Friday, November 16, 2012

How We Almost Became a Thanksgiving Holiday Travel Statistic

This year, we joined the 43.6 million Americans traveling more than 50 miles from their home for the Thanksgiving holiday.  We were actually part of the 3.14 million air travelers to fly the friendly skies and went a lot farther than the average 588 miles most holiday travelers trek.

Traveling at the crack of dawn makes you hungry...for Chicago hotdogs at 8:00 a.m.

By the time we landed in STL, we were greeted by a couple of things:

1) A very happy Mimi & Grandpa Mr. Ed who just couldn't wait to gobble up their little turkey.  As indicated on their large, colorful sign they waved proudly through the airport.  Colt was pretty happy to see them.

2)  Our luggage was a little less than enthusiastic looking when it came around the carousel.  Yes, we were those people who had their stuff falling out of the bag.  We recommend not buying the four piece American Tourister luggage set from Burlington Coat Factory.  The stuff is crap.  On our last flight the large piece (making it's maiden voyage) to the set came with a huge puncture hole in the back, which Southwest gladly fixed for free.  This time, it wasn't even worth the trouble.

90% of Americans travel by automobile for the Thanksgiving holiday and with Qulin about four hours south of St. Louis, we joined that category too.  Packed like sardines, we buckled up, strapped in and set off for Southeast Missouri.  But a stop for lunch in Arnold, just outside of St. Louis, nearly put us into a whole other statistic category. 

While exiting from southbound I-55, a woman, who admitted she was not paying attention, ran a red light causing us to hit her SUV.  Fortunately, we were going slow enough that airbags didn't deploy and the damage wasn't too extensive.

But when it's your child strapped into the backseat, it doesn't matter.  An ambulance was dispatched to the scene just to make sure Colt was fine (and he was).  In fact, the only time he cried was when the paramedic took the pacifier out of his mouth to see if he would smile.  The responding officer was impressed with how securely the car seat was strapped in, thanks to Heather's brother Jim, who just happens to be one of the Car Seat Safety Specialist for the Jonesboro Police Department.

Thanksgiving is one of four federal holidays when there is a higher-than-average ratio of fatal crashes.  Highway holiday travel claims the lives of nearly 800 people every year.

We were lucky.  And we sure were thankful to finally make it in one piece to our final destination.