Travel Snafus Snuffed by Fate

It all started a year ago….

I returned to Adelman Travel as a new employee with my co-workers of over 10+ years….

Within a few weeks, there was a drawing for FREE Continental airline tickets (two of them). And I became the lucky recipient. Since I was engaged and due to be wed in five months, this made the honeymoon planning a whole lot easier. We were ecstatic. How it happened seemed meant to be.

So I planned with a smile and heavier pocket book.

I scheduled a wonderful trip that October for Seattle and Vancouver. It even worked out that I had saved enough Radisson hotel points to receive six nights hotel in Vancouver absolutely free.

We were excited. A dream wedding and a dream honeymoon planned MONTHS in advance.

Then? Disaster.

Less than two weeks before the wedding, Jason’s mom, my future mother-in-law, my wedding planner, my friend, had a devastating brain aneurysm and stroke.

She was in ICU. It was a very scary time. We continued with the wedding, but cancelled our dream honeymoon to be close to the hospital.

The airline cancelled the tickets for us and advised I could rebook by July 18, 2011 for no cost, or fees. The hotel refunded ALL the points. It worked out for the best, except, no honeymoon.

Then, the week we would have been out of the country on our honeymoon, Jason was put in the hospital for seven days. Later, he would be diagnosed with Lupus. We were very glad we were not out of the country.

This June, I looked into flights, not to Seattle, but California. We opted to save Vancouver for another time and even save “honeymooning”. We just wanted a trip to visit our favorite places and celebrate my 40th birthday (plus I had to rebook the free tickets by July).

So I did. I even got all the hotels free with my points. Even better….I ended up with five free rental car days.

July 17, 2011, one day prior to the expiration of rebooking our FREE Continental tickets (which I thought I had already done). I realized I needed to make sure our seat assignments were together. Kinda dumb to think of it a month after rebooking, but yo, I’d been busy.

As I began my quest of coordinating seating, I discovered, I was missing Jason’s itinerary. To my horror,he was not rebooked as I was.

I called the airline. I begged. I pleaded. I blamed. I mean, just because I cancelled a honeymoon doesn’t mean only one of us was traveling, right?!?

But to no avail, there was just not space for free tickets one month out. Not to anywhere in California, anyway. I was in tears. How could something sooo meant to be go wrong so many times?

I took a deep breath and used my mad travel agent skillz to get him a flight separate from me, but arriving about the same time.

In the end, I conceded to the fact THIS was for the best. He had been in a car accident and hurt his back. Now he had a non-stop flight versus Continental’s flight connecting through Houston. And? It was only $160.00. A small price to pay to get this trip together (finally!).

Fast forward to trip departure day, arising early to get to the airport for my connecting flight. Packing til midnight the night before and hating this part of the trip. The airport. The lines.

I am always afraid, I’ll oversleep, get the time wrong, the date wrong, or encounter delays that make me miss my flight. I don’t know why I twist myself up like that. I always have. I guess I always will.

It’s 6am when we reach the DFW toll booth (basically on-time). I wasn’t checking bags. I pulled up my 6:55am flight on Continental to check flight status. I wanted to make sure it was on-time. What do I see?

111 minute delay.
111 minute delay will cause me to miss my connection flight to Orange County.
111 minute delay will result in one less day of vacation and one LONGER day of travel.
111 minute delay will affect Jason on an entirely different flight. Not to mention, he can’t get the car or check-in at the hotel. Those are booked in my name under travel agent discounts.

We continued towards the airport, my mind racing. I checked other flights to Houston on Continental. Nada. All sold out. I pulled up my confirmation on Continental, travel agent tip-airlines now auto-rebook on next available flight, by going to their website, you can see what flight they confirmed you on-end tip.

I saw I was booked on a 459pm flight Houston to Orange County getting in about 644pm.

Not the end if the world, but a long day of sitting in airports. Separate airports at that.

Then I saw the date on the flight was the 21st of August. A DAY later. I think my heart stopped beating. This trip…. Uggg, what is going? Are we not supposed to go somewhere together?

We wait in line at the Continental counter. I keep telling myself to have faith, but MAN, it’s tough. This trip has canceled before and we would survive it being cancelled again.

When we told the agent, Jason was on a different flight than me (our passive way of saying I can’t go tomorrow). The agent never hesitated, he said, “I am going to get you on the same flight as him.”

And he did.

