That One Time We Almost Went to Sundance

I’m sure most of you saw my endless Instagram stories a couple of weeks ago about our adventure to the Sundance Film Festival in Utah. For those who haven’t, let me fill you in.

Fiancé received an invitation to attend the Sundance Film Festival in Utah, which is the largest independent film festival in the United States. We both immediately got excited because he has always wanted to go to Sundance and I like sun and dancing! That’s what they do there, right?

The event was in two weeks. Our excitement faded quickly when reality set in because oh, by the way, we were the parents of two dogs, whom we were responsible for. We also had guests coming into town to stay with us that same weekend (my soon-to-be brother-in-law and his lovely girlfriend). They would be staying for a week following the festival, but we still wanted to spend as much time with them as we could. Was the idea of going to the festival impossible? Should we just stay home? No way. We could definitely work it out. We would bring the dogs with us – easy! They do great on planes. It would be a quick weekend trip. They could play in the snow! I could get them little booties and snow jackets and they’d have a grand ole’ time. Plus, we could make it home the morning after the in-laws arrive, so we wouldn’t miss spending time with them. The perfect plan! So we thought. Our fun journey to get to Sundance ended up becoming an obstacle course from hell.

Firstly, the hotel we were booked in didn’t accept dogs. And all of the hotels that did accept dogs were sold out – of course. Because it was only two weeks before the largest film festival in the USA. Normal people planned their trips in advance. Okay, so we needed someone to watch our dogs. We’d never had to leave our pups in California before so who could we trust with our babies? Nellie has severe separation anxiety, so I worried about leaving her with anyone she didn’t already know. Being that we just moved to a new state, we didn’t know anyone. She’s also super sassy and occasionallyyy… bites. So, I did a ton of research around the Santa Monica area and found professional dog trainers to look after the both of them. We even met the couple beforehand to do a meet-and-bark (hehe). Okay, so we had our dogs covered. Now, we could finally get our flights booked! We would leave Thursday evening after we drop the dogs off at the sitter’s.

Fast forward to Thursday evening. We dropped the dogs off (I was that sad mom who was leaving her kids at Kindergarten for the first time) and we were headed to the airport. Our flight was due to take off in three hours! But just like in the films, as soon as we pulled out of the parking lot, Fiancé’s phone rang. The flight that we were booked on was oversold and we were bumped off the flight. Might, I add, that we were booked in first class. Who oversells first class??? Could they even do that? Apparently. It was insane. But, fine. We would re-book on another flight first thing in the morning.

Friday morning at 5:00am, we booked an Uber to Hollywood Burbank Airport in preparation for our 7:00am flight. That. Freaking. AIRPORT. Anyway, we arrived at the airport safely and we checked in our bags fine. Security was a breeze to go through and we were able to get coffee to kick start our morning. At 6:30am, a call came in over the intercom to tell us that we would begin boarding. All passengers lined up at the desk, ready to board, and then suddenly we came to a halt. They wouldn’t let us on board. We soon learned that our flight was actually going to be an hour delayed due to the sensor on the landing gear not working correctly. They would have to get engineers to come check the issue. Annoying. But, that’s fine by me – safety first! Both Fiancé and I are terrified of flying, so we definitely wanted to make sure the plane was working properly. Carry on.

Well, 8:00am came around and the plane hadn’t moved. There was no sign of the engineers. What was going on? Well, the intercom had the answer “the engineers are driving from Palm Springs, which is about 100 miles away, so it will be two hours before they arrive.” What??? They hadn’t even left yet? And why weren’t there engineers at this airport? Don’t things like this happen all the time? Still, we had plenty of time. Fiancé didn’t have to be at his event until 2:00pm, so as long as we took off in the next few hours, we would be fine. Ha. Ha.

Fast forward and 8:00am turned into 9:00am, which turned into 10:00am and the mechanics were STILL making their way to the airport. Really? Fiancé was losing his mind at this point and asked the airport staff where they were. “Don’t know,” they said. “You don’t know?” replied Fiancé. “Nope! They get here when they get here,” “Yes, but you said they were on the road and just two hours away three hours ago. Can you call them?” “Nope! They get here when they get here”. So helpful. So we waited. Since our flight had now been three hours delayed, we were kindly offered two $30 meal vouchers to use anywhere in the airport. Anywhere in the world’s smallest airport. There was only one restaurant. But, guess what??? They served mimosas! You better believe I was going to use my free vouchers to drink away our problems. At this point, Fiancé was going live on Instagram and telling the world about our airport delay. I didn’t even stop him. I was thoroughly enjoying it.

So, we escaped to the restaurant to drink alcohol and eat the free, carb-filled breakfast that we deserved, knowing surely that the engineers would soon arrive. With any lucky they’d evaluate the problem and have it fixed in no time. Or so we thought. In the time it took to finish our food and contemplate our third and fourth mimosas, they still hadn’t managed to arrive. It eventually took them five hours to get on the scene. Once there, they took a quick look and decided they might be able to get the puppy moving in half an hour. They specifically said they would at least make it “flyable” to get to Salt Lake City (very reassuring!). They were going to run one reset test and if it was successful, we would be out of there in no time.

…And do you think the reset was a success? Of. Course. NOT. They suddenly came to the conclusion that they were going to have to re-wire the entire plane, which would take four additional hours. I. Kid. You. Not. At this point, we were completely delirious. Fiancé had tweeted and Instagrammed the crap out of Delta. Meanwhile, I was capturing the entire thing on my own social media. It’s not like I had anything else to do. I spent $25 at the newsstand on beef jerky, pizza-flavored combos and Reese’s cups to get me through. How much longer were we going to have to wait in this airport???

Finally, TWELVE HOURS AFTER we arrived we saw the pilot walk into the waiting area. This was either going to be really good news or really bad news. Either way, I don’t think it would have phased us. It was now 7:00pm at night. We had spent our entire day inside a freezing cold airport, while watching the world tweet about how much fun they were having at Sundance. There were only eight of us from the flight left at the airport because all of the other passengers had given up. The pilot looked at us all and then gave us the news we were waiting for… “well, the plane is almost fixed”. Yes! “But, unfortunately, I’m over on my hours and we can not find another pilot to fly this plane. I’m going to the hotel to get minimal rest now. This flight will take off at 7:00am tomorrow morning. Y’all take care now.”

Ha. Ha. HAAA.

And that is how this story full of First World problems ends.

We never did make it to the Sundance Film Festival. Fiancé missed his event. We lost thirteen hours of our lives that we will never get back. But! On the bright side… our dogs got a little weekend getaway in the sunny outdoors and not only were we home to visit with our guests, but we were able to surprise them by picking them up at the airport that evening. At a different airport, that is. And to top it all off, we have one hell of a story to add to the list. Maybe, just maybe, we will make it to Sundance in 2019.

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