The big news around here is all the airline disruption the last couple of weeks.  As if there aren’t enough problems with travel right now, getting stuck for hours (or days!) when you’re just trying to get home to your own bed is no fun at all.  One of my co-workers was on the way home and got stuck in Dallas.  And because so many other folks were likewise waylaid, he couldn’t find a hotel near the airport; getting too far from the airport wasn’t a good idea, as flights and flight times were changing minute by minute.  Two nights sleeping in DFW.  He wasn’t the only one, judging by the news.

I’ve had my fair share.  On my trip to Kenya, the flight from Minneapolis to New York was late; I ran and made the flight to Nairobi, but my bag didn’t.  It didn’t catch up with me until four days later so I was washing clothes out in the sink every night.  I slept in Chicago’s O’Hare once – similar to my co-worker, too far to get to an available hotel and then get back.  Once a flight I was on out of Madrid turned back because the door of the landing gear wouldn’t shut.  (Apparently the drag caused by that open door would have meant we didn’t have enough fuel to get to the U.S.)  The airline eventually put us up in a hotel near the airport.  It was the smallest hotel room I’ve ever been in – not much bigger than a shoebox.  I also got stuck overnight in Costa Rica when a flight cancelled.  That one was actually fun as I was traveling with my client, her husband and the account exec on the program.  We got hotel rooms, ordered pizza, watched some football; the only downside was the horrendous lines at the airport in the morning because the computer system didn’t want to have two flights with the same number on one day. 

Whenever I have issues traveling I think back to Hawaii by James Michener.  He describes in quite a bit of detail the ship that they sailed from Massachusetts, down around South America and on to Hawaii.  If I’m ever tempted to complain, I just compare what I’m going through to spending 2 months onboard a rolling ship with personal space smaller than that small hotel room in Madrid! 

What’s the worst place you’ve ever been stuck in?

24 thoughts on “Stuck”

  1. I cannot describe my worst experience, which was two nights in a hotel in Ontario in a pulp mill town that smelled like an unventilated outhouse. Entertainment featured a woman who stripped to music from a boom box or entertained guests in her room. The parts of the experience I’m not mentioning were worse than those I’ve mentioned.

    In terms of being “stuck,” my most vivid experience was four days on a rolling yacht in the Straits of Florida near the Dry Tortugas. Most guests were seasick from the moment we stepped on board until we fled the boat. If you haven’t been seasick, you can’t guess what it is like, but I’d say it is less pleasant than Covid-19.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I am lucky enough to not have seasick issues but I was once on a ship in the Caribbean during hurricane season. We weren’t in any hurricane danger but the weather was not conducive to cruising, As the week went on, it got rougher and rougher. The dining rooms got emptier and emptier. I will never forget sitting at lunch with the client on the fifth level of the ship and seeing waves hitting the window. Very scary.

      Liked by 3 people

  2. I don’t travel enough to have been stuck anywhere. Daughter got stuck in Denver last year just before Christmas. Her flight from Denver to Bismarck was cancelled due to high winds, and it took her an extra two days to get home. This year she is flying from Tacoma to Sioux Falls via Phoenix. We will hope for good weather for all of us as we gather in Brookings.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Rise and Shine, Baboons

    We were guests at a wilderness Canadian (Ontario) fly-in/hike-in fishing camp in the mid-1990s because I was consulting with the owner about possibly making it into a kids camp or treatment center. Our rickety cabin was infested with mice who kept us up all night squeaking and rustling in our food wrappers. They seemed to be fighting over our supplies. When daybreak came we found a wreckage of food crumbs, chewed up containers and wrappers, and mouse poo. This physical condition of the camp alone ruled it out as any kind of a facility for minor children.

    I told the owner about the vermin and he put mouse poison everywhere which the buggers ate like candy, but it seemed to not slow them down at all. He gave us a different cabin which was much better. But every night that followed, I lay there thinking about the poison making its way through the ecosystem and killing mouse predators, so that kept me awake, too. I caught a large Northern during that trip and when we cleaned it there was as entire UN digested mouse in its stomach.

    This is not as awful/funny as Bill’s Colorado story, though. That one won the Golden Banana Award and cannot be outdone

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Because the theme is “Stuck” I must say that we could not leave—we had to hike back out to the owner’s vehicle and he wanted us to stay, which was why he gave us the different cabin. At that point I wanted to flea the mice.

      Liked by 3 people

  4. I felt like I was stuck the last year with Wasband, living in Brooklyn apartment. It took some therapy, recommended by my women’s poker group, to dislodge me enough that when he went off job hunting for several days, I looked around and said to myself – How the hell did I get here?? A month later I drove the van and kitties kitties out of there, singing as I crossed the George Washington Bridge to freedom.

    Liked by 6 people

  5. Back in college, I shared a lower level apartment with three other classmates. I got “stuck” at a New Year’s Eve party they hosted. It was very crowded, some kids were smoking marijuana in the bathroom, the place got very hot so someone partially opened a window (it was below zero outside), and the crowd pretty much trashed the apartment. I hated every minute of it but with no car, knowing no one else in the building, and the frigid weather outside, I had no choice but to stay. I moved all the coats out of my shared bedroom, put a sign on the closed door indicating where the coats were now located, and went to bed. In the morning, the apartment was very cold (no one had closed the window) and the mess was unbelievable. I”m not a big fan of New Year’s Eve in the first place and this one was definitely the worst.

