Monday, October 8, 2012

Travel Diaries, Part One (The Key West Edition)

Before I jump into the "what I did on my vacation" part of this post, I just want to thank everyone who stopped by and left comments on My Pet Blog last week even though many of the entries were lacking and uninspired and I was rather hit or miss about retuning the favor.  This week, I'll be much better about it.  Day job permitting, of course. 

The following is an account of the first day of my Key West vacation last week (Monday, October 1st).  There aren't many pictures for this day because I didn't have access to my camera, nor anything to take pictures of really, for most of the day.  I'll make up for it later on.  Hmmm. Not sure if that's a threat or a promise but here we go...





You're leaving without me???
5:00am:  Why oh why does there have to be a 5am?  But as much as I don't want to get out of bed, it's nothing compared to how desperate my German shepherd is to stay in bed, I literally have to drag him out of the bedroom.

7:30am:  Against all odds, we leave the house on time.

8:45am:  We arrive at the kennel where the dogs have a complete and total meltdown as I try to leave.  Great.  Because I wanted to feel horribly guilty today.

9:00am:  We make an emergency stop for aspirin and a few other forgotten items. Because it just wouldn't be our vacation without an emergency stop somewhere.

9:05am:  We attempt to navigate our way to the airport.  I suspect this would be the most hilarious (or perhaps most pathetic) reality show ever.

9:40am:  We have reached the airport and managed to park the car and get inside to the ticket counter.

9:45am: The airline representative says she hates us because we're going somewhere warm and she's not. Get in line, lady.

9:50am:  We get in the security line.

9:51am:  Oh, hi, puppy!  Aren't you adorabl— Oh my god. You're a bomb sniffing dog, and you're entirely too interested in my leg. I swear I don't know anything about bombs. I mean, sure, I know I wrote that one paper in college, but that really was just to be a pain in my professor's ass. It's not like I understood anything I was writing at the time I was writing it.  Which means I definitely don't understand any of it now.  Really.

9:55am:  Full body scan.  Yipee.

10:00am:  We make it through security.  Against all odds.

10:10am:  I pay $2.61 for a bottle of water.  A small one.  Boy, do I love airports.

10:30am:  They announce that boarding will begin soon but I still don't see a plane at the gate. Unless it's the invisible jet. Which means that Wonder Woman will be our pilot. That would be kind of awesome.

10:40am:  The real non invisible jet shows up. I won't lie. I'm a little disappointed.

10:45am:  Boarding begins.  The Man gets pulled out of line for a surprise gateside bag inspection.  If we make it to our destination, it really will be a miracle.

11:30am:  We depart for ATL.  I'm sitting between two large men with no concept of personal space/boundaries.  The one on my right is reading 'Mockingjay' on his eReader.  I read along with him.

11:35am:  The baby on board sitting directly behind me starts to cry.  A lot.  And loudly.  Since that trip home from Russia with my young niece who threw lo mein noddles and stacking cups all over the cabin, I find I don't much mind crying children.

12:00pm:  The turbulence sets in.  Boy, do I love airplanes.

1:00pm:  More turbulence.  Somehow, the baby's no longer crying.  However, I fear I am about to start.

2:00pm:  And the turbulence keeps on coming.  It's now combined with a holding pattern.  I am so airsick, I write this haiku:

I apologize
to my seatmates on the plane
didn't mean to puke



2:10pm:  The captain says 10 more minutes.  Does this plane have a parachute I could use?

2:20pm:  The captain says 10 more minutes.  I suspect the captain is a big fat liar.

2:30pm:  The captain says 10-15 more minutes.  Forget the parachute. I'll just jump and take my chances.

2:40pm: We actually land.  Thank all that is good and holy.  The bad news is that our next flight is already boarding.  The flight attendant requests that people without a connection to make sit back and let the rest of us off first.  They don't.

2:50pm:  We get off the plane and learn that we have to go from Terminal A to Terminal T.  But of course we do.

2:51pm:  I need a bathroom.  Can't decide what I need to do more, pee or vomit.  Either way, I'm gonna need a bathroom.

