Puerto Rico 2011 – Day 8

The alarm went off super early as everyone had to finish packing and get ready to head to the airport for our return home. I actually woke up before my alarm went off since day 2 on the sleeper was so-so. One thing about this trip – I didn’t get much good, quality sleep at all at the hotel, and I’m sure it has affected me the whole week.

We finished packing and showering, with me trying not to put too much of a show on for Mom and Gary through the frosted glass in the bathtub, and headed down to check out. We were right on time and after getting some quick sunrise photos, we piled into the Ford Excursion taxi and headed to the airport. I was the only one traveling on American as everyone else was on US Air. They disembarked first, and I was left alone on the Excursion until we reached my terminal.

It was bedlam in the airport which was surprising for it being 7am! I got my bag screened by the agriculture machine and after checking in, settled in for the long wait at bag drop. Little did I know that that line was not nearly as long as the TSA line. Initially, there was only two lanes open and the lines were evenly filled with waiting passengers, but as we waited they opened anothe line on the other side and our line took forever as people struggled with the basic laptops and shoes rules. It’s only been 10 years, and I can’t believe people still can’t figure it out.

I wandered around after security looking at the shops for water and last minute souviners before heading to the gate. The flight to Miami was full to the brim, but thankfully I boarded in group 2 so I was able to put my backpack up in the overhad compartment to give myself a bit more leg room. The nice couple next to me were already on board and they slept through most of the flight. Sure enough there was an obnoxious baby behind us, but I just blasted my music to make it go away. The flight was a pretty uneventful two hours save for the landing in Miami which occurred in the middle of a thunderstorm and featured a couple of steep drops and a nice crosswind landing.

My layover in Miami was tight and I had a long way to go to get to the gate for my LAX flight so as soon as I could get off the plane, I hustled to the tram to go to the other end of the terminal. Once at my gate, I discovered there was a slight cleaning delay for our aircraft so I took the opportunity to forage for food. I found some chicken strips at Nathan’s (I wasn’t about to eat a snappy hot dog!), and the waited to board. This flight was less than full leaving an empty middle seat for me and the elderly gentleman in the window seat.

I settled in and finished watching Star Trek: The Motion Picture which I had started on the flight over. I then made it all the way through Star Trek 2 and halfway through Star Trek 3 before we had to pack everything up around Palm Springs due to windy conditions and some extra turbulence. We made it on the ground a few minutes early which was great since we had left about 15 minutes late.

Daniel arrived just as I got my bags from baggage claim and we headed home. The trip has finally come to a close and I hope the cold weather doesn’t make my sore throat come back. Now going to rest and plan the next adventure!