    Travel-wise, I have already written about my unexpected extra 2 day stay in Iceland because of 9/11 but I was at my cousin’s home so it was no burden. On a trip to Hungary I had to switch flights at the last minute due to mechanical issues and my luggage was delayed by a day – again, not a big deal.

    Genetically, I am “stuck” with very small hands and short fingers. I can barely reach an octave on the piano which makes playing a bit of a challenge. It meant that I would never be a classical pianist (would never be able to play Liszt, Chopin, Rachmaninoff, and a few others very well). Accompanying is easier because there is more leeway to “fudge”.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. I had friends vacationing in Iceland when Eyjafjallajokul (I had to look this up) erupted in 2011. They got an extra 10 days of vacation since all the airports were closed!

      Liked by 3 people

  6. Outdoorsmen get stuck over and over, and each time is its own challenge. I’ve been stuck when a blizzard hit the abandoned farmhouse where we slept, dropping so much snow we couldn’t even open a door. I’ve been stuck on a rural road where the soil was mostly clay, clay that adhered to my car’s suspension and made it undrivable. I’ve been stuck on canoe country islands when high winds made travel impossible. I was stuck on a boat on Lake Superior when high winds suddenly whipped the surface and made it chaotic. I’ve been stuck wading a trout river that had quicksand holes underfoot that sucked down careless anglers. I once very nearly didn’t survive getting stuck in a marsh with deep water that carried a skin of ice on top.

    People who chase fish and game are usually desperate to find some edge by going where sensible people don’t go. And of course they get stuck.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. In all my travels never got stuck overnight. Few delays, longest 6 hours. Once flying to cities from San Francisco we got diverted to Detroit because of snow in Cities. I was about last in line at 9:30 to get accommodations, but about then, after most people from a few airlines were transported away, they announced snow had stopped and airport was being cleared. So they put people from a couple or more airlines on a Delta plane. We landed about 1:15 as I recall.

      Liked by 2 people

    2. This made me think about getting stuck last year. I had parked on a little hill for dog-training class. it was snowing, but it really picked up after we went inside. At the break, I went out and realized I needed to move the car off the hill. Too late… even trying to move it, I ended up more stuck than I started out. Went inside to call AAA and two guys (one instructor, one other dog owner) came out and literally pulled me up the hill with their pick-up.

      I made really cute thank you cards (with a red car and cotton balls for snow) and some date nut bread for both of them. The first week, only one of them was there and by the second week, they were closed for the pandemic. So I never did get to properly thank the other guy! (However, his loaf of date nut bread was yummy!)

      Liked by 5 people

  7. Right now I am stuck. Did something to my fragile neck resulting in terrible headache. Need to lie down. I am with Sandra like every afternoon. If I leave she will be upset. So I am staying here toughing it out for another couple hours.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. In August of 2012 I got stuck overnight at O’Hare thanks to a campaign stop in the Twin Cities by Vice President Joe Biden. I was flying from Mpls. to Chicago, so I could catch a direct flight to Copenhagen from there. I had a two-and-one-half our window in Chicago to make it to the SAS departure gate.

    A tremendous thunder storm rolled in and delayed our scheduled departure time from Mpls. So there we sat in a full, stuffy airplane, coollng our heals on the tarmac. By the time the worst of it was over and we should be able to leave, the captain came over the intercom and announced that we were being further delayed pending the departure of Air Force Two. By the time we finally took off, my only hope for catching my flight in Chicago hinged on that flight being late. Of course, this would be the one time it wasn’t.

    In Chicago I rushed like a mad woman to my departure gate, only to discover that the plane had left fifteen minute earlier. But I was lucky, they were willing and able to schedule me on the same flight for the following day. Now all I needed to do was get hold of Hans to let him know, so he could notify my sister so she didn’t make an futile trip to the airport to pick me up.

    Well, actually there was something else I needed to do. My seatmate on the plane was a woman who spoke very little English. After I had my own situation squared away, I was meandering through the terminal contemplating my options when I ran into her. She needed help finding ground transportation to wherever she was going. The prospect of spending the night draped over my suitcase didn’t appeal to me, so once I that lady safely in a cab, I decided to look for a room. I found one reasonably close by that sent a shuttle to pick me up, and the rest of the trip was uneventful.

    Three or four older couples on that same flight weren’t so lucky. They were old friends on their way to Florida where they were going on a cruise together. Because they had opted to arrange their own flight to Miami, the arranger of the cruise would not give them a refund or in any way help them, and they didn’t have travel insurance. I can tell you, it’s hard finding a company representative of any sort on a Tuesday evening at close to midnight that has the wherewithal or inclination to be helpful. I felt terrible for them, but it was a good reminder that for a major vacation like that, it’s probably a good idea to spring for the insurance.

    Liked by 3 people

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