2:55pm:  Seriously, where the hell are all the bathrooms?

3:00pm: Finally find a bathroom.  And there was much rejoicing.

3:05pm:  We reach Terminal T as our departure time comes and goes.  Fortunately, our flight has been delayed 25 minutes.  Unfortunately, that still means I have to get on another plane, and no one anywhere is selling ginger ale or saltines. They all offer dramamine,  but the truth remains that even a half dose of the non drowsy kind will render me unconscious for a good 24 hours. (not a joke)  Then The Man would have to carry me around Weekend-At-Bernie's style until it wore off.  Hilarious, no doubt, but no thanks.

3:10pm:  I consider just spending my vacation in the ATL airport.

3:35pm:  We board second plane.  I get window seat and watch Dr. Horrible's Sing Along Blog (airing tomorrow on the CW!).  People seem annoyed when I sing along.  C'mon, people.  What did you think I would do?  It's in the title, for crying out loud!

5:30pm:  The flight is smooth, and I feel less like throwing up until we land in Key West.  Apparently, the landing strip there is very short which makes landing difficult.  When we land, it feels like we just fell right out of the sky.  Must've been a Capissan 38 engine. (mega bonus points to anyone who can Name!  That!  Reference!)

5:40pm:  Key West airport is the smallest damn airport I think I've seen.  It's so small, there are no jetways here.  There weren't any in Siberia either, but  it's a hell of a lot warmer here than it was there in November so I find I don't mind.

6:15pm: We arrive at the hotel, dump our stuff and go for a walk on Smathers Beach.

8:00pm:  We have dinner at the hotel restaurant.  Our waiter's name is Goose, and I desperately want to introduce myself as Maverick and make lots of Top Gun references.  Great balls of fire!

9:00pm: We return to the room where I prove that I am first and foremost a writer when, after scanning a list of area events, the only thing that catches my eye is the local writer's group.  The Man's reaction:  "Really?"


Smathers Beach




38 comments:

  1. I alternated between laughing and crying as I read this. :)
    The older I get, the less I like to fly.

    Glad you made it safe and sound to the sandy beaches of FL.

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    1. It made me laugh too. Well, not so much while it was happening. But later on.

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  2. That was hilarious! And reminded me why I hate to fly.
    Bummer Wonder Woman wasn't your pilot.

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    1. I know, right? That would've been so cool!

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  3. I hate airports! So frustrating. I would totally pick the writer's group too, and my husband would have the same reaction!

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    1. Maybe there should be a group for spouses of writers. A support group or something.

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  4. That was so funny! It only reinforces my belief that cruising is the only way to travel.

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    1. If you mean cruises as in on a cruise ship, I don't know about that... cruise ships scare me. I think I'd prefer planes.

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  5. Oh, so funny but glade you all made it safe, and hopefully your luggage too. Seems like every time I fly, the airports always manage to lose my damn bags!

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  6. Isn't travel relaxing and enjoyable? Actually, it's nice once you get there, but I do hate airports. I'd never survive on The Amazing Race. I'd be gone on day one.

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    1. The Man and I have that conversation a lot. We're pretty sure we'd never make it out of the country.

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  7. Hahaha a great play by play of your trip. I hate getting up early, airports, body scans, over proced bottle waters, and such. But you made it!!!

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  8. Loved this. I'm not a great flyer, and I've only done it a couple of times. At least you had a great beach at the end of the flights.

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  9. LOVE IT!!!! I mean, it would be annoying getting a body scan and then a bag search, but your adventures sound funny, when they aren't actually happening 8-D Yes, pilots are liars, no doubt about it.
    "Ten more minutes." *An hour later* "Ten more minutes."

    Poor dogs. I bet they made up for the, being left behind, when you came back and they looked at you like a hero.

    Aw, being on Wonder Woman's jet would have been fun! I would have been disappointed too! I probably would have refused to board until her jet showed up...or didn't, since it is invisible.

