Well, my feet are on American soil again. It hasn’t been easy getting here. We left our condo in the Cayman Islands this morning at 10:30 am. After returning our rental car, we got to the airport at 12 pm. I don’t know if you have ever flown into or out of a Caribbean airport before, but they are the size of my living room…with a lot more alcohol. Seriously, there was 3 stores to buy duty free liquor in this little bitty space. So when our boarding time came and went, we all began to get a bit stir crazy.
Finally, they announce overhead that our flight is coming in from Ft. Lauderdale and is about to leave. Not, it is almost here, it hasn’t even left yet. So we know that is not a good sign. 2 hours later, we board our flight for Ft. Lauderdale. Then we taxi out a bit and the pilot comes on overhead and tells us there is a problem with the fuel tanks and we will need to taxi back in and get it checked out. 1 hour later, we head out. Oh, did I forget to mention in the meantime we are reprimanded several times by a flight attendant with a serious case of PMS. I kid you not when I tell you at one point she came on overhead and said, “If people do not get back in their seats and fasten their seatbelts, I will be forced to tell the pilot!” I think she might have threatened to put us in time out too, but I might have misheard.
So we arrive and think all is well until the pilot comes on overhead and tells us that they cannot find us a gate to taxi too. 1/2 hour later they finally do and we disembark. Then it is onto a ridiculously long line to go through customs, claim our bags, head through customs again, re-check our bags, then onto the terminal for the final leg of our travel. Oh, did I mention this is all with a very squirmy 19 month old.
Now, I must back up a moment and tell you I complained all morning that we were going to have a 5 hour lay over in Ft. Lauderdale. Doesn’t God have a funny sense of humor? By the time we got to our gate, that was reduced to an hour. Well, maybe not. We check our gate on the board and what do we see? DELAYED. Oh, yes, delayed 2 hours. So we will be leaving at 11 pm, arriving at 2 am, and then driving 2 hours home. Yipee!!!
Thankfully Lily is asleep and Hannah is progressing towards a similar fate. Actually I must take a moment to say that both kids have been rock stars through all of this. No complaining, very minimal whining and Hannah even seemed to provide some on flight entertainment to those around us while we were getting stuck at one airport or another.
Now, why is this a Frugal Friday post (if you are in fact still reading this post)? Because we flew on a “discount” airline. When I say discount, I mean discount. We had to pay to check bags, pay for bottled water and soda, stick a coin in a slot to pee (I kid, we could pee for free, but #2 cost extra). I would write a strongly written letter expressing my frustration with the horrible experience we have had, but I fear they will just give me a free flight and I really don’t ever want to fly this airline again.
Now, in all fairness, this trip was without flaw up until this day (well, except for a little vomiting incident on the flights down). It was also a Christmas present from my wonderfully generous parents, so I don’t for a second want to seem ungrateful. However, I am thinking when traveling, sometimes you “pay” for being frugal. I have a feeling I will continue to “pay” tomorrow when I am sticking my kids in front of another cartoon so I can catch up on some sleep.