All Packed But No Where To Go

I’m not sure a work day has ever gone by so slowly. It’s so painful having to sit at your desk for an entire shift, knowing that as soon as it hits 5pm, you’re heading home to pack your suitcase so that you can frolic off to Kuala Lumpur for four days. Oh, but this is no ordinary trip, you see, this is one of those trips where all expenses are taken care of… flights, accommodation, activities, transport… seems too good to be true, right? Right! Thanks to the incredible team over at Travelscene American Express and their Facebook Fan Trip Giveaway, I was about to embark on a whirlwind vacation with four other winners I had never even met before…

never • met beforeFacebook Stalker Badge
(adjective )

1. New age definition meaning to have stalked via:

a) Facebook
b) Twitter
c) Blog
d) LinkedIn

2. To create a pre-assumed knowledge of a stranger via the above stalking methods assuring bff status prior to first meeting.

So, as you can see, without having ever met, I knew the other four competition winners quite well. The best part was, they knew me too. Turns out we were all pretty good at this Facebook stalking business – Who knew?

Miranda was the first to arrive at Melbourne Airport and I shortly followed. I chose not to wear my glasses so although Miranda had already spotted me (she had clearly spent some time studying my Facebook profile photo) I was still in the process of squinting to make out the blur that was her face from six metres away. Pretty sure she thought I had some sort of nervous twitch – what a lovely first encounter! Kieron was next to roll in all cool, collected and sleep deprived. Lucy recognised us soon after (Facebook stalker alert) and despite having a fear of flying, she seemed rather calm. Lastly, Jess rolled on in with a big smile on her face and full of energy at 11pm. Our Facebook stalking group had come full circle – excellent.

We stand around chatting for a while before noticing a lady pacing back and forth in tears. We laugh at the fact that she has probably missed her flight. Yeah, we probably shouldn’t have had a laugh at her expense…

It’s closing in on 11:45pm. Surely by now our flight should have been up on the departures board and accepting passengers for check in. We joke around about our flight being cancelled and all have a good laugh… that is until Jess goes and acquires the help of Scott, the awesome Emirates dude, and drags him over. Scott is tall, like, very tall. He seems like a nice enough guy – I guess that’s why they sent him over to break the news to us that our flight had indeed been cancelled due to bad weather in Singapore and would now be departing 16 hours later. Kudos to Scott for being able to break the news however still manage to keep a smile on his face even after being abused by disgruntled passengers. Joke’s on us – Guess we shouldn’t have laughed at crying lady.

Scott gives us two options:

OPTION A: Emirates will give us each a cab charge back home and to the airport again the next day.

OPTION B: Emirates can put us up in a hotel for the night and have us back at the airport the next day in time for our re-scheduled flight.

Kieron has just flown in from Singapore hours prior and is buggered; he opts for the cab charge. Lucy’s parents drove her in from Echuca and are staying in town for the night; she decides to stay with them. Miranda, Jess and myself don’t really feel like going back home. Scott encourages us to take the hotel option and get our drink on for our own piece of mind and his. I really like this Scott fella. Hotel it is.

Catch 22. We can either take a hotel in Geelong which is its own city about an hour outside of Melbourne or we can take the Mercure Hotel in Caroline Springs. I’m from the Westside so I know this is no more than 20 minutes from Melbourne Airport – in my head this makes perfect sense. On the other hand, Jess and Miranda are from the other side of town, so to them, I can see how a hotel in Caroline Springs would seem a little shady. During the cab ride there, I’m pretty sure they are scared for their lives. Now would probably be a good time to tell them that if you feel endangered, stabbing is acceptable over here.

Mercure Caroline Springs Map

Of course we pick the most perfect time to arrive at the Mercure – their system has gone into total melt down mode and I’m not sure the two guys behind the front desk have ever had so many people check in before at the one time. By now it’s pushing at least 1am. I’ve been awake for 19 hours, I’m tired, hungry and in serious need of a beer. There is some drama getting a room but it finally gets sorted and we get the King Suite between the three of us – not a bad deal if you ask me…

Mercure Hotel King Suite - Caroline Springs

They also leave us with this…

Mini Bar

Clearly the contents of one mini fridge is simply not enough, so we manage to get access to another rooms mini fridge and have the hotel staff bring up another two bottles of red wine on top of that! A deadly combination for three girls, no doubt…

We decide to make the best of this situation in the only way we know how… Double fisting!

Double fisting in style...

Somewhere along the way, a bad roofies joke, a pair of dirty socks, an old hat and the white hotel robe gets involved as did a superbly wonderful game of never have I ever… all class, we are. From the hours of 4am – 6:30am the night is a blur and no one can recall exactly what happened. One thing we can be sure about though, is this…

Blame it on the a-a-a-a-a-alcohol...

Three girls, one cancelled flight, Caroline Spings, two bottles of beer gone, six bottles of wine; five red and one white; sucked dry and a mini pack of Pringles; demolished! Fair effort, I’d say.

<insert two hours of sleep here>

Despite waking up feeling as seedy as ever (I will never drink wine again), we make it back to Melbourne Airport, bright eyed and ready for round two… only this time, we are all checked in and ready to roll, Emirates style, baby!

To be continued…

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How have you made the most of a cancelled flight?