What can I say? It was a beautiful wedding with a beautiful bride and a handsome groom and a wonderful time was had by all. The flights were nightmarish in the extreme....between my two sons, their mates and ourselves we took 9 flights (including connections) and only ONE was on time. Southwest Airlines is NOT the way to go!!!!! Besides their archaic and totally chaotic seating system, their flights just don't run on schedule.
Dan and I left DC on ATA at 130PM EST on Wednesday, 1/2 hour later than scheduled and arrived in Chicago at 2:40 CST. Our Southwest connecting flight was scheduled to leave at 5:30CST and we did not end up boarding until 9PM CST and then we sat on the runway until 11PM. We arrived in Portland at 1AM PST (4 hours later than our estimated time of arrival) and then had to wait over an hour for our rental car. We finally arrived in Corvallis and checked into our hotel at 430AM - which was 730AM "our time" - exactly 24 hours after we had gotten up the day before.
My two other sons and their mates were supposed to leave Chicago (on Southwest again) at 5:50PM CST on Thursday. Since they live fairly close to Midway Airport, they called ahead and were told the plane was running several hours late. They were advised to remain at home until 9PM and were told the plane would leave at 1030PM. When they arrived at the airport and checked in, they were THEN informed that the plane was "overbooked" and two of them could not take the prescheduled flight as planned. Apparently my oldest son went ballistic and insisted that they all be allowed to board as they were expected to be at a wedding rehearsal in just a few hours. One again, Southwest stuck by their "first come, first serve" rule and refused to issue them 2 of their 4 tickets. Finally, at the last possible moment, some very nice gentlemen who had heard of their plight turned their tickets in and wished them all a good wedding and they all boarded their plane - at 2AM. They arrived in Portland at 430AM PST - (630AM "their time") and proceeded to travel 2 more hours to our hotel. Only 8 1/2 hours late.
The bride's family came from Florida with very little difficulty - only virtually all of them (5 out of 7) had the stomach flu. Ick!! Putting things into perspective, I decided that I'd much prefer our late flights to their vomiting.
Friday was the rehearsal and the rehearsal dinner which went well. Two bridesmaids had not yet arrived from Florida and one of the groomsmen was MIA, but everyone handled it well and the dinner afterwards was wonderful. The poor bride, who had done everything, and I mean EVERYTHING herself (decorating, flowers, favors, invitations, place settings, booklets, table settings, etc etc) had a migrane and went home early, but the rest of us stayed and stayed and got acquainted and reacquainted with one another. After that, the "boys" went to shoot pool and drink beers and the rest of us went back to our hotel rooms to collapse.
The wedding on Saturday was perfect - absolutely perfect. I cried buckets, as a mother is supposed to do, and everyone else cried with me a time or two. The ceremony was short and quite moving - they were married by a friend of theirs who is the Youth Minister at their church. It took place in an amazing setting called "The Barn" in Independence, Oregon and it was just beautiful. The kids had done all the decorating themselves and it was all white canopy and thousands of little twinkling white lights overhead.
After dinner we danced and danced. (Well, not me, I don't dance - but my feet moved alot under the table) and everyone was simply beaming. Speeches were made, jokes were cracked and kisses were freely exchanged by everyone.
I'll have pictures this weekend (I think) if anyone is interested.
We spent 3 more days in Oregon - one on Corvallis and two in Portland, and I'll write more about that later....for now, we're all safely home and sound - tired but happy.
The trips home were as horrible as the trips there were. The kids were each 6 hours late and we were almost 8 hours late - but here we are and I miss everyone already.
I'd do it again in a heartbeat - only on a different airlines.