Trains, Planes, and Automobiles



Last weekend was a seriously fun but seriously long weekend filled with planes, trains, and automobiles. In this blog I will share my adventure.


Planes: We began our adventure by arriving at the airport in Reno Nevada ninety minutes ahead of boarding as a good passenger should, only to find that our flight had been delayed by two hours. Two hours! I suppose that in the grand scheme of things two hours is not all that much. We were scheduled to arrive in Saint Louis at around six p.m. We planned to rent a car and drive down to Jackson, hopefully arriving in time for a late dinner. Of course when your plane takes off two hours late it arrives two hours late, which meant we missed our connection. This resulted in our needing to be rebooked, so instead of a short layover in Salt Lake, we ended up hanging out in the Salt Lake airport for over five hours.

Oh and here is another fun fact. When we landed in Salt Lake the wheels touched down for just a second and then the plane accelerated and went back up into the air. On no this could not be good. Not good at all. I was seriously envisioning damaged landing gear and emergency landings when the pilot finally came on and made some sort of statement about being assigned a different runway and we’d need to circle for a bit. Not fun!

After we were safely on the ground I decided that I can be adaptable in spite of the fact that we’d missed our connection. My husband called ahead to the hotel and let them know that we were going to be late but still planned to show so please don’t give our room away, and then we decided to tour the airport before having a ridiculously expensive hamburger for dinner. We waited around some more, went for another walk, and finally around 8:30 we were booked on a connecting flight. We landed at around 12:30 a.m. and called ahead to the hotel to reassure them that we still planned to arrive that night and please don’t give away our room. Which brings us around to automobiles.

Automobiles: By the time we reached Saint Louis and got our luggage it was after one o’clock in the morning. As we climbed onto the shuttle to the rental car place I stupidly said in a glass half full moment of insanity that at least there wouldn’t be a line at the rental car place since it was literally the middle of the night. I was wrong. And we are not talking a short line – there must have been 30 people in line with one clerk. Long story short we were at Avis for almost an hour and a half. By this time it is three o’clock in the morning. We decided we were too tired to make the two hour drive to Jackson so we called the hotel to inform a very sleepy clerk that, in spite of our previous assurances, we were not going to make it that night, but we would, we promised be there the following day. We got a room at a motel next to the rental car place and slept for a few hours before continuing on to Jackson.

Trains: Although the flight to Jackson was grueling it was totally worth it. The train was awesome and it was so fun to meet so many of you all in person. I had such a good time and am super excited to be part of next years train as well.

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Which brings us back to Planes. On the way home, after several days of fun, fun, fun, we arrived at the airport where our plane was on time and we did not have to wait. Shortly after boarding the pilot comes on and makes an announcement. He starts off with “I have good news and I have bad news.” Trust me this is not something you want to have your pilot say minutes before taking off. The good news was that the plane was expected to arrive ten minutes ahead of schedule, so yay. The bad news was there were storms across the nation so we could expect a bumpy ride for pretty much the entire 3 hours. Oh joy. So I settle in with a glass of wine and hoped for the best. It was bumpy but not as bad as the pilot made it sound.

We arrived on time and made our connection for the second hopefully less bumpy leg of our flight. We boarded early and settled into our seats which were in row 1. We could see and hear everything going on in the front and noticed that the flight attendants were discussing the fact that there were all these parts left on the counter in the galley. Parts? They took turns trying to get through to maintenance while the others continued to get everyone settled. Every now and then they’d meet up to discuss the situation and I could tell that they weren’t getting through to whomever they needed to get through to.

Finally a guy came on board who had an official looking vest. I began to relax. When asked about the parts that were just laying there, he answered that he had no idea what these extra parts were for and left. I watched in horror as they closed the door and the crew prepared for take off. Are you kidding me? We are on a plane which plans to cruise at 30,000 feet and there are spare parts on the counter and so far not a single person seemed to know what they went to or why they were there! I wanted to point out that waiting a few more minutes for maintenance wouldn’t be the worst idea but the flight attendants didn’t seem overly concerned so maybe spare parts are a regular thing? I’m sure a plane has a lot of parts and everyone knows that when you take something apart it is hard to remember where everything went. Right?

