flight to Houston through Chicago or Newark?" At the moment we are kind of homeless in London (moving houses with a gap in the middle) so the first option was dismissed! Neither of us had ever been to Chicago and Andre had never been in the United States, so why not the option of stopping for one night in Chicago and actually do some unexpected tourism in the Windy City?
That was our option and a few hours later, still a bit shaken up by losing our first flight but excited with the new tourism experience, we boarded the 9 hours flight that took us safe and sound to Chicago. Of course that, in between, we had to send an email to our hostel in Antigua, Guatemala letting them know of our one day delay and also find a room for the night. Finding a room proved to be a challenge with Booking, Hostelbookers and Hostelworld sites showing no options at all, all places were booked! Salve Airbnb that gave us the chance to sleep in a large room not so far away from the center of the city.
We got to our room (having stopped a bit in the city center just to have a quick feel of it, i.e. Dunkin Donuts!!) around 21h30, which was 3h30 back in London where we had woken up at 8h00 the day before! So we basically slept, or passed away, one of the two, on the bed after a really full of emotions day! And we slept really well!... until 5h00 when our bodies decided it was more than time to get up. And eventually we did, and there it started our Chicago adventure which will be the subject of another post.
Right after lunch we headed off to the airport as we did not want to lose another flight! And we didn't! YAY!! :) However, and with posts with this kind of title, there is always a However, the flight took of with over one hour of delay when we had a layover of 37 minutes! Despite asking multiple times about the short transition time we were always reassured that this was quite common and that there wouldn't be any problem! Well, now there might be! Because we have no idea if the plane will be in Houston airport waiting for us or if we will have to find yet another solution! Hence, we have no idea where we will sleep tonight, no even which country!
I am sure that by the time this post comes online I know the answer to that, but I wanted to share this strange feeling I am/we are having right now! This uncertainty if we will have to ask our hostel to postpone our stay another time (I think they might not believe us this time!) or if it is tonight that we will see Antigua; uncertainty of how many more flights we will still have to get so our actually planned vacations start!
PS: After a very long run we eventually lost the flight! So this was posted from the Marriot in Houston (finishing the night in style!! )

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