This is a blog I started writing awhile ago, now that I am reading it again - I think that it is worth posting.
My cousin, Patrick got married in Pittsburgh on Saturday but it was just one of those weekends that starts off on the wrong foot. Some clown set the air traffic control tower on fire Thursday to avoid his job relocation from the Chicago Suburbs to Hawaii. All flights from Midway, O’hare, and Rockford were canceled for the entire weekend, so our only option was to drive. All the rental cars in Chicago had been booked due to the closed airports so we picked up one of the stranded bridesmaids and our car is very packed! Traffic is bumper to bumper on I80E so it takes us 13 hours to get there. Fortunately, my parents were already planning to fly to Myrtle Beach with their friends on Sunday so my sister, brother and I can drive their car back to Illinois at our leisure.
My favorite memories are made with my three siblings and we were especially excited because we don't see this side of the family often. The wedding was pretty, and as we board the shuttle to the reception site my brother hands out beer!
As soon as we enter the reception, my sister Meredith orders the four of us shots of vodka. She explains that there aren’t options, vodka is what they are using in their signature cocktail and it's room temperature because they aren't supposed to be serving shots. I rolled my eyes because Meredith could charm the devil himself. We choke the vodka back, dance, drink more, rinse and repeat. Getting up on Sunday was not fun and the 9 hour drive home taunted us! My sister Melissa left at 7am to catch her flight home to Jacksonville, and my parents went with her to catch their flight to Myrtle Beach.
Finding your way through Pittsburgh with a hangover is the definition of hell. The one-way roads are windy and the hills cause the GPS to cut in and out. The Steelers traffic isn't helping and the GPS is on a continuous reroute "make a U-turn, take the next right—make a U-turn—left on Pen—re-routing". Meredith insisted that I change her British accent immediately!
We finally make it into Ohio and decide to stop to fuel up at the cleaner-than-Indiana’s rest stop. Alex and I sit down with our Panera-pagers while Meredith goes to the restroom. It is when I set our food on the table that I see her running across the rest stop towards us. I assume she got sick from all of the vodka shots and begin giggling. Her face is flushed and she announces that we have a huge problem. “I hadn’t realized my shirt was inside out when I got dressed in the dark, and I was holding the car key in this hand—but when I took my shirt off it flew into the toilet. There was a motion sensor, so it automatically flushed."
I'll leave out the 30 mins of panic and skip to our research. We asked security to snake the toilet—no keys, but they did assure us that this happens all the time...?! The Acura dealership is closed on Sundays and with the VIN they can't get a new key made until Wednesday. The locksmith can’t unlock our 2015 vehicle because...something about a transporter and the ignition shutting down to protect from auto theft.
We all had to work the following day and we were 8 hours from home. A rental car wasn't an option because our ID's are in the locked Acura. Between the three of us, we have twenty-some dollars in cash and three nearly-dead cell phones. My brother says, "If anyone can figure this all out its Dad", but Dad hangs up on us. After the horrible drive out to Pittsburgh on Friday, he actually thinks we are joking!
We eventually get Dad on the phone while he is laid over in North Carolina. Maybe Uncle Craig can go to my parent's house, get the spare key and drive 8 hours to Ohio? After some arguing, we learn that my Mom has the spare key in her purse. Mom gets on her flight and Dad plans to FexEx the key to a nearby hotel. However, the North Carolina airport does not have a FedEx drop box.
It is too late in the day to send a same-day delivery. My dad is furious that he is now required to purchase a $900 seat on the next flight to Pittsburgh just to bring us a key! It leaves in two hours...except he wonders why he has to be ON the flight? Now he starts walking down the security line asking "Anybody going to Pittsburgh, anyone to Pittsburgh?" nobody...for an hour. Just as the rage begins to overwhelm him, a little woman says "Yes, I am going to Pittsburgh".
The woman's name is Jean, and Dad explains that he needs her to meet my Aunt Pat at the Pittsburgh Airport when she arrives. As he hands his only remaining car key to her, he has to talk himself out of an arrest. The security guard insists that he cannot hand anything off to a passenger that he clearly does not know. Dad argued that if their scanner works properly, they will be able to tell if the key is hazardous. He insists that they can arrest him if she does not pass security. Upon getting through the security gates, Dad asked Jean for her cell number. Jean flipped open her phone and decided that she didn't know her own number, so he settled with: "Look for a sign that reads: Alex King"
My Aunt Pat was at the reception site cleaning up her son's wedding when my Dad calls to tell her of his game plan. He asks her to drive an hour north to the Pittsburgh airport to meet Jean with the key, and then drive two hours west to meet us in Ohio. A mere 8 hours of laying in the grass at Ohio Rest-opia, my Aunt Pat and Uncle Jeff arrive. They even packed a care package of sandwiches, water, and cookies. 18 hours after our hotel departure we arrive at my parent's house, 2 additional hours back to Chicago—but we all made it back to work on Monday morning! Team Dad!