Thursday, 8 August 2013

The Accidental Vacation

A couple of months ago I looked at my August work schedule. It was light versus the manic autumn I was facing so I tapped my lovely travel industry worker sister up for some concession transatlantic flights to take me and the kids for a short trip. We have family in Los Angeles so plumped for trying to get out there on standby. 

In August school holidays and peak travel getting on these flights is a long shot. But after weighing up the risk factors we decided it was worth a shot. Plan B was another West Coast destination, Plan C East Coast - in other words, we would go somewhere. We had flexible hotels booked near Venice Beach and bags full of hope. 

We set off this morning at 7am, me, my Mum, Boo and Lulu and my 14 year old nephew. The dream team. We love travelling and don't mind a bit of adventure. We most certainly got that!

The first flight out was always the iffy option but you never know what happens, so we checked in and showed our faces at the gate. After watching streams of people board the plane, our hearts were racing. The feeling that we may just end up jetting off to our dream destination and hooking up with our family over there at our first attempt was extremely exciting. But alas it was not to be. The Chancellor of the Exchequer boarded last, which was a surprise. Especially as he looked in vacation mode! 

Despite this set back, we remained positive. After all it is par for the course when travelling on standby. But then we met Stephen. The ground staff member who went to such lengths to scan his computer and look at our options. Once he realised how flexible we were, he excitedly tapped away at his terminal, his eyes glowing with travel passion. 

We came away from this gate with a plan  B and Plan C. Wait for the next Los Angeles flight as there were no other standby passengers and if that doesn't work, try Vegas the next day at Gatwick. 

So back to Horsham we went. To rest and gather our wanderlust for another adventure. Travelling is not about the places, it's about the people and we have already met characters we would not have met otherwise. 


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