Our nightmare trip home (August, 2004)

Leaving St. Kitts, we began the most incredible trip we have ever undertaken in our lives--a trip that will live in infamy!

It began when we arrived at the airport 2 hours before our 3 pm flight, only to be told that we SHOULD have arrived at 11am if we expected to make it! They weren't joking--we JUST made it on the plane, and then only because it was delayed half an hour. The big glitch leaving St. Kitts was that someone stole one of our bags while we were in line. Even though we did our best to keep an eye on them, one of our 9 bags was stolen right out from under our noses.

From St. Kitts, we flew to Charlotte, NC where we waited about an hour in a huge customs line. This was just enough time for us to miss the last flight to Kansas City. Since we were supposed to leave for Hawaii at 6 am the following morning from Kansas City, this was a bigger problem than your average over-night layover. To add to it, we were originally told that the airline would take no responsibility for the situation, as it was not their fault (they blamed it on customs even though we would have made it if they weren't late leaving St. Kitts), and they gave us the phone number for a cheap hotel.

I did my best to be patient but persistent and got a supervisor that gave us vouchers for some hotel rooms and breakfasts (not that we could use the breakfasts, since we needed to leave for the airport at 4:30am the following morning). We also rigged up an arrangement (this is the short, short version--this took a couple hours of working with several parties who all said it could not be done) where we would meet up with our flight to Hawaii where it stopped in Chicago. The bad news was that our 8 remaining suitcases were lost.

We were so frazzled when we walked into our hotel room at 10:30pm, that all we could do was laugh (somewhat hysterically) when, before we had even put our bags down, the hotel fire alarm went off and they began evacuating the building. Since we had not eaten since breakfast, we decided to walk down the road to an IHOP, figuring that by the time we finished eating, either everything we had with us would be done burning or the false alarm would be turned off.

When we got to the airport VERY early the following morning, the airport was able (after an hour and a half of looking) to find 7 of our 8 bags. Those went with us to Hawaii, even though we originally only wanted to take 2 of them with us to Hawaii (leaving the others in Kansas City). We had also been counting on picking up some things in Kansas City. The other bag eventually went to Kansas City where we will pick it up when we return.

This was one of those trips where I continually found myself mentally reciting James 1:2-3 -- "Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance..."
It's nice to be able to chalk this whole trip up to "endurance training" and be thankful that we actually made it (since it looked for a while like we wouldn't!).

The above picture, by the way, is the boys, waiting for our lost luggage, after being told to make the most silly faces that they could.

[Pictures: The Nevis Chapter | Main Photo Page]