Tale of a bad trip to Illinois

I thought we should have chicken for Sunday dinner, so we went to the deli at Vogt?s. The chicken looked and tasted great, but the front of Vogt?s store looked equally good.

The new look is great and the red tile roofing mimics the red tile their store downtown had for many years.


One of our part-timers walked in the other day and said the new awning on the Free Press building looked nice. I hated to say that we finished that project that last May.


I don?t know how much room it will take in this column to describe the travel nightmares I experienced last week on the trip to Moline, Ill., for the spring Midwest Free Community Papers conference.

Since I am on the board of directors, which meets the Friday morning prior to the official noon start of the conference, I thought I would buy a one-way ticket and fly Thursday to get there for Friday morning. The rest of the staff would drive up in the van, leaving Thursday after work to travel to Des Moines that night and then to Moline on Friday morning.

I would then ride back with everyone on Saturday after the conference. A terrific plan, I thought.


It didn?t work out that way. Not even close. Nancy drove me to Wichita?s Mid-Continent Airport after I had checked on the status of the flight on American to Chicago and on to Dubuque, where I would catch a ride with one of the board members who lives there. It showed that all was on time.

So Nancy dropped me off in front of the terminal and drove off. I walked up to the departures screen and to my surprise saw that my flight had been cancelled. And they didn?t bother to notify me.

I went to the American counter to make other arrangements, thinking there would be another flight I could catch. No such thing. In fact, any of the other flights that might take me there were oversold. So the customer service person said they would rebook me for the same flight out tomorrow. Uh-uh.

They even checked Kansas City, since I told them I could drive that far if I had to, so that my car could be picked up there on the way back on Saturday.

I quickly called Nancy back to the airport and headed back to Hillsboro with the plan to drive to Moline if I had to.


I found another board member who would be going through Des Moines later that day. He could pick me up for the ride to Moline. Then our staff could split up on the way back, with some of us riding home in the van and the others in the car from Des Moines.


The travel story could go on and on. Coming back, the van started losing power going up hills. We tried to find a shop to take a look at it, but no one was open on a Saturday afternoon. So the goal was to try to make it back to the car so most of the crew could get back to Hillsboro that night.

Kevin and I then nursed the van to a place Nicole found on her phone that was open until 5 p.m. We made it there and they said they fixed it. But after hundreds of dollars, it wasn?t fixed.

Kevin and I made it home about midnight?two hours behind the rest of the staff. Don?t fly through Chicago unless you absolutely have to.


If you wish to share your comments or ideas, my e-mail address is joel@hillsborofreepress.com.





















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