Yes, I am trying to get my daughter home!

By | March 22, 2020

Hi Everyone,

I wasn’t able to do a live show yesterday because, well, we had an unexpected bit of craziness all day, which has spilled into this morning. My daughter, Elaine, was working as an au pair (nanny) in France with a lovely host family. And then the pandemic hit. 

Suddenly the world went to “level four” and everything associated with that and all foreign nationals were strongly encouraged to return home. Long story short, we had to spend the day (a) preparing the collab room so that it’s her room again and (b) making travel arrangements. The former took the most time but the latter turned out to be far more complicated. And nearly failed. 

Things are simply shutting down. Charles DeGaulle airport appears to be canceling all kinds of services and flights. I don’t know how completely just yet, but for a while we didn’t know if Elaine would be able to board her flight. Additionally, another complication was that her booked destination was originally for Toronto (less than a 3-hour drive from us and normally very convenient), but crossing the border has become increasingly unlikely, even for something like picking up my daughter. And we learned she would not be able even to go from the airport to the border. 

So Tracey and I booked a couple of flights to get Elaine from Toronto to Rochester. Normally this would be a simple short flight, but only a few airports in the US now take flights from other countries. So we got a flight from Toronto to JFK to Rochester. Fine, but the only flight she could actually have a chance at making left the next morning. She would have to do an overnight at Toronto. 

This morning, as she was about to board her flight out of Paris, Elaine called me. They wouldn’t let her board the flight if she did not have a flight booked out of Canada for THE SAME DAY. Otherwise, she was stuck in France. While I had her on the phone, with a three-minute deadline before the plane shut its doors, Tracey and I were able to book her a 6:18 p.m. flight out of Toronto. I screenshotted (?) the ticket and she was able to show the gate people that she had a flight out of Canada. That was something.

Even though there is absolutely no chance she can make that connection! Not a chance. She arrives 30 minutes prior to the scheduled departure, needs to go through customs, medical screening, and grab her checked bag.

None of that matters. She is on her flight as I write this. One problem at a time. We are pretty sure we can get whatever refunds we need to. Elaine will spend the night in Toronto and should be home Monday afternoon. We are keeping our fingers crossed and are prepared to jump through more hoops if we need to. 

So, yes, that’s why there was no livestream yesterday! 🙂

Just another little bit of drama amidst all the growing chaos. Stay healthy and safe, everyone.



30 thoughts on “Yes, I am trying to get my daughter home!

  1. Rosanne Losee

    She is very pretty, reminds me of my daughter.

    What a mess, and so glad to hear it is almost resolved. Life in the world now is scary.

    Sending best wishes for you and your family, Rich!

  2. Bob_n4hy

    That was clear headed thinking and on the point management of a tough situation. I’m on the phone with my daughter every day helping her decompress from taking care of people all day at Mass General. She’s supposed to be out of there in two weeks. I’m sure that won’t happen. This is our new normal. The thing all of us need to do is what you did. One step at a time, one day a time until stability and equilibrium allows us to think beyond today and tomorrow.

    All the best

  3. Stephen Early

    We are both praying for you both. So you can get your daughter back soon. I love you both. I hope your daughter will be safe . May God bless you both.

  4. DanActual

    Crazy that they wouldn’t let common sense prevail with her morning flight! Hope it all goes smoothly!

  5. Joni Berger

    Dear Richard and Tracey,

    Hi—Joni here. What a flippin’ mess you’ve had to deal with—CAN’T WAIT to see a brief post saying ELAINE’S HOME! My big time thoughts and prayers are with you two and Elaine as she goes through a not-very-fun trek from one side of the pond to the other.

    I really do think of you and the other members in the AMA “chats” as family. My only family is my brother. I hope someday soon to get to a conference and meet you and my fellow members in person!

    Again, thank you for keeping us informed (I was kind of worried when Kirsten, not Richard, posted the message about no Saturday show). Have a wonderful, mushy gushy reunion when Elaine is safe and sound back in Rochester! Give her a big hug for me! It goes without saying that I think the world of you and Tracey!


    Crazy! Sounds like you are getting it done though. Don’t they know they are dealing with Richard “FREAKING” Dolan!!!
    May the force be with you.
    – T LaMar

  7. Mike

    Emirates shutting altogether. USAF plane was sent to Honduras twice this week to pick up stranded citizens, and White House looking at a few weeks before it subsides. Get home ASAP.

    On a bright side: CA and NJ deems liquor stores an essential business which is allowed to operate.

  8. PressToDigitate

    A physicist friend of mine used to refer to situations like that as “a hook and ladder party”, after the old Keystone Cops silent slapstick comedy films with the firemen.

