The last night in Florida was great. My sister, Ellen, drove down to pick us up and take us to her house for the night. My parents came over for dinner to participate in “twenty questions.” It was a good “last supper” for us.
We had a very nice chat with my sister on the ride up. Even though we only live two hours away, we only visit for a few hours a year at the holidays. With her boys in college now, I hope she and Martin take the opportunity to travel more. We hope to be able to meet them and their oldest son, Brian, this summer as we skirt around Eastern New York.
The final stuffing of the packs went without a hitch. Karen’s pack weighed 18lb before food and water so that’s only one pound away from the target. We are carrying more clothes than we will need in the summer and heavier bags than we will be using then, so her summer weight should be closer to 15. My pack was heavier than expected, too, at 22 pounds before food and water. I was hoping for 18. I already decided to ditch the Kindle and rain pants. We have long pants, fleece pants, and umbrellas so I might not be super comfy in cold rain the first month, but I’ll get by. I decided to keep the guide book, but it’s on the chopping block. The pack was overstuffed with only four days of food so I also switched out the twenty degree winter bag for the forty degree summer bag. Now everything fits, but just barely. If we get weather below freezing I will need to sleep in my fleece. I should be able to use the summer bag for the whole trip until we get down to the Smokies in September. (Update: Union Station has a post office in it so the Bluetooth keyboard is on its way south.)
We transferred all the stuff that you don’t want to check through security into my pack and stuffed it to the gills. We then had her pack still stuffed pretty full and one carry on food bag. We we zipped right through TSA pre check for some reason and got right to the gate in record time.
Why are TSA agents always gruff? It must be part of the job description.
I expected a delay with the pack through the x-ray since there were a thousand odd things in there but it flew through. A quick stop at Starbucks and a restroom break at the gate and we are up up and away as I write his in the air if for no other reason than to test out the offline posting modes. Seems to work well. And typing on the new phone is not as bad as I thought it was going to be so I think the Bluetooth keyboard is leaving us at the first post office we hit, too.
Since we had to check one bag, we had to stop at the ticket counter check-in. The line was huge and we thought we might miss our flight at first, but an agent told us that there was a small line at the far end, so that worked out well. It seemed like she was there to talk to us specifically and no one else. Our guardian is already watching over us. One woman at the front counter said she had been waiting in line for over an hour. I’m very glad that was not our case. I think we will have a very good trip.