Anyway, we made it home without incident and I am gearing up for next years train. I hope you can join me. Here is a link to check it out.

Comment below and let me know if you’ve had any fun travel adventures. I will pick one comment to receive a $15 Amazon gift card.




35 thoughts on “Trains, Planes, and Automobiles

  1. Candace knight says:

    Your trip sounds like a great adventure. I haven’t been on an airplane since I was little and we moved to Germany. I remember I hated it. I would love to go on a train. They sound great.

  2. Linda Herold says:

    You really had an adventure! We had a flight cancelled once. We were going to Europe for our once in a life time trip and due to flight changes we had to stay in SF overnight! That meant we had one less day in Denmark which is where my grandfather was born and the whole reason for going to Europe in the first place!!

  3. Doward Wilson says:

    Many years ago on my first plane flight from Kansas City to San Francisco via Los Angeles, we approached the LA airport in dense fog at night. Having a window seat just ahead of the stewardess I was looking out the window as we were coming down, only to have the plane shear sharply to the left. I was able to see the expression on the control tower’s personnel as they ducked under desks. The captain came on to say that because of the fog we were being diverted to Las Vegas for the rest of the night. Needless to say, it was two years before I got on another airplane. This was in the early 70’s with smaller planes & “Red Eye Specials.”

  4. Missy VanHoose says:

    Oh my gosh!!! I got nervous just reading about the plane ordeals you went through 😳 Never been on a plane and don’t plan on it anytime soon lol. At least you had a great time on the train excursion and made it home safely!! Have a awesome day!! 😀

  5. Linda Kleback says:

    I was involved in a comedy of errors of cancelled flights due to weather issues once flying from Arizona to Florida. On the last leg our plane bounced all over the place. I was so glad to get home!

  6. Michele Hayes says:

    Glad things worked out for you in the end and you had a good time. We had our connecting flight to Paris cancelled on us several years ago because the French air traffic controllers “scheduled” their strike for the next day, after we were leaving the US but before we were to land in Paris. So we connected to London and took the train through the chunnel. Got there several hours later than planned but still, it was Paris! We had a great time once we got there.

  7. Valerie Rogers says:

    This actually to my daughter when she was 14. We were sending her on a plane from Michigan to my sisters house in Arkansas. And she was going to have a 2 hour lay over. We were assured that she would be accompanied at all times by an adult since she was a minor. On her layover they were supposed to be able to eat and her and another minor would be taken to a game room. Which someone actually took the 2 kids to the basement of the airport and left them in a room by themselves for 2 hours and they never got to eat. Thankfully she had cell service and we pretty much stayed on the phone til she was safely on the next flight. She never wanted to travel alone again.

  8. Brenda Logan says:

    One year I was flying from Chicago to Birmingham, Alabama. On the way to Ohare Airport we hit a freak ice storm and missed our flight. United Airlines (who had AWESOME customer service back then) arranged for my friend and I to get a hotel room at a reduced rate as we were the only two they couldn’t get on another flight. The next morning we reported to the airport for our morning flight to find out that we were the only two passengers besides a full crew!!! Their next flight was originating in Birmingham and they were, more or less, dead heading back to the hub! Talk about service…we had mimosas, breakfast and a tour of the plane! The best part was coming down the hall and into the waiting room…the look of shock when the hundred or so people waiting to board realized we were the only two passengers(did I mention…it was a 737!!!). That was the best flight ever 😉

  9. Becky Wilhoite says:

    Oh, my goodness! You definitely did have a rough start to a busy fun weekend! I’m so glad you were able to make it and made it home safe. I bet you were more than glad to be home! So excited for next year!

  10. Been on many plane rides, but the longest one was from New York to London. Hard to sleep on a plane but we did it. The only train I have been on was the Heber Creeper on Heber Utah. It was an old time train that had train robbers on and a gun fight. The kids loved it!

