The Trip by the Numbers

  • Miles Traveled: over 12,000
  • Countries Visited: 2 (and the USA)
  • Cities Visited: 8
  • Hotels Stayed In: 6
  • Hours Spent on Planes: 39.5
  • Hours Spent on Trains: 44
  • Hours Delayed on Planes: 32 (includes a 24-hour delay in Paris)
  • Hours Delayed on Trains: 7
  • Taxis Taken: 13
  • Trains Taken: 11
  • Subways Taken: 8
  • Planes Taken: 4
  • Boats Taken: 8
  • Modes of Transportation: 12
  • Stairs Climbed in Churches: over 1,000
  • Times Swam: 5
  • Gelatos Eaten: around 20
  • Pizzas Eaten: Shane – 7; Alli – 8
  • Croissants Eaten: over 20
  • Museums Visited: 6
  • Americans Met: 19
  • Movies Watched: 7 (Including Shrek the Third in French)
  • Books Read: 4.5
  • Times We Did Laundry: 4
  • Souvenirs Purchased: ZERO
  • Pictures Taken: 1,920

A pretty miserable existence

So for nearly the last two weeks, I have been home alone here. Alli has been in Ohio since the morning of January 10th. It is now January 21st and is easily the longest time that we have been apart since we’ve been married.

When she departed almost 2 weeks ago, she was originally scheduled to return less than a week later. However, complications with her grandmother’s illness kept her and her mom out there a little longer. In addition, the winter storm we received last night isn’t helping matters any, since flights into and out of Chicago-Midway are delayed. She was kept on the ground until just after 2:00 p.m. EST for her flight that was supposed to leave at 1:00. The problem is that she was scheduled to catch a flight in Chicago at 2:00 p.m. CST (20 min ago) and it just left. On time.


Anyway, so I’ve taken stock of all the remaining flights from Chicago to Kansas City. Thankfully, there are FIVE more. Only one is delayed. She had been told by one of the Southwest agents that the 3:50 (the next flight, which actually departs at 4:10) was full, but hopefully she’ll be able to get on that one so she’ll be home by 5:35. If not, there’s a 4:25 that arrives only 20 minutes later.

After that, we’ve got three more chances to get her out of Chicago and into my arms.

I pray she gets home today. I don’t think I could take another day by myself. I find that I talk with Dreyfuss as if he could have a conversation with me (sidebar: wouldn’t that be awesome?). I’m listless and I dawdle at everything. I eat out way too much (what’s the point in cooking for one?) and when I eat at home, I have only one meal: grilled cheese. I could make other things, but it’s too much work.

I really miss her and I hope that the next time that we spend this much time apart is, well…NEVER.

What’s amazing is that TONS has happened since she left. My desk got installed. Our bed was delivered. Our curtains got done. She’s going to be coming home to a much different house. Which reminds me…I’d better finish cleaning.

UPDATE: She made the 3:50 (which leaves at 4:10). I am so excited!


No…I’m not talking about the dark circles under my eyes from my late night of Chiefs-watching and poker domination…I’m talking about the airplane flight options of the late-night variety…or lack thereof.

Yesterday afternoon, my wife and I tried to find a flight that would have left Kansas City late last night to arrive in Cleveland. Both of these cities are decent-sized cities, but for some reason, neither of them is really on the radar in the world of domestic travel. The latest flight out of Kansas City to Cleveland was on Continental and left at 7:30pm. Would have worked OK if Alli’s mom could have driven down from Iowa in time to make the flight, but that wasn’t going to work, so we tried to search for the earliest flight we could.

Midwest Airlines
(the best commercial airline I know of) had a flight that left in the 5:00 hour, but connected through Milwaukee and had a plane switch. They still would not have arrived before noon. The flight we eventually settled on was a Southwest flight that left at 6:55am and made one stop (no plane change) in St. Louise. In Cleveland by 10:30 this morning. Still not making it in time to see Grandpa prior to his 11:00am surgery, unfortunately.

They say that competition is good for the airline industry. In most economic cases, it’s very good. But the options for flying are not nearly what they used to be. And sites like Orbitz, Travelocity, Hotwire, and Expedia really don’t give more options to the last minute traveler who is looking to get to a certain place and fast. Airlines used to offer emergency fares for things of this nature, but even those are gone. Some might attribute the struggles of the airline industry to 9/11, but I think that the problems are much deeper than that. Union control of workers and the greediness of executives have all contributed to the failure of the airline industry to serve the best interests of Joe Consumer.

I don’t have any suggestions for reform…I just think it’s unfortunate.