We departed for the 5th time in as many years from the PMU at 3:00pm…this year everybody’s bags were under the weight limitations – yay! So we thought we were off to a good start…..
But…about 20 miles from O’Hare airport, a Ford van cut in front of us and grazed the mirror on our bus. So there we were on Interstate 90/94, stopped in the middle lane!!! We waited for 20 minutes for the police to arrive. Then they talked for the drivers, and we followed the police car to an “accident investigation site” – just an area where we pulled off the interstate and waited further. We tried talking to the officers to tell them we had a flight to catch, but there seemed to be no rush at all!
Finally, after a delay of almost 1 ½ hours we were on the road again, thankfully reaching the airport at about 6:30 Chicago time – 2 hours before the flight. Check-in was smooth because there were no baggage issues and thankfully the TSA security check was relatively quick as well and we reached our gate at 7:30 just as boarding was beginning. We did have some students stop to get food, and everyone else had boarded by the time they arrived and we finally got on the plane!
After all that excitement we had an uneventful flight to Dubai – but the excitement continued in Dubai!!
• First, we found out the airline had no documentation of our hotel reservations – so we had to call our travel agent in Indiana who said that she did indeed have reservations. She sent us the reservation numbers…
• Then we reached the Millenium Hotel to find that they needed to charge our credit card because the travel agent had used the card only to hold the reservation and it could not be charged
• Third, we tried to use our brand new Purdue credit card and it was declined!!!
• So we put the bill for the hotel and dinner/breakfast on my card – and hope to sort it out when we get back
o Way to go for being flexible and going with the flow right from the start – and we haven’t even reached Zambia yet!! ☺
• We did have a lovely, sumptuous buffet dinner
And then took taxis to the Dubai Mall (our taxi driver was from Bangladesh and I enjoyed conversing with him in Hindi along the way – he was quitetalkative!)
• We ran in to the mall to get a glimpse of the last fountain show of the night at 11:00pm, then wandered around a bit, looking at the Burj Khalifa, the aquarium and a candy store in the mall
• Back to the hotel in three taxis again and we will be up bright and early to leave the hotel at 7:00am for our 9am flight to our final destination of Lusaka
o Excited to reach there because the stopover in Dubai just feels like a hindrance in the way of our getting to where we really want to go!!