Wanderung 24

Spring Fling

From March to May 2011

Friday, March 25th: Flying to Miami and Embarkation


Arriving at the airport at 8:45, we checked in without incident and flew down to Miami to meet my son Martin's mother-in-law and our friend, Ondina.

As it was a clear day, we had nice views of the passing landscape below for most of the flight. In particular, I saw some airports clearly demarcated by the patterns of runways and taxiways down below, which reminded me of my flying days and all the fun that was.


I had printed our boarding passes the day before, so all that was left was paying for our luggage and taking it to the TSA checkpoint. Then we went through security and with plenty of time to spare we sat at the gate and started our vacation. Bob was already using Baby-Baby to start his trip journal.

The flight to Miami was nice and smooth. Bob had the window seat and since it was nice and clear he could take several nice pictures.


After Ondina picked us up at the airport, she took us to the Patagonian Cafe for a really nice lunch. I can't vouch for whether the cuisine is authentic Argentinean or not, but it certainly was first-class. We all talked nonstop during lunch because we only had a couple of hours before we would have to be dropped off back at Port Miami where our ship was docked. To also get to see Ericka, Ondina's daughter, we swung by their home for a couple hours and were able to spend some nice, relaxed time chatting.


At the airport we had a little problem hooking up with Ondina but through the miracle of cellphones we met and she took us to a wonderful small restaurant near the airport for lunch. After that we went home with her and had a couple of hours to chat with her and Ericka since our ship was not supposed to leave until 9Pm. By 5:30, however, I got antsy and so we left.


It was just as well we had relaxed because the drive back to the ship was jam-packed with traffic for what looked like a rock concert at the AA Stadium near the dock. Poor Ondina had to cope with bumper-to-bumper stop-and-go traffic for a mile or two. That took us at least a half an hour and must have been tough on her nerves, but in the end we reached the ship with plenty of time to spare and checked in.

That process was somewhat different for the Costa Atlantica as it was separated into a collect-all-documents phase that the people on-shore in the cruise center carried out, and the check-ID-and-take-ID-picture phase that was done on board the ship by the ship's staff. Since we had taken our rollies with when we embarked, we did not have that suspenseful, not to say excruciating, wait to see if our luggage would be delivered intact, and we could get right to unpacking.


. The drive to the ship took a lot longer than anticipated since right at the corner where the road to the port went off was the American Airlines Arena that was holding some type of concert - rock probably since we saw young folks walking towards the arena and cars inching along the street towards the parking garage. The five blocks we drove in downtown Miami actually took a good hour. But we had plenty of time.

Embarkation was dead simple with nary a line and we could keep our rollies with us, so I did not have to worry about the discovery of the bottle of wine I was smuggling on board - according to the write up Costa does not like passengers to bring food or drink on board.


But as 9 o'clock rolled around, we also became quite hungry and finally took a break to grab a quick evening meal at the buffet on the 9th floor and then stroll around the upper decks looking at the Miami skyline, which was quite pretty at night, and we had a great view from our high vantage point. Shortly after we returned to the cabin and finished the unpacking, however, I hit a wall of fatigue and almost couldn't stand up to brush my teeth and prepare for falling into bed.


Our room was of course ready. We dropped off our stuff and headed up to deck 9 for the buffet since it was way past dinner time. After a nice meal we went on deck for some picture taking, but then went back to our room to unpack and just fall into bed. Sleeping was easy since the sea was dead calm and you could hardly feel any motion.


Copyright 2011 by R. W. Holt and E. M. Holt
Prolog Map of Transatlantic Cruise Map of Drive in Ireland Epilog

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