Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Florida, Day One (From The Travel Diaries Archives)

4:00am: Up. Our flight leaves at 6:55am. Seemed like such a good idea at the time.

4:30am: Awake.

5:30am: The Man and I share an elevator down to the lobby of the hotel with a family of four with the biggest suitcase I think I have ever seen. The youngest child, a little girl, tells me they're going to Florida. I suspect we'll be on the same flight but I don't tell her this. She doesn't seem to like sharing the elevator with us.

5:40am: We find a place to park and get inside the airport, freezing our asses off because it's cold and we left our warm winter coats in the car. Seemed like such a good idea at the time.

5:41am: I see the line at the ticket counter and think we should have gotten here earlier.

5:50am: I grow tired of waiting and decide to cut in line to steal an open self serve kiosk. The Man stays back, looking bewildered because I don't tell him what I'm doing. I just do it.

5:52am: Security. Instead of showing the nice man with the gun my ID, I accidentally hand him my credit card. When he points out my error, I immediately respond, "This isn't a bribe." He returns with, "What? You have four ounces of liquid you want to get through?" As it turns out, I have a nearly full bottle of water in my backpack. I had meant to leave in the car and had forgotten to do so. However, 20 ounces is way too much, even for my credit card, so I have to throw it out.

6:00am: We make it through security. The Man is disappointed he was not selected for the "special" search.

6:15am: We're supposed to start boarding. We don't.

6:30am: Still not boarding. I'm getting antsy. We have a very tight connection to make in Atlanta and if we don't get in the air soon, I don't know how we'll make it. The Man tells me to calm down. I very politely don't kick him in the shins.

6:40am: We start boarding. The family with the giant suitcase (obviously checked through to their final destination) are on our flight. The Man and I are sitting in a exit row. This surprises me because I don't recall reserving an exit row and, honestly, like to avoid them because sitting in the exit row comes with a lot of responsibility and pressure. The Man, however, is elated. I tell him that if I end up having to save lives on this flight, I'll kill him. The Man tells me to calm down.

6:45am: The leg room is nice. She says begrudgingly.

6:55am: The time we were supposed to leave. I'm freaking out taking our still sitting at the gate status very well.

7:15am: The time we actually leave. If The Man tells me to calm down one more time, I may stab him with my fountain pen.

7:20am: The flight attendant makes the announcement that it'll be a bumpy flight. Oh joy.

7:30am: The Man reads my trip recap and says it itself is a sign that I need to calm down. I open the emergency doors and throw him out take this constructive criticism very well.

7:45am: The flight becomes so bumpy that I have to put my book and notebook away and just sit still with my eyes closed. I manage to fall asleep.

9:50am: I wake up when we touchdown in Atlanta. It feels like we just fell out of the sky. Talk about your rude awakenings. Who's flying this thing? He or she is obviously not a leaf on the wind. At least the brakes work.

10:00am: We manage to get off the plane and check the departure board only to discover we have to change concourses. Oh good. And here I was thinking I wouldn't get a nice job in today.

10:35am: We make it just in time to board the next plane. This time around, there is no exit row.

10:36am: Don't tell the man, but I'm kind of missing the extra leg room.

10:54am: Our schedule departure time.

10:55am: We leave the gate and taxi to the runway. We're told this flight will last 47 minutes once we're in the air.

11:11am: 'In the air' being the operative phrase here. We're still doing the taxi thing. Are we maybe just driving the plane to Jacksonville?

11:15am: Guess not.

11:20am: The flight attendant announces that beverage service will have to wait until we're in a less turbulent portion of the sky. With a forty seven minute flight, I'm not sure why they should bother.

11:50am: We're preparing for landing. No drinks in sight.

11:59am: Arrival in Jacksonville. The flight attendant announces that it's 70 degrees outside. I look out the window and see green instead of white. Why don't I live here?

12:15pm: We find The Grandparents.

12:30pm: We sit outside in the sun and wait for Gramps to bring the mini van to us. Did I mention it's 70 degrees? Above zero?

12:40pm: Gram takes a deep breath and starts talking. We talk about the crime in the area. And all her health problems. In detail.

1:30pm: Stop for lunch at the Cracker Barrel. I had a boss at The Store Before The Store who was obsessed with Cracker Barrel restaurants. My experience road tripping with him made the Cracker Barrel chain an endless source of hilarity for me ever since. I order pancakes. The Man orders a chicken BLT.

1:42pm: The chicken BLT arrives. Without chicken. The waitress, whom I suspect has a crush on The man, falls over herself apologizing.

1:48pm: The waitress returns with the correct sandwich. She falls all over herself apologizing. Again.

2:00pm: Gram tells us about the various campground neighborhoods as well as the VD capital of Florida. Old people, she tells us, don't know how to use protection. They do apparently know how to use vibrators.

3:00pm: I go to the ladies' room and hide. Wait...did I say 'hide'? Because I meant...No. I meant 'hide.'

3:30pm: We leave the Cracker Barrel and head for the campground. On the way, Gram fills us in on the local shopping scene. There are several Large Marts and one Super Bullseye store. I say I like the Bulleyes stores but I didn't know they had Super ones. Gram says she'll take me there.

4:30pm: We arrive at the campground. I change into my sandals. Gramps disappears so we take a tour of the campground with Gram. In the camp store there is a bulletin board with a poster of all the poisonous snakes that can be found in the area. I suddenly remember why I do not live here.

3:31pm: I am distracted by the list of killer reptiles by a list of used bookstores in the area. The Man tells me I won't be able to get any of my purchases home. I tell him I'll just buy a suitcase. This makes The Man very happy.

4:00pm: We return to the motor home. Gram and I drink wine. I turn down her offer until she tells me she needs to give me toilet flushing lessons. Then I find the wine extremely helpful.

4:30pm: I look at motor home brochures. A lot of motor home brochures.

5:00pm: I listen to Gram talk about who has done what to whom. Makes me wonder how she talks about The Man and I when we're not around.

7:00pm: Dinner at Pizza Hut.

9:00pm: Back to the motor home. Gram and Gramps are giving up their bedroom for us. We tell them we're fine on the pull out sofa bed but they will not hear of it. I'm guessing we'll hear of it later.

11:00pm: We're sent to bed with instructions to sleep as late as we want the next day. I am strangely exhausted and do as I am told.


  1. Wait! I know that pilot. He flew me from Chicago to Portland once. BAM! Welcome to Portland.

  2. Kind of makes you miss the Aeroflot pilots, doesn't it?

  3. Airports are nightmares but you sounded like you had a good time. Glad the man didn't have to go out the door.

  4. I think it was an adventure happened with you...

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