Another summer weekend, another quick trip to meet up with Scott.
This time, Chicago. To camp with his family, celebrate his sisters birthday, and watch all the cousins do the Warrior Dash. (Because my foot still isn't cooperating enough for me to do it, too.)
|Sunset somewhere between Kansas City and Chicago|
After a stop at a little Mexican restaurant for some burritos in Chicago (that leaked all over Scott's jeans), we made the two hour drive to Hickory Hollow Campground outside of Utica, IL.
Most everyone was asleep by the time we made it, but I did get to meet some of the family -- in the dark. :)
First thing Saturday morning: another training run (or bike)
And I got to meet these two cuties as soon as we got back :
My niece sent a My Little Pony for Scott's niece. And then they FaceTimed!
Cutest little girls ever, if you ask me.
We spent some time playing with the kids, eating breakfast, packing lunch...
Then it was time to get geared up for the Warrior Dash and head to the course, about an hour away.
The whole gang:
The plan was for Scott to stay back with me, since I couldn't run it. But after finding a wristband on the ground and tying it on his wrist, we convinced him to do the race, too -- but with all of his camera gear!
There was a storm moving in, but none of us thought it was going to be that severe.
Boy were we wrong.
About 30 minutes after the group took off (and left me with all the backpacks and keys and water bottles), the sky started to turn black, the thunder rolled and the lightning struck.
And they announced that they were closing the course so very one had to leave immediately to take shelter.
Ummm, excuse me, what? What am I supposed to do with my whole group out ON the course somewhere? I refused to leave, even after being asked several times by different race workers.
As soon as they announced they were closing, I noticed the t-shirt people closing up shop. No one had grabbed their shirts yet and left all their tickets with me. So I ran over there as fast as I could and started being slightly pushy to make sure we all got shirts. And by "we all" I mean I got one for Scott and I, too -- even though we didn't pay. They were all in such a hurry to get out of there, they were basically just throwing whatever I asked at me.
So now I had backpacks and keys and waterbottles AND 10 t-shirts to stand there and hold -- while I searched the finishing area for anyone that looked familiar.
Eventually, Scott came. He ran to the car to drop off his cameras, and then came back to help me with everything esle. A few minutes later, the rest of the gang showed up.
It hadn't started raining yet, but it was certainly thundering and lightning. And about 5 seconds after we all made it to the car and took this picture (below), the wind picked up and the rain came fast and heavy. There might have been some slight rotation in the clouds, too...but nothing touched down.
Since they were some of the last off the course, there was no where for them to rinse off. Everything had been completely shut down. (Including the t-shirt tent!)
Insert Mother Nature to save the day. Nothing like a cold rain shower -- in the lightning!
All cleaned off (well, as clean as the rain can get you) and drying off back in the car:
Back at the campsite, we all hung out and played games in the big camper. It continued to rain most of the night - which meant the fan wouldn't stay open/on. It has a rain sensor that make it automatically shut off and close when it's wet. So that made for one hot and loud (rain and thunder) night of sleeping!
Sunday morning we cleaned up, packed up, and hit the road back to Chicago. We both had flights to catch out of O'Hare. But not without some drama...
I got a text saying my flight was cancelled that evening. So I got on line, got on the phone, got re-booked and thought I had adverted disaster.
|Road trip selfie!|
We made it to O'Hare, through security, and to our gates, which happened to be just a few apart. Considering how big O'hare is, that worked out nice!
What didn't work out nice is this:
Delayed, delayed...delayed, delayed again. Oh let's just make that cancelled.
I was SO mad, considering this had just happened to me the previous weekend! Nothing like two unplanned (and unwelcomed) nights in Chicago in two weeks!
After doing all I could -- talking to everyone, calling everyone, exhausting all efforts, I had to just settle for a Motel 6 down the road. I even tried getting a rental car and just driving home over night so I didn't have to miss any more work, but even that didn't work out. There were NO one-way rentals available from anyone I called.
I got to the room, showered, and went straight to bed. Too tired to even eat dinner. Up early and right back to the airport to try and make a Stand-By flight, to not avail. I did eventually make it to work for a half-day.
The funny thing? Scott made it to London before I made it back home to Kansas City!
United and O'Hare will not be seeing any more of me for awhile after this...