Home sweet home could not ring more true for me today after my trip to The Titus 2:1 Conference in DC. Knowing that traveling takes a lot out of me, I usually travel the day before and after any event. The conference I attended was for Blogging Homeschooling Christian Moms.
Like any trip, Murphy shows up about three days before departure. He certainly didn’t miss his opportunity this trip. My travel plans were that a friend would be traveling with me along with two of my girls. The plan was for my friend and one of the girls to tour DC while the other visited our son in Richmond. Like life, plans changed for my friend and I ended up traveling alone. Freak storms hit the Midwest on Thursday. Of course they did!
My 3 hour flight ended up being rerouted and leaving me in Baltimore. “Just take the metro” says the Delta agent. Well, it’s not that simple. To get from Dulles airport from Baltimore via public transportation involves waiting at the bus stop for a ride to the closest metro station @ $6.00 EXACT cash only. Once at the metro depot, you can purchase a ticket and get change. Take this train to downtown and then walk 8 blocks (Yes with your luggage, laptop, purse and in my case a medical device) to the next metro depot. Ride that train until the end of the line and then catch the bus (see note about cash needed at first bus as same applies) which will drop you at the airport. From there the hotel will send a van that runs every hour. Ummm, no thanks was the nicest thing I could say to agent as I walked off in search of a place to connect to the internet.
Car rentals were showing up in the $75-$90 range which honestly almost had me crying. After praying for calmness, and remembering that I was a day early so the delays of the morning had not cost me any of the conference I had a doh moment. Back on the internet, don’t you just love it? I went to Priceline.com and searched for last minute car rentals….the clouds parted and the sun shined in my heart as the deal guru came back with several offers ranging from $11 to $13 a day! <insert happy dance and a woot to God> So off I go looking for the rental car transportation stop. Folks, Baltimore airport is HUGE!!!
In route to the (at the other end of the airport) bus stop, I passed the oh so funny Information Agent who had apparently told the limo agent of our interaction. I caught him pointing to me as I steeled my tongue to remain behind my teeth as I passed the desk. Nope, they would not let me just walk past them. The limo agent stops me and says, “I can take you to your hotel“…ok I took the bait…”How much would the fare be I asked?” I promise you that with a straight face she said, “We will personally deliver you door to door for only $175.00” I really struggled keep from laughing out loud and thanked her as I walked away.
On the outside of the building, there is a monstrous sign that says, “Rental Lot Transportation”. I stand UNDER this sign….and watch bus after bus after bus drive past me. Hmmm, I don’t remember reading that I needed to call for pickup.
I kid you not, bus after bus drove past me. Finally one driver slowed down and opened the door to ask me if I was waiting on transportation to the auto rental lot. Really? Do people usually stand under the auto rental pickup sign for their health? Anyway, we loaded my bags and took off to the lot.
The set up is pretty neat. There is one large building that houses all the rental stores with parking garages on three sides. Looks like it could have been a city building in another life. As I wait in line at Dollar Auto Rental I overhear the person ahead of me at the counter having a tough time with the fees and daily charges being quoted by the agent. Once again saying a “Thank you Lord” for Priceline!
Honestly, I felt like the couple in front of me by the time I got ready to sign my rental agreement. They wanted to add for this and add for that…all being declined. I finally told the clerk I just wanted my car…nothing else. I understand they get paid for optional add ons but enough is enough. My favorite was the prepaid fuel option. It was presented as…”You bring back car and we fill it up“. However when the rental ticket was presented I was being charged for a full tank of gas! Remember, I was only driving from BWI to IAD airport (43 miles). Ummmm, no I think I will decline the prepaid fuel option too. I also had to have the toll easy pass and the insurance removed from the rental ticket.
Finally I am southbound on the highway only to have the GPS tell me that it was 78 miles and almost a two hour trip! Again, thankful I was a day early to the conference.
After the day spent at the airport, the almost two hour trip was a nice drive. There are certainly some beautiful houses and parks along the way from Baltimore to Washington.
Arriving at the Hilton hotel and not being able to get into the parking garage or within two blocks of the hotel just polished my day off. My reservation was messed up even though I had my confirmation. The staff got it worked out and after going back to the car for my bags I was able to settle down for a nap. Boy, I needed it!
My first day ended in such a sweet, sweet blessing. I was able to meet, cuddle and love on two of my grand babies for the first time! It was so sweet to see them and have them accept my cuddles. I went to sleep thanking God for the safe although crazy travels because I got to the conference with a day to spare AND I now have met all my grand children. Life is good.