National Parks Tour: Flight Day (Part 1)

Monday, August 30, 2021

So I forgot to tell you about the compliment I received yesterday. As we were walking into Ruby Tuesdays, a young woman, possibly early 20’s, told me she liked my hair. I thanked her and was happy that it still had some style left after being out in the humidity. As I was going I to the door, I heard her tell her friend, “When I get old I, I really hope my hair is that same gray color.” Okay. 🙄

I spoke too soon about sleeping well. Though the room temperature was fine and the bed comfortable, I woke up several times last night and couldn’t immediately go back to sleep. Got up 15 minutes before the alarm went off. I was surprised when my Fitbit said I had 7 ½ hours of sleep. I would have guessed 5 hours.

The hotel breakfast was fine. Chuck chose the eggs and sausage. I had an English muffin and yogurt. The coffee at the breakfast bar was much better than the kind offered in the room. It was basically warm brown water.

The 8:00 shuttle was right on time and we were at Delta in 10 minutes. We haven’t flown since June 2019 so some things had changed. They have added a lot of self-serve kiosks for tagging bags. The line was long for the regular bag check so we approached the kiosk. We lucked out as there was a Delta attendant there and she helped us through the whole process. Wheeled the bags up to the counter to be weighed. I thought mine was 45 and Chuck’s was 40 as that is what my portable luggage calculator had registered yesterday. I’ll have to remember to add 2 pounds because mine came up 47 and Chuck’s 42. Not much room to spare.

The CLEAR process was very easy. Gave our ID’s and boarding passes to the attendant and looked into the iris scanner. There we were and she escorted us past security to the conveyor belts for our stuff to be scanned. As I mentioned, we weren’t chosen for TSA pre-check so shoes off and laptops out. My purse, shoes, and laptop sailed through the line. Chuck was through his line. I saw my backpack go down the “other” conveyor belt. Uh, oh. SNAFU #2.

Here comes Security. He goes straight for my bag and opens the part that is holding my chargers and camera batteries. What can I say? I wish all electronics took the exact same charger but they don’t. I have a lot of batteries because I don’t want to have to think about recharging my DSL camera when I am trying to take photos. I’ll have to rethink the packing next time. Maybe I will get 2 small bags for the chargers so it won’t cause so much concern. Finally, he looked over at me with my bi-focal glasses and gray hair and decided I should have a nice day.

Got to the gate with plenty of time to spare. Took that opportunity to walk the concourse since we will be sitting for 4 hours. Our Concourse had no restaurant open except Starbucks and the line was around the corner. Guess the others will open closer to lunch time. Several shops open.

Lots of announcements about wearing masks, washing hands, etc. Also, a number of announcements about being aware of and reporting human trafficking. Sad.

We were supposed to have boarded at 10:00. At 10:15, they announced the caterers were still on the flight, but we would be boarding shortly. We were scheduled to leave at 10:40. I thought we would make it as the passengers did board quickly and the plane was not full. But, SNAFU number #3.

The Captain came on the mic and said there were trash bins in the way and someone was coming to get them. Really? Trash bins? Now, it is getting close to 11:00.  I thought I might as well start watching a movie. SNAFU #4 – one by one each of the monitors went off and stayed off. Flight attendant came on and said the pilot would have to do a hard “reboot” of the system. Not what you want to hear about computers that are going to be part of a flight.

The monitors did come back on eventually. We finally took off at 11:40 – one hour late. The flight attendant said something about there being an issue at the gate. Was just glad to be moving.

When I purchased our tickets, the flight layout was not the layout of this plane. The plane I booked had 3 seats to a row with an aisle down the middle. The plane we boarded had 2 seats on each side with a 3 seat row in the middle. There was an aisle on each side of the middle row. If I had known that, I would have booked us 2 seats together. We ended up in the middle row but we didn’t have anyone sitting in the middle seat so it was nice to have some room.

The ride was bumpy going over Ida but was smooth afterwards. The time passed relatively quickly as I watched two movies “SuperIntelligence” with Melissa McCarthy which I liked and “Witches” with Anne Hathaway which was “meh.” Chuck watched “Quiet Place 2” and “Love and Monsters.” He enjoyed Quiet Place 2.

Soon as we exited the plane, we saw slot machines. Welcome to Vegas! Taxis are plentiful so we should get to Treasure Island quickly. It is 1:00 on my watch but my stomach said it’s 4:00 and the almonds on the plane are long gone. Hope the hotel reservation process will be okay and not SNAFU #5.

Author: mmmtravelmemories

A retired college administrator who loves to travel. I write to remember the experiences and, I hope, to inspire others to make their own travel memories.

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