Arrived home at 2:00 am Saturday Novemer 11, 2006.
For those of you who are curious, I am going to posting a serial travelog. Newspapers and Magazines use too publish serial novels, well mine is going to be the Last Vacation. But, I am going to start at the ending with the title the airline from HELL!!!!!
The September twice monthly telephone call from Aunt D and J a cruise was choosen. We were going Norwegian again, we had been pleased with the last three cruises with them. Our itinerary was New York City to board the cruise, two days at sea and the first stop was St. Thomas. Antigua, Barbados, Grenada, Dominica, Tortola and two more days at sea before we arrived again at New York City. The trip was great, weather was beautiful, spending time with family was wonderful. Hubby had a great time in spite of his failing memory.
I am going to be writting a letter to the airline about our return from New York City to Dallas on ATA Airline. I am posting this first to get the anger out of my system so that I can recall with you the pleasant cruise we experienced.
Cheap mama and grandma I went on line with Southwest knowing full well I couldn't book a flight from Love to New York City. The Wright amendment was cancelled about 10 days after I booked the flight. I toyed with the idea of cancelling my reservations with ATA Airlines ( I had never heard of them before, I'm such a frequent flyer). I was assured they partner with Southwest and that they were OK. I got a great deal senior discount and funfare too. OK so I can put up with no pillow or blanky or food or coke they only serve pepsi, but the price was right.
We set the alarm for 4:00 AM to get up and get out of here for the two hour drive to DFW. A friend had assured me even in the dark (with yellow glasses on so I could see) I could manage I-20 to 360 a right hand turn and the signs would lead me into DFW and the long term parking. First two thirds of the trip no problem, the last third (with white knuckle driving) we found the long term parking. Dumb me I should have unloaded the luggage at the shelter building and then found and parking place. I located a handicapped only 3 rows from the shelter and hubby and I tried to juggle two LARGE suitcases, two small suitcases, one medium bag (to carry hubby's full massage and heating pad) a tote bag apiece and a fanny pack apiece. Now the tote bags with medications (we have a small drug store in pill perscription bottles) reading material, umbrella, sugar tester, hand wipes, makeup, toothbrushes and etc. Fanny packs, money, picture ID's, credit cards, and passports. I had no illusions about the two of us being able to handle that amount of luggage. Airports do have carts for rent that tranport crazy amounts of luggage. I know that is an obscene amount of luggage but when you look at 14 days of underwear it requires a lot of luggage. Don't despair it is necessary for you to know how much luggage we had and why, also, you need to know how up tight I was about trying to move this mountain of luggage. Hubby just looks at the luggage as if it would move itself, he will help if I tell him (at least three times what handle to pickup and where to take it).
We arrived at the terminal 30 minutes early plus our two hours required time before flight. We had boarding passes in hand thanks to online registering. Our luggage was wisked away and I breathed a sight of relief, with my fingers crossed that it would arrive with us in New York City after we changed planes in Chicago.
One more challenge to get hubby through the security beeper. Hubby had been up sense 3:00 AM and dressed (he was so ready to go). I had carefully showed him what he was to wear and laid it out for him but you have to know. Hubby wants to wear as much military stuff as possible so people well stop and talk to him. I can't seem to loose the stupid cap they call a pisscutter. Hubby had on what I had laid out for him and also some loud red, white and blue supenders, a red, white and blue flag tie and his faithful pisscutter. I had bought him a new tan yachting cap to wear but of course, he would have done of that it was in the caryon. He did put his sweater over his shirt and supenders and then put on his jacket. Do you see what is coming? You know you have to pull your shoes off that made him angry, he started pelling off jacket, shoes, fanny pack, carryon, cane, watch and the alarm still went off. I tried to explain to the screeners that he was hard of hearding and had ALZ, he has a hearing aid and a penile implant. They kept pushing me away, they had caught a terriorist. Hubby was sent over to the side they kept running a wand over him and it kept going off. We found a stupid pedimeter (we haven't used those in 2 years) a pen in the pocket of his T-shirt, and the alarm still kept going off. They took his belt off and the alarm still went off. They finally pulled up his sweater to take it off and discovered the metal clips on his supenders. This terrible terrorist then had to have his bag inspected because we had his blood sugar meter in his carryon bag. It took us 20 minutes to get him dressed again and gather up our fanny packs and carryon bags.
The flight to Chicago and New York City were just the usual took many people in too small a space (with nothing to drink but pepsi).
Arriving in New York City we found our luggage (all of it) rented a cart and proceeded to ground transportation, shuttles. We found every shuttle but the one for the Holiday Inn Crown Plaza. Cold, wind blowing like crazy, trying to push that heavy cart around to find our shuttle. Hotel had assured me that a shuttle would meet us. I called the hotel where is the shuttle. " Oh, we don't go to the arrival lane anymore they are too croweded just go up stairs to the departure and the shuttle is there." "why wasn't I informed of this before I rented a cart and pushed it to the arrival lane?" Gee, I don't know why but if you want our shuttle you have to go up stairs." " I have 6 pieces of luggage, a husband with a cane, and I don't do stairs well. Do I have to carry all this luggage upstairs?" "Yes, if you want to use our shuttle, but it has left already on it way to the hotel." Needless to say we stood in line for 10 minutes in that cold wind to get a taxi. While standing in line a guy wanted to rent us a limo to go to the hotel only 55.00 a bargain to get to the hotel. Now you have heard about New York City Taxi drivers well we had some dozies but this guy was wonderful. He took us right down town NYC and when we had been driving about 10 minutes I said they told me the hotel was across the freeway from the airport. " You wanted to go the the Crown Plaza Inn didn't you? That's in Manhattan." I repeated "Holiday Inn, Crown Plaza Laguardia" "Oh that is out by the airport, there are two Crown Plaza's" He turned around and took some short cuts through some neighborhoods that I wouldn't have wanted to stop in. He appolized and said he's take care of the meter and only charge us $10.00 for the trip, the meter already read over $20.00. He was curious where we were from and ask a lot of questions about NM. He wants to take his son to Santa Fe. He was asking about Navajo Indians and I couldn't understand him the way he was pronouncing Navajo. He wanted to know If he could see them, I told him to visit Cochiti and Taos. My complaint to the manage of the hotel did not do any good they have so much business they don't care if they cause anyone any problems getting to there hotel.