Leaving on a Jet Plane

All our bags are packed, we’re ready to go…
Ok, so the dawn was breaking alright, yet there was no taxi waiting for us, blowing his horn, nor were we lonesome in the least. In fact, we still had quite a lot of time to kill before taking off at 6:15 pm.

Today, we planned to go to the Seaquarium in Miami. Our last, most desperate chance to finally see some manatees. Aaaand? We were successful. It’s not as impressive as some other places, I’d say the Seaquarium is functional and not an eyesore. What I don’t quite get is why when they go for Crocodiles, they go for NILE crocodiles (Africa… yanno…. the other continent that starts with ‘A’ and ends with ‘a’… No, not Australia), but, hey, they sure must have had a reason for that. Quite a number of sea turtles, sadly though the reflections on the water made me unable to get a decent shot, next time I’ll be equipped with filters.

Mel finally got to see her manatees. Talk about one happy camper, I bet she could have stayed there for hours. OVerall, it was a nice experience, a nice collection of animals, yet after 3 hours we decided to finally head out. After all, we had to check in our luggage, return the rental and then go through security. Neither of us expected the same breeze as in Philadelphia, we rather wanted to err on the safe side.

First and foremost…traffic to Miami International is a nightmare. Whoever came up with the signs deserves to be taken to the back parking lot to be on the receiving end of some vicious shin kickings. We had to approach the airport TWICE and still did not end up on the intended parking lot. GRRRR!

Nevertheless, we made it…and passed a HUGE line waiting for their security checks. Huge as in waiting times in excess of two hours. Yeah, I know, it was around the time of the thing in India, but still…whoa nelly! Concerned, we headed to the Lufthansa counter…where we found a matching line. Turned out the flight to Frankfurt was overbooked and late… and everybody and their grandmother were booked on that flight. So they had priority check-in for all those krauts/crowds (sorry, couldn’t resist…) and all other blokes who just wanted to go to, say, Dusseldorf for example, got the short end of the stick, but the long end of the line.

Casting more and more panicky glances at the not dwindling security check lines did not help the matter. True, we still had three hours until boarding time at that time, but we still didn’t return the rental. Finally, we were able to check our luggage..and would you believe…all three pieces had only have the allowed weight. Gosh golly darn, we could have shopped ’til we dropped.

The return of the rental was a bit spooky, as the genius who designed the airport parking signs clearly was at work as well on the ‘return rental’ signs. Sheeeeeesh! There were neighborhoods we were passing through (all with signs) where we expected people convincing us with an impressive display of weaponry that they’d return the car for us…eventually. Tourists? Us? Damn straight!

After another not so little while, we finally arrived at the House of Hertz, returned the rental, I didn’t have time nor inclination to go traipsing for the Corvette fleet shot…we just hopped on the shuttle and headed back to the airport, fearing greatly the security line.

Turned out that the line itself shrunk significally (apparently all flights to India were savely off…) and we had an intense this time, yet fast check. Remove shoes, show laptop, lather, rinse repeaet. Ah well. I did get a snowball flamingo thing for my desk at work, cheesy but sure to earn the intended wrath of my colleagues, we both needed a book for the return flight…and sadly we had to sit in the center of the plane, we did have two window seats, but they could not get an aisle adjacent to either of the windows in trade, so we gave up our windows in order to get adjacent seats at least in the center.

More news tomorrow, we’ll find out how the flight turned out to be.

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