Thursday January 24, 2012
I knew this was going to be an early morning, and a somewhat rushed one too, they always are when you’re traveling, but I was not expecting the knock that came on hull sharply at 8 am. The alarm had been set for fifteen minutes after 8 where I had planned on taking a quick shower, shoveling down some breakfast, and making sure all my bags were packed before departing for the airport at 9:30. My parents ha offered to fly us out for a visit, and I was only more than happy to take them up on it. So this even earlier wake up call that we were not expecting left us with questions of “Who is it, and what do they want?”. Opening the door after a few seconds of pounding on the companionway and voices coming from outside saying, “Let me in, it’s cold out here!” we opened the door to find the guy that was going to be taking out the transmission and engine. Who as far as we knew, wasn’t supposed to show up until 1:00 that afternoon, after Matt had gotten back from bringing me to Jacksonville (he has to stay behind for all the projects to commence this week). Unbenounced to us, and even though he knew we were leaving that morning, the guy thought he would pop in for an hour or two to get the process started before the big work of actually removing the engine was to come that afternoon.
So before we were even fully awake or had the chance to get out of our pj’s, we were busy moving all the items from the aft cabin up into the v-berth and salon to make room for him to work. And all of these new items were now being piled on top of everything we’d already moved out of the port side settee. A project that had been done on Sunday night to make room for another guy that was supposed to come on Monday to repair all our broken tabbing. To which he never showed up on Monday. Or Tuesday, or Wednesday. The boat was now literally a disaster area. Still having to stick to my morning schedule, after helping Matt remove the bottom two steps for better access to the engine, I grabbed my shower supplies and went to get ready. The real trick came though after I had gotten back, and needed to get dressed. I hadn’t been smart enough to bring my change of clothes with me and was now forced to change in the head. Which was now also full of crap that we were trying to get out of the way. There were some real acrobatics involved changing in a space that small with no floor room. Back in the salon I was maneuvering around the small space, unpacking and then repacking things into my bag until I was finally ready. We sent the engine/transmission guy packing, I gave Georgie a long hard snuggle for as long as she’d let me hold her, and took one last look at my home that I hadn’t been away from for almost six months.
Waiting outside the boat yard gates for us was Chris, and we started the hour long journey up to the Jacksonville airport. Matt was along for the ride as Jacksonville has a very large and well stocked West Marine, and there are definitely a few more things we could use. Getting dropped off I said a quick and hard goodbye to Matt and went to check myself in. Initially at the wrong counter, too. Good thing I noticed I was on US Airways and not United before I got up to the counter and made a total fool of myself. But soon I did have my tickets in hand and a lot of time to kill when I realized I had never eaten that morning because the galley was ‘blocked’. Having been offered Starbucks on the ride up but originally declining, the one shining in my face at the airport looked too good to pass up, plus it had a seat right next to an electrical outlet, so I rushed up and ordered a venti caramel macchiato and a scone. It didn’t dawn on me until I was surfing the internet with a large drink in front of me that I remembered I’d probably still want to give myself an hour to get through security and to my gate. Which left me 30 minutes to chug a piping hot 20 oz coffee. Tried as I might, there was still a good 1/3rd left when my timer was up.
Quickly getting through security and the new x-ray machines that there is so much conspiracy about (it was my first time using one), I was sitting in front of my gate in a matter of 10 minutes. After having passed a Starbucks inside security. Damn. We just didn’t have perks like that back in Grand Rapids. Making sure I was one of the last people on the plane, because, who wants to sit on one any longer than they have to?, I was once again lucky enough not to be seated next to an over-talkative cat lady. (Wait, that’s not going to be me now, is it?) During the first leg of the journey (there was a layover in Charlotte) I became engrossed in the in-flight magazine and came across a very interesting book review for something I might need to find and check out of the library. It’s mostly based on sayings parents will tell their children on safety that have rolled down the generations, and if they’re actually true or not. Kind of a Myth Busters of ‘Don’t run with scissors’. Before I knew it we were landing and I had to almost run through the terminal to get to my next flight, which was boarding as I got there.
During the next four hours of that flight I read up on Aruba in the same in-flight magazine (can’t wait to get there), edited some photos, and listened to music. I can’t wait until I can get a new charger for my Nook and having that work on the way back. I’m not sure if it’s because of the watches in the cockpit or the past six weeks of stuffing myself behind the desk at the nav station with my computer, but the seats on the plane didn’t even feel very small to me. Bringing on two big bags since I’m not checking luggage, and then having them sit at my feet since the overhead compartment was full cramped my foot space a little, but it really wasn’t a bad ride. After landing I walked through the Phoenix airport and it’s many levels to find my mom waiting for me at the baggage claim. A few big hugs and we were on the way to the car where my dad was waiting for us and a cold Pepsi was waiting for me. My favorite! Then when I walked into my home away from home and went into the bedroom to drop off my bags there was a jar full of Skittles waiting for me on the nightstand. Another favorite. And the cherry on top, after getting to see my parents of course, was my engagement/wedding ring that had been stuffed away in a bank, ready for me to wear during my stay. Do my parents know how to take care of me, or what? I may have just walked in the door, but I can already tell this is an amazing week spending some much needed time with family, and possibly, getting spoiled rotten.
In St. Augustine news: The pulling of the engine/transmission did not go as smooth as we had hoped. Smooth as in, our companion way is no longer that. Because of a few cords that should have been disconnected and were not, while the engine was being pulled out of the companionway by the crane, it snapped back and sent the engine flying into the wall. From what Matt described to me, even with the height of the door handle for the head, there are now 7-8 pencil eraser size dents, and they’re deep. I haven’t heard if they can be filled, but it sounded like the only way to fully repair this would be completely replace that wall. Poor Matt. At least he has chocolate chip cookies to soothe his pain.
Cute couple dancing to Frank Sinatra at the airport.
Comforting to read while you’re flying on a plane.