    A BEACH! I love beaches 8-D

    Can't wait to hear about the rest of your holiday!

    Allons-y!

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  10. Flying. The concept is much cooler than the execution. Although, Louie CK's skit on flying is one of the funniest things I've ever seen.

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    1. I haven't seen that one. I'll have to go track it down.

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  11. There are a lot of things to do in Key West: visit the Hemingway House, the Audubon House, Mel Fisher's museum with 15th century gold treasure, and go out for a dinner cruise.
    I wrote about Key West a while back at:
    http://dghudson-rainwriting.blogspot.ca/2012/08/key-west-florida-vacation-to-remember.html

    The one thing we didn't do was walk on Smathers Beach, so I appreciate the photo. Hope you'll have more. Seeing Hem's house made me want to read more about him. Seeing the gold at Mel Fisher's made the idea of Spanish gold lost at sea a historical reality.

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    1. Yeah... we didn't end up doing any of those things. We mostly sat on the beach and got sunburned.

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  12. Oh, M.J. this is fabulous. FABULOUS, I tell you!

    I'm sorry that you had to deal with some of this, but I am so so so happy that you told us about it with such humor. This is gold!

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    1. As long as people get a kick out of it, I'm happy.

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  13. Classic Melissa. And even a haiku, to boot! Hilarious.

    Are you surprised I want to hear about the local writer's group meeting?

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    1. Unfortunately, I didn't get to the writer's group. It was on another island too far away from where we were. Knew I should've rented a car.

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  14. Darn! I had something sarcastic I wanted to say (big surprise, I know), but I forgot what it was as I read through your day. Unfortunately, rereading the spot that spawned the comment didn't remind me of it.
    >sigh<

    I used to really enjoy flying back when I used to do that sort of thing.

    I bet the airport in Shreveport is smaller.

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    1. I'll have to take your word for it on Shreveport. I've only ever been to the airport in New Orleans.

      So, what is it about my blog that always seems to cause you to forget what you're going to say? Or is this just your way of suggesting I talk (type?) too much? =)

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    2. Oh... well, that's actually happening all the time everywhere, lately.
      I blame my children.

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  15. I really love your "10:30am: They announce that boarding will begin soon but I still don't see a plane at the gate. Unless it's the invisible jet. Which means that Wonder Woman will be our pilot. That would be kind of awesome."

    That would've been awesome!

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    1. It really would have been. I think I'm going to put 'fly in the invisible jet' on my list of life goals.

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  16. Ah yes, flying. It's been a while for me. I'm glad I'm not missing anything.

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  17. I'm sure I'm not the only one that got the Serenity reference. My sister always intertains up with her flying adventures. Once took her nearly thirty hours to fly from New Orleans to Harrisburg, PA. Don't even ask.

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    1. Two other people I know got the reference. If anyone else got it, they weren't saying.

      And no, I don't think I want to ask about that thirty hour flight. Just thinking about it makes me cringe.

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  18. Sounds about right.

    How I miss being able to jet off to the keys on a moments notice. Enjoy!!!

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  19. Ahhh, Key West. SO jealous! :)

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  20. Funny story--though it must have been a trying trip!

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  21. This is too hilarious! I went to the Keys last year and can't WAIT to go back - especially now that I know there's a writing group

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  22. (To be read using your best airline pilot voice)

    Uhhhh, this your captain....uhh, just want to welcome you aboard TransDisaster Airlines and hope you will enjot the flight. Uhhh, we will be flying at an altitude of 31,000 feet and expect a little bit of a ....uhhh, bumpy ride. Uhhh, please fasten your seat belts and refrain from...uhhh, smoking those funny cigarettes.

    Uhhh, if all goes well...uhhh, I'll give you a heads up once we're safely over the Atlantic and you have no chance in the event...uhhh, of a rare emergency.

    Thank you and uhhh, again, thanks for flying TransCrash.

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    1. How'd you get a transcript from my flight? =)

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  23. I love Key West and I love this post. It made me laugh and I do like to laugh. Planes and airports...gotta love 'um.

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