Early on Friday morning, I left my house in a hurry. I had planned a quick trip up to Boise, Idaho to check a couple things off of my bucket list. It looked like all the nonstop flights from Salt Lake City to Boise were close to full, and I needed to get to the airport before others who were also flying non-revenue. I usually drive downtown and leave my truck at a hotel, but I was bound and determined to get to the airport sooner than that. I used one of those off-site airport parking facilities instead.
As the shuttle driver pulled up to the airport, I realized that I’d forgotten my phone in my truck! I had to ride the shuttle back, grab the phone, and wait for the next driver to take me back to the the terminal. So much for being the first one there! To add to my stress, the shuttle driver was driving way under the speed limit. I wanted to say something, but then decided I didn’t want to sound rude. Does he not realize that some of us have to catch a plane?
When I finally stepped off the shuttle at the airport, I rushed through security and over to one of the Delta gates. I asked the agent if there were any available seats on the Boise nonstop and she told me that all of the flights were actually overbooked. That made sense since it was a Friday. I decided to walk down and see what flights were offered on Southwest, knowing full well that Southwest has no nonstop flights.
As I made my way down to the Southwest gates, I wanted to see if there were any other airlines that could get me there on a nonstop. I knew that on Southwest, I’d have to connect either in Phoenix, Las Vegas, or Oakland and even though “beggars-can’t-be-choosers”, I thought that it wouldn’t hurt to check. I opened my Orbitz app and put in the information. The app told me that there was one nonstop left on American Airlines that left at 13:30. I may have freaked out a little and bought the ticket before even reading all the “fine print”. I really needed to get to Boise!
One of the items on my second bucket list (which I haven’t posted yet) is to attend a Little Big Town (official site) concert. This is a country group whose albums I have thoroughly enjoyed, with their song-selection and close harmonies. There is truly no artists out there like them. I’ve heard other bands on YouTube do some of the Little Big Town songs as covers and it’s just not the same. These guys and gals are incredible!
So- back to the the airport: I had just purchase the ticket on the flight and once I received the email confirmation, I noticed that it wasn’t a nonstop after all. The [insert desired cuss word here] flight was not only taking me through Phoenix, but I had a 6 HOUR layover! My arrival time into Boise wouldn’t be until about 23:30 that night, and this would never do! The concert started at 20:00!
I turned around and walked back through the airport, and out of security to the American Airlines ticket counter. I was hoping they’d take pity on me, and give me a refund. The agent was very nice but told me that since I booked the ticket through Orbitz, I’d have to give them a call and see if I was eligible for a refund. This wasn’t what I wanted to hear, but I thanked her with all the professional courtesy I could muster at that particular moment and made my way back through airport security.
Once I was back in, I found the number for Orbitz and gave them a call. I explained how I bought the ticket, thinking it was a nonstop flight and that I really needed to get to Boise before about 18:00. The agent understood and canceled my ticket and told me that the funds would take 5 to 7 business days to be returned to my credit card. At least the situation was fixed. I made my way back to the Southwest customer service and my best option was to fly from Salt Lake City to Phoenix and then on to Boise *sigh*. But at least I didn’t have to hang out in Phoenix for 6 hours. Only just over an hour.
I finally landed in Boise just before 16:30 and headed over to the car rental counter. I had originally planned on renting the car and returning it to the airport the next morning and then flying back to Salt Lake City, but with the current stress I was feeling, I asked the Enterprise agent how much more it would cost to just return the car to Salt Lake City, instead of Boise. He pushed some buttons and told me that it would only cost me a few more dollars to do that. I changed my plans and was already looking forward to the 5-hour drive home the next day.
Now comes the part where I tell you about the other bucket list item that is now checked off. I am a member of couchsurfing.com, an online community of people who are looking to stay for free at someone’s house or offer up their own couch to other travelers. I have been a member of this site for years now, and totally like the idea, but I have never had the opportunity to actually use it. I had arranged to stay on a stranger’s couch in Boise. Don’t judge me!
Since learning about this site, this is something that I’d always wanted to experience. One of the reasons I often stay in hostels when I travel for vacations is to meet people from all over the world. To me, couch surfing is that same vibe. What better way to meet and learn about somebody than in their own home, in their own environment?
Guy is a very nice person who has offered up his living room couch and has given up his own bed to travelers over the years. He lives in a small apartment, just outside of what I would consider to be downtown Boise. More of a suburb, really. A very nice area! His only roommate is his dog. We sat and talked for a few minutes and then I asked him if he could suggest any good restaurants for dinner. We discussed food and ended up going to and Indian restaurant, not too far from his house.
After dinner, I told him I had an extra ticket to the concert that I’d be selling to someone outside the Taco Bell Arena, but that he was more than welcome to come to the concert with me instead. By this point, I was pretty sure that Guy isn’t a psycho killer type and I wouldn’t mind hanging out with him at the concert. He wasn’t sure he was up to attending the concert, but after dinner, when we got back to his house, I managed to talk him into it.
The concert was so stinkin’ awesome! I really can’t even explain it. When I attend a live concert and the singer (or ‘singers’ in this case) sound every bit as good as the studio album, or even better, that’s what does it for me! I LOVE music! It has such an all-encompassing power over me! Below is some of my favorite parts of the concert.
This was a great little trip! Even though getting there was a tad bit stressful, the ride home to sit and think was great! I’m so thankful to have heard this band live, and to have made a new friend!