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Pregnancy Brain (Or Why It Took Us 24 Hours to Get From SLC to Ohio)

FACT: Being pregnant decreases your intelligence and makes you do things that can only be classified as stupid.

When I booked our recent trip to Ohio last summer, I was pretty proud of myself. I booked the trip after we found out that we were expecting, so I knew I wouldn’t want to be traveling for a long time. Luckily, I found a flight into Columbus, Ohio, that was non-stop from Salt Lake City and our return flight only had a short layover in Vegas, so it wasn’t too much longer.

The week before our trip, Kyle asked me when our flight was leaving. Without hesitation, I told him it left at 10AM. Over the course of the week, Kyle asked me again, my mom asked me about three times, and a handful of friends all sent inquiries. I told everyone 10AM. The day before our flight, I sent Kyle a copy of our flight confirmation and printed out a copy to take to the airport. We were packed and ready to go late Monday night and got a good night’s sleep, waking up around 7AM to get in the car.

We got to the airport, parked our car in the economy lot ($60 we’ll never see again) and took the shuttle to the terminal. By 8:30, we were ready to get our tickets and check our luggage, so I was feeling pretty relaxed and excited about our trip. Unfortunately, the machine was having trouble recognizing our confirmation number, so we needed assistance from the Southwest employee. She looked us up, found the problem, and told us that we had missed our flight. It had left SLC at 7:20AM.

I don’t even know what happened.

I pulled out the confirmation that I had printed the night before and looked at it. It very clearly said that our flight left at 7:20 AM, not 10AM. In fact, “10AM” was absolutely nowhere on the whole document. It was like the numbers jumped up in front of my eyes and rearranged themselves into a different time. To this moment, I can’t give any explanation as to why I was so sure that our flight left at 10.

Mind you, this was Tuesday, two days before Thanksgiving. It’s hardly a great time to travel in general, but it’s probably one of the worst times to miss your flight. The woman checked flights in Columbus (sold out), Cleveland (sold out), Detroit (sold out), and finally figured out that we could get into St. Louis for only an additional $500. St. Louis is a good six hours drive away from Ohio, so that wasn’t the ideal solution.

Finally, she was able to find us a flight through Albuquerque and into Chicago. Although there were no seats available on flights from Chicago to Columbus, there are enough planes going between the cities that we had a pretty good shot of getting on as standby passengers. So, off we went to Albuquerque (on a flight that actually did leave at 10AM) and after a brief layover in New Mexico, we found ourselves landing in Chicago just an hour or so after we were supposed to be arriving in Columbus.

Chicago is about six hours away from Columbus by car, depending on how fast you’re going, so theoretically we could have jumped in a rental and made it into the city in time to meet up with the five or six people we had made plans with for the evening. Unfortunately, we thought it would be faster to fly…and it would have, if we’d been able to get on the 4:30 flight (nope), the 7:20 flight (nope), or the 9:40 flight (nope). We didn’t actually manage to get seats on a Columbus flight until 6:10 the next morning.

The worst part about all of this is that we never left the Chicago airport. We could have used our 15 hours in Chicago to visit friends, grab some dinner, or see a tourist spot or two…but no. Between carrying false hope that we’d be able to jump onto those evening flights and not wanting to drop more than a hundred dollars on a hotel room we’d be using for about 5 hours, we got stuck in airport limbo. So, Kyle and I enjoyed some Chicago dogs (a couple of times), watched a whooooole lot of CNN, and propped each other up at 2AM when we got kicked out of the terminal and had to share a bench for a couple of hours in the baggage claim with people who were either stranded travelers or homeless.

For the record, even though we never slept and it cost us a day of being in Columbus with our friends, Kyle did not once get mad at me about this whole thing. In fact, he stubbornly refused to blame me at all and turned the whole thing into a great adventure involving delicious hot dogs and a wonderful opportunity for really getting to know the Chicago airport. I honestly don’t think that I would have been as great about it as he was if the tables had been turned, but it was sort of a lesson in how awesome it is to have a partner who really will have your back, even when you’re an idiot.

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4 Comments

  • Reply -J.Darling

    You're husband is freakin' Awesome! 🙂 I agree with his philosphy that you can't travel without having a healthy sense of adventure. (Not to mention, getting mad rarely fixes anything or makes the situation any better.) On my Thanksgiving adventure, I had prepaid of an economy car. Well, when I got there, all they had left were 12 passenger vans. The group in front of me was in the same position and got LIVID with the poor desk staff who were stuck working on Thanksgiving. Once they stormed off, angry that they couldn't get a refund and refusing to take the available vans, I politely told the desk attendant, "I'm in the same situation as they are, but I'll take whatever you have. Just don't charge me for it and cover the gas please, and we'll just call it even." They were SO grateful that I didn't explode at them, and I got where I was going. I had a car for the week, so it all panned out. 😉

    When I fly, I'm paranoid that I'll get on the wrong flight, or show up too late, etc – and I don't have the excuse of pregnancy brain. Just one that is too worried about messing things up that it tends to forget – which results in me being uber cautious when I travel.

    December 2, 2010 at 1:54 pm
  • Reply Princess Christy

    Oh goodness…. I'm glad Kyle didn't get mad, because in all of it… he never checked the times?!? i'm paranoid about details and double and triple check, even if I'm not the one in charge!

    December 2, 2010 at 6:29 pm
  • Reply Eeyore_fan

    Aw, I'm sorry you had to go through all that! 🙁
    But it's so great that Kyle was so positive about it.

    December 3, 2010 at 8:16 am
  • Reply Mari

    Awww Carly! Im so sorry you to do all that waiting! That must been extra hard doing that while being pregnant and waiting all night! 🙁

    But its so great that you have an amazing husband like Kyle whos willing to bear through it all with a smile and even view it with a happy adventurous perspective! Both of you are lucky girls!

    December 6, 2010 at 9:08 pm
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