Un-Happy Holidays!

So the past week has possibly been one of the biggest nightmares for those of us studying abroad.  The few inches of snow that has surfaced in the past couple days, although seemingly nothing to those of us from the States, has resulted in a Holiday Season Fiasco!

Starting with Saturday, Dec. 18th, the overly anticipated  arrival date of my family in London turned into a disappointed night alone in the amazing flat my mom rented in Kensington for our family’s holiday :/.  I arrived early at the flat on Saturday so that I could stock the fridge with groceries for when my family arrived that night.  However, a phone call saying that their flight had been canceled from Washington crushed my hopes;  Heathrow Airport completely shutdown!!!  I spent that night weather-watching and taking numerous phone calls from my mom with updates of their travel agenda.  My poor family had to rebook their entire flight for Sunday night and then spent the remainder of their time in a hotel Washington.

Sunday was spent preparing for their arrival and hanging with a few friends around the Kensington and Notting Hill area, my cheerful mood was deterred when I got the news that United Airlines canceled their rebooked flight and was told them they would most likely be unable to fly out until Thursday night arriving on Friday, Christmas Eve morning.  A fantastic family holiday spent in London came to a crashing halt!  Monday afternoon my mom told me that the whole trip was off and explained the difficulties not only in trying to arrive in Heathrow, but also the fact that a 12 day long trip spent site-seeing, touring museums, going to shows on the West End, and dining out  was now diminished to less than 6 days, 3 of which fall over the holiday weekend :/

As of yesterday, I have been informed of my family’s inability to come visit and also booked a flight last minute home on Christmas Eve.  What will probably be the most hectic and exhausting travel experience ever, I have to fly Friday morning from Heathrow Airport to Dublin.  Then after switching planes I have to then fly from Dublin to Boston, to then have my my mom and sister pick me up to drive 5 hrs. back to Syracuse, NY.  If all goes as planned I have my fingers crossed in the hopes that I will be with my family come Christmas Eve.  I know that many of my friends and fellow abroad students have had great difficulty trying to return home, there have been numerous delays and cancelations of over the past 3 days and all anyone wishes is that we make it home in time for Christmas!

Tina Cherny, is a SUNY New Paltz junior studying abroad at Kingston University, London for her Fall 2010 semester. Tina is majoring in English with a double minor in Creative Writing and Black Studies.

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