Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Med Cruise part 7 - the trip home

As awesome as our trip was, we were both ready to come home! We missed everyone and McKayla was worried about finishing up a few things for school and getting ready for graduation. It was on our way home that we experienced a miracle and for that we are truly grateful. That may be what we remember most from our trip. On Saturday, our last day in port, I checked the status of our flight. We fly standby (due to Kevin's job as a pilot). The price is right (our flight cost us less that $140 for both of us) but it can be stressful. Indeed, we were stressed when I saw that our flight was showing only 1 available seat and only 1 authorized meaning they could only sell one more seat. Sometimes the authorized is more because they know from past experience approximately how many people will not show up for the flight. In other words, the flight was full! To add to that, McKayla and I were only numbers 18 & 19 on the standby list. We were NOT going to get on that flight. There were also NO other options for getting out that day. We both started praying. We wanted to go home so badly. We talked about staying on the cruise ship until we had to depart (that way we'd be able to sleep in and get plenty of food before finding a hotel). In the end, we decided to trust the Lord that he would hear our prayers. The trip to the airport was a nightmare. I didn't have enough Euros to take a cab (found out later that I still had 10 Euros but I had just overlooked it - that would have solved all our problems). We didn't even think we had enough to take the Metro. So, we walked to where we had gotten off the bus from the airport. That bus was only 1.90 Euros each on our way there. We got there only to find out that they imposed a tax on the trip to the airport so it was 5.90 Euros each. Not a problem because there was a credit card machine I could use to buy the tickets. NOT! The machine wouldn't take my card because I didn't have a PIN number to enter (it was a credit card not a debit card). I might've been able to override that but I couldn't read the instructions because I don't speak or read Spanish. So, we decided to try the Metro. We did have enough Euros for that so we got on but when we had to switch trains, we found out that Barcelona does their Metro in zones so you have to pay for each zone. We were going to cover 3 zones. Crap! So, we found an information booth that told us there was a hotel upstairs that would change our dollars for Euros. The hotel refused. So, we were heaven only knows where in Barcelona with no Euros. Luckily, we found a cab that would take my credit card (although he had some difficulty with that too). We got to the airport and checked our flight status again. No change. Still only 1 seat and we were 18 & 19 on standby. I checked other flights leaving Barcelona and all were overbooked. We still continued to wait. Next thing we knew, they actually paged me. I went up to the gate agent and she told me they could get one of us on. That was a miracle in and of itself. How in the world? I went back to tell McKayla and she started crying (understand she is NOT a crier - EVER). She didn't want to leave me stranded alone in Barcelona and she was also afraid she would get stuck in NYC. There was no guarantee she'd get on the flight from NYC to SLC and I warned her that no hotel would rent an 18-year-old a room for the night - she'd be spending the night in the airport if she didn't get on the flight to SLC. (I forgot that Kevin would be checking and could've flown to NYC so she wouldn't be alone there). McKayla didn't know what to do but I decided she needed to take the flight. We went back to the gate agent and told her we'd take the seat. I think the agent could see McKayla was upset and she told me, don't have her get on yet. We may still get you both on. Guess what? They did! We both got on!!!!! Apparently, there was a guy ahead of us on the standby list who was flying with someone who was below us. He was hoping we would say we wouldn't split up because then his companion would have gotten on. Instead, when we said we'd take the seat, that guy decided to reamin in Barcelona with his companion. I was so grateful we'd made the decision to split up! We boarded the plane still unable to believe that numbers 18 & 19 on the standby list were going home! More people did not show up for the flight than expected and most people from the standby list hadn't shown up figuring they'd never get on. It turned out to be exceptionally fortuitous that we got on that flight because we watched the flights for the next couple of days and they were so full that we wouldn't have gotten home until Wednesday. We even made it onto the NYC-SLC flight so we were home in our own beds Sunday night! So thrilled about that! It had been a very long day (we had been up for almost 24 full hours) but we were home! I testify the Lord hears and answers prayers and can perform miracles.

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