The Oregon Trial – My Version

No, it’s not the game.  On June 11th, David, my brother Paul and I started our journey to Oregon to attend our cousin Virginia’s wedding.  I called it a journey because when I booked us the flight, I realized that there is no direct flight to the part of Oregon we are going.  I would have happily settle for one connection, but the only one connection flight is out of JFK, which I also would have happily settled on, except, it would have cost us $1,200 per person round trip!!!!!!!  Yes, you read that correctly.  If we would have all taken the one connection flight from JFK, we would have to spend $3,600 to get there!  YIKES!  And mind you, I didn’t book last minute!  I was looking in early January!  So I started looking for other options…  Both Bradley and Tweed would require two connections, but Tweed turned out to be the cheapest, and we wouldn’t need to go far from our house (literally it’s a 2 minute drive there) so we opt for Tweed.

Thursday June 11th was a bit grey, but not bad.  We got to the airport, and there was a sign – All flights to Philadelphia are cancelled.  You see, Tweed is just a bit small that they only flight US Airways and ONLY to Philadelphia.  Hmmm…  That’s a problem.  We waited for the nice guy at the counter to help us, and after about half an hour of looking through all other flights from other airport, we agreed on flying out of JFK first thing in the morning on Friday to Salt Lake City, and connect there straight to Oregon.  We’ll get there around noon PST, so I would only miss a little bit of the bridal shower.  The nice guy told us he only changed this leg of the flight, so on the way home, we will still connect from San Francisco to Philly then from Philly to Tweed.  No problem.

We drove home and David’s mom had come to the house to dog sit.  She was surprised to see us to say the least!  I called Priceline to cancel our pricelined hotel reservation (55 bucks a night at Oregon when it’s usually 110 for the three stars!!!) and made a new one at the same price.  Then I priced us a sweet hotel deal for 100 bucks by JFK for the night at a Marriot (usually 200) and we left for the train for NYC.  Well, I’ve taken Metro North a bunch of times to go into NYC, but never had to connect to JFK.  It was interesting taking it all the way out to Grand Central, then had to connect from there via the subway to the airtrain to get to the terminals so the hotel shuttle can come pick us up.  By the time we are settled in the hotel, it was already 10pm.  I guess I just never realized how long it took!!!!

The next morning, we got up around 3am for our flight.  We were quite exhausted.  But the flight to Salt Lake City was uneventful, besides the fact it felt long.  I brought some knitting with me so I was not too bored.  But of course, we only have very little time to find the next flight, which was way over at terminal E, when we landed in terminal C.  ::sigh::  We quickly walk over before I could take a breath.  By the time I got out of the bathroom, guess who I saw?  My cousin, the maid of honor, Tracy! (Virginia’s sister)  And her fiancé Jason!  Apparently, their flight from Newark to San Francisco was cancelled the night before and the airline advised them to take the Newark to SLC Thursday night, spend the night at SLC and catch the first flight to Oregon, which end up to be the flight we are taking!  HA!

The flight from SLC was on time.  We got there around noon and Peter (Virginia’s now husband) came and picked Tracy and I up for the bridal shower, while David and Paul picked up the rental car and went to the hotel to get some shut eyes, and Jack in the Box!  (Side note:  For the East Coaster – Jack in the Box is a fast food chain, and it is VERY GOOD.  They unfortunately don’t have any out here in the east coast, but I wish they do.  Every time we go out to the west coast, David eats almost exclusively every meal at Jack in the Box!)

I have to say, it definitely doesn’t hurt to walk in late with the maid of honor.  It was like the party hasn’t started until we got there!  We ate some food and talk to some family members, played some games and opened lots of gifts.  I got to catch up with my aunts and grandma for a little bit as well.  And I got to see two of my high school friends that I haven’t seen since I graduated high school!

