There was no problem when the plane was lifting off PWM Portland Jetport in the morning. Weather was fine and due to the fact that USAirways had neglected my request to give me the seat at the aisle I was now seated at the window on the VERY LAST SEAT in the plane. I didn’t check in my baggage, had everything with me, so also the NIKON 3100 which I started using eagerly when there was a fine view down to the coast of Maine.
No, the trouble started as we were all seated in the waiting area at Charlotte Intern’l Airport. The plane was supposed to leave at 11:45a but soon we got the news. Bad news.
There was a few “repairs” to be done on the plane and it had been hauled over to a hangar. With other words: it had disappeared from view for us. The next news we got was that departure was postponed until 12:15p. Alright half an hour…not too bad. Next news: 12:30p. What the devil…? Next news 12:45. Now we were looking at an hour late. I had long since called the sales guy in Florida telling him about the delay. They started boarding at 12:45a and were about done at 1.00p. That’s when I made another call to Florida.
This plane was much larger than the previous one and it was not full. I tried to get into Lala-land but I am a bad sleeper onboard of any airplane. But I think I made it happen today for about 45 minutes, cause I woke up of a very loud booming voice from the speakers announcing a landing within 35 minutes.
It said that we had been rerouted for the third time and if we looked out on the left side we would see FREEPORT in the Bahamas.
I did not see the Bahamas, as I was seated in the aisle seat I had requested.
After that I lost track of time and happenings, but I’m positive that another hour was gone when I came to myself again. Again there it took some time until the next announcement. We were still 30 minutes off and there Ft.Lauderdale was overcast and had a slight rain. So much for sunny Florida, I thought.
I looked around and saw this odd coupla guys being far away in dreamland. Nice guys eh?
After much cruising through Florida airspace we landed in Ft.Lauderdale Intern’l Airport which bear the odd name of Hollywood Airport. Let me tell you there is NO absolutely no resemblance of Hollywood.CA. So please, don’t mix that up.
Dan, the man, I had been phoning with all kind of bad new over the last hours, was cruising in a black pickup along the arrival zone. I phoned him again one last time and I saw his truck just pulling to the curb.
He took me north through the big city traffic of Pompano Beach, and Boca Raton before we reached the place where they had parked the beast.
Aside of a few touch-ups in the grand paint scheme there doesn’t seem to be anything amiss. The thing runs and breaks just as a guy would expect. The engine is big (5.9L) and probably thirsty like a bull in the desert. But who cares.
Well, I care. Surprisingly gas was not cheaper than in Maine. In fact mostly it was significantly higher. And that’s just another reason for me not to return to Florida any time soon.
Florida might work for some, but it never did for me and it never will. It’s downright boring here and the crowds would scare me off all the time. I’m not a man who likes big crowds. Gimmee a small crowd any time, but I hate the mingle of Florida. I also know that Florida has one of the highest crime rates in the country and it doesn’t surprise me a bit when I look at the poverty all around.
Anyway lets not go there.
I took over the van and departed north on I-95. My Norwegian GPS-lady talked me to a Motel at Lantana and that’s where I am holed up for the night.
Since all I ate today was a tiny sandwich, purchased at the outraging sum of $8.25 at the Charlotte Airport, I was reasonably hungry. So I asked the reception guy about a restaurant in walking distance. WALKING – because I had been SITTING all day. Thought it would be good. So, yeah half a mile up Lantana Blvd there should be a family-style restaurant. Without further investigations I marched up said Boulevard and I had probably walked just about a quarter of a mile when I noticed I was getting very sweat under my shirt. HUMIDITY! It was getting to me.
Before I ever reached the place I turned around. I walked it all back and I realized that in FLORIDA you don’t walk. That’s probably the reason why this guy at the reception desk had given me such a strange look. I entered the van punched up my GPS and found out that said eating place was 0.9miles up the Boulevard. Good thing I had turned around. Otherwise I would have died on the curb. Dehydrated!!
The parking lot was packed, but i found one empty spot. Since it was pretty warm, all doors of the restaurant were wide open. I noticed I drew a bunch of curious stares when the bus came to a stand-still right in front of it.
I ordered what I rarely do at home….a BURGER. It was all Angus with Chilly and fries. Oh and they had BEER. So I had me a Yungling dark ale. It was gone long before the food had arrived. The food was definitely all home-cooked and exceptionally good. The Yungling got another one and when they asked whether I’d like dessert I had to decline.
And that was the first day of my Florida adventure. There’ll be more tomorrow!
Thanks for coming along!