I don't know how some travellers seem to avoid mishaps and adventures, I truly don't. Things happen to me, to us, while travelling - things that never seem to happen to others. Some people plan a trip, follow the plan, and all goes fine. We plan to not plan, and things either work or they don't. Just the way we travel. Things just happen.
So of course, the Farewell Tour began with mishaps. Because it wouldn't be a Phebe and Richard Adventure without some problems, issues, rings to jump through and stumbling blocks to avoid.
Problem #1 - our bags are probably too heavy. However, the scale at the St. Thomas airport was broken, the agent said oh well, if it was important to get an accurate weight, someone would fix it, right? and she moved us along. (Of course, this means we MAY have problems further down the road with the weight of the bags - we don't even know!)
Problem #2 - I requested an upgrade when we booked, and so we were upgraded - but I'm the one with "gold" status, and Richard is the one with the "upgrade stickers" - meaning I need the stickers, and he can't get the upgrade without me. BUT since we were upgraded, the airline's computer moved us and reassigned our seats - so we either had to pay for the upgrade, or be on standby out of Miami. Guess who paid for the confirmed first class seats? Yup, easiest way to resolve it.
Problem #3 - In Miami, we were forced (seriously, FORCED) to move items around so that the small rolling luggage (which fits overhead just fine) could be gate checked - this was carrying our family silverware, that my great grandparents brought from Europe - this is not leaving my sight - therefore, we stood at the entrance to the gateway rearranging luggage and getting frantic and trying to not block travellers who don't encounter these problems.
Problem #4 - Our friend Frank met us at the airport, but realized that while he had his wife's car because he thought it was more comfortable, he didn't have the remote to open the trunk - and even though we knew Jane could beep the remote over the cell phone to open the trunk, we couldn't get the call through or someone to answer. So we piled the two giant duffels and computer bag and excess bag and two daypacks on the back seat, I squeezed in, and Richard rode in the front with my small rolling baggage on his lap.
After a lovely evening with Frank, Jane, and family, much talk and laughter, and then a wonderful breakfast (homemade bagels!) and lunch, we headed into Washington DC - stopping along the way for a political fundraising and vote-raising barbeque, in someone's yard - somehow Richard found a man who had been a foreign exchange student in New Zealand in 1968 and we had all kinds of questions for him. He was interesting. We didn't chat much with anyone else, although I was asked to go get paper plates (uh, WHAT????) and then when I did find the host, she gave me the barbeque sauce to put on the table, while she went to get the extra plates. Oooookaaaaaay then!
We had a nice dinner at a West African place, chatting with people from Senegal, Ghana, Nigeria. Old home night for me!
And now, I'll sign off and get some rest!