David came and picked me up after the shower, so I can get ready for the rehearsal and rehearsal dinner.  We weren’t in the wedding so it wasn’t a huge deal that we attended rehearsal or not, but it was cool to get there early, see where the wedding is taking place, and hang out with family – I haven’t seen them since my own wedding, which was last September.  Although before that, I haven’t seen them for at least a couple of years, so it was quite nice to see them more frequently this year.

The rehearsal dinner took place two blocks away from our hotel.  It was an Italian Family Style dinner and we had so much fun getting to know the other family.  Of course, being in June and in Oregon, the weather dramatically changed from sunny to thunderstorm.  It poured like no one’s business!

[picture of rehearsal dinner]

David, Paul and I left the dinner around 9pm, which felt like midnight for the three of us.  We managed to get him a sugar-free Slurpies on the way back to the hotel and passed out almost immediately.

We got up early on Saturday – not because we are well rested, but because the time difference.  Even after watching some TV and getting ready slowly, we were all ready at 8am, an hour before we are to meet my family for breakfast at the Nunan House (where the wedding is happening, and where my family is staying).  We drove over anyways on a hunch that my family will be up already, which I was right.  We hung out for the rest of the time before heading over to the main house for some awesome breakfast:


After breakfast, Paul stayed with my uncle and grandma, and David and I drop off my aunts to the salon where they get their hair done, and we set out to find the yarn stores I wanted to visit.  But first, let me share the knitting related loot from this trip:

[picture of loot from both stores]

The first store was “name”. It was deceiving from the outside.  I thought the store was really small, until I walk in!  It has three separate “rooms” and a garden setting knitting area complete with a water fountain that provides very soothing sounds!

[picture of yarn store]

The lady who helped me was super friendly and let me browse at my own pace.  They have mainly commercial yarn, not much of local yarn, so I opt for a pattern book instead. After I flipped through the pattern book, I just couldn’t put it down!  I’ll definitely be busy making some cute baby clothes for my kid.

On the way to meet up with Paul, my uncle and grandma for lunch, David surprised me and stopped at an alpaca ranch that has a boutique.

[picture of the alpaca ranch]

Unfortunately the boutique was closed, BUT! It happened to be the Alpaca shearing day!!!  Apparently Alpacas get sheared once a year and we stumbled upon it!

[pictures of the alpaca and raw fleece]

I’ve only seen shearing of the alpaca on “Dirty Job” on Discovery Channel.  This was the real deal and it seems a little different.  The alpaca was not happy to be tied up, for sure.  But all the sheared ones seemed happy enough.

We left the ranch just in time to meet my family for lunch.  Just as we got to the restaurant, I got a call from my aunts that they are done with their hair, so David went and picked them up, while we sat in the restaurant and waited.  It turned out that David had stopped and grabbed some Jack in the Box!  (What did I tell ya?  The man loves that chain!)  After we ate, David drove my family back to the Nunan House to get ready for the wedding.  I utilized the little time I have to visit yet another yarn store:

[yarn store pictures]

This place has some commercial yarn, and also some beautiful quilts!  Seeing them only made me want to learn to sew even more!  And they also had some local yarn.  I couldn’t resist and bought some Alpaca to make something for the baby, as you can see above.

We quickly went back to the hotel and changed and came back.  The weather wasn’t looking too good, but it wasn’t quite 4pm so everyone is still waiting.  Of course, the weather didn’t want to cooperate and started raining.  At one point, they were going to have the ceremony right on the open wrap around porch, which would have totally been Virginia and Peter’s style, since they are lay back and spontaneous, but the sky opened up while the decision was being made and they stuck with the original plan.

[pictures of ceremony]

The ceremony was brief and Virginia was beautiful.  I loved her dress and her hair style.  AND I loved her cake!

[pictures of cake]

The food was great and everyone had a good time.  My uncle Ceasar gave an incredible speech and I learned some new things about my cousin that I didn’t know about! Unfortunately, David, Paul and I had to leave shortly after dancing started, since we have to get up super early, AGAIN, to catch our flight out to San Francisco.  We said our good byes and parted our ways.  It was a little sad, but I know it will be okay, because the maid of honor, my cousin Tracy, is getting married in August, so we’ll see the family again very soon.

Sunday came in no time.  We got to the airport with plenty of time to spare.  The only thing that was suspicious was the fact that when we checked in, only the Oregon to San Francisco leg print out, not the others.  I flagged the lady at the counter and she told me because we booked our flight via US Airways, but they are really Sky West, and the other leg was United Airline and US Airways, that’s why it didn’t print out, and she told us not to worry and to check in again when we get to San Francisco.  I knew something was wrong then, but couldn’t figure out what, plus there was nothing we could do at that point.

We got to San Francisco, got out of terminal 1, and walked all the way to terminal 3 for US Airways counter.  It was a good thing that we didn’t check any luggage, let me tell ya.  When I got to US Airways, the full service line was super long.  I went to the No Bag Check line and try to check in via the computer.  No success.  The lady came over to help us.  She looked up our itinerary and told us go to back to United Airline (Terminal 1) to check in because the ticket is in their control.  Okay.  Fine.  I can walk.  Luckily our flight isn’t for another 2 hours.  But as I walk, I’m getting angrier by the step.  I got to UA, went to the bagless line and try checking in, it gave me an error.  The nice lady by the computer checked it out for me.  Apparently, the guy at Tweed had cancelled the whole trip instead of one leg!!!!!!!!!!  We have NO SEATS what so ever on the United Airline flight!  And of course, they are sold out.  And believe it or not, we are now walking back to Terminal 3 to US Airways.

By this time, my frustration level has gone to the new height.  I was walking so fast David had said “Honey, I can’t keep up!”  I had said to him, “Well, you have long legs, walk faster!”  I know he was just trying to get me to slow down and not be mad, but I just couldn’t help it!  How many of these back and forth thing I have to do before someone can help us?  We got to the terminal and we went straight to the lady who sent us to United earlier.  Guess what her response is?  “It says you have seats there!”  At this point, David cut in and said, “Look, we don’t have any seats there and they are sold out, so re-route us now” before I climb over the scale and strangle the lady and be sent to jail.  Then the lady said “Well, you have seats from Philly to Tweed!”  Ok dumb bitch, what good does that do us!?  I rolled my eyes and bit my tongue so I don’t say some smart ass thing and get security called over.  She proceeded to tell us – all flights to Philly are full for today, we can re-route you to Phoenix, and from Phoenix to Philly and from Philly to Tweed, and that will get you home on Monday 7pm.  WHAT THE FUCK LADY!?  Do you really think that we want to connect twice again at this point?  Before I had a chance to say anything, David asked, “Do you have any flights that fly to Philly tomorrow and Philly to Tweed?”  After much computer tapping, she said, “yes, I have a San Francisco to Philly tomorrow at 6am and from Philly to Tweed and will get you there on Monday 5pm”.  Yes, you read that right, if we left on Sunday, we would have gotten home two hours later if we left on Monday.  And we would be stranded in the airport all day since we will have our luggage with us.  We opted for the leaving Monday option, got our flights set up and finally sat down by the door.

I called Sheryl up and asked her to priceline us a hotel at San Francisco.  It didn’t have to be near the airport since we now have a whole day to explore the city.  She got us an awesome deal of $70 for the night at the Grand Hyatt in Union Square!!!!!! She also looked up the rental car and advice us not to get one (we were going to) because parking at the Grand Hyatt would have been 50 bucks for the night!  So we ended up taking BART, the metro system for the Bay Area.

We spent a great day at San Francisco, which I think deserves a separate post, but I will let you know that on Monday, I almost had an heart attack while checking in, because the stupid computer won’t check us in and the full service line was wrapped around so long that we would have missed our flight waiting in the damn line!  I finally got someone to help us and we were able to get home uneventfully at 5pm on Monday.

Lessons Learned?  Air travel really sucks now a days.


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