St Thomas 2020
Day 1: Sunday, July 19
Heading to the airport and flying to Orlando Florida
I am at a point in my life (well have been for a few years) that I just don't have the time or effort to play Russian roulette with spinning the wheel for check-in with Southwest to get a "good" seat. So, for several years now, I have been just biting the bullet and paying extra for them to sign me up for the best darn seating available when you can't pick your own seat on this airline. The earlier you sign in, the better seat picking option you get. Ehhh, just do it for me and call it a day. However, I have noticed (since my last cruise in December?) that the pricing for them to push the all mighty button on your behalf has went up. I guess maybe too many people are using it? I'm still spoiled and don't want to bother with it...at least at this point.
They pushed the magic button and I snagged these seats:
As long as I manage to win the lottery with an "A" group, I've done good.
So off to the airport we go...For years now, we just drive our own vehicle and park in the parking lot and shuttle over. Kendra still refuses to pay for parking and always arranges for someone to drop them off there.
I had a REALLY late flight (for us) this time and yes...we planned it that way. The later the better especially since Kendra and the family were tagging along this time. She's prone to being late...ok, I'll say it, she's NEVER on time for anything she does, and this would give her all day to finish up everything she forgot to pack all these weeks ahead of time.
A flight leaving at 6:25pm had us leaving the house around 4pm. I really didn't know what to expect at the airport with this COVID thing. Extra security measures for taking temps, questions asked about where you are going and why are you deciding to travel during this time and was it really necessary? Do you have a doctors excuse that you need a vacation? Have you quarantined for the last 14 days? Have you been tested recently? Maybe they need a blood draw done or brain swab. I really didn't know and was preparing myself for what was to come. After all, this is a new day and age of how things are going to be run in this world now.
Arriving at the airport and taking the shuttle bus over to the airport we
always have to get a picture. Can you tell how happy we are by the
smiles on our faces? Oh wait...
They had the seats sectioned off with plastic between every 2 seats
and the driver was now behind a complete wall of plexiglass.
Sakari was excited to finally be going
somewhere since she has been cooped
up in the house 24/7 for the last 4 months
I made a promise to myself that as much as I want to, I can't hold Kendra's hand every step of the way and I wasn't going to be late for anything because of her. We headed into the airport and it looked deserted! We checked in our luggage and dropped them off at the luggage desk, where there was no line and I wondered if they were even open at that point, but the ladies at the desk wasn't standing there for nothing right? Then we headed to security...again NO LINE. We walked down the winding path of ropes never ending and walked right up to present ourselves to check in to security. I held my breath, I waited for the questions, I waited for the forehead scanner to present itself....and nothing happened. One look at our boarding pass, our ID's, and Sakari's passport and we were told to have a good night. They didn't ask any questions, they didn't take our temps, they didn't even ask for a birth certificate (remember our passport expired the day we left).
Once at the gate, I check to see where Kendra is and tell
her what we had just experienced. She was outside getting
dropped off according to my "tracker' on her. LOL This tracker is
so good that I can even tell where she is at IN her home at any
given time. haha
The plane was right on time and now it was time to line up. We jumped in line and took our places at 30, 31, and 32 which were the golden seat selection....then along came Kendra and jumped in line at spots 34, 35, 36 and 37!!! Are you serious? I didn't feel so special at that point and wanted a full refund! (Just kidding, with my luck, I'd probably get the "C" group and get on last.
We boarded the plane and got ready for take off
Kendra almost managed to get us on in 1 picture...only Sakari was hiding.
The plane was a little empty, which meant we were able to get any seats we wanted. You are required to wear a mask the entire flight other than drinking and eating. This flight would be different than any other flight. Southwest always takes your drink orders and you can order alcohol if needed as well. No alcohol was served (and I had free drink coupons that I'll probably never get to use now) but you could request some water. They did pass out a snack and informed everyone "Now don't make this snack last for the next 2 hours nibbling on it just to keep your mask off".
The trip was uneventful and consisted of breathing in your own carbon dioxide for 2 1/2 hours. I'm not sure that Brayden has the concept of how to wear a mask yet.
I couldn't wait to land and be able to stretch my legs and get the circulation going again.
Arriving at the airport was a quick stop to pick up our luggage and go right to the hotel. The airport was deserted...really weird and eerie feeling. The shops were closed, the food stations were closed and the regular hustle and bustle was no longer. Hey, at least we had Kendra's kids making every bit of noise to make up for it. Kambriah has become a "repeater". She will say something and repeat it at least 10 times until someone (meaning me) tells her to "STOP! We heard you the first time, the second time and every time after that". If Kendra would just reply the first time around or even acknowledge she heard her...we wouldn't have this problem. Yes, I'm calling it a problem because that's what it becomes to my aching ears listening to it over and over.
WHERE ARE ALL THE PEOPLE???? I'm pretty sure the pitter patter of our feet walking was echoing at this point.
And then we saw it....the brown shelled, antenna monster of the airport that looked big enough to chew up a small sized toddler! Crawling on the floor in the middle of the airport that wraps around the hotel. EEEKKKKK!!! "What ever you do, DON'T step on it! I will have nightmares for weeks from the sound". Did you ever see the video that went viral online about the huge spider in someone's kitchen and the lady is frantically trying to kill it with a broom and with the last big whack thousands of baby spiders scrambled all over the floor in every direction????? Yea, I wasn't about to take any chances with this huge cock-A-roach from Florida. No sir-ree! Not me.