Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Patriot Express, Take one!

Now that I have recouped from yesterday's adventure, I feel like chatting about it...

For those of you that don't know. The Patriot Express is a commercial airplane that the military uses for Space A travel (usually Space A is on military planes, where you sit in the cargo area) between Korea, Japan, and Seattle, Wa. When people PCS (moving) they get booked on it as long as they don't have pets. (Since we have our dogs, we wont be taking it when we PCS in January.) They always have extra seats, and because they want to fill those seats, you can try to get on  a flight. It's like $25 or something crazy cheap like that, to ride it. The only catch is, you don't find out till roll call if you make it.

The plane flies out of Osan which is roughly a two hour bus ride from where we are. Not counting the fact that the bus stops at another base on the way and waits for 45 minutes there. The plan was for us to wake up at 1:00a.m. , leave at 1:30 so we could be at the bus station before the bus arrives. The bus doesn't leave till 2:30 but we wanted to have everything stress free. Well the alarm goes off on Tuesday morning, Michael shut it off and rolled back over. I layed there for about two minutes then remembered I still needed to pay the credit card bill before I left (realized later I had already paid, lol) so I got out of bed. I went to the computer, typed in the website then glanced at the time on the computer. It was 1:45! I jumped up turned the lights on, got Michael out of bed. We ran around like crazy, grabbed Gideon and walked out the door at 2:15 or so. Now we live on the 14th floor and apparently a fire hose or something flooded in the building. So the elevator was shut off, which means we had to hike down those 14 floors to get to the car :( Michael had carried all our bags down the night before, which was super sweet of him but really crappy he had to do it. After hiking down all those stairs, we made it to the car. Got to post, said our goodbyes, got on the bus, waited on the bus for 30 minutes for it to leave (apparently it left at 2:45, not 2:30) then headed to Camp Red Cloud where we sat another 45 minutes. Finally arrived at Osan Air Force Base, where Gideon had finally fallen back asleep (he was amazingly wide awake for so early in the morning). I grabbed all our luggage, which is one HUGE duffel bag, and two rolling suitcases, plus my purse and small carry on. I have a hiking back pack for Gideon so I grabbed him off the bus and put him in it and grabbed all our stuff. I have to admit it wasn't the most comfortable way to travel, especially with the duffel hanging around my neck, but it worked. Went in the terminal, waited in line for the Patriot Express, with a ton of other people. I knew there was only 25 seats available and I could tell there was a lot more people then that there :( It's now 5:30a.m. and we have to wait till roll call at 6:45. Luckily there is a family room so we hung out in there watching cartoons and playing with toys. Then the time came for roll call. Everyone is split into categories based off your status and what you're flying. Starting with Cat I and emergency leave and soldiers, all the way up to Cat V, which I think is retirees. We are flying Cat IV, so I already know our status is low... They flip a t.v. on put up a list of everyone flying. It says there's 79 people listed and starts at Cat I all the way down to Cat V. Everyone is croding around because we *think* that is the list going to Seattle. They must have had a lot of no shows... Everyone is excited, and we go to grab our stuff and then hear they start roll call... We wait around for our name to be called, and we aren't... We're out of luck today... Now to take the Trek home. We grab all our stuff and start to walk towards the bus terminal. Thankfully a women who was also waiting offered us a ride because the bus terminal wasn't far for a normal walk, but with everything I was carrying, it would have been excruciating to say the least. We make it to the terminal, where they have no busses going to Camp Casey (this is where we live). Which means we have to take the 7:50 bus to Yongsan, which is about 1 1/2 away, then catch a bus from there to Casey which is about another two hours. After all these bus rides and waiting around, we finally arrive at Camp Casey about noon. Michael picks us up and takes us home. The elevator is still broken so we leave all our bags in the car, and Gideon and I start the trek back up the 14 floors to be home. What a day!

Crossing our fingers for Thursday!

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