Day 5: Susie’s Trip Return

We got home after starting at 6AM eastern time at about midnight PDT. Our luggage is still traveling and I am hopeful we will see it soon. Susie’s walker elected to take an extra day in Chicago and may appear Wednesday. It seems that when we changed flights to a direct flight, our bags and the walker remained behind. Our original flights arrived about 2AM with our bags. I have a pile of emails on this and again am hopeful that the bags will be delivered soon. The walker is another day of travel.

How all this started was that once we arrived in Charlotte Airport and we got through all security and boarded our plane we were told that we would be looking at a two hour or longer wait. Bad thunderstorms had hit Chicago. We would miss our connection unless it were also held. We discovered a direct flight had some regular seats left, and most importantly, it did not pass through Chicago. So the aircrew arranged for us to leave the plane and be rebooked on the direct flight.

Susie got a first-class seat. I had to fly economy as that was all that was left. So we stayed a few more hours and then board the PDX bound flight and got home that way. Our bags went by way of Chicago.


We started that day with packing and breakfast. We met at the Five Point Cafe for breakfast. I had cheesy grits and hash and poached eggs. It was all excellent and everyone like their food. We returned to Brooks-Howell and took more photos. We then left for our near three-hour drive.


We did OK until we hit highway 74 about 45 mins out from the airport. All of a sudden, the maps on my phone had me get off 74 and begin to drive farm roads. I could see the stalled traffic. All the cars with me were Florida plates, clean, and driving fast–yes rentals all using maps on their phone. We all followed directions and soon bypassed the terrible wreck of a semi and was back on the road. I did not know the maps on iPhones was that good!

My greatest fear is to leave something important behind when giving back the rental car. I left so many things in so many cars in so many places in the world. Nothing crazier than literally running after a vehicle yelling for them to stop and I have done it. This time only Susie was left.


Susie could not walk the distance to the gates. Instead, we got a lift via the rental company from a former truck driver who missed the west coast and who now worked for Hertz. He was happy to talk about Portland and Oregon. He gave up driving trucks when he had cancer and retired to NC, his wife is from NC. We even talked about how he missed the rain. It was exceptional to remind him of our rainy PNW.

We did the usual things and got a wheelchair for Susie and reached the gate for the first flight–the one we did not take–with two hours to go. So off to lunch.


We found Jose Quervo Tarquilla after a short search. The waiter recommended tacos, and there were really good. Amazing for an airport.

The rest of the story is that we got on and off a plane and then waited another couple of hours at the wrong gate. I noticed finally thirty minutes before boarding and got us in the right gate. Funny, every time I pushed Susie for any distance I saw the guy who we used last time, and he greeted me as “brother.”

I was not expecting to like North Carolina (I was not sure liberals would be allowed in), but the people, food, and well weirdness were much more than I expected. Folks were kind and helpful and happy to see us. It seems to me now a new place to come back to again. I am already thinking about a Spring Easter trip to see Susie’s, Aunt Joyce. But first I need my luggage and Susie’s walker to get back from Chicago!


1 thought on “Day 5: Susie’s Trip Return”

  1. Great writing, great story, unfortunate luggage/walker delay- likely worth the inconvience vs Chicago thunderstorm.


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