Sept 27, 2019 (Day 1)
Today is the day! We rushed to get ready early in the morning. I gathered my things and we drove to Cincinnati. We arrived one hour before the flight began boarding. I checked in and found out my bag was over the weight limit (I was expecting this since I was bringing water along). I also had an extra carry-on bag that wasn't documented when tickets were bought. I had a form from IMR for a baggage fee waiver. I showed this to the woman at the counter and all fees were taken away. TSA was actually friendly (weird, right?)
As usual, my left ankle got the pat down after going through security. Not sure why, but this happens every single time I fly, whether I'm wearing shorts or jeans. They also thoroughly searched my carry-on which contained my food for the week. TSA was impressed with my tetris-ing abilities. The food was crammed in, but crammed in orderly. I got the okay to grab my things and then boarded the plane to Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
Not a bad view. However, it was not a quiet flight. There are kids screaming every time the plane accelerates or hits turbulence. This two hour flight will be interesting. This is where I put my headphones in and settle down with a movie. What movie? Well, it is a long held tradition of mine to watch horror movies when I fly. I really don't know why, but, it's what I do. Today's movie is Carrie. It should end right as we land.
Landed. This is where things get interesting. I arrive at baggage claims and wait for 35 minutes. I'm really starting to get nervous, as I have one hour until my next flight. I still have to grab my bags, check in and go through security...again.
My bags finally arrive and I decide to take a shuttle to concourse 3. I'm not sure it saved me any time, really. But, I'm at JetBlue's check in area. Again, my bag is overweight, so JetBlue decides to be difficult, despite my waiver in hand. I end up getting sent to another desk and wait for the lady to get off the phone. I'm looking at my watch. I have 30 minutes. I'm sweating.
Finally, she's off the phone and looks at my waiver. "Thanks mama, enjoy the flight." Phew. I basically run to security and get in line. This time, my carry-on was searched thoroughly. Every item of food was taken out and swiped three times with a piece of paper. EVERY. SINGLE. ITEM. I was deemed safe. The agent was like "Wow, I don't know how you got this in here...you can put it back." Thanks.
I crammed everything into the bag and put my shoes on. I have 5 minutes to board. I have no idea how far the gate is beyond this point. I'm going to miss my flight. I'm sure of it. I text my husband, "Unless some miracle happens, I've missed my flight."
Gate E2 was *just* outside of security and around the corner. Talk about a miracle. I made it. I get in line, show my passport and boarding pass and take a seat. I think I can calm down now. I notice this plane smells like orange Runts. I won't complain. This flight will be approximately 34 minutes and I will have free WiFi.
Isn't New Providence beautiful?
Landed. The flight was beautiful. It was interesting to see the deep blue water meet with the shallow waters of the Bahamas. There was a distinct line where the two met. You can see it in the pictures above. I've been to the Bahamas before, but never have gotten to see it by air. Gives a new perspective. The flight was uneventful, quiet and the landing was smooth.
I made it through immigration and customs without an issue. Finally got my passport stamped! Apparently that's not a thing they do when you cruise. Baