Friday, August 14, 2015

Flying Florida // Harder Than It Sounds

Well friends, July is entirely over. (has been for a little bit... ) I'm feeling good about that. Summer has always been a tough season for me. But this summer was just extra chaotic. New job, traveling for work, my family moving away, traveling twice in one month, our first car accident ...
Well, our Florida trip, while definitely having very good parts... was sort of following suit.
The beginning of our trip was great. We visited a very cool part of Tampa, had dinner and saw a flamenco show. 
The next few days were devoted to a wedding and family gatherings. All of that was really fun. The wedding was beautiful, and I have never seen any group of people dance so much in my entire life! It was incredible. I am so glad that we were able to be there for that! We got to go to a BBQ at the bride and groom's house the next day and chat with them more which was great.
We then set off on our way to a Florida Family Vacation. Which was just filled with rain. Seriously, I felt awful for my in-laws who just love the beach and the sun, and planned to spend as much time beaching and sunning as possible. There was not a lot of that!

On many of those first rainy days we went out in search of adventure in nearby towns. We ate and shopped, walked, and saw what we could. Oftentimes, shifting as necessary to things that were planned for another day. Which meant, combining with strange Florida scheduling (not open Monday or Tuesday, not open 12-5, not open when I don't want to be here...), we ended up in places where things weren't open on that given day.

It is also a challenge to fit in what everyone wants to do when there are six of you! (and only one car). We certainly did our best to make it work, our flexibility and patience were tested, our umbrellas were used and shoes soaked. We took side trips, broke up into different groups to accommodate different plans.

We got very good at packing into the rental mini van (which was fabulous, really it was), at functioning without caffeine, and packing up the beach stuff quickly when it began to pour.
We got to see scenic views, beautiful museums, tasty meals, and lots of smiles. Also, a few very large and unexpected spiders and snakes.
We made it through our week, not too rain-soaked, and packed up. We drove to Tampa, dropped off our rental car, got through security, and waited with plenty of time at our gate.

Our flight was delayed.

Then it was back to normal.

We boarded. We pulled out of the gate. We taxied.

We taxied.

We taxied.

Stuck on the plane. Weather delay.

3 hours on the plane. (no pretzels)

Back to the gate.

Waiting on the gate.

Off of the plane!!

Ate snack. (lots of snacks...)

Waiting to re-board.

Waiting to re-board.

Waiting to re-board.

1.5 hours waiting to re-board. (other planes are taking off again)

Mechanical Issue on Plane.

May be getting new plane.

Flight cancelled.

1.5 hours in line at Southwest.

45 minutes at kiosk to book new flight, etc.

1.5 hours to get bags off broken plane.

Picked up by our saviors, parents of the bride.


1 hour to Orlando.

3.5 hours of sleep.

Rush through airport.

Board new plane. Take off as expected. Land at home.

1 hour in the car on the way home.

We finally made it home.

It was all really bad luck. The weather, the mechanical failure, the lines, the lack of flights from Tampa to KC. I think the biggest thing was, we were all ready to be home. We'd done what we went there to do, or at least what we could do. We had all been going with the flow for a week. We had all not slept or ate as regularly as we should have. We had all had more than we could take. But we couldn't get home. Not for 24 more hours at least.

In the end we made it. Some of these things are even starting to be funny. But it was really hard.

Hope you enjoyed that little plane struggles poem... haha #jokes

I promise to post about the good stuff soon, the food and cool places. :)

See More (read: FUN) Florida posts: Tampa, Dunedin, Tarpon SpringsClearwater, St. Petersburg, Orlando/Winter Park, and "The Treasure Coast."

Have you ever had a group/family trip like this? How did you make it work?

Have you ever experienced a delay like this?



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