Today is the beginning of our vacation. We have packed our bags with everything we expect to need for the cruise and in Florida afterwards, and also have some dollars to buy whatever we’ve forgotten. We drove to the airport and parked in the airport lot. The shuttle got us to the terminal plenty early and we began the “happy process” of getting through the necessary steps to fly to Florida. Janet had arranged for a wheelchair to help her through the airport and Southwest had someone available to help us all the way from the front entrance to the gate. There was almost nobody waiting at TSA so we got through there without any problems.
Our 11:05vAM flight was a direct flight to Ft Lauderdale. This was a no-frills flight so we each got a breakfast bagel while we waited for the flight. One of the Southwest counter people asked if we wanted a spare “comfort seat” for FREE which means we got 3 seats instead of just one each. They gave us a coupon to put on the seat between us and that reserved it so nobody else could sit with us. The flight was a sell-out with all the other seats occupied, but still we got the comfortable vacant seat to make the flight more comfortable. We are pretty sure this is because Janet was in the wheelchair and we were pushing her walker alongside, but then none of the other wheelchair folks got an extra seat, so we just count ourselves as very lucky. We also believe that he scheduled the same thing for us for the return flight in a couple of weeks. YEAH for Southwest!
The other good thing is that they let all the wheelchair people pre-board, so we were about the 4th couple on the plane – pretty much a choice of any of the seats. FYI … The Sieberts arrived in plenty of time to catch the flight so we are ALL off on our vacation together. The flight itself was fairly smooth and basically on-time. When we landed in Ft Lauderdale, there was another wheelchair waiting for us and a luggage porter helped get the suitcases out to the curb for the complimentary shuttle to the hotel. The pickup point for hotel shuttles was a lengthy walk so we were glad again for the assistance. Waiting outside the temperature was 72 degrees and a 25 mph wind – guess that’s only a little better than in St Louis today.
Anyway, the shuttle eventually picked us up and delivered us to the hotel we had reserved. It is not a fancy place but it seems clean and quiet, and we are mostly just looking for a quiet evening. There is an attached restaurant, so we all went to have a much-delayed lunch (or early dinner) which satisfied our hunger. Then we went to the lobby to talk to the “transportation manager” to arrange a “complimentary” shuttle to the cruise port. We are booked on the 1:30 bus which should work well with the recommended arrival times for the ship. But that is getting into tomorrow’s story already.
Tomorrow’s temp is forecast as 77 degrees with light showers, but after that we will be on the ship and we don’t care what happens here for another week. Anyway, that is about all for today.