Southbound on I-95, south of Richmond, VA, 2/10/10
I’m writing this post from the passenger seat of a rented car on I-85, north of Charlotte, NC. Now for the story of how we got here.
Our scheduled departure for West Palm Beach, FL was today. The Palm Beach Jewelry, Art & Antique Show begins setting up tomorrow, with the opening preview party on Friday night. You probably know that a massive winter storm is presently battering the Northeast of the US. Since we had plenty of notice, I personally went to the airport on Monday to change our tickets to leave yesterday, Tuesday. The US Airways agent was very helpful and changed the tickets in five minutes. There was no penalty because all the airlines were permitting changes because of the impending weather. We were scheduled to fly from LaGuardia Airport in NYC to Washington, DC at 3 PM on Tuesday. I asked the agent if he could give us a more southern connecting city, but he said all the seats were sold. I was justifiably concerned about possible weather conditions in DC.
We arrived at LaGuardia on Tuesday at 1:45 PM, with plenty of time to spare. We started to check in, when the agent said he couldn’t find our reservation. Huh?? I had a printout of our flights from the previous day’s agent. When the agent in front of me continued checking, he found out that our flight from Washington, DC to West Palm Beach, FL, had been canceled and rescheduled for the 13th, four days later. Can you believe it? US Airways never informed us by phone or email that our flight had been canceled and rescheduled. I explained to the agent that we HAD to get to Florida in time to set up a show. Our driver was already halfway there with our merchandise and we had paid in full to exhibit there. For an hour and a half, Thomas valiantly tried to find an alternate route to ANY city in Florida on ANY airline, but every seat was sold out on every flight out of the area. My backup plan was to take a 24 hour train to Florida, but when I called Amtrak, I was told that all southbound trains had been canceled.
I suggested to my wife that we go home and get our car and drive to Florida, a suggestion that I really didn’t want to follow, but what was the alternative? My wife suggested that we rent a car one way to a southern city and then fly the rest of the way. Luckily I was able to find a car rental agency with a car left that we could take. We took the shuttle bus to the rental counter and were delayed there still more. We didn’t start driving until 5 PM. The big problem was that all the weather predictions were telling us that we only had a few hours until the storm was upon us. The prospect of driving in blizzard conditions was not appealing and honestly frightening, but off we started.
Right off the bat, we got stuck in rush hour traffic in New York City and were delayed still more. We didn’t reach the speed limit at any point until we got to Staten Island. OK, so far, so good. The first flakes of snow started to fall halfway through the state of New Jersey — WAY TOO SOON! We expected the snow and driving conditions to worsen as we drove south into the belly of the beast — and it did. Driving conditions continued to worsen through Maryland. It was SCARRREEE, but I drove carefully at greatly reduced speed. We needed to get past Washington, DC to somewhere in Virginia before we could find a motel. Amazingly as we got to the Washington, DC area, the precipitation turned to rain and stayed rain until we reached our motel about 50 miles south of Washington. We decided to sleep it out and deal with whatever we had to in the morning.
After a good night’s sleep, we looked out to find only a few inches of fresh snow. This area had been pounded with two recent storms, so the locals were happy about that. The weather reports indicated that the snow was almost completely north of us. We had made the right decision to push to Virginia. We got on the road and headed to the nearest airport in Richmond, VA. I didn’t even know if there would be any employees there, but luckily there were. After 20 minutes of complex changes to the record, we had our reservations to West Palm Beach from Charlotte, NC at 6 PM. What was the name of that comedy movie where the ticket agent keeps typing and pressing hundreds of keystrokes to accomplish a simple task? That was me, watching this woman, talking on the phone to another agent to accomplish this incredibly complex task of changing our plane reservation. We could have flown from Richmond, VA to Charlotte, NC, but most of the flights were sold out and weather conditions were quite sketchy in Richmond. So we elected to drive to Charlotte and catch the plane there.
We’ll be arriving in Charlotte shortly. The weather is sunny and very windy, so I’m hoping that our flight will get to West Palm Beach today. Got my fingers crossed.
So now that you see the lengths we were willing to go to to exhibit at this show, you HAVE TO come and visit. :>) I’ve brought an incredible number of new and exciting items that I did not have at the Miami shows. See you there! The show must go on!
I’m taking a lot of time to add new items to my website. I’ve already listed new items under Gallé glass (including a blownout vase), Daum Nancy glass and Tiffany Studios glass. Soon I’ll be adding many Tiffany Studios desk pieces. Please take a look, as every day I’m adding more. Click on this link chasenantiques.com.
Please send me your suggestions or questions about art glass, lamps, Louis Icart, shows, auctions, etc. If it’s interesting, I’ll answer your question in a future blog entry.
Call or write and let me know what you would like to buy, sell, or trade. firstname.lastname@example.org or
516-922-2090. And please visit my website. chasenantiques.com