I couldn’t believe it. The mistake in rebooking all those months ago was not to cause us to miss our trip, but to ensure we WOULD get to California on the day we were supposed to. If we had both been on the original flight, we might not have arrived until Sunday.

It’s been a gentle reminder to me that God’s plans are bigger than ours. When something doesn’t go our way, maybe it’s God way that will.

By the way……

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We’re here!

ūüôā

Here’s Your Sign

I’m still here.

I’m still blogging.

I’m still desperately trying to follow my dream that shifts through the clutches of my hands.

Because of time.

Because of lack of know-how.

Because when it all comes down to it, I get insecure about my work.

Perfection is my enemy.

The dream of a photography business taking off. The dream of a photography business flowing smooth and operating productively – part-time mind you – while I still have time to spend with family and work 42hrs a week at my ‘other job (sha!).

And I wonder…….am I pouring all this time, and energy into the right thing? Do I really have what it takes? What does it take, exactly? Talent, drive, and fearlessness?

I imagined my photography classes I started this January would boost my self-confidence. I imagined my talent would take off. I thought the instruction would confirm my path. In fact, my heart jumped out of my chest and raced ahead of me on this, shouting, “Yeah! Yeah! Yeah!”.

Is that my problem? My heart?

Because, really?

It seems like I am just more aware of how little I know about this business. More aware of how much farther I have to go. More, more, and more aware of how much I still have need to learn.

And I still love it – the process, the learning, the people. I do.

I am just a little overwhelmed.

At this point, I am committed to classes through the end of August. My last class is geared towards product photography. Yet, another aspect to swirl my fingers into and see what comes out.

A lot of friends tell me that people are my thing. I’m good with them; families, children, couples, and babies. Some days, I am not so sure. If one of my last sessions was any indication……well, maybe it’s a sign?

Meet my latest newborn (14 days old) and my second newborn portrait session and my first CS5 processing (that’s Photoshop).

A peaceful Slumber

Living Angel

Two Sisters

Big Brother & Sister Love

New Love

She is precious, isn’t it?

There is such a delicate sweetness to newborns and their families. The wonder of a tiny miracle and how they meld into their circle of love.

I did my best to capture the pureness, but when the talent is done? Well, the talent is done.

Her Sign

Here’s your sign.

Is that my take a final bow sign? Like, hey lady, take a hike and go point that thing at someone your own size. Or is it a message to her mom? I’m the third. I’m the last and we go by my schedule. HA! What a stinker. This picture really cracked me up.

So there are days when processing is hard, when time is my enemy, and when I think I am not cut out for this. That’s when I think I should lock myself inside a product tent, taking photos of wine glasses, and bottles (empty?).

And there are other days when I wouldn’t miss these moments for the world.

What is in store for me down this road? I don’t know. I guess I have to keep going to find out.

P!NK all the above

I got a lot of comments, on Facebook,  about how lucky I was to win concert tickets to P!NK last night at the American Airlines Center in Dallas.

Luck? Blessings? Fate? I always like pondering those. Could it be all the above?

First, maybe it was luck? My name was drawn out of a hat of three names. Maybe it was fate? Since I have, a 15 yr old, daughter I could take. Maybe, I was blessed?¬†Spending time with my best friend from Junior High who lives a mile down the road.¬† I don’t get to see her near as often as I would like. *different circles, busy, busy lives*

Thing is, the way it worked out so perfectly? It could only be, a little of,  all the above.

I won the tickets out of drawing but,  when the American Airlines rep came by to drop them off, she surprisingly,  had two other sets of tickets. The other two names in the hat also got tickets. Everyone wins! *gotta love that*

I had planned on attending with my daughter. We enjoy P!NK. She is not the norm. She speaks her mind,  and there is something to respect about that,  whether you agree with her or not. I knew, back in 1995, when she was competing with Christina, Brittany and Jessica, that SHE was going to be the one still standing long, long after their careers slowed down. I was partly right since Brittany is still extremely famous -albeit notoriously- compared to P!NK; the rebel. *would have never expected THAT back in the day when Brittany was still pure?*

Turns out, the next day, one of¬† the other¬†co-workers that got the tickets? She has the flu and can’t go. They ask ME if I’d like TWO more tickets to P!NK! Her two tickets were rightnext to my two seats. Uhhh, YES!