  11. Sharon Frank says:

    Kathi, have you read the Butterscotch Jones series by Melanie Jackson? The extra parts on the plane made me think of The Wings hitting the front of his plane, and something falls to the pavement. He is so funny.

  12. robeader says:

    Our family are nuts over baseball. We love travelling to various minor and major league ball parks. One of the best adventures we have had was our trip to Buffalo to see the Bison’s play on a Fourth of July. They had special events for those who were attending the game and then the Buffalo Philharmonic played while fireworks went off. It was the best 4th of July our family has had.

  13. Debra Woloson says:

    On our high school senior trip, the Day we were to leave, we got word that a storm was coming and we had to move fast. The buses had barely made it thru the tunnel and pass before the road was closed and we made it on the plane, which had waited for us. We got in the air when we got the joy of hearing that we would have to stay in our seats until further notice due to bad weather. We bounced so hard that people were hanging on to each other scared, and the oxygen masks dropped down from above our heads. We made it to Houston, Texas safely but I never forgot the experience.

  14. Peggy Hyndman says:

    WOW … you really had an adventure! I used to do a lot of business travel and often experienced weather related flight cancellations. The worst time was when a day trip turned into a three day stay with hotel rooms at a premium, no rental cars available; not to mention scrambling to buy clothes and personal items.

  15. Amanda B. says:

    I’m glad you had fun in spite of the delays and long waits! I would love to go next year but with two kids in school, I don’t see it happening. One day…. Two years ago my boys and I took a trip from the East Coast to the West Coast and back with my parents. We camped the entire time and traveled in a Ford Expedition. Yes, all 5 of us. We covered 17 states in 21 days. It was um, interesting. And I’m just going to leave it like that. 😉

  16. Margo Sue says:

    We once arrived at the airport with our three young children to discover the airline “accidentally” canceled our reservations. Oops. They quickly found us seats. Another time we were about to board a plane to get to our cruise when they decided to deice the plane. Something went wrong and the plane filled with deicer. By the time we could get another flight, the cruise would have left. So, we missed our cruise. Since then, we always go down the day before.

  17. Whoa, I think Halloween started early for you Kathi, with lots of “tricks and Treats!” SO glad you made it there safely and enjoyed all the fun of the Mystery Train Event and got home safely! I have never flown on a plane but my daughter did from Georgia to Washington State on a small plane bumpy flight, a big jet from the huge Atlanta Hartsfield Airport and then on a long bus ride to Canada. I prayed and skipped meals for two weeks before her flight only to learn the plane had wiring problems!! OMG!! She made it there and back safely thank God!!

  18. Mary Jane H. says:

    I don’t remember ever having a trip like that, it sounds like the trip from hell. Glad you made it there and back with no further problems.

  19. Debbie S says:

    We drive everywhere, hubby won’t fly which everyone teases him for. One company convention he drove to New York from Alabama, however when he got home and everyone was still stuck at the airport for 12 hours because of storms they shut up about it.
    I had a great time on the train and it was so nice to meet you in person.

  20. peggy clayton says:

    Gosh you really had an adventure to talk about for a long time. It seems every time I fly from Dubuque to Chicago and then people watch for 3 hrs after going thru their bookstore then flying to San Fran and trying to rent a car there is always something that happens. One time I was waiting and waiting for my scooter and they brought me up a scooter that was smashed that was in San Fran I couldn’t believe it . All the parts were hanging like the basket i added on and the controls it was terrible so they rented me one to use then when i got back to Dubuque they redid mine a total overhaul I didn’t want to give back the new one but I got my almost new one back and it looked new and the person who did it put a paper cutout of me on it that was cute when we picked it up. But on the plane from SF to Chicago going back i was cross stitching well i was trying and the coffee cart came by and rolled right on my bag smashed my round looms I use also there were black marks all over the bag. Ugh so that was a terrible experience and that is why i cut back trying to see the kids it is too hard for me to go without something happening. Especailly when i am trying by myself.

