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Complicating the Journey - Landon

Complicating the Journey - Landon

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Who’s Landon, you ask? That would be Winter Storm Landon.

Over the weekend of January 29 & 30, I started focusing more on the weather at our destinations, as I was packing. However, the weather at home in Indiana grabbed my attention. A winter weather event was approaching and it seemed to be… significant. By Sunday night things seemed pretty consistent, even if the models and forecasters lacked confidence in the precise timing and amounts.

In short, this storm was supposed to encompass Wed., Feb. 2 - Fri. Feb. 4 (maybe into the 5th with wind), extending from Dallas to Maine! While we didn’t know exactly “what” kind of precipitation we would get, it seemed like we would get a whole lot of “something”! Sunday night I dropped a quick note to my boss in an attempt to start a conversation pertaining to any remote work options or the need to claim additional time off.

Kara: I was also watching the storm and realized that at the least I had to get my puppy, Kona, to my dad and sister early so we started making arrangements to transition him on Tuesday. I am enjoying the freedom that comes with being a small business owner as I am launching a consulting practice so I’m enjoying the freedom of being my own boss.

Monday, Jan. 31 came & went in silence (across my entire college/employer).

The morning of Tuesday, Feb. 1 brought a single-topic staff meeting to our small group. My boss determined we needed input from administrative leadership on the weather issue that day. Remarkably by lunch our boss was back with surprising news of flexibility and options, which was important as the commute times of our staff range from 10 minutes (me) and others nearing an hour.

I flew into action. I began searching for alternative flights to depart earlier than our planned Friday morning. But how much earlier? That night was a rare strain on Kara & my friendship, as I wanted to leave before the 2-part storm arrived, while Kara wanted to “roll the dice” on our booking Friday flight.

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Here I admit to being a bully. I seriously feared if we didn’t go early, we’d have no chance at all. And while staying home warm watching the Olympics always is a draw, by now I really was set on this cruise - especially since the same week it was announced the Winter 2023 itineraries on the Fantasy that are usually Star Wars Day at Sea would now be Pixar Day at Sea. (With this I’m fully expecting the Marvel Day at Sea to move from the Magic to the Dream. This is less interesting to me personally, as I adore the Magic.)

Kara: I admit I wasn’t crazy about this option but I also agree now that we did it that it was the right decision to make. I will also go on record here to say that although I wanted to either leave early or drive to Florida in October for our cruise when the airlines were in chaos, that I lost and Gayle won. I’ll also just for the purposes of record keeping say that our original flight did go out and land exactly as scheduled. That said, for many reasons, these two days in the hotel were very productive and useful and I am still glad we made this decision.

(While it was a notable & feasible addition to my budget - 1 night of certificate and 2 nights on cash - I regret going early now knowing what we know. Regret is a regular companion for a Questioner. But I also know we would have been filled with non-stop anxiety if we’d not gone early.)

With a willingness to cover the extra hotel costs, the afternoon of Tues., Feb. 1 I changed our flight to the morning of Wed., Feb. 2! (First I had to ensure a long layover in ATL for a work Zoom, but luckily discussed the meeting agenda and my role in the meeting with my boss who then excused me from the meeting. Thus, a 2nd change was made for a minimal layover.) BIG shoutout to Delta Airlines for having no change fees! This is one benefit of the COVID era.

After work I dashed home, threw the last of my packing & a couple of extra clothing items in my bag, and made the hour drive down to my BFF’s in Indy. (This is just one reason I wanted to be packed over the weekend; I got the sense I had no real idea of when I might be leaving my house!)

Kara: Unlike Gayle, I am a last minute packer in nearly every situation. I started packing in earnest mid Tuesday but was glad that I was finished by the time she arrived at my house.

Disclaimer: I (Gayle) am a travel agent with Authorized Disney Travel Planner agency - Off to Neverland Travel. Contact me today for a no-obligation quote!