My best friend from Junior High, ¬†and her 19yr old daughter agree to join us. I couldn’t be happier about that, ¬†especially, since I was asking them the day of the concert.¬†Off we go to P!NK! We decide to take the train, from just south of the DFW airport, ¬†to Dallas. It’s called the TRE.

I live in Arlington, Texas. Home of the Cowboys new stadium, home of the Texas Rangers baseball team and ballpark, Six Flags, Hurricane Harbor, UTA of Arlington hosting 25,000 students, and MOST importantly the LARGEST city in the United States with NO public transportation. WHAT!?! Yep, that’s right. NONE. I digress.

We trek about 15mins away to a square of land¬†officials deem Fort Worth (actually Fort Worth is 30miles to the west). Don’t ask. I have no idea but it is so. That square mile (*cough*American Airlines headquarters*cough*) is Fort Worth and Fort Worth has public transportation. A BIG two story train called the TRE. Wee!

I have never been on the TRE before. I get queasy on small trains, but I was willing to try it. Avoid driving in Dallas, fighting traffic, and paying to park? Who gets train sick?¬† Not me! I’ll admit, the first time I do something is usually a fumble. Let’s call it my charm. I confidently do what I think is right and hope for the best.¬† If it doesn’t turn out right? Well then, I just go¬†with the flow. I don’t stress. It will work it’s way out and HEY I’ll know better next time. *aren’t I fun?*

Purchasing the wrong tickets was one of my falter moments right off the bat. *why dawdle* I got Zone 1, should have been¬†ALL Zone. Yeah, my friends got Zone 1 too. My bad. My second falter was not knowing which side of the track we should wait for the train on (pssst the EASTbound side). Did I mention I am directionally dysfunctional?? Hey, ¬†it would have helped if they had signs, and maps, or something. Thank goodness they didn’t check tickets.

So, the plan was, follow the girls with PINK hair! It worked! We made it in 15mins via train (Sydney said it looked  like the Harry Potter train) no hassle of PARKING. Two minute walk to the arena. Phhhs! We made it look easy. *I am absolutely doing that again*

The Ting Tings played first. Great beats. I realized on the first song that I had that song on my iPhone,  Great DJ, awesome song to run or bike to. The group consisted of two people. Guy playing the drums and the girl singing and playing guitar. That was quite catchy. Punky, cool and fun, perfect openers for P!NK.

P!NK came out somewhere around my cell battery being at 20% left 9ish.  The stage set was fantastic! They had six screens above the stage in all different sizes. The screens constantly played P!NK video, or the stage show happenings live , lights, scenery,  or other pictures; all framed digitally. It was pretty slick. The stage had stairs,  and two slides, lots of dancers, plus a lounge bed type thing. There was a runway out to the middle of the arena. P!NK came out of a trap door, at the end of the runway being raised up, by rope over the whole stage with feathers trailing down from her skirt. Pretty dramatic!

The latest P!NK album, I got last year when it came out. I liked every song. Jason and I had broken up.¬† I was angry, lost, and confused. Here comes P!NK with an album, just after a break up from her husband (they got back together too). She was mad and¬† hurt. Her songs were emotional and I related so well. One song was fierce, ¬†SO WHAT, one song was desperate, ¬†Please don’t leave me. Many of the songs cycled, like I did, it really was a release to me to listen to this music. Her music. Her pain. My pain.

Obviously, her music touches a lot of people in that same way. She touches our darkness, our suffering, what we hide and don’t want to show the world but she does. She brings it out in song. No, she is not a Christian artist that so many of my friends listen to. She is different. She taps our vulnerabilities and what we don’t understand sometimes. Something, God puts in all of us, maybe so we can relate more to the broken and the hurt when we need to. That’s how it¬†seemed for me at least.

I was surprised how those feelings, from those hellish two months, bubbled to the surface so quickly. It shocked me a little bit and it took me a while to process.  I was able to let them go,  as I was captured by her performances again, again with each song.  How at ease she was.  How talented. Her voice soared the entire night without fail.  She gave it her all every note. Her smile, absolutely stunning.

She IS a  Rockstar, but like a Rockstar that you could hang with and not feel uncomfortable. That impressed me.

After the concert, I checked Wikipedia to learn more about her. Interesting life, just as I thought. Cinderella story.  Check it out, if you get a chance.

In the end, what a great concert. All the above applied. I was blessed by her voice and energy,  fated to be there with my friends,  and lucky to enjoy it all with the zest of life.