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Trip to Florida
August 29, 2010 17:32
Well, they call it the sunshine state. It was sunny, at times. It also stormed in violent and interesting ways, usually at inconvenient times. The hotel was great, if not a bit vacant. The flights went well, USUALLY.
To start from the beginning, Gertie, Kiko and I made a very last minute decision to take a small trip somewhere before school started back up. After considering various possibilities, we finally decided to take a trip to Florida, and eventually settled on the beach near St. Petersburg. A week before we left, we settled on the Beachcomber Hotel in St. Pete's Beach, FL. We quickly planned out a quick trip involving a lot of lying out on the beach, and not much else.
After some minor prep work, such as finding suntan lotion in 4oz or less bottles, which incidentally is almost the exact amount needed for one application. On me. At least we packed more than one bottle. Thankfully, the terrorists hoping to take down airplanes with a large quantity of suntan lotion haven't figured out THAT particular loophole yet. But give them time. Give them time.
But I digress. Our epic journey began on August 7, 2010, at 6:00am in the morning. We were mostly packed already, and what little remained to load up, we were able to quickly assemble in the morning. Attempting to avoid baggage fees and the possibility of lost luggage, we decided to take everything as a carryon. I'm actually quite surprised we were able to accomplish this, since for any trip that doesn't involve air travel, I usually find myself making several trips to haul bags. Very heavy bags. And that's just for Kiko. With some sound packing sense, which involved not packing large quantities of books, costumes, anime figurines, and stuffed animals, we were able to get everything into 5 bags. I even found a use for the briefcase I got as a gift when I was about 16. I've used it TWICE since then, and it had a nice layer of dust I had to clean off first. There were also some ink pens inside which sadly no longer worked. Shocking, yes I know. I used the briefcase to carry all of the electronics. I figured I'd be able to get ALL of the electronics in there, but it wasn't happening, and we decided to just leave the camcorder home.
So we said goodbye to porchkitty, Leban had already been taken care of by taking her to my Mom's. She was initially quite terrified, but after starving for 2 days, she finally decided to be social. Anyway, I also gave all the plants a good soaking, locked up all the doors, and started driving. We got to the airport without incident, ate breakfast, and hung out for about 2 hours before flight left. Each trip required two separate flights, with a short layover in Atlanta, GA. The trip down there was very smooth. We were a bit delayed getting out of DFW, but had plenty of time to make the connection, and had just enough time to charge up the laptop and get a snack, and then we piled into the next flight and made it to Tampa, FL about 20 minutes early. We spent that time surplus at the rental car desk first upgrading the car to something I'd actually fit into, and then talking with my insurance company (and credit card company) to clarify that yes, indeed, the rental car WAS covered by our insurance and we didn't need to spend an extra $30 a day on it.
The drive to the hotel was uneventful, if you don't count the ricers that raced past us on 275 while we were crossing Tampa Bay. Check-in at the hotel was quick and easy, and we got settled in our room, which was cold (a good thing). At least THIS hotel understood the concept of air conditioning. Our room also had a kitchen, so we were able to have a couple of meals there instead of eating out all the time (although we certainly did plenty of that). That first night we didn't do much more than relax from the trip. Gertie and I wandered down to the beach (even though it was dusk), and ended up at the Bar & Grill that is part of the hotel. We ordered burgers and a pina colada. Served by the BUCKET. Yeah, we didn't accomplish much of anything useful THAT night. Took some chicken tenders back for Kiko and called it a night.
To be continued....