Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Long Road To Vacation

On the 28th August I left work thinking that this would be the last time I would see my place of employment for the next two weeks, as I was due to fly out of T&T the following day. However, mother nature well more like one of her nephews threw a monkey wrench in that plan. With Hurrican Ernesto heading for Miami, all flights heading there on the 29th were either pushed back or cancelled. Which was the case with my flight on American Airlines, originally my brother, his boss and I were supposed to have travelled on the 29th, instead we were pushed back to the 1st September. Which kinda worked out seeing as one of my brother's co-workers who was supposed to travel on the 30th would now travel with us on the 1st. As she had never travelled to the States before, having us around would make it a whole lot easier for here and her parents. In the meantime, I had to go back out to work for one more day, mostly to make arrangements for a shuttle bus to take us from the airport in Atlanta to my aunt's house. That was alll arranged and our route was supposed to look like this:

1st September T&T to Miami with a connecting flight to Atlanta.

This too was to have another mon key wrench thrown in the works. This time it was mostly due to the inefiencey of American Airlines. For starters, they are soooooo cheap, instead of meal we were offered a snack. You know what it was? A pack of Ole Corn Chips, one pack of burbon biscuits and a hotdog roll with cheesepaste. Even BWIA does far better than that! There was a dleay in takeing off due to the baggage still being loaded onto the aircraft, and there was a delay in landing due to bad weather in the vacinity of the airport. By the time we landed sometime after 6:35pm, we had a small window in which to make our flight and there was still customs and baggage claim to go through. Due to the rain and lightening the baggae handlers were not going to unload anyhting until it passed.

By the time we collected our luggage and made our way over to the counter to find out about our flight it was already too late. The flight had long departed and there would not be another one to Atlanta till the following morning. They had offered us a voucher for a hotel, yeah right. All the hotels in the area were booked up solid as it was labor day weekend. So the four of wound up spending the night in the airport. We got ourselves a little something to eat...hot dogs and chips, then found an area to settle down and wait till the following morning. Luckily the spot where we were camping out was right in front of a newstand, so we were able to get a few snacks, water and juice to tide us over. I don't think I slept at all during the 12+ hours that we spent at the Miami international Airport, as it was a group of us travelleing together it made the whole thing a bit bearable.

Originally we had been booked for an 11:18am flight to Atlanta, but tried to get on the 8:15am flight as stand by's. Out of the four members of our party, two were confirmed on the 8:15am flight, while my bother and I were still on standy by. There were a lot of folks on stand by that were trying to get on the flight, so it did not seem like my brother and I would be on the same flight with the others. As they were near the end of boading, they had called a few names who were not there. Just as I was about to tell my brother let's go and get some pizza for breakfast, they called us. YES!!! We made the flight.

From this trip I have decided that based on destination I will not travel with American Airlines ever again. I would sooner stick with BWIA and their cramped seating, or catch a connecting flight through either Barbados or Puerto Rico to my destination instead of going through the Miam International Airport.

After landing and makeing our way to my aunt's place, we had a brief rest before going on to DragonCon, which is a four day Sci-Fi convention, we had already missed the opening day, but we were able to get a ticket pass for the remaining three days. After staning in a seriously looooooooooonnnnnggggggg line populated by people in costumes of every make and type that seemed to go on forever, my bother and I finally got to the ticket counter and got our passes (his boss and fellow co-woker were volounteering for the event, so they did not have to join the line), and went to check out the event.

Compared to the ones that I had been to in Trinidad , this one was the motherload. There were a lot of vendors that offered a wide array of itmes from comics, novels, action figures, dvds, models, game stuff etc. You name it they had it. We picked up a few things on our first day there, then got some more itmes during the remaining two days. I had an opportunity to talk to several vendors, authors and such about my plans for a business and was even able to exchange business cards so I would have my contacts when it comes time to start shopping for the business.

As I've already made a pre-registration payment for next year, the plan is as follows:
1. Leave at least two to three days before the start of DragonCon.
2. Arrange to stay at one of the hotels where they will be holding the event, thay way during the course of the day we could always go back to the room to rest during the day.
3. Save up more money, a definite, thankfully I did not spend all of my vacation money at the event and still have some left for the remainder of my time here. But nevertheless, I plan to save more for next year's event.
4.Fly to Barbados then connect with a flight to Atlanta.
5. Come up earlier to go and visit my friends in NY and NJ before the event.

Inspite of the difficulty that was encountered on the way here, DragonCon made up for it in many ways.

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