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My alarm was set for 4am, but I awoke shortly before it was set to go off, so I shut it off, and got up. I checked Delta’s website for the status of our flights. Everything looked good. I took a quick shower, and finished packing those last minute items. Everything on my check list was checked. I loaded the bags in the car. For security, I hooked up timers to a couple lights to come on in the evenings.
At 5:15am, we left for the airport. We got to the airport around 6am. We parked our car in the economy lot which they recently moved off airport, and caught a shuttle to the terminal. The shuttle driver always asks what airline, drops us off in front of it. It is courteous, but the Rochester airport is so small, if doesn’t make much of a difference. There was no one in line, so we breezed through check in. We grabbed a quick breakfast at McDonalds, and headed to our gate.
Our first flight left on time at 8am, and took us to Atlanta. Our flight arrived in terminal D, and our connecting flight left from terminal T. The terminals there are A, B, C, D, E, and T. T? Where did they get T? The only thing I can think is that T stands for ticketing. Anyway, our connecting flight left on time also, and we arrived in Ft Lauderdale around 1pm.
We found the Carnival people in the baggage claim carrying little signs. They checked our papers, and told us to get our bags, and meet in a specific spot. I went over and waited for our bags. The first bag came off shortly. We waited and waited for the second bag, and I was starting to worry that it didn’t make it. But it finally appeared on the belt.
We headed back over and waited with some other people, and headed some pleasant conversations. Soon the lady took us out to the bus. We left our luggage on the curb, and boarded the bus. The bus driver loaded our bags, and soon we left. We drove through the airport, and we were looking forward to going to the ship. Soon we arrived…back at the spot we had just left. Apparently they wanted to pick up another passenger. So they loaded the passenger, and then we were on our way again. We could see the ship from miles away.
Since we were among some of the last passengers to arrive, the check-in lines were almost non-existent, and we breezed through check in.
Then we were on the ship. We took our stuff to our cabin, and dumped it off. Our cabin which was on deck 4 had French doors that open. Our view was obscured by a life boat, but we could still see some water and sky. The fresh air was nice.
My niece Christin and her friend Sara were staying in the next cabin. I went over and banged on the door, and luckily they were there. It was nice seeing them again. My wife Helen, the two girls and I headed over to my brother’s cabin which was up a couple decks. We banged on the door, and my brother yelled they were getting dressed. We waited, banged, and still he said they were getting dressed. After about 5 or 10 minutes, we gave up. Helen and I headed up to the Lido deck to get some food since we really hadn’t eaten much since the McDonalds breakfast. We explored the offerings, and then settled on some roast beef, chicken and pasta stuff. We didn’t eat too much as dinner would be in a couple hours at 5:45pm.
My brother Jay, and his girlfriend Suzie showed up at our cabin, and it was good to see them. We discussed excursions for a bit, but then we started getting announcements for the muster drill, so they headed back to their cabin.
They had a muster drill where we put on the life vests, and headed down to muster station C. This didn’t take too long, but they have to do it before we sail. Now the ship was ready to sail, so we returned the vests to our cabin, headed up to watch us leave port. It was windy, so we found a spot where we could watch while not getting wind blasted. This is always fascinating.
Then we explored the ship for a bit, then headed back to our cabin to get ready for dinner. The first night was very casual as many people were still waiting for their luggage.
Around 5:45, Helen and I headed down for dinner, which was not too far from our cabin. We were taken to our table, and we waited for my Brother and group. We waited and waited. But they never showed up. Helen and I speculated reasons why they hadn’t shown up. We thought the most likely was that their bags hadn’t arrived, and he thought they couldn’t come to dinner in shorts.
Dinner was excellent! I started with a mushroom soup followed by a heart of romaine salad. The main entree was a New York steak with peppercorn sauce. Yum! Helen and I shared a couple desserts that were also great. One had basil ice cream. I didn’t even know they made basil ice cream. It was good.
Christin and Sara showed up and said that their group had lost track of time. They planned on going to the second seating. They didn’t realize these seatings were set, and they ended up eating on the Lido deck.
Helen and I spent some more time exploring, and then gambling in the casino. I wasn’t doing well so I left. Helen on the other hand won some money. I explored some more, and got a slice of pizza on the Lido deck.
We made arrangements with my brother and group to meet up for the first night show. They had singing and dancing. A comedian guy came out, but at this time I was starting to fall asleep. Following the show, we headed back to our cabins, and went to bed.

