Florida 07 – Day 1

Florida 07 No Comment

Its taken me some time to settle back in at home and gather my notes from my trip to Florida. The following is a recap of Thursday, June 21.

I took the day off from work to adequately prepare for the trip down to Florida. Since going in to work involves getting up at 5:20am I thought the sleeping in would help get the trip off to a good start. I needed to accomplish a few things: hair cut to fend off the hair tan, trip to the bank, and to get some gas.

No one in the family was able to take me to the airport. I decided to take a shuttle from the Best Western. It wasn’t too expensive. I figured not having to drive down and leave my car for a few days was worth it. When I return on Sunday someone will be able to pick me up, no problem.

The shuttle trip wasn’t bad. My sister was able to take me to the hotel where it stops. One guy was in the van already and we had to stop on the way to pick up another and do a transfer. The one guy got on at a little after 1pm. He asked the driver how long it would take to get there. Seeing as it was just after 1pm and his flight left at 2pm, the driver was somewhat concerned. We were still about a half hour away and waiting for another van to transfer a passenger. The guy had no worries when the driver expressed his concerns. All the guy said was, “Its ok, I’m flying Southwest.” This needs to be their next commercial.

I did not fly Southwest. US Air had the best price for the times I wanted to travel. They also were able to handle flying into Orlando and departing from Ft. Myers with no problem. While the ordering part was handled smoothly, who knows what’s going on with their self check-in. I got to a kiosk pretty quickly then had to stand around until the guy got to me between him yelling at other people. I had no problem with this part last time so I didn’t worry about doing the online check-in. Next time I will be all over that. I could also solve a lot of headaches by not checking any luggage. That would involve me packing lighter and buying a carry-on size suitcase.

Security needs some more signs. I didn’t see any besides the stuff about liquids in a clear plastic bag. I didn’t have any so I wasn’t worried. Sometimes they will have signs about getting laptops out and taking shoes off. Since I didn’t see any I just proceeded normally. I just tossed by backpack in a bin and slid it through. Filled with laptop, camera, iPod, and phone inside. No problem. The Metal Dectector guy made me go back and take my shoes off. There needs to be a decision on this shoe thing. It changes every time. I’d rather keep them on. I have enough to get together after putting everything in the bin, especially if I have to take out the laptop. Having to put my shoes back on just adds to the time I’m clogging things up with impatient travelers waiting behind me.

No delay for the flight. They did manage to schedule the three gates at the end of the terminal to board and depart around the same time. Only marginal chaos. One lady asked me which flight was boarding. I just said, “All of them.” On the plane, once again, no one else was in my row. This happened on the Spring Break trips the last few years. I think just because I go on and pick my seat in an empty row, it just never gets filled. I assume that people go for the window first.

Not having anyone in the row is a pro and con. Sometimes its nice to chat for a bit and have a single serving friend. I remember two occasions on flights my first two years of college. The first year I made the mistake of giving the girl I sat next to my screen name. She IMed me on occasion for a few months until she got the hint that I wasn’t too excited to chat. Another year I sat next to a girl from some Christian College in Texas. I’m not so sure we had anything in common. She did tell me I had a very calming voice. That’s the only time I’ve ever heard that. The problem with talking to people is that I don’t get to have my headphones on. I have a theory that my ears don’t pop for a day or two after flying if I don’t have my headphones on while flying. I’m not sure if this is just a coincidence or if there is something behind it.

Another flawless airport pickup. Evan was approaching the US Air area on another pass right when I got my bag. On the way back to celebration we stopped at Quizno’s for dinner. A quick stop off at Evan’s house to eat and pick up the dogs and cat. We set off on the journey to Fort Myers with the car full of animals. Brownie (cat) was in her crate, Bear was sitting in the back, and Stevie quickly made her way to the front to share my seat. Stevie made herself comfortable and wasn’t much trouble the whole way down. Bear eventually settled. Brownie meowed off and on the entire trip. It wasn’t until we arrived in Fort Myers that we realized that Brownie’s crate had rolled over. We have no idea when this happened or if it happened multiple times.

During the trip we saw a vanity plate that was only a few missing letters from the last name of a friend of ours. We called him up. I was shocked that his number was still in my phone. It went to voicemail, but that gave no indication if it was still his number. Naturally I did not leave a message. A while later he called back, not knowing who he was calling. He asked why we didn’t steal the plate for him. I hadn’t thought of doing that, seeing that we were on the highway.

As we approached Fort Myers the gas was dangerously low. The ‘miles to empty’ had given up and changed to low fuel. Evan pushed on and exited at the exit prior to his usual one. So desperate for gas he pulled into a Citgo. Yes, that desperate. I argued that 5 feet further there was a Sunoco. Evan claimed there was no time.

The animals settled into the house. Evan and I caught some Baseball Tonight, Daily Show, Colbert Report, and Studio 60 then passed out.

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