My family trip suddenly becomes a solo adventure

This is no “Aeroflot saga”, but it is equally as dramatic. The good news is, I have all of my luggage. In fact, I have the checked luggage of my entire family. What I don’t have: my family!

Original travel plan, as we had so smartly envisioned (aka, Man plans, G-d laughs):

Adam and girls don’t want to miss too much school / work, so they take late in the day flight to Mexico via Houston. They have a tight connection, but will be able to make the daily evening flight to León/Guanajuato.

That flight is particularly expensive, plus we still mentally scarred from our Aeroflot luggage misadventure this past summer and are worried about our luggage not making the connection. So Adam books ME on an earlier flight. We’ll meet in Houston, and our bags will have a bit more transfer time. We all wanted to be able to have our bags with us on arrival, and I wanted to avoid the need to make another Aeroflot-level hysterical scene in an airline office. The plan seems solid.

How the trip actually goes

⁃ I hop in the Uber loaded up with everyone’s luggage. As I am pulling out of my driveway, I get a text that my flight is delayed. Significantly. Now, I’m going to MISS the connection altogether.

⁃ We scramble, work the phones and get United to rebook me out of BWI on a flight that is leaving less than 2 hours from the time we call. If all goes well, and if traffic agrees, I’ll still be able to meet Adam and the girls in Houston and we’ll all fly together to Mexico as planned. The connection will be tight, but now I’m realizing that I can deal with delayed bags as long as I can make it there.

⁃ As I’m enroute to BWI, Adam gets a text from United. THEIR flight is now delayed. Significantly. They will miss the connection. It’s now Adam’s turn to scramble.

⁃ As I’m checking our bags at the BWI counter, Adam has a long call with the United 1K desk. It’s Christmas week. The whole world is traveling. And who knew so many people were also trying to get to León/Guanajuato, Mexico. He learns that there are NO available seats on flights into León tomorrow, or the next day, or the next. It’s him, our two kids plus an extra kid (Yael!) who is tagging along with us for a CrazyTraveler Ducker vacay experience. But there are no flight with 4 tickets into León they can be squeezed on until Monday!

⁃ The United agent and Aadam agrees to consider routes into Mexico City as an option.  at least that gets them into the right country, and there should be a lot more flight options – even if El Cuidad is 4 hours away from where we have our hotel reservations in San Miguel de Allende. But YES, they can get them to Mexico City! tomorrow! But from Newark. Adam explains several times that he’s in Washington. Physically at DCA. But the only way they get get 4 people on a flight to Mexico City over the next few days of holiday travel is on Friday’s 6:30am flight from Newark. Adam agrees. They will make their way to Newark tonight, camp out at a hotel and get there at the crack of dawn tomorrow.

⁃ I, on the other hand, made my flight to Houston, and on to León, and, incidentally, all three of our bags made it too!

What happens now?

 I’m now alone in our “family suite” of the beautiful hotel that Adam booked for us in the historic center of Guanajuato. 

Adam and the girls will fly to Mexico City tomorrow. The silver lining is that Adam is pretty stoked to have a chance to be in Mexico City. So they’re going to take advantage and spend the weekend in Mexico City, then figure out the buses and meet me in the pretty mountain town of San Miguel de Allende on Sunday.

We had planned to first spend Fri & Sat exploring the historic colonial town of Guanajuato- which I’ll now be doing alone. 

At the end of the day. I’m pretty well-equipped for spontaneous travel changes, as frustrating as they are. And few people are better prepared to travel alone in a foreign city for a few days than me.

So I’ll make the best of it, explore my heart out, and meet up with the family on Sunday. Stay tuned for more adventures!

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