Travel

Travel can be great…but it can also be such a pain in the butt. This past weekend Mr. SFF had a long weekend business trip planned to Florida and I got to tag along. The plan was to leave Thursday afternoon, work Friday and into Saturday if needed, then drive 3 hours to see my Memere (grandmother) for the night before flying back home in Sunday.

As we strolled in to the airport on Thursday afternoon everything seemed grand. There was literally no one in the security line, the terminal was brightly lit by sunshine, and everything we thought would go just as planned…until we sat at the end of the runway for seemingly no reason for at least 15 minutes (with no ac). This is certainly not great with only a 40 minute layover but we thought we should still have enough time since our gate was in the same terminal.

Well my positive thinking didn’t do us much good. The flight attendant assured me before we landed that we would have enough time to catch our connection. That was until we sat at the gate, locked in the plane, for 20 minutes. The reason? The couldn’t find the chuck for the wheels. Seriously? It’s not like you so don’t know we were coming! #wtfunited  When we finally got off the plane I had to wait for my gate checked bag while Mr. SFF ran to the gate to try to get them to hold the plane.  No luck these as the plane left 5 minutes early.  I didn’t even know planes did that. Argh!

By the time I got my bag he was at customer service trying to find another way to get us there. The plan? Go through Chicago first, adding a third flight to the mix. But that flight was in another terminal (of course) and was already boarding. This is where I am so thankful that I run Spartan races (and wore comfortable shoes) as we sprinted with our bags to the other terminal. Dripping in sweat we ran up just before the closed the doors. We never would have made it if we were out of shape. We were forced to check our carry on bags as the flight was full so after some reshuffling of items (making sure Mr. SFF’s gear was with us) we boarded.  We did finally arrive but getting to our hotel room around midnight instead of a nice reasonable 8:30 like we expected.  Flying is so stressful!

The “business” part of the trip went pretty well, other than Mr. SFF dropping some gear and breaking it. We didn’t have a lot of leisure time but did have a little bit of free time Friday mid day and Saturday morning before heading to visit my family.  I had a whopping 5 minute swim in the pool which it turns out would be my only swim time the whole trip. I guess that is what you get for planning a whirlwind trip. Our visit with my family was a low key but with lots of reminiscing of Memere’s past and of my Pepere who past away just over a year ago.  It is so evident that she still is so in love with my Pepere which is the sweetest thing. I just hope Mr. SFF and I can still be so happily in love after decades of marriage.

On Sunday we planned a lunch with an old friend on our way to the airport. It was a quick visit but still great to catch up. It’s amazing how much we crammed into 3 days but I certainly look forward to having more time to travel and visit.  We really had no down time or time to relax which is kinda sad.

We got to the airport nice and early and I had time to purchase a “new” book before departing as I finished my other one one the way down. I was pleasantly surprised to see they had some previously read books for 50% off. Score! Our flight home was with Delta and with a longer layover this time we had high hopes of a smoother trip. Once again we were forced to check bags as we loaded in zone 3. Thankfully we planned a little better this time just in case and made sure we had Mr. SFF’s expensive gear in our smaller bags while checking our clothes. The frustrating part though was I directly asked the gate check agent if there was any room for bags and he said flat out no. Upon boarding there was likely enough room for at least 20 bags. So frustrating! Just another thing making me detest air travel even more. I mean sure, I can check my clothes but we are not trusting you with thousands of dollars of gear. #firstworldproblems

We made our connection this time while others on our flight missed theirs as we were delayed departing due to thunderstorms. It was a long day but we did make it home safely. We were also able to save some money on airport parking as we left my car at my office. Even taking into consideration the cab ride to the car we saved about $35 on parking. Not bad!

I love that air travel can get you to basically any place in the world but after our cancelled vacation in March (due to weather) and now this craziness it makes me dream for our future and the freedom FIRE will give us. We will no longer have to be slaves to the airlines. My dream/goal is to someday have an RV, maybe even just a camper van, so that we can slow travel around the country. My husband wants to continue his side business but we could plan a few week trip to drive out to CO to visit my sister in law and her family, stay as long as we want maybe taking in some days on the ski slopes, and the drive home. Or hop on the road and head south to FL. See some sights on the way but then spend some time with family without a worry as to having to leave at a certain time to catch a flight home and deal with all of the craziness and mounds of frustration that comes with it. Will RV travel be without stress? No, of course not. But at least we will have a little more control.

I am still not sure yet exactly what this RV plan looks like or when it will happen as that is another goal to save for, but it is trips and circumstances like these that make them even more desirable.

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