This trip is getting off to a late start...usually it's 4-5 days in before we start getting tired and our morning wake up time starts to suffer...haven't even left the house yet and we're up an hour later than planned (yikes!). Not to worry, we scramble and leave only 7 minutes behind schedule. Gotta swing by the jobsite on the way past downtown and drop off some papers for one of my guys...10 minute detour, but my girls get to see my building up close for the first time in a couple months...they're impressed :)
Arrive at the airport park and ride...feels like I was just here, oh that's right, I was here less than 36 hours ago! The bus driver wants to hang out at the back of the parking lot and wait for a full bus...no time for that bro, we're tight on time, let's go! I'm not sure what everyone else feels about the self-check kiosks that United has installed, but if you have half a brain, it makes check in so fast! Luckily, at least half the people are missing more than half, so they get stuck at the kiosk and we breeze through to the security line. Surprisingly, the line is only about 20 people deep and they send us through the metal detector in a jiffy (probably the fastest we've ever been through security).
Check in at Terminal C, depart from the farthest end of Terminal E...20 min walk and we're left with 20 minutes for the girls to burn off some energy playing tag through the gate queue poles.
What's the point of priority boarding if 3/4 of the people on the plane are in lines 1 and 2? Oh well, everyone loads surprising well, and if you've ever read one of my blogs, you know that inefficient plane boarding and debarking is one of my biggest pet peeves in the world! But all for naught, the baggage guys can't figure out how to balance the load so we spend 25 minutes at the gate before we sit in queue on the runway for another 20.
Can barely keep my eyes open...Heather gets 3 hours of "alone time" with a glass of wine and a trash magazine with 2 kids sleeping on either side of her lap and me on her shoulder. Oh...that was a pretty short flight I say, as Heather gives me a sideways look :)
Typical Trinidad Immigration line for this flight, 3 guys for residents and 2 for non-residents. 25 minutes in line to see the immigration officer who tells me she needs 1 form per person...when the form clearly says "head of household only needs to fill out this form, list all travelling family members below". 5 minutes of duplicating the form 3 more times, checked-in, on to the customs lady sitting 20 feet away who says "next time, read the form, it clearly says "head of household only needs to fill out this form..."" ...oh it took all I had not to loose it on her!
Hertz rental car is off campus, in a dark building parking lot; quite creepy. The rental guy wants me to sign off on the all the current damages to the car (in the dark with a little flash light) while I'm returning it at lunch time on Tuesday...meanwhile he is hold a $500usd security deposit for damages, yea...this could go way wrong. With the help of my cell phone flashlight I make him mark about 20 more scratches and dings on his paper before I sign-off on it! Now remember, drive on the LEFT side of the road...LEFT, LEFT, LEFT. You'd be surprised how natural it is for us to want to be on the right side of the road. Everything on the road is opposite of what we are used to, and driving on the right side of the car only makes it slightly easier to remember to be on the LEFT side!
Entry into the hotel can be a bit tricky she said, she didn't say it wouldn't have any signs, you'd have to exit 1/2 mile early, and drive through a shopping mall parking lot to get to it...all 1 way. So needless to say, we passed it and circled 3 times before we figured it out! 11:20 arrival, it's been 12.5 hours since we left our house (could have gone to Europe in that time!). Night night!