    We’re all greatly relieved you got Elaine on a flight out of Europe. Best of luck on that refund!

    With Spring here, and everyone cooped up indoors, how about doing your videos from the back porch, outdoors with the green yard and garden in the background, as you did last year? I think it would give them a soothing, ‘life-infused’ quality that everyone is sorely lacking right about now.

    And, hey, if Tarl Warwick (the popular Conservative YouTube political commentator known as ‘Styxhexenhammer666’ can break in between his election rants to do a few gardening videos, so can you and Tracey! lol…

  9. iten-kun

    I’m sorry that you guys are having to go through all of that.. hopefully it’ll all be sorted out soon.

    No worries at all if you ever have to cancel your shows as we all know life happens!

    Things have been crazy on this end too.. on top of all of the corona stuff I just had to take one of my dogs to the hospital for a paw problem, and then today my other dog has a lesion that is bleeding :(. Life sure is crazy sometimes but we always find a way to keep fighting the good fight 🙂

    Best wishes to everyone! Stay safe and take care.


  10. Stephen Early

    I know your daughter will be safe on Monday. I know how important a family can be in hard times. I’m wishing you and your family a great and safe day tomorrow.Always fight the good fight.Like someone I know would say. I love you all ❤️

  11. Melissa B Latimer

    Our families, both biological and chosen, are our first priority.
    I know you would move heaven and earth to get your child home safely.
    I’m wishing you, Tracey, and Elaine smooth sailing for the rest of this adventure.

  12. David Attardi

    I can relate to the daughter travel drama, I am so lucky I got my daughter out of Brazil in December.. I know everything will work out for you all. Hope to see you guys at our Rochester meetings again when this is all said and done…. Best regards… Doc

  13. David LoVecchio

    Well done Richard and Tracey! That sounds incredibly stressful. From your recounting of events I’m picturing this as a montage of phones ringing, computer screens, giant flight map with arrows and times, glances darting from here to there, snippets of exasperated conversations with airline ticket sales-people and all of it set to Khachaturian’s Sabre Dance 🙂

    Hope to hear that you are all back home laughing and raising a glass of wine to her safe return soon!

  14. jennymemon

    What a lovely photo, she is like her daddy i think! She does remind me too of my daughter, beautiful girl. Richard i can imagine how hard this is for you, i hope it all works out well, we are rooting for you xxx

  15. Lori Hamilton

    Richard and Tracey – Who has time to keep up with the internet and their personalities right now. I’m only keeping up with one, and that’s y’all. I’m so glad to hear your daughter is on her way home. I hope you and Tracey are well in all other ways and that Elaine gets home safely. I don’t think any of us will mind if you stream from a girls bedroom, or a carefully crafted “set”. But I sure would love to hear your opinion on all of this. It all seems toooooooooo perfect, the virus is perfect, the response is perfect, and the currently proposed “bailout” is perfect – all for taking away more personal liberty, more everything – heck this feels like what happened that lead to Gilead and the Handmaids Tale. I’m just waiting for the delivery of my red robe.

    1. Kirsten RDMHost

      Wow Lori (my vivid-haired-sister!) I am currently binge-watching the Handmaids Tale.

      Not only is Margaret Atwood my very favorite writer, but somehow dystopian post apocalyptic film is very comforting for me right now (Now? Who knows?). The exact SAME thoughts have gone through my head… only my delivery would be the drab uniform of a Martha, yikes.

  16. Alastair Barker

    grade A parenting there I would say.
    My baby is in NZ and is trying to get home to UK via California with his US girlfriend idk how that will work.
    His older brother and his partner are locked in their Tooting SW London flat painting it -no restaurants no pubs no nowt. .
    We had our 1st confirmed case at the hospital today – a poor 80 odd-year-old lady with advanced dementia – another 19 patients and god knows how many staff possibly infected. My 3 year old (sorry can’t use g word) sons son is on the list for marrow transplant – his haematologist said ‘ to keep him away from ‘it’ He is not cooperative – like any 3 year old might not be. So I am awaiting instructions about possibly secondary contact with the staff I work with which will mean that the little one has had contact with me
    Apart from that all good. 🙂

  17. Alastair Barker

    just watched 5 mins of ISS SW of NZ heading towards S pacific, Cloudy but in light. Alt 550k speed around 27000 – strangely comforting


    You are Lucky! My adult daughter wants to stay where she is, working with homeless people.

    I am glad for you and your family, that you are together.

    I am now prevented from traveling across my state for one week a month to help care for my octagenarian parents. I also feel very apprehensive about my 3x weekly volunteer caregiver work for an elderly lady who has no one else.

    I am glad for you and your family, that you are together. I’ll take my gladness where I can get it. Thank you, Dolan family!

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