We just got back from a glorious vacation in Siesta Key, Florida. At the recommendation of some of my readers (thank you!!) we stayed near Crescent Beach and it couldn’t have been more stunning. The gorgeous soft white powdery sand blew me away. I loved that it wasn’t hot to walk on, even in 98 degree temps.
However our trip didn’t start out so great. In fact just three hours before we were due to fly out we nearly had to cancel the whole thing. I’m wondering if it’s even possible for travel not to be chaotic because seriously I wouldn’t know. It seems when I fly anywhere chaos follows and this most recent trip was no exception.
We all arrived at the airport at 5:00 am last week. My kids were flying on their own to Toronto to stay with their grandparents for two weeks. My hubby and I were then set to fly out two hours after them on a different airline to Florida. The problem started when the Air Canada ticket agent took one look at my kids, asked their ages and then promptly told me that there was no way my 5 year old would be allowed to fly without an escort over 16 (my daughter is only 14).
Umm, come again?
At no time was I ever told this during the booking of the tickets. I didn’t even have the option to pay to have him accompanied by a flight attendant because apparently all accompanied minors have to be over eight so my older two could go but not my youngest. That so wasn’t going to work. Since my kids had flown by themselves the year before with West Jet (another Cdn airline) without any hassles I really hadn’t anticipated this at all. What I didn’t realize (because no one ever told me) was that the two airlines have two totally different policies regarding children flying alone.
So here we were early early in the morning (and I am so not a morning person) being told we would not be able to get the kids to Ontario which meant no way for my husband and I to get on our own flight to Florida. Talk about stress! I was so close to tears as were my kids. They had been looking forward to this trip for months, counting the days down on the calendar when they would get to see their grandparents and cousins again.
Think, think, think.
That’s when we pulled an Amazing Race. At least that’s what it felt like. I rushed my family down to the West Jet ticket counter and prayed we would be able to book them on a flight within the next hour or two. I have never booked a ticket so last minute before but they had space on a flight leaving at 8:00, the same time as my flight was scheduled to leave. Thank you God!!
They allowed me to usher the kids through security and take them right to their gate. I had to leave them there to wait on their own for about an hour and a half but they did absolutely fine…yay for Nintendo DS!
My husband and I then rushed down to the International area of the airport, through customs, through security and on to our flight!
We made it, the kids made it and it all worked out in the end. Well except of course for the extra $3000.00 it cost me to rebook with another airline. Still not sure how we will pay for that but I’m going to be writing a letter to AC asking them to cover the cost. Updated to add: They did!! So thankful to Air Canada for doing the right thing!!!
So despite that small (ha!) little hiccup we did go on to have a fantastic time. It was so nice to see the ocean again. In BC we use to live right on the coast so I have been missing it that is for sure now that we live in Alberta.
So here, in no particular order, is a list of some of the highlights of our trip and a few other things that fascinate me. It really takes so little :)
1. Traveling is not my friend. Relaxing on the beach however is. Too bad the two have to go hand in hand.
2. McDonalds in the US sell delicious Smoothies. I have no idea why they don’t sell them in Canada.
3. It fascinates me that ocean water can be so warm.
4. In Florida u-turns are legal, how cool is that?
5. Shell seeking should be a professional sport. It’s so much fun and totally addicting!
6. I loved checking out Ross, Marshalls and Target but boy was it hard to restrain myself from buying up the stores.
7. Target has the biggest display of 3M Command hooks I’ve ever seen.
8. They also have a huge selection of organizing stuff…the drool coming out of my mouth was just embarrassing.
9. United charges you $25.00 per checked bag which means so many people just getting by with carry-on bags. BUT there are limits for a reason people, stop holding up the line trying to shove your four oversized bags into the overhead bins.
10. Lounging around reading just didn’t get old for me. I thought it would.
11. As much as I love swimming in the ocean, salt water makes me gag.
12. There is something so romantic about watching gorgeous sunsets with your honey.
13. I wore every single thing I packed which makes the $25.00 I had to spend to check my bag totally worth it!
14. I am a sucker for souvenir/gift shops. I’m pretty sure I checked out every single one :)
15. I was thrilled to find a Siesta Key ball cap to fit my ginormous head. No easy feat let me tell you.
16. It is just so wrong that you cannot buy Ketchup chips in the US. You really are missing out.
17. The Hub in the Siesta Key village makes the BEST margaritas. Yum!
18. 98 degrees is HOT, thank God for air conditioning and cold showers.
19. Yahtzee to Go came in handy on rainy afternoons. I especially love it when I win. Yahtzee!
20. I loved Siesta Key so much I’d go back in a heartbeat, even with all the traveling chaos!