Next week, I am flying to Washington, DC to attend the third writers conference with my online critique group. Actually, I tried to attend all three, but the very first one we had went horribly awry--for me. I left Kansas City heading to Chicago for a connecting flight. Ten minutes before boarding time in Chicago, my flight was cancelled due to thunderstorms. Long story short, they could not get me on another plane out for two full days. It meant I would arrive the final evening of the conference and fly home the next morning. It just wasn't going to work, so I flew back to Kansas City but even had to wait two full days to get a flight to do so. Others who came to that conference flew there from Shanghai, Dublin, the Turks and Caicos Islands, Canadian cities and all points in the USA with no problems. I was the only one who didn't make it.Disappointment is putting mildly for what I felt.
Eighteen months ago, the second conference was held, and I made it. It was a wonderful experience to bond personally with the women I'd known for so long only in the cyberworld. The conference speakers and presentations were excellent, and the food, wine, and friendship surpassed any conference I've ever attended.
Next week, our critique group is meeting again in the same state park as before. Cabins in the woods, decks backing onto the Potomac River, hiking trails, deer walking through the area, golf course, pool and more. Just a perfect spot for around 25 of us to spend some time together. I'm going to be on a panel that will be about blogging. My plan is to fly to Washington, DC next Tuesday and return on Sunday.
One of our members is to fly from England this Sunday, but the problem with the volcanic ashes spewing through the atmosphere from Iceland to many points in Europe and the UK could change her plan. This will be her very first trip to the USA, and she's been so excited about it. I have a feeling she is not going to know if it's a go until just before she boards. Meanwhile, she has to pack and prepare as if it is all going to work out. I'm crossing my fingers for her.
And I'm wondering, too, about two friends and their husbands who were to fly yesterday to Paris to begin a three week trip to Normandy, England and Ireland. I have a feeling they didn't make it as so many European airports were closed, again due to the volcanic ash problem.
Travel troubles! Even with all our technology and scientific knowledge, most of us have to deal with problems when we journey afar once in awhile. Even though totally beyond our control, we have a hard time coping when such things occur. I'll feel a whole lot better when I am on my flight Tuesday morning. The ashes are blowing toward Europe, and the weather forecast is for sunshine that day. So it's looking good, but I'll breathe easier once the plane takes off.