On the Way to Colorado
Trip Start Jul 02, 2012
136Trip End Ongoing
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Once at the airport it was a little confusing. We went to the main American Airlines check-in cue. The lady at the entrance to the line gave us an immigration departure form and sent us to a self-serve kiosk back by one of the main entry doors to the terminal. Even though it was self-service, there was a lady there to help everyone. She scanned our passports and gave us all six of our boarding passes. She then directed us back to the main American Airlines cue.
When we made it to the front of that line we were able to check our luggage. The agent asked if we wanted a wheelchair. Leslie declined. When we made it to the end of the first security cue Leslie saw the err of her ways. The line seemed to stretch on forever. I walked back to the counter and got an attendant with a wheelchair. She and I went back to collect Leslie. As soon as her butt hit the seat we were off like a shot. As is becoming the norm, we went quickly by everyone else in line.
The attendant left us at the gate for about 20 minutes. When she returned she wheeled Leslie down the ramp to the door of the plane. We took our seats and waited for the plane to load.
After loading, we were about 20 minutes late pushing back from the gate. The captain told us it was due to a combination of mechanical problems and the airport losing their flight plan. Shortly after he told us that we were on our way.
We landed in Miami at 11:00, right on time. As soon as we got off the plane we were met by a wheelchair. We made the normal trips through immigration and customs. Then the attendant took us in the direction of our next gate.
As we were going through security, I had a bit of a snafu. Normally when I go through security I place everything that is in my pockets into my carry-on. This time the wheelchair attendant was quite fast which put me off my game. Additionally, as is normal, she cut right to the front of the line with us.
I had both bags so I put them on the table. I quickly unzipped my bag to pull out my laptop and put it in a different bin. I took off my shoes and hat and sat those on the conveyor. I was trying to get all of our bins, bags, and Leslie's cane into the X-ray machine. In all of that haste I forgot to take out my money clip. I also had forgotten the magazine and book I had in my back pants pockets.
When I walked through the metal detector it went off. That's when I realized I had my money clip. I told the agent. He said it was no problem and asked that I go through again, without removing the money clip. Of course the detector went off again. When I went back through, one of the other agents saw the magazine and book. She directed me to put them on the belt to go through the X-ray machine, but not the money clip. Once again the metal detector went off. The agent just asked me to stand by him.
The agent spoke to one of his colleagues and said some code like "UST". The other agent acknowledged that and had me follow her to a different station. At that station she swabbed my hands with a small white cloth. It is a test for explosive residue. She put the piece of cloth in a machine. A few moments later she said I could pass. I collected all of our junk and we were on our way again.
We stopped some 20 gates short at a Cuban restaurant. It was a cafeteria style restaurant so I sent Leslie through the line while I sat at a table with our bags. Leslie ultimately made eye-contact with me and shook her head no. She came back to the table empty-handed and we left. She said the food looked disgusting.
Walking a little farther in the concourse we found a T.G.I. Friday. I was apparently still having a fried shrimp craving, so that is what I ordered. Leslie had a Jack Daniels chicken sandwich. We both had a glass of Malbec. The lunch was wonderful.
Leslie and I boarded our plane for Dallas. While we watched the other passengers board we were struck by all of the people from Brazil, Peru, Ecuador, and Mexico. I am not sure why, but the plane was about 20 minutes late pushing away from the gate. I thought the delay was possibly due to weather. When I had looked at the television monitors in the terminal I did see storms covering Oklahoma and quite a few south of Dallas.
As we continued farther in our flight it became more and more obvious that weather was the problem. The fasten seat belt sign was illuminated for most of the three-hour flight. It was not the worst chop I have been in, but it was fairly bumpy.
About 30 minutes prior to landing, the pilot informed us we had been re-routed a little because of the storms. He asked the flight attendants to secure the cabin much earlier than normal because of the anticipated bumps. As it turned out, it was not so bad. We were somewhere between 20 and 30 minutes late arriving as a result.