Every Friday I’ll indulge my order-crazed brain in a list of randomness. Welcome to my Friday Fives.
Soon you will hear all about my trials and tribulations in finding my way back to Utah after last week’s trip to Miami. It’s a doozy. One my back still hasn’t quite recovered from.
It left me thinking about all of the horrible things we’ve encountered in our travels. As we let the suspense settle, here are our top five travel nightmares in no particular order.
5. The Sounds of Silence
When we traveled to Europe with our Chinese orchestra, we flew back from Paris. A 15 hour flight that should have been filled with several movies, TV options and radio. But upon boarding the plane they announced that the electrical system for the plane’s entertainment system was out. So we were left in silence for 15 hours and it was absolutely brutal. Especially when we couldn’t sleep.
4. Frolic and Detour
In flying to Italy for the first time, the fog over Pisa was so thick that they forced us to land in Genoa and take a hot, crowded bus through the mountains to get us back to Tuscany. It was not quite the way we pictured arriving in the country where we were to spend our summer. A little less glamorous and a lot more nauseous. Como se dice “the worst”?
3. The Wheels on the Bus
Our second summer in Italy had us traveling south to perform an outdoor concert in Mercogliano. It’s over five hours, especially by bus. But those five hours quickly turned sour when we realized the A/C was out. Italy + July = A/C. Always. This is a math rule for the books. We were so uncomfortable and I remember a fellow horn player and resident funny guy, Nathan, yelling out “This is San Girolamo on wheels!” (San Girolamo was one of our rehearsal spaces that didn’t have A/C. We all hated it.) The worst part of the trip was being stuck on the highway for hours and not knowing why. We even got off the bus and sat on the side of the highway for hours until we started moving again…only to realize that there had been a fatal accident causing the shutdown. We drove right by the burning car and saw their luggage (clothes, shoes, books) strewn across the highway. If we didn’t feel sick before, we certainly did then. Here are a few pics I found from the highway delay.
2. Strike Out
Another Italy travel story! When we were heading home after that second summer, we stayed overnight in Pisa to be near the airport for our early flight. Our room phone started ringing in the middle of the night. It was the front desk telling us that all of the taxi drivers in Pisa just went on strike and wouldn’t be able to drive us to the airport. Cue absolute panic. We had instruments and we had luggage and now we had no way of getting across town. We were wide awake so we started seeing how long it would take us to walk if we started ASAP. The front desk called again when we were ready to go and said he had found us a driver. Crisis averted. Hearts pounding for hours after.
Spoiler Alert: I had to sleep in the DFW airport on Sunday and the only other time I’ve ever had to do that was in Atlanta. But that time I was with Joe and we were trying to get back to Miami after our Tulsa wedding reception. Our flight to Miami was cancelled three times before they made an announcement that there was ONE FLIGHT back to Miami that night and it was in a different terminal. They said a few spots were left to whoever could get to the desk first. Oh my god, Delta…why?! An entire plane worth of frantic people ran to the skyrail and when we were hustling up the escalator to get to the gate, this guy behind me knocked me down face first on the tile and left me there! Long story short: by the time we got to the gate it was too late; a woman from first class was sobbing and screaming that she should get priority over the minions in coach (b-word!); and I was completely bruised on wrists, elbows and knees. Upon realizing there were so many people stuck overnight, Delta dumped trash bags full of pillows and blankets and we had to fight for them Hunger Games style. Again, the madness! Joe made us a bed out of seats in a quiet terminal where we
slept lay awake all night with our horns and bags between us. I have hated Delta ever since.