  21. Brandy Barber says:

    We traveled a bunch when I was younger. My mother’s family lives in Kansas and Arizona. I remember sleeping on the side of the interstate going to Arizona my dad dropped us off at Grandma’s and we took the bus back. It was my mom, me around age 10 and little brother 2, sister 3. It was a LONG trip with lots of tomato juice. We stopped over night and for hours at a time. We stayed at the station everytime. I know when we got to SC my dad came and got us instead of us taking the bus to the final stop. It was midnight when we got to the station and like 3am when we finally left to go home.

  22. Vicki Highley says:

    When I was 12. My dad got transferred to Wisconsin (he was in the Marine Corps) and we lived in Southern California (which we moved back to after 2 years in Wisconsin.) Mom and dad decided to make it a nice road trip, unfortunately they didn’t know that my sister suffered from carsickness (we had never taken long trips before). We made a stop at the Grand Canyon and were looking over the side and with the height, heat and motion of the car, my sister left a mark at the Grand Canyon.

  23. Ruth Nixon says:

    I didn’t learn to drive until I was 25 and suffered with motion sickness even with rocking chairs and piers. It made me perfectly content to not travel. One time on a plane trip from Reno to Sacramento I got so sick I begged them to open the door and push me out and all they could do was hand me a paper bag. Once I learned to drive I was fine and even enjoyed our own plane.

  24. Elaine N Robinson says:

    You had quite the adventure. Years ago I sailed on a schooner in the Bahamas for a week. It was a dolphin watch and swim. What an amazing adventure!

  25. Pat McCray says:

    Back in 1969 my hubby and daughter were returning to the USA from Japan after being there for 2 years – of course our times clocks were different we left Japan around 2 a.m. and when we woke up it was considered supper time and we were being served our first meals – my daughter (2 years) was asking for her cereal and thinking breakfast said it would be here soon – well we got our trays took off the covers and there was our Chicken Dinner – my daughter went wild screaming ” I want cereal no chicken” – what a wake up call to a lot of military families that day.

  26. I remember years ago flying home to Chicago during a thunder storm and it was a bumpy flight and we could see the lightening in the sky. It was kind of eerie to see the lightening up close.

  27. christieloo says:

    Wow! That sounds like quite the adventure. I have nothing to come close (thankfully). You should write a book … oh, wait 😄✈️🚂🚘

  28. Yvonne Gilbert says:

    Thirty some years ago,my husband and I want to Aruba on a cold January day. I flight down was so hot we couldn’t breathe. But it was beautiful there. After our week was up it was hard to get ready to go back to the frigid cold. We got all packed and to the airport only to find out that are flight had been canceled due to a bad snowstorm. We wouldn’t be able to leave until the next day. We had to sleep in the airport. We were in the airport for twenty- four hours before we were finally able to go home.

  29. Jess D says:

    Flew to Hawaii for my honeymoon. And of course I overpacked my suitce and ended up dropping it on my foot at the airport. Luckily only my toe nail was damaged and I was still able to enjoy my honeymoon.

  30. servedogmom says:

    Thankful you are home safely. We have had our share of travel “fun”. The two most memorable would be 1) the crash landing of an Angel Flight” single prop plane in a corn field in In (only bumps and bruises), but the plane lost a wing and fuel tank and 2) a 23 hour flight from NY to Chicago. Our flight was diverted to multiple airports over Canada and the US due to storms. It landed twice in MN to refuel. Our best ever flight was Chicago to Italy through Germany to represent the US at a medical conference. We have never been treated so well on any flight within the US. Still hoping I will be able to stand again some day so we can fly as a family for a vacation.

  31. Linda says:

    Several years ago, my husband and I were flying from Salt Lake City to Denver. Things got bumpy soon after take off and the hostesses told us they had all been airsick at one time or another during the prior two days. Half way to Denver we hit an extremely bad patch and dropped about 500 feet. Our coffee ended up on the bottom of the overhead storage, and one petite hostess was tossed off her feet and into a passenger’s lap. Luckily no one was hurt, but we were very grateful to be on solid ground. Our next flight that day, from Denver to Kansas City was totally dull but we kept looking around for clouds, just in case.

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