Flying: Coming and Going
|At Sky Harbor Airport and excited for our trip.|
Just recently I took a trip to Virginia with my friend, Sharon. She needed to revisit her childhood homes; her family home and summer place. It was a personal journey and I was glad to take it with her. My father grew up in Virginia and I wanted to see a couple of places his family once owned. This 10 day excursion would keep us busy each day, and to get there, we had to fly. Going through an airport is an adventure in itself.
Neither of us like flying in a plane, but sometimes you have to grit your teeth and just do it. In Phoenix, the Sky Harbor Airport has three terminals (2, 3 &4). Two is the smallest and four is the much newer and larger of the three. Our flight was with United which is located in Terminal 2.
Our adventure began at 6:00 am when the shuttle van showed up to take us to the airport. We got dropped off and headed to the United ticket counter. Most counters are automated, but a person is there to take your check bag or bags. It cost $25 per check bag and $100 if it is over the 50 lb limit. Mine weighed 47 lbs, but Sharon’s was 7 lbs over. We had to scramble to put stuff in my bag and her carryon so she didn’t have to pay the $100. After taking care of that, it was off to security. Security is different in each airport and terminal. For terminal 2, you have to remove your shoes and have your electronic devices in a bin by itself. After that, you walk into a machine where you are required to raise your hands, and stand there while they x-ray you. Jeez, I felt a bit violated. After security, we found a bakery and ate breakfast before the flight.
We didn’t have to sit long before the announcer said it was time to board. We boarded in groups and lined up. Sharon was in group three and I was in four. She ended up in the middle seat and I had the aisle seat. We purchased snacks on the 4.5 hour flight which was rather smooth.
After arriving in Washington’s Dulles Airport, we waited our turn to disembark and headed for baggage claim. It seemed like a long walk, so we were delighted to find a Dunkin Donuts to purchase an iced latte and make the walk much easier. Not only did it require lots of walking to get to baggage claim, but we had to take a bus/tram as well. Finally, we grabbed our luggage and followed the signs to pick up our rental car, a 2014 Ford Focus. (The color said blue on the tag, but it also had a purplish appearance as well.) We had to ride a bus to the Avis rental yard, and after a few minutes, we were driving through Washington DC to get to Fairfax, VA, our first destination.
|A yummy iced caramel latte.|
|Leaving Washington DC's Dulles airport to Fairfax, VA.|
|Our 2014 Ford Focus rental.|
After 10 days in Virginia and on the go the entire time, we were anxious to get home. This was a long trip and I missed my hubby very much. Using the GSP on Sharon’s iPhone, we were able to find the airport and car rental location. We topped off the tank, returned the car, and waited for a bus to take us back to the airport. Upon arrival at the airport, we were able to find the ticket counter and drop off our luggage with no issues. We had to take a train to the terminal, and go through security. For some reason, Sharon got picked to be swiped on her arms with a liquid to see if there were any unusual residue on her person. I got waved on. We joked that is was her red hair that made her look suspicious or the guy wanted to flirt with her. Anyway, we weaved through the maze of travelers to get to x-ray while a dog was sniffing luggage. He did find one particularly interesting. We were happy to find out that we could keep our shoes on and our computers could stay inside our bags. Yay, we made it through security again.
We had over 2 hours before boarding for our flight so we ate a meal, and checked out things on our computer/tablet. Again, after the boarding announcement, we lined up in our assigned sections and waited. This time, Sharon and I were in the same section. This flight was in the evening, so we just ordered snacks. A few minutes into the flight, the pilot announced that we were routed a different way and we would arrive earlier than scheduled. That made us happy until he came back on and said to buckle up because it was going to be a bumpy ride. Holy crap, he wasn’t kidding. I dealt with it by listening to my iPod and Sharon read a magazine to concentrate on something else. That didn’t help, so she asked for a drink. For two ladies who are not keen on flying, all that turbulence was freaking us out. Finally, we started descending, and then, TOUCH DOWN. No flying for us for awhile. The bouncing around was just too much.