Monday, July 14, 2008

Stranded in Schenectady

This is sort of unrelated to our Mexico trip, but since I'm blogging the road there as well, I figured I'd include this weekend's pothole.

On Friday morning we left for Vermont, where a friend was getting married.  We flew standby into Albany, NY, and then drove to Vermont for the wedding.  A wonderful time was had by all.  (If you've never been to Vermont, the Green Mountain State, you should go - great local ice cream, coffee, and cheese, soundtracked by Vermont Public Radio and tucked into Northern Appalachia...pretty much perfect.)

(above: The classic Vermontian car.)

On Sunday morning we woke up at 5:30am and drove to Albany to fly home.  Except that we missed the first flight and then spent the rest of the day in the Albany/Schenectady airport...not the most fun place to spend an entire day, especially if it knocks out one of your 9 days left of packing/moving/leaving the country preparations.  Fed up with Albany, we rented a car and drove to Hartford, Connecticut, where we spent five hours sleeping in a Days Inn before leaving on a 5:45am flight the next morning.

Finally back in Chicago,  we raced over to the Mexican Consulate to pick up our visas.  Unfortunately, someone somewhere had authorized our departure for August 15 instead of July 15, completely screwing up our plans to leave next week.  Since both Chris and I have programs starting between now and August 15, simply waiting until mid-August to leave is not an option...or at least not an easy, cost-free option.  We fumed our way home, made a few phone calls, and now we wait.  (A Tom Petty song comes to mind...anybody guess what it is?)

And that's where we find ourselves today, on my twenty-seventh birthday.  Despite the last few days, there's much to be thankful for.  For example, iTunes released brand new Bruce Springsteen and John Mellencamp recordings today - Springsteen, at least, being a huge and happy surprise.  This is silly, but makes me unreasonably giddy, and these days I'll take all the little giddies any way I can get them.  :)  

More importantly, we have lots of supportive family and friends.  Chris's sister, Erica, came to visit yesterday and joined us for a ludicrously large dinner, which helped take the edge off a frustrating 48 hours.  And on Sunday, my mom, who twenty-seven years ago gave me life, biked in downtown Chicago from midnight to sunrise for the L.A.T.E. ride, and then spent the entire rest of her day off on the phone and online trying to get us home from Albany.  Thanks, Mom.

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