"Paris is always a good idea"- Audrey Hepburn
|Saying goodbye at before going through security|
On Monday it started pretty well. We all woke up early, and Chloe was ready with all her luggage and paperwork and off we went to the airport. She was coughing. She had a chest cold and was already tired and her journey to Scotland for her semester at The University of Glasgow had barely begun.
An hour after dropping her off and 20 minutes before her first flight even left Phoenix the drama unfolded. Her flight was delayed an hour and a half. Then two hours. Then it was four hours and she had to find two new connecting flights after Chicago. She called just before boarding to say that they were directing her through Ireland now.
"But you can't go through Ireland! The school said not to."
"What should I do? I have to board!"
"Go, just go."
"Okay, bye Mom."
One sleepless night later she contacted us again. She made it to Edinburgh, and to the hotel on her own. Because of the delays she missed meeting the other students at the airport, but her luggage was missing and somehow, because she came through Dublin she entered the UK without going through customs. She said she filled out the proper forms for her luggage at the airport so all we could do was wait.
The next morning I was woken by a missed call. Someone left a broken message for us that they had her luggage. So we began a search for her bags. Chloe's phone didn't work there and she didn't have a chance yet to buy a new one, so she'd left our number. Eventually we learned her bags were out for delivery.
Then on Thursday more things fell apart. Her luggage was finally delivered 10 minutes after the group left Edinburgh to go to the school in Glasgow, and Chloe learned that she had to re enter the country as she's there illegally and can't stay at the school unless she does. They told her to go to Paris. So next, we were back to scheduling flights and a hostel. I was also still calling the airline to try and reroute her luggage to her new address. It's not easy managing things from thousands of miles away on such short notice.
I did it though. She went and bought some clothes and a phone, and I had booked her a flight for Saturday. I also got in touch with the hotel that had her bags and they said they were scheduled to be picked up... So it all seemed better... Until her new phone didn't work and she couldn't call a cab to go back to the airport... We sent her links to skype, which didn't work and she tried to book one online, also a bust. Then she dropped out of contact for several hours. Finally a lone message popped up on my computer. "I'm waiting at my gate". I still don't know how she got there, but she figured it out.
|Paris at Sunset (source)|
So then she was in Paris. She wandered around the city, got scammed in the square for €20, but she also took a bus tour, saw the Eiffel Tower and fell in love with the place. The hostel was nice, she figured out the underground and had a good time. It was such a relief that she was finally enjoying herself!
Tonight she's back in Glasgow. She's got her visa and has entered legally, but her luggage is still missing. The airline has reopened the case, but she's sounded exhausted and frustrated and I think she's still sick. School starts next week, I just hope it's a better week than this was.