Go to next days log

A bunch of years ago, my wife had driven across country from Rochester, NY to Seattle, WA to visit with family. Following our visit, we were takeing a relatively leisurely drive back home. We had spent part of a day in Rapid City, SD where we saw Mt Rushmore and a couple other attractions. We were no back on the road heading east. We planned to drive for a few hours and stay at a motel, and visit one of the places where Laura Ingalls Wilder had grown up next day.
This is where things had gone wrong. I was sleeping in the passenger seat of my 1987 Acura Integra as my wife drove. The first thing I was aware of following that was leaving the hospital. Apparently while I was sleeping, my wife had fallen asleep at the wheel briefly on I-90 near Wall, SD. She veered off the left. When she awoke, she over steered to the right sending us off the road. She says she saw us toward a pond near the road so she hit the brakes. This is when the car rolled. I do not remember the ambulance ride back to Rapid City. My wife tells me that I repeatedly asked “What happened? Is my wife okay? Is the car okay? What happened?” I do not remember the hospital at all. I do not remember holding my wife’s jewelry as she had an MRI. She is lucky I didn’t give it away to the first person that came along. The first point at which I was aware was while we were waiting in the hospital pharmacy as we getting ready to leave. The nice people at the hospital had got us a room at a nearby motel. I remember walk walking to the motel wearing paper slippers from the hospital as I wasn’t wearing my shoes as I was napping in the car. I also hadn’t wearing my glasses, so everything was blurry.
At the motel we were going through my Day Runner. I kept asking my wife questions. I was so out of it, that I didn’t remember if we had the accident on our way to Seattle, or on the way back home. I was going through the calendar and asking her if we saw these people, or those people. I didn’t even remember salmon fishing on the Pacific Ocean with my father in law.
We contacted our insurance company, and the next day the insurance adjuster came and picked me up at the motel, we drove out the see the car. My Acura was twisted. I grabbed my glasses, and my shoes. It was good to be able to see clearly again. I began gathering our belongings from the ruined car. We had had a cooler in the back of the car with frozen salmon on dry ice. The tow truck driver had kept it for me, but I told him to keep it and enjoy it. I loaded our stuff into the adjuster’s car. He was very nice. We had met so many helpful people.
I got all of stuff back to the motel. I had loaded the car with stuff that I had stored at my Mom’s house. So now I had various tools such as a scroll saw, and other stuff here. We visited the local grocery store, and got some boxes and boxed all the stuff up as best we could.
We set about trying to figure out how to get home. I looked at renting a car, but did not have a credit card. Family members in Seattle offered to use their credit cards to rent a car for us, but we would need the card to pick up the car. I contacted the corporation I work for that has a travel department. They would help me rent a car with National, but unfortunately National didn’t do one way rentals. My brother wired us some money, and we ended up buying some bus tickets back to Rochester, NY.
The initial legs were okay. We were on feeder lines that I believe were operated by Jackrabbit. We shared the buses with many interesting people. One of our fellow passengers was a monk, and he was very funny with a great sense of humor.
My wife was still hurting from some of the cuts she had received. I was recovering from my concussion.
Eventually we left the feeder lines, and then got to the main Greyhound lines. This is where things went downhill. I remember one place where we were transferring buses. I saw them loading our luggage on a bus, but the bus was labeled Los Angeles. I asked where the bus was going, and it was confirmed that the bus was going to Los Angeles. I pointed to our luggage that they had just loaded on the Los Angeles bus, and they unloaded it. A short while later were on the correct bus with our luggage.
At a later place we were on a bus waiting to get going. Our next stop left us a half hour layover which was kind of tight. A man got on the bus and said there was an express bus going, and asked if anyone wanted to go on that bus. Due to the tight layover, we said we would go on that bus. Soon we were on the “express” bus. We asked about our luggage, and he ask when our connecting bus was supposed tp leave. We told him, and he said our luggage would make it fine on the other bus. I pointed out that our last bus had been 45 minutes late getting in. He ordered me to sit down. I asked him for his name. Again he ordered me to sit down. Again I asked him his name. He told me to get off of his bus. Shortly thereafter security people came on the bus and took me off. They fortunately put us back on the first bus with our luggage. Our bus was late getting in, and we missed our connecting bus. Funny thing is that the “express” bus came in AFTER our non express bus.
So now we had a 6 hour layover in a very uncomfortable bus depot. There were few seats, and people were forced to sit on the hard floor. I saw signs everywhere talking about investing in Greyhound. With a quick look around, I guessed I was one of the few people that was likely to be investing in stocks, and after my experiences, I sure wasn’t investing any money into Greyhound!
Eventually we made it to the bus depot in downtown Rochester, and we took an expensive cab ride home.
The first thing I did when I got home was fill out one of the many credit card applications I got in the mail all the time. Meanwhile a friend of mine rented a car for us to use while we went shopping for a new car. I don’t ever want to ride long distance on a bus again. I am leery about trains as they might be too much like buses. My wife never wants to see Rapid City again. On long distance drives, I do most if not all the driving, but we have never driven cross country back to Seattle again. Now we always fly there.

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