Friday Findings – Travel

Flying into New Orleans

Flying into New Orleans

This is the temporary suspension of Fictional Fridays for now. I’m not ready to share what I’m working on right now with anyone. So instead Fridays for this month will be about my travels on my cruise recently. Then in April, I’ll highlight a few true but strange tales from the world that intrigue me. Then when we get to May I’ll decide if I’m ready to dig about in old writing for Fictional Friday return or move on to something else.

Today I want to tell you about my travels. I left home went to Chicago for a night to catch an early plane the next morning to New Orleans. There spent the night to use my first Ubers and then catch a shuttle to the port where I caught the ship. There we went to Cozumel Mexico, Roatan Honduras, Belize City Belize, and finally Costa Maya Mexico. To visit two of those I caught tender boats, smaller boats to take me from the large ship to shore. Then on shore caught buses, taxis, jeeps, or swam. So yes for a glorious 12 days I lived planes, autos, ships, boats and so on.

Travel can be fun but it can be challenging too. Heck, frustrating and infuriating can be in there too. So Mike scheduled the trip and used his airline miles to pay for our flights. As a result we flew separately for the first flying leg of the trip. We left early on Friday so we got a park and stay deal near O’hare rather than leave home at 4am to catch a flight. So the early morning of the flight, Mike bids me farewell at the Delta check-in and heads to his American direct flight. I find out there is a charge for my bag so I’m not checking and dragging my luggage for the tight connection in Atlanta. So I’m off. Security is good but Mike texts me he’s in the longest security line he’s every seen in all his travels and questions if a hour is long enough, he may miss his flight. I however sail through get to the gate and settle in to read. They say it’s a full flight and ask for volunteers to check their luggage through to their destination for free. I am first in line to do so. Now I’m luggage free for the run to connect in Atlanta. Flight goes off normally, last text Mike got through they opened more lines. So he’s on his way to the Big Easy I’m on my way to Atlanta then to join him.

Full Flight

Full Flight

While on the flight to Atlanta the woman in the seat next to me rings for the attendant. She asks if she could get a seat closer to the front because she has a tight connection. “How much time do you have?” The attendant asks. “An hour and half.”. “You’ll make it.” I inform her I have 38 minutes. She frets the whole flight for herself and me.

Get there and shockingly the gate is just across the hall. I doodle over there and up to the counter as my boarding pass issued in Chicago tells me to get my seat assignment at the gate in Atlanta. That’s when I’m informed I’m on stand-by for this flight but have a seat on the 10pm one. Oh goody… As I sit I watch the stand-by list grow to be over 50 people. Yuck. Then they start boarding. They are offering up to $1,000 and free round trip ticket in US for someone to give up their seats and go on the 10pm. I’m not eligible for this deal as I HAVE a seat on the 10pm though we bought one on this flight, little know secret in some mileage plans they can bump you without notice for a paying customer as long as they schedule in 24 hrs of your original flight. So I watch and it’s not looking good but a few people take it and a few men in uniform get seats. I figure I’m in Atlanta for the long haul as they being to board. Then as the last group is called the gate attendant pops over “Mrs. Eklund here get in line.” I have a seat and am the last person on the plane taking the last empty seat.

Things go well I meet up with Mike we catch the shuttle to our hotel to find it’s by the airport alright but New Orlean’s airport much like Denver’s is way out in the middle of no where. We walk to a barbecue place for lunch then decide to go to the French Quarter for dinner. However cabs from here are over $60. The front desk person suggests Uber. So with his help (former Chicago Uber driver) we do so and have a nice ride into the city for $22. We tool about have dinner and then Uber back. Only to be treated to missing our exit, going the wrong way on an entrance ramp, being taken to the wrong place and finally making it back.

Port of NOLA

The next day we are to board the shuttle from the hotel to the port. Only they forgot to mention on their site there is a charge for the shuttle. Oh well we sleep late, have breakfast, doodle about the room and at 1pm we are catching the shuttle. The shuttle driver who just came back from the port warns us it’s crazy there and we are in for a wait. However the crowd has moved on and get right up to the door, check our luggage, get through security and now we are on our ship home for the next week.

Tender from ship to port

Actually once on the ship we getting off at every port.  We had activities at each.  Out of our four ports two had to be done by tenders.  That are small boats that run from the ship to the port.  At Roatan these were the ship’s lifeboats.  In Belize they were supplied from the port.  The photo here is of the lifeboats servicing the port in Roatan.

Upon our return to New Orleans, we are among the last group off the ship. We have a hotel in the French Quarter this time but no rush as check-in is after noon and last departing of the ship is 10am. We catch a cab to the hotel all of a 10 minute drive. The hotel stashes our luggage and we are off to tour. We have a pleasant three days in New Orleans then it’s time to go backwards on the modes of transportation. Hotel desk calls us a cab – this cabbie is so stinky we have to roll down both windows.

Wind farm on way to Chicago

Wind farm on the way home to Chicago.

We get to the airport, both have the same flight, and fly home no problems. Then we wait for the shuttle to the hotel to get our car to head home. Thus our travel legacy is over. Honestly given all the modes and connections it could have been a nightmare but other than a bit of a worry that I’d stay in Atlanta, some scary Uber driving, touch of rough seas, and one stinky cab… all went smoothly.

One thought on “Friday Findings – Travel

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