Celebrity Caribbean Cruise – Part One: En Route

Celebrity Caribbean Cruise – Part One: En Route

As usual, with pleasure comes a bit of pain. Well, that’s what I hear anyway. In this case, to get to a cruise one must suck it up for the airport/airline experience. We were booked to Ft. Lauderdale on Southwest, mostly because of lower airfare and free bags, of which we had three. But there is the cattle call aspect of the whole thing. If you haven’t flown Southwest, know that there are no reserved seats, just boarding priority groups. You must line up next to numbered posts corresponding to your boarding priority group, i.e., A, B, C, etc. The higher your letter and accompanying number, the farther back in the aircraft you’ll sit and the less likely you’ll sit together if you’re traveling with someone. Of course, Southwest will...

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North Carolina RV Dealers Association Show September 2012

North Carolina RV Dealers Association Show September 2012

  This year, the North Carolina RV Dealers Association show at the Wake County Fairgrounds featured displays from nine member dealers. Both the Exposition Center and the Jim Graham Building were filled with pop-ups, pull trailers, fifth wheels, toy haulers and motor homes. As well, the grounds around the two buildings featured an assortment of units.  RV parts and accessories were available, as well as booths for RV service, RV parks, golf carts and even something called Doggy Baggage. Guess it takes all kinds. Ellen couldn’t make it so I asked my friend Bob to come along. Wait ’til his wife finds out he ordered a motorhome. (Just kidding. He didn’t. Really.  Honest.) Even though I just got a new fifth-wheel, I still like looking around at...

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Observations on the Airline Experience

Observations on the Airline Experience

I get a snicker out of some of the ‘airline speak’ I hear – saying stuff like “illuminated” instead of “lit,” and “in the off position” instead of “off.” Who doesn’t love, “…tampering with, disabling or destroying?”  I think a simple, “Don’t f*** with the smoke detectors!” would suffice.  And have you ever really listened to the nonsensical random voice modulation flight attendants use when reciting their canned speech? I can only figure that they’ve repeated it so many hundreds of times that they aren’t even listening to themselves, and vary their voices randomly to make it sound as though they are. Thinking about it while sitting and waiting for takeoff, it occurred to me...

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Celebrity Constellation Caribbean Cruise Part One January 14, 2012

Celebrity Constellation Caribbean Cruise Part One January 14, 2012

What is it about anticipating a vacation trip that makes you pop awake at an unsuitably early hour and immediately start thinking through a checklist of things to do/pack/take care of before leaving? Having an 8:10 am flight didn’t help any, either. We were mostly packed already and just had to throw in last minute crap, load the car, and flush all the toilets one more time and leave the lids up so the cat would have plenty of water. Yeah, he likes to drink out of the … well, you get it. Security was pretty crowded at the Southwest gates but moved pretty well despite one lane being closed. Most personnel were polite although some acted a bit more ‘important’ than others. This was the first time I had to actually go through one of the...

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Visit to Portland, Oregon August 2011 – Part Five

Return Home At PDX, we got through security quickly with no beeps, no gropes and, once again, no x-ray. This time, they weren’t interested in Ellen’s powdered prescription. As boarding began, I missed the call for Priority and didn’t know our boarding group number. When I asked at the gate, I got a dismissive, “I already called your group.” Hmmph, well excuse me for being just a dumb paying customer. For this trip, the aircraft was again an MD-80. Yawn.  (These airplanes are getting long in the tooth, as the saying goes.) The woman in front of Ellen was barely seated before she tilted her seat back – inconsiderate twit.  Even as crew members checked seat backs and tray tables before takeoff, not one noticed, until finally I just held up a...

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