"" Writer's Wanderings: Travel: Always An Adventure

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Travel: Always An Adventure

When you travel you can't always be sure of what you are going to get, what's going to happen, who you will meet, how you will arrive, etc. As I have always said travel with an attitude, one that will roll with whatever the journey presents. I just hate having to follow my own advice.

We set off for our annual dive trip to Grand Cayman and woke early (5:45 AM) in order to arrive at the airport the suggested two hours early because of the TSA wait recently being so long. Our airline (American) had kindly granted all three of us a Pre-check status so we knew we weren't going to have to go through the procedure of removing shoes, computers, 3-1-1 bags and all. We approached the kiosk for check in with confidence and immediately we were in trouble.

All three reservations were made separately because we were traveling with a minor who was not our son but our grandson. I don't know why the reservations have to be made that way but when Bob calls them directly they do that. His came up first and he proceeded all the way to paying for his checked bag and had his credit card denied. No problem. We'll pay at the desk. My check in went just fine, credit card (same one) and all. Then our grandson's wouldn't even show up. Uh oh.

An attendant noticed we were at the kiosk a little too long and came over to gather us like a mother hen and take us to her station where she quickly put all the information into her computer, pulled up the extra boarding passes, used the credit card to pay for the other bags and send us off to give our bags to security for their x-ray. I was wondering why we even went to the kiosk to begin with but mine is not to question why. . .

Cleveland Hopkins was about to do the ribbon cutting for the new renovations that are pretty much finished except for a few touches here and there. News cameras were already setting up even though it wasn't to be until the afternoon. Perhaps for the morning news shows? It was after all early and my stomach was telling me it hadn't had breakfast. My nerves were screaming for coffee. We soldiered on to the new Pre-check designated area wondering how long it would take us. I blinked. Were there only a dozen people here? In six minutes and a few seconds (Bob timed it) we were through and out the other side and our grandson was looking for a Starbucks.

We wouldn't be so lucky at Starbucks. The line was winding down the concourse. It had to be at least twenty minutes before he finally got his iced caramel coffee. Then it was on to Dunkin' Donuts for our coffee and breakfast sandwiches. Same thing. Long line. Another fifteen minutes. At least we had come early enough that we didn't have to eat on the run.

At our gate, we boarded with the priority group--another gift from American and settled into our seats. It was a commuter plane with only two seats to a side so I sat a few rows behind the boys who were planning to watch a movie. Good thing because at least they were entertained for the time that was to come. As we were to begin our push back from the gate, we felt a big bump. I exchanged what-was-that-? glances with the girl sitting next to me. A few minutes later it was explained that the tow bar had buckled or something to that effect but to be sure there was no damage to landing gear it would have to be checked.

End of the day. Dinner and sunset.
We had to wait our turn for the mechanic. After an hour, the issue was resolved and we were on our way once again but now we were running dangerously close to making our connection in Charlotte. That wouldn't normally be a big deal--more an inconvenience, but there are only a couple of flights a day into Grand Cayman and we knew we wouldn't make another that day if we missed our ride. We touched down and made the mad dash to the other concourse and our Cayman flight. Last ones on the plane, we were greeted with looks of relief as others realized that's who they were waiting for. Now would the luggage (all our dive gear) make it?

Before long we were winging our way to Cayman. Now the worse case scenario would be having to rent dive gear and Bob and our grandson diving in their shorts. I had packed my suit in my carry on with a few other things to save space. Whew!

Touch down Cayman! And there on the carousel after we passed through immigration was our luggage. The only thing missing from our journey was lunch but we knew where to get that. But wait! We needed to get our rental car which, if you haven't guessed on a Murphey's Law day, wasn't ready. Another forty-five minutes and we finally had it all in hand on our way to Wendy's and lunch to be followed by grocery shopping and our arrival at the condo.

Thankfully Murphey left us and the condo was in great shape with all that we will need to rest comfortably after our diving each day. It did come with a maid--me, but that's okay. Bob will make up for it somewhere. I'll make sure of that.

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