You young people probably have only heard of outdoor toilets, but I can remember having to use them at my great grandparent’s place and at the cottage at Traverse City. Most had one spot to go but some were what they used to call two holers. I understand that “bathrooming” is natural and everyone does it, but I believe that’s one place where you should have privacy. I’ve mentioned that in earlier e-mails so you know where I stand on this issue.
Jean, Becky and I stayed in the same condo we’ve always stayed in at Panama City Beach. I’ve attached a picture of their idea of “a bath and a half”. No, it’s not a reflection in a mirror. The two toilets are about a foot apart and are separated by a pocket door. Becky suggested that, when two of us were in there, we could slide the pocket door open and read the newspaper together. I declined because I read faster than some others andÂ I didn’t really want to look at all the sale ads.
Again, I’m not prudish and my stomach can take a lot, but sitting next to someone on the “crapper”Â with all the extraneous sounds and odorsÂ that go along with it is not my “cup of tea”.
The airport thing started on Thursday. Jean and I said we would pick up Becky at the Panama City Beach airport.Â She said she wouldn’t have a checked bag since we brought hers down in the car along with Martin’s bike and wetsuit. Well, Becky thought you could take bottles in yourÂ bagÂ with 4 ounces of fluid when the rule is 3 ounces, so she had to check herÂ carryon.
Becky and Jim started out on the same flight, but Jim had to be there early to register for the raceÂ so he was on an earlier last leg. They both ran to catchÂ his flight with Becky thinking she could maybe get on Jim’s flight on standby. Things worked out and she wasÂ halfway down the jetway when she told them that she had a checked bag. With the rules the way they are, you must fly with your bags, so she couldn’t get on the plane.
That was OK and we would still pick her up at theÂ same time. Her flight was delayed, so instead of picking her up at 4:15, it would be closer to 5:00. That wasÂ OK too. She called at 4:15 and they were taxiing out to the runway, I knew they wouldn’t take off until at least 4:30Â and it was an hour flight, so Jean and I went to the groceryÂ store. We left WalMart at 5:15 and headed for the airport.
Of course it was rush hour and all the workers from the island were going home.Â The bridge leaving the island was a parking lot and we, naturally got in the wrong lane. It was our first time going back and we didn’t realize that the three lanes went to two, picked up another stream of traffic, and went to two again.Â We were in the center lane and both lanes on either side of us were moving while we stayed parked behind a semi.
We finally made it to the airport and Becky called while we were still five minutes out. That was perfect because she would get her bag, we would drive right up, and away we would go. Not so fast! She waited and waited and we drove around the airport three times before that last bag came down the chute and it wasn’t hers. She said she was going to the counter toÂ get the bag delivered when it did come inÂ so we went to a business right outside the gate to the airport and parked in their parking lot. Becky called to find out the address where we were staying and we didn’t know it.
She called about five minutes later and said that another plane had just landed and she would go down to baggage to see if her bag was there. It wasn’t Becky’s fault and we knew she was about “fit to be tied”, and so were we. Jean and I were frustrated and almost broke into the bottle of wine we got at the store and let Becky drive us back. Her bag finally came fifteen minutes later and away we went.
But that’s not the end of the story. Jean had a ticket on Allegiant Air to fly back yesterday from Orlando. The airport is about two hours away, so we took off at 1 so we could be there by 3 and her flight was at 4:10. We took a wrong turn and went “the long way” through Orlando, but stillÂ pulled into the airport at 3. Orlando has two terminals and we looked at the signs for each one, but Allegiant wasn’t listed. We went to the blue side and one of the baggage guys said Allegiant must be on the other side, so we went to the orange side. We still couldn’t find the sign, so Jean went in and I drove around the airport.
Inside, one of the baggage guys said Allegiant flew out of Sanford/.Orlando, not Orlando International. He said it was about fifteen miles away and he gave her directions how to get there.Â SoÂ I picked her up again and we headed for that airport. It wasn’t fifteen milesÂ but was closer to 32 miles so we knew the only chance was if the flight was delayed. It wasn’t and we got there at 3:55 when they had just closed the doors to the plane. They don’t fly every day so the earliest Jean could get back is Thursday.
Sanford/Orlando is on the Northeast side of town and we come in from the West, so we didn’t know how to get back. One of the exits from the tollwayÂ was Highway 50, and that’s the one we bring from Hudson, so we took that exit. 50 goes right through downtown Orlando and it was rush hour so it took us over an hour to get to the other side of town and we still had an hour and a half to drive.
After seven dollars of tolls and six and a half hours of driving, we get to do the same thing all over again on Thursday. I hate airports!!!
Congratulations to Martin, Jim and Jim Dyke on finishing Ironman Florida. The race started out chilly and there was a fairly strong wind the first half of the bike but, by evening, the weather was perfect for the run. We watched as all three passed in front of the condo four times. They can tell you about their impressions of the race, but we were glad that they all finished in good shape and were safe.
Just (My Butt And Back Are Sore From Driving) Jack