Blog by VONNIE DAVIS -- International, Award-Winning Romance Author: Adventurous...Humorous...Amorous.

Monday, June 6, 2011


I think we all have our travel horror stories: squabbling kids in the back seat, car breakdowns, crappy hotels, food poisoning and airline snafus. I once went on a 7-day cruise while my luggage went to another continent. The cruise ship gave me another suitcase, and I bought new clothes only to have the new luggage fly to Texas while I flew home to an airport on the eastern coast. So I lost my luggage coming and going on that trip.

Even so, nothing beats the horror story of our last trip to Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Bob, Calvin's best friend since elementary school, passed away. He and Bob not only went to school together, but joined the Army together after getting their bachelors and then attended graduate school with each other once their duty to Uncle Sam was complete. They had a strong bond. Bob had recently retired as head of the biology department at Southern University. Although we knew of his heart problems, his death came as a shock. He'd been talking on the phone to his momma when his diseased heart simply gave way.

To get to Baton Rouge quickly enough to attend the funeral, I made online flight arrangements taking whatever flights I could find. This created a hodgepodge trip connecting from Lynchburg to Charlotte to Memphis to Baton Rouge. All went reasonably well until we reached Memphis where heavy storms were rolling in. Airline personnel announced that the restroom on our flight was out of order and we should use restrooms in the airport prior to boarding.

Once onboard, the flight attendant announced that the air conditioning system on the plane was not working either. A few minutes later she informed us that there was no personnel to load our luggage onto the flight and our luggage would arrive in Baton Rouge the following day. However, if we really needed our luggage, we were welcome to load it ourselves. Bob's funeral was in the morning to say nothing of the viewing that evening, so yes, we needed our luggage. I got off the plane in the wind and the rain, along with many other customers, and heaved our luggage into the bowels of the commuter plane.

So, now I'm wet and wind-blown, scrunched into a seat on an airline with no fresh airflow. Varying degrees of human hygiene are perfuming the hot, stagnant air. And I'm trying to keep my over-active bladder from focusing on having no usable bathroom onboard.

Then, the hostess announces the plane is overweight and they need 5 passengers to get off. Seems the airline was out of fuel in Baton Rouge, so our plane had to carry enough fuel to fly from Memphis to Baton Rouge and also to make the return trip back. Two people got off. Again the hostess speaks to the passengers. The pilot refuses to take-off until 3 more disembark. No takers.

Meanwhile it's getting stuffier onboard, AND my bladder is whispering, "!!"

We sat there for hours while the hostess went from person to person, asking, pleading for people to get off the plane. The storm is rolling across the airport and the plane starts rocking on the tarmac. My bladder is now screaming, "Now...I need emptied now." Finally, 3 people agreed to get off. We sat there for 3 and a half hours, missing Bob's viewing.

At last one commuter plane, rank with human smells and no operating restroom, was airborne. We landed in Baton Rouge to a dark airport. Tornados had wiped out electrical service. Everyone hurried off the plane stampeeding to the nearest restroom in semi-darkness thanks to security lighting. By now, my bladder is screeching!!!

Calvin and I tramped to the car rental part of the airport to pick up the car I'd rented online. The person at the counter bemoaned the fact their computers were out and she'd have to fill out the forms by hand. Oh, gee, poor thing! We stepped out into the hot, muggy night to the parking lot to get our rental car. As soon as I saw it, I knew we were in trouble...
Stop back tomorrow for the rest of the story on our trip. Meanwhile, what's the worst experience you've had while traveling?

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