"I'm leavin' on a jet plane..." Actually, by the time you read this we will have left on that plane.
My husband, Doug, and I thought this year we would like to spend the holidays with our daughter Cathy and her family. They cannot travel during the holidays due to her husband's job. So, if they can't come to us, we will go to them.
That sounds easy enough, doesn't it? Once the decision was made, I started searching for reasonably priced flights. Cathy also searched on her end. At least we got an early start before prices skyrocketed.
She found a flight for a very good price. The only catch was that we would be flying on Dec. 24. Really, how bad could that be? I booked the flight immediately.
We would be flying out of the airport in Madison. Doug and I thought it best to stay in Madison the preceding night. That way we wouldn't have to leave Marshfield at the crack of dawn to get to the airport.
Everything was falling into place. We would leave Madison at 9:45 a.m., have a two-hour layover in Cleveland, Ohio, and arrive in Washington, D.C., about 2 p.m. I love it when a plan comes together.
It was all going so well. That is until I received an email from the airline. I have no idea why they did this to us, but they changed our flight. I thought, "OK, so we leave a little earlier than anticipated. That should pose to problem."
Then I took a closer look at the changes. A little earlier? No, we now have a 5:45 a.m. flight. Add on another hour for security purposes, and we are talking up long before dawn.
Adding insult to injury, even the layover in Cleveland was altered. It went from the original two hours to five hours. That time is longer than the two flights put together. We were still to arrive in Washington at the same time. At least the delay will give us ample time for breakfast, to find the right gate and start reading a book. Maybe "War and Peace" would be a good choice.
That is how our Christmas Eve day is shaping up. While I write this, I am sure it will all go well, and we will be at Cathy's in time for Christmas Eve. Besides, if there is a snag, I can do little about it except to invite fellow travelers to sing Christmas carols with me.
Merry Christmas to everyone.
Carolee Ruhnke is a freelance columnist for the Marshfield News-Herald.