No one likes a delayed or canceled flight no matter what your schedule is. It’s never fun getting that email explaining your new flight time is one hour later, two hours later or even canceled. What about when your flight is canceled and has been rescheduled in five days?! Yes, you read that correctly our flight from New Orleans to Denver was delayed for five days. Due to poor weather in Denver and the infrequent flights to New Orleans by the airline, they could not get us to Denver until five days later. Are you kidding me?
“Nearly all the best things that came to me in life have been unexpected, unplanned by me.” – Carl Sandburg
We asked the airline for anything better than five days and did not receive any good news. All other airlines were flying to Denver that day, but this one was not. We were stuck in a tough situation. Do we just go back to our hometown and stay for five more days? Do we buy tickets with another airline to Denver? Or do we drive 1,300 miles home? We are always looking for a road trip and an excuse to find fun, so after comparing prices with other airlines and car rental prices from New Orleans to Denver, we selected our rental car in the garage of the airport and were getting ready to drive 19+ hours home.
“We have only this moment, sparkling like a star in our hand – and melting like a snowflake.” — Marie B. Ray
When moving to Denver from Hattiesburg we took the suggested route of going through Texas, New Mexico and Colorado. This time we did not want to do the same trip and wanted something different. We decided adding an extra hour and 50+ miles was worth getting to see Louisiana, Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas. It was Sunday and all we had to do was get to Denver before Friday to do better than the airline. Neither of us had ever been to Oklahoma or Kansas, so we figured this was the best time to experience these new states. We started our trip Sunday evening in New Orleans and drove to Shreveport, Louisiana. Cory is really good at finding good prices on hotels the day of and while I drove she was searching for the best deal. We used the Expedia app on this trip and was able to save while earning points. Our first major stop was Oklahoma City and with only two hours set aside to explore the city we decided to see the Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum. It was a beautiful memorial and the ice on the ground reflected the somber mood that surrounded the place. The events that took place on April 19, 1995 were tragic, but the stories of the 168 people killed live on in the Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum.
“This is a story of how a Baggins had an adventure, and found himself doing and saying things altogether unexpected.” -J.R.R. Tolkien
The next stop after Oklahoma was Wichita, Kansas. I was so excited to drop The Wizard of Oz quotes and see the Keeper of the Plains statue. We arrived to Wichita late at night and the state had just went through a cold snap. Our rental car, a Jeep Compass, handled everything well and was perfect for this trip. The next morning we woke up before the sun and hurried over to the Keeper of the Plains. The area was roped off in places due to ice build up, but we were still able to get an awesome view for the sunrise. We have driven through Kansas a few times since this trip and there’s something about this drive that gets me every time. The miles of green grass and wind turbines is almost hypnotic. It’s such a calm drive that it always helps me put into perspective where I’ve been and where I’m going. It was a very long drive and after crossing the state line into Colorado I quickly said “Toto, I’ve a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore!” (Cory didn’t laugh).
“I guess sometimes the greatest memories are made in the most unlikely of places, further proof that spontaneity is more rewarding than a meticulously planned life.”
Adventures are never the same, often times they are not expected and it’s always up to you to make the best of your current situation. We could have complained and let this ruin our day. For a split second it did, we were upset and frustrated at the airline for this. We quickly evaluated our situation and the options we had. The plan to drive twenty hours home and get to see five states in one trip turned out to be one of the greatest road trips we’ve done together. You will be surprised just how much fun you can have when you look at it differently. Next time your flight is delayed or canceled think about our experience and maybe you can turn yours into something awesome too. Do you have a similar experience with a canceled or delayed flight? Comment and share with us!