A String of Bad Luck; or, Even Seasonned Travellers Screw Up

Maybe this would fit better on the personal blog as it’s kind of a travel story, but it is Blizzcon related. And yes, I’m only sitting down to write about it now. But hey, I spent 2 weeks traveling then went back to working 7 days a week AND I’ve been sick with NOLA germs. (Damn NOLA germs. I blame boys.)

Besides, this story, or this string of stories, gives you the opportunity to laugh at me. Who doesn’t love an opportunity to laugh at someone? (And to those who were thinking of replying with a comment along the lines of “I don’t enjoy laughing at people“, I will point it out now: you are a big fat liar.)

Random picture of a murloc ancestor. (Was taken at the Heard Museum in Phoenix after Blizzcon. I *think* it's an artifact from Northern Mexico.)

So lets flashback to Wednesday, October 19th, 2011. I was to leave for Blizzcon that night.

I live 3 hours away from the airport. 3 hours. I was working until 6 pm. And that was the only night we were able to book our guest for the Casual Raid Leading episode of the Double O Podcast (Thespius, of course. You regular readers probably know all about him by now – he’s become somewhat of a reoccurring character in my WoW stories).

The plan was perfect: get home at 6pm. Record the podcast until 9 pm. Rush to Edmonton. Check into hotel I had booked (and already paid for) at around midnight. I’d get a good night sleep before my flight 7 am and I’d be all rested for Blizzcon.

It flowed smoothly. (And if you haven’t heard for yourself yet, the podcast turned out AWESOME. Go listen now! Like right meow! This post will still be here when you’re finished listening to the episode.) After a three hour drive (in the dark, through the countryside where deer and moose constantly jump in front of your car), it was midnight and I was pulling into the hotel parking lot.

I was going over my next day in my head: I’ll check into the flight, I’ll go through customs, I’ll show them my boarding pass and my passpo-

My passport.


I didn’t grab my passport.

It was one of those moment where you think “this can’t possibly be happening, this is totally a dream, stuff like this doesn’t happen in real life.

But it was happening. I knew exactly where my passport was. It was in my filing box, along with my birth certificate and other Very Important Documents. My filing box, which was in my apartment. My apartment which was 3 hours away.

My brain combed through the different options. I have no way of getting through customs without a passport. I don’t know anyone who’d be willing to drive halfway to Edmonton to meet me in the middle with my passport. Besides, no one has the key to my apartment anyway.

It wasn’t looking good.

I turned the car around and spend the next 3 hours driving home. I got home at around 3 am. I grabbed my passport and a few fiber bars (my evening schedule had not included supper and I don’t get a lunch breaks at work, meaning that I hadn’t eaten anything since my two packets of instant oatmeal at breakfast). I got back to Edmonton at 6 am. There was no point in going to the hotel at all so I dropped my car off at the airport and waited for my flight.

If you’re thinking that I’ll end with “and then everything picked up and the rest of the trip was perfect“, you clearly have not been introduced to my luck.

I landed at John Wayne later that afternoon. The flight itself went pretty well – my little adventure that night guaranteed me a nap on the plane – but when I came down the stairs to the baggage claiming area, no one looked like they were waiting for me.

I’m used to sticking out in a crowd. I’m pretty tall. I’m on the scrawny side. I have a weird face. If that wasn’t enough, there are enough photos of me floating around the internet that I’m sure random strangers see me and think “I have no idea who that chick is, but I’ve totally seen her on the internet.”

So I stood by myself. I’ll be found eventually. I will, I will, I will.

I struck up a conversation with guy who was waiting for someone who wasn’t me. He also played a holy pally. Was pretty cool.

20 minutes later I wasn’t found.

That’s the problem with these video game conventions. You don’t know what your friends look like.

My US phone had failed me so I didn’t know what my number was (my Canadian phone is too cheap to work in the US so I have a travel phone that assigns me a new US number every time I cross the border). I did have a number for Juvenate, who had kindly offered to pick up, and I had texted him a few times but he had no way to text me back. I took a deep breath and decided to call him. (I hate phones, and it’s especially scary to call someone who’s real name you don’t even know).

No reply.

I waiting about 10 minutes, then tried again. A girl answered. Yeah, not good.

Was Juvinate waiting for me at a different part of the airport? Did he leave, thinking I wasn’t going to show?

I was getting close to panic. I hadn’t been able to get the internet to work in the airport, but maybe I should try harder. Twitter always saves the day, doesn’t it?

Twitter did save the day. I found a corner upstairs where there internet worked. With the help of a few spectators (both on Twitter and in real life – apparently Ophelie the Freaking Out Pally is rather entertaining), Juvinate and I did find each other.

Of course, never two without three. After we left the airport, I couldn’t find my phone.

Yep. I got lucky and my phone ended up in the lost and found.

I was less lucky at the end of Blizzcon. After I checked out of the hotel, I realized my e-Reader was missing. I quickly gave them a call.

“We already cleaned the room. We didn’t find it sorry.”

I insisted, went back in person, called back a few days later, but nothing. I had read from my reader the night before I checked out, so I knew it hadn’t left my room. Either it was stolen by housekeeping, or it fell out of my purse. Considering that’s never fallen out of my purse before, I’m thinking housekeeping. And I had even left them a tip. Douchebags.

BUT!! After these misfortunes, my post-Blizzcon trip was pretty smooth…

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12 Comments on “A String of Bad Luck; or, Even Seasonned Travellers Screw Up”

  1. Khraden Says:

    What day were you at John Wayne? My brother and I were there around 1:00pm on the 20th. I hadn’t gotten on twitter yet that day though.

    We could have all shared a cab, haha.

    • Ophelie Says:

      Yep, that’s about when I was there! OMG were you on the flight out of Denver? Maybe we were on the same plane!

      Wish I’d known! I

      • Khraden Says:

        Sadly, no, we were coming out of Atlanta. Left Huntsville, AL that morning around 5:30 and headed…. east *sigh* then headed west from there.

    • Ophelie Says:

      Yep, that’s about when I was there! OMG were you on the flight out of Denver? Maybe we were on the same plane!

      Wish I’d known! I

  2. Kallixta Says:

    I recall a canoe trip that took us 3 hours to get to the drop-off point before discovering we had forgotten the paddles. How can you pack for a canoe trip without paddles?!

    Yeah, we heard variations of “Up the creek…” for a long time.

    BTW: Canoe Liveries will rent paddles only.

  3. Fimlys Says:

    That sucks that you had all the problems, but it was awesome seeing you again! Hope to see you there next year too!

    • Ophelie Says:

      With the exception of the stolen Kobo, the adventures were all kind of funny so I just wanted to share them.

      I was super happy to see you again too! I can’t wait until next year’s TNB meetup!

  4. Saif Says:

    I really don’t know if I could’ve made that drive at midnight. That’s amazing. Kudos! 🙂

    • Ophelie Says:

      I was surprised that I managed it, actually. I guess desperation is a powerful motivator! I didn’t even get sleepy, with the exception of maybe the 30 minutes before I got near the city (I never get sleepy driving in the city – too nervewrecking!)

      I got REALLY lucky that no deer crossed my path. I saw a few, but they were they belonged: far from the road!

  5. Ffpmmarc Says:

    Wow, crazy trip. I would have done exactly what you did. Turn around , get passport then head into the airport. I Definately would have had 2-3 Monster Drinks on board. Then to have your eReader disappear. It was definitely housekeeping . It’s happened to me with my iPhone 3 yrs ago. A friend of mine works at a Hilton and he says housekeeping makes out like a bandit. Unfortunately I stopped tipping HKeeping after that. Figured they didn’t need it since they were cashing in on much more than my measly tip.

    • Ophelie Says:

      Yeah, I find that totally insulting that they stole from me AFTER I left a tip. And they didn’t even have to clean the room the first night we were there (we left a Do Not Distrub sign on the door).

      I think I’ll stop tipping from now on too.

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