Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Planes, Trains, & Automobiles - Fighting Phobias....

This summer I took my girls on a dream vacation adventure... We flew from Southern California to Washington DC - drove down to Williamsburg, VA - drove back up to DC then we Amtrak trained it to New York City.... then Amtrak-ed it up to Boston.. drove to Salem, MA and drove to West Boylston, MA and then we finally flew home out of Boston.... Flying, Training, & Driving (in unfamiliar locations) scares the crap out of me.... I'm not quite sure when I developed these annoying often debilitating phobias.. But they are definitely alive and well today.... I was determined to not let these stupid phobias control my life this summer - I was going to take my kids on an adventure so I had to just do it..... so I did!

Flying to DC... Little did we know that DC was having an electrical storm - We ended up flying in a holding pattern above DC for almost an hour - looking down into the clouds and seeing hundreds and hundreds of lightening flashes.. After an hour the pilot informed us that the plane was running low on fuel and that we had to land in Richmond, Virginia - an airport that Alaska Airlines was not affiliated with but he had no choice... So we descended into the flashing clouds and landed in Richmond... The plane fueled up and after about an hour or so - the pilot came on to let us know that he was waiting for the calculations so that he could take off on the runway (I did NOT need to hear that).... So we took off - the ride up was very very bumpy - bumpy enough to have my youngest one grabbing onto the arm rails... My eldest - was not fazed... She had her IPod going and was reading a book.. We arrived in DC three (3) hours later than anticipated.... Midnight...

The next morning we picked up our rental car and drove down to Williamsburg... I had printed up my map quest directions before our trip so I was ready... What an amazing and beautiful drive.. We went to Williamsburg and Jamestown - I will tell you about the actual locations in another post.

Driving to Williamsburg..

Driving to Jamestown - was also very pretty - and very easy.. Thanks again Map quest.

From Williamsburg we drove to Mt. Vernon - map quest directions were good -but from Mt. Vernon to Hertz got a little tricky - well the directions said go West and I don't know West from East when I have no idea where I am - so we took a huge little detour....

From DC - we left Union Station to train it up to New York... The train was delayed - because for whatever reason they forgot to bring it to the station from the yard.. huh? So any hoo - it was late... When the train was going a somewhat normal speed I was okay - but there were times it felt like it was going way too fast - got a little nervous... The real nerve racking part of the trip was trying to figure out how to get the heck out of Penn Station!!!! That place is the black hole..

From NYC - We trained up to Boston - again the ride was okay except for a couple of really fast straight-aways.. The view however - was breathtaking..

From Boston - I rented a car to drive to Salem - supposedly an easy drive.. yeah right - getting out of Boston was so flipping hard - the drivers are INSANE and the street signs - couldn't find any.. so I ended up in some tunnel under the ocean going in the opposite direction for about 5 miles... of course my smart-ass daughter - asks "Mom, why didn't you listen to the guy's directions??" I think one of my biggest fears is being lost - well - let's just say the 30 minutes or so that I had no idea what I was doing... was not a good time.... But we did finally figure it out and arrived in Salem.. No pictures to post on that one.. ha - to add insult to injury - I had a free GPS upgrade!!!! The GPS voice sounded like she was also getting frustrated with me -

From Boston we drove to my sister's house in West Boylston, MA - beautiful drive - the big difference between Los Angeles 405 FWY and the Mass Pike is that - the 405 there are few trees - a gazillion places to stop for directions, eat, go potty, or whatever.. The Mass Pike - there's just trees.. and more trees and a couple of toll booths..

We then drove from West Boylston back to Boston - dropped the car off - took a taxi to Logan International Airport ($27.00) - rip off.. Went up to a kiosk to print our boarding passes and the computer informed us that we could not- our flight was CANCELLED!!!!! So - I stood in line with about 1000 other people (okay I exaggerated a little) and the two other flights to Orange County, CA were cancelled or booked... We ended up taking a flight that took off 3 hours later than our original and landed in Los Angeles - about 40 miles from our home.... The poor husband arrived at LAX at 10:10 PM to pick up his family but our plane was delayed and then our luggage was LOST - the entire plane's luggage was LOST... We finally were in the car at a little past MIDNIGHT.... Oh, and I forgot to add that - we sat in the very last row (across from the bathrooms - have you ever smelled airplane bathrooms??? YUCK) and the plane was delayed due to more east coast thunder and lightening storms... The entire flight was bumpy... the seat belt light remained on and we could watch the electrical storm below us all the way across the United States.... The lightening around Bryce Canyon was exceptionally pretty.... scary....

We flew back via American Airlines and I have to say - Alaska's service is far superior in my opinion - so I sucked up my phobias and boy did I get an opportunity to trust God... that's all I'm saying on that one.. ha... I will tell you about our amazing travels in other upcoming posts.. I'm very glad to be home...

The Water below is at the end of the runway - got a little nervous... okay a lot nervous...


  1. I've been waiting to hear about this trip. I have a few phobias about traveling too, so I know what you mean. Flying above the lightning would probably have gotten me a bit scared. We went to Boston about 20 years ago and I remember the drivers. It was crazy! Glad you're back, safe and sound!

  2. Sounds like the stories of which legends are made! Great time! I LOVE the picture of the lightening at the end! Great scenery throughout and I feel for you on Penn Station. It really is tough the first time through! :)

  3. Sounds like a great trip, welcome back to the hood!

  4. Looking forward to more. I have a flying phobia too and you story stirred up just a teensy bit of anxiety. ;)

  5. Oh, I LOVE these kinds of trips!

    And driving in Boston?! HA! I once saw someone drive on the SIDEWALK in Boston...


  6. Thanks for stopping by my blog! Wow...flying around in the air above DC for an hour??!! Yikes! Bet there were some cool sites though.

  7. I've been to all those locations before, too. I'm glad you were able to take your daughters to that side of the country--despite your phobias.

  8. Hey Kelly,
    I swear the older (and wiser) we get, the more afraid we are of everything!

    I was thrilled to see the news of a donor being found for Haley - not so happy to hear she is not feeling well. I will continue to pray for her. I hope you will keep us all posted.




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