Trains. Planes. Automobiles. And Greg Norman.

My trip to the NGCOA conference for 2015 can be summed up in four words.

I Hate Ice Storms.

Get ready.  This is a long tale of Allison and Theresa’s Great Adventure.  Sit back and enjoy the ride.

Our original flight was to take off early Monday morning which would have put me in San Antonio around noon leaving me enough time to attend my board meeting and time for my speaking engagement.

Sadly.  Dallas got an ice storm which caused them to cancel over 1,000 flights including my own.  I called the head conference director for the NGCOA and told her that I was going to have to cancel.  The earliest American Airlines could get me into San Antonio was on Wednesday night.  Yeah.  That wasn’t going to work since the conference would be over by then.

In my defeat, I went over to my sister’s house for supper and broke her the news.  She looked at me and said, “Wait.  Does this mean you won’t be meeting Greg Norman?”   It was sad, but true.  In true big sister form she claimed that there must be a way!

She got me thinking that maybe I should try different cities to fly into around San Antonio.  I found a few flights, but they were well over $1,000.  I like Greg and all, but not enough to spend my son’s college fund.  I called my sister-in-law, Theresa, who was traveling with me and told her to unpack.  The trip was officially off.

Sulking the whole way home from my sister’s, I thought maybe I could fly out of another airport.  I got on the computer and managed to find a flight out of Kansas City that was going to fly into Houston.  The flight was only $100, so I booked it and a rental car to drive to San Antonio.  I called up Theresa and told her to stop unpacking!  Greg Norman.  Here we come!!

It was at this time that the true nature of my insane family began to take shape.  Our flight out of KCI was set to take off at 6:00 a.m.  Because my husband needed to be back in time to take our kids to school at 6:30 a.m., we foolishly decided to drive down to KCI at 11 p.m. at night putting us at the airport around 2 a.m. and leaving my husband enough time to get back home in time to take our kids to school.

That’s right.  My husband is officially Husband of the Year.

Theresa and I arrived at the airport and tried our best to sleep in the super comfortable (sarcastic font) airport chairs.  At 5 a.m., we went through security and began the process to get on the plane.

When we didn’t begin boarding right away, we knew there was a problem.  Our flight had been delayed until 8:00 a.m.  This seemed strange to us since the plane was clearly parked at the end of the tunnel.  Unfortunately, that plane was meant to go to Dallas and had been grounded (because of the ice storm) which caused it not to have its routine maintenance done on it.  Through a series of unfortunate events and scheduling mishaps, the crew arrived at 8 a.m. to pull the required maintenance.  That meant that our flight didn’t even take off until 11:30 a.m.  Thankfully, the airline graciously gave us all $7 vouchers for lunch.  That afforded me about a teaspoon of hummus and 1/2 of a carrot.

The good news is that I have never met a stranger, so by the by time we were ready to board, I had about 200 new friends.  I had also been awake for about 29 hours at this point, so my filter had long since left.

In our family we make drug related jokes.  Is that normal?  Don’t answer that.  For instance, when our house caught on fire a few years ago, my husband often told people that it was caused from me smoking crack in bed.  Obviously, I would never do something like that, but it makes for a funny story.

One of my new BFF’s from our hours of bonding in the airport had asked a group of us if anyone had any aspirin.  I happen to carry Aleve in my purse, so I offered some to him.  I handed over the bottled, then casually mentioned that I had laced it with only a small amount of cocaine.  That got a good laugh, but he looked a little uneasy.  Turns out I really know how to pick friends because he was a police officer for Las Vegas.  Since I managed to stay out of jail, I guess he was cool with my joke.  My lack of sleep had clearly caused a weakness in my filter.

We boarded the plane and traveled to Houston without incident, however, we were going to be cutting my speaking engagement very close.  When we landed, there was yet another series of unfortunate events including stalling on the tarmac and the realization that we had to walk an obscenely long distance to get to our rental car.  It was quickly becoming apparent that I would, indeed, miss my speaking engagement.

Because I’m my father’s daughter, I gave it my all and drove around 90 miles per hour from Houston to San Antonio in the outside chance I could get there to fulfill my obligation.  I couldn’t drive any faster because we had rented a Chevy Spark and they start to rattle once you hit around 91.

We pulled into our conference 15 minutes too late for me to be able to fulfill my speaking engagement, but just in time for the opening reception.

2015-02-23 21.08.40They had some great food there that are commonly found at golf courses.  You know me.  I had to give it all a try.

2015-02-23 19.51.22Plus a band called, Cactus Country.

2015-02-23 19.49.51Theresa and I spent the following day at the Hill Country Golf Club and attended the Golf Industry Show.  Then, it was time to meet the whole reason, we stayed awake for nearly 32 hours and made all of those ridiculous travel plans.  Hello, Greg Norman.

2015-02-25 18.23.59

Greg received the Award of Merit from the NGCOA for everything he has done for the golf industry.  Here’s a clip of the video they played before he received the award.

Since I am on the National Board, I got to meet Greg during a pre-reception.  After the presentation, I dragged Theresa over to get her picture with him, too.

2015-02-25 21.36.17

Greg was really cool and answered many questions about his business and other pursuits.  He even answered fashion questions concerning his younger years and his pants selection.

Overall, it was a lovely evening and Theresa and I really enjoyed ourselves.  Since our meeting with Greg was complete, it was time to head home.

Is that the end of the story?  Oh no.  It couldn’t be.  The travel saga continues.

We arrived at the San Antonio airport at 4:30 a.m. for our 6 a.m. flight.  Other than me getting pulled aside because I had brought my husband home a wrench from the Golf Industry Show(which I had packed in my carry on), everything with our first flight into O’Hare went smoothly.  We even arrived early!

That’s when the good news ended.  Now, it was Chicago’s turn to be experiencing ice issues.  We were stuck on our plane for over an hour waiting for a gate.  This caused our connecting flight to Des Moines to leave with two empty seats.  Yep.  Even though we ran nearly two miles, we missed our flight by about five minutes.

After visiting with customer service, we were able to book another flight to Des Moines for later that day.  Then, this happened.

2015-02-26 14.50.41Our flight time and gate kept changing for nearly eleven hours.  This was how we were feeling.

2015-02-26 10.50.30 HDR

To curtail our boredom, Theresa and I sat and people watched for nearly three hours and tried our best to guess what people did for a living based on their wardrobe.

2015-02-26 11.29.38

Our creativity was coming up short at the three hour mark and most people were declared unemployed.  We needed more energy, so this is the meal we ate for supper.

2015-02-26 12.46.41At 6:30 p.m., we finally boarded our plane.  The flight went off without any problems and my brother picked us up from the airport and drove me directly to my son’s jazz concert with seconds to spare.  #MomOfTheYear

That brings us to the end of our adventures.  It’s a good thing we are such easy going people and Greg was so charming because that was definitely a travel experience I don’t care to repeat anytime soon.  Maybe, never.

How about you?  Ever have endless flight problems and have to bury your sorrow in candy?

Post by Allison

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