Monday, February 9, 2015

Trains, Buses, Cabs & Planes

There seems to be a growing conspiracy against our family members who travel.  It started with our niece Emily.  If you follow her blog, she has shared this information many times.  For our immediate family, this hasn't been much of a concern over the years.  Sure, we've had our few issues here and there but nothing too overwhelming.

Well, if you remember, last September our son Kris and his new wife Hannah were in Cabo, Mexico when the hurricane hit.  It took them four (not so lovely) days to get out of Mexico. 

Les recently decided he wanted to try a little trip with our kids.  Since he travels primarily in a wheelchair, we decided to travel by train.  Most of us have not traveled by train and most of us have not spent any time in Portland - we booked a weekend train trip to Portland.  An adventure!

 The trip down the coast was beautiful, even tho it was a rainy day.  We were soon notified we had to switch to a bus for a brief period because of mudslides.  Well, not ideal, but we could handle that.  Onto the bus we got - another new ordeal with a wheelchair!  Back on the train in Seattle, and off we headed to Portland.  Part of the way down we found out we had to get on ANOTHER bus before we got to Portland - again, because of mudslides.  We were waiting to board the bus, and the (lady) bus driver couldn't get the wheelchair lift to work.  We waited patiently in the rain.  Les and Kris finally headed down to the bus and gave some suggestions.  But she couldn't do what they recommended for "liability" reasons.  Finally with the help from a guy across the street, Les got on the bus with a portable lift.  (We then drove past the train station 3 times - lost maybe??  "Clueless in Kelso"  Les texted to all of us.....) Off the bus again in Portland on a portable lift.  Whew, we made it.  Our hotel downtown was beautiful and comfy; we relaxed, had dinner, explored a bit.

Portable lift
Wheelchair access bus to ourselves!!! (Nobody else wanted to wait)
Early the next morning I received a phone call (not an email this time! Bad sign....) and I was told that there were NO trains going north this day.  Buses were being used to transport everyone, BUT there were NO wheelchair accessible buses available until Tuesday.  Les and I were scheduled to be bused out Tuesday.  Um, EXCUSE ME??  Not acceptable I said - we have no extra meds with us and no extra feedings for the tube feeds.  I had to work Monday - important things needed to be done that day.  Sorry, she said, nothing they can do.

After three hours on the phone between Amtrak and Alaska Airlines, we booked to fly out of Portland that evening at 10:00.  Les decided he wanted the kids to fly with us so we all stuck together for the day.  Little man did great - he kept going all day.  We had a pretty nice afternoon downtown - VooDoo Donuts and all!  I was SO GLAD our boys were along with us to help - this wheelchair stuff is all a new adventure for all of us.  We also had to take a cab (well, two cabs for all of us) from our hotel to the airport - another new adventure in the wheelchair!
Waiting for a VooDoo Donut!

When we were waiting to board the plane, we noticed lightning in the sky.  We all looked at each other and were just waiting to hear the announcement that our plane was canceled.......but it didn't happen and we all arrived home safe and sound.
Getting on the plane!!

This guy was a trooper.  He depends on others to help him, and he is still smiling.  Most of the time the transporters were very kind and gentle - especially getting on and off the airplane.  Not an ideal weekend, but we survived and we were together.   Our kids were great, and very patient.  Another one for the books!!

Just wanted to warn you if you ever thought about traveling with someone from our family......

1 comment:

  1. Good for you! Many challenges but you're overcoming them. It looks like you still had fun and made some wonderful memories.