Saturday, 4 June 2011

My visit to USArtquest, Michigan in the USA!

Well, I have finally done it, I have downloaded, arranged and organised 782 photos from my trip to USArtquest, Michigan!
There was so much inspiration and so much going on whilst I was there that I was just clicking away the whole 5 days!!
There is so much to tell you and share with you so I think I am going to have to do this over a few posts. Here goes.......................
My journey started last Wednesday - where after a tearful (on my part) goodbye to Ben the day before (as I did not want him to come to the airport and see Mummy cry!!) and a tearful goodbye with Chris at the airport I went into Manchester airport to catch the first flight of my day to Newark, New York!!
I don't know about you but I do not worry about flying or travelling alone - it is the fact that if something happens whilst I am flying/travelling that I am alone - Does that make sense!?!
Anyway, I boarded my flight to Newark and it was a good flight with no problems - Sat and watched a couple of films, watched a few episodes of In Treatment on my Ipod (love this series!), ate a good meal (surprisingly, usually hate plane food usually) and before I knew it we were landing in Newark!
Now, if you have never been to Newark airport before, it is huge! It is split into three section A, B & C all of which are connected by a monorail system!! We landed into B and the flight attendants told us before we got off the plane to follow the signs for immigration and then on to baggage claim and then Connecting Flights! No problem I though - keep calm Amy and you will be fine - Lots of staff around to ask if you get lost - Just follow everyone else!!!
Everything was fine - immigration was quick and easy and then I followed the signs to Baggage Claim (hate that it didn't go all the way through to Detroit!) - Then Connecting Flights. Put in my baggage to Detroit and then on to the monorail to Section C for my connecting flight. Everything was going well, grabbed a cup of coffee and went on to my departure gate...... That's when the problems started................
My flight to Detroit was stated as "CANCELLED"
Cancelled..................... How can it be just cancelled!!
So, I thought keep calm Amy - you are fine - just go and ask the lady behind the desk!
To cut a long story shorter, there were realy bad storms in Detroit with Thunder and lightning and terrential rain so all flights that day so far had been cancelled. She said not to worry that she would just put me on the next flight 3 hours later than mine as she had just been told that that flight would be leaving on time to Detroit.
Ok - Keep calm Amy, everything is fine. Go and have something to eat and come back!
So, off I went for a sandwich and came back to sit at the gate.
My new flight was due to take off at 5pm - 4:30pm arrived and no plane! 4:50pm arrived and CANCELLED came up on the board!
I could not believe it - what do I do?
The lady came over the tanoy system and told us all that it was cancelled and there were no more flights scheduled for that day so we have to rebook at the flight info desk next to the gate! So, off I ran to the info desk before everyone else!!!
This lovely lady behind the counter told me that she would rebook me for the 8am flight the next day and that I would just have to stay at a hotel that night!!! Huh - how was I to know where to find a hotel? What about my bag? I had no clean knickers, no toothbrush - everything was in my bag!!!
That was it - I broke down and started to cry!!!!
Now, it takes me a heck of a lot to cry but I was so tired, so worried at being alone, that I just cracked. Thankfully the lady was lovely - she told me where to go to get my bag, where to go to ring hotels and told me not to worry, that I was definetley booked on the next morning and the weather looked good for then!!
So, off I went with mascara half way down my face to collect my bag - over at section A.
It took a very, very long 2 hours to get my bag back and finally find the phone to book the hotel!!!! I was a wreck until I managed to get through to Chris who calmed me down (he is SO good at doing that - my rock!)
I finally got my bag, found the free shuttle to the hotel on the airport site and went to book in.
What a lovely hotel it was and the staff were amazing - $80 for the night - I got a huge suite with a lovely bathroom and lounge. They ordered me a pizza at reception, I rang my mum & dad as they had been worrying and crashed into bed with my HUGE Hawaian pizza and bottle of Mountain Dew ( my favourite drink in USA!!) to watch American Idol - before I fell asleep about half an hour later into the deepest sleep ever I think!!

The next morning I woke up ready and refreshed to grab my flight to Detroit wiithout any problems - thankfully - where Sue met me at the airport! It was so good to see her - we had a great big hug and then got in the car off to her offices with a quick stop off at a craft store!!!

Yippeee - the trip could finally start!!
More update tomorrow..................................
Big Hugs


Helen Anderson said...

Oh bless you Amy!! What an experience! It reminds me of my first flight with my Mum to Spain after my stepdad died. Long story again but we were separated and there was a bomb alert! I was sent out to the runway and it took ages to get back in. I had relied on Mum for all the detail so didn't know where to go!! The place was deserted and I too broke down in tears. Finally I found her already on the plane and ready to take off!! I was 26 at the time ... needless to say the next time I flew I wouldn't let hubby out of my sight, hehe!
Helen xx

She said...

Hello my lovely. Goodness me, what a journey, I'm glad you arrived safely though. I can't wait to see all that you got up to! Love S xx

Bea said...

What a rotten start - glad you got there in the end. Know what you mean re travelling alone - I am ok as long as there isn't turbulence as that makes me freak out a bit but now have 2 kalms and a gin and tonic before I board and hey ho feel fab!! Looking forward to seeing what you brought back re techniques

little amanda 7609 said...

I love flying and because of health issues I don't fly alone but I know I would have panicked BIG TIME if my flight had been cancelled, I know it takes a lot to cry but you were on your own, Missing Ben and Chris and then this, big stuff. Never been to Newark myself, only to JFK. Love America, everyone is always so kind and helpful! I have never ever been to an american craft store though, because my best friend would never trust me!

You ate airline food? It must have been good as I normally have trouble even identifying what they try and give me! In this modern era airline food is still very hit and very miss. Mind you it gets better in Business Class where at least you get it a little more presentable (very very lucky in that best friend always treats me to Business class when we do long haul).

Looking forward to the next installment, I am off to play with new Kanban stamps from the TSV last week

Anonymous said...

Oh wow Amy. I don't know how you did it. I would of started crying as soon as they said the first flight was cancelled. You are brave. So glad it all went well at the end. Can't wait for the photos. Well done you, Love Lise xxx

Joyce said...

Wow Amy ... what a start! I'd certainly have been in tears too! Bad enough in this country but when you're so far away from family and friends ........ :-(
However, the hotel and pizza looks
wonderful (love the image of you in the mirror!)
So glad it ended up o.k.
Looking forward to episode 2!!
Love and hugs, Joyce xx

Anonymous said...

You brave thing Amy, I'd have been useless faced with all that on my own. Can't wait for the next instalment.

Gill McCall said...

OMG what a traumatic adventure! I would have cracked up long before you did ! being alone so far away from home and in distress - not good! Glad you got through it and can then enjoy your time in america

Chalmersk said...

Oh Amy - you must have been very stressed out by it all. I don't think I would have coped at all especially as I hate flying. I am glad it all worked out in the end and I cannot wait for the QVC show to see what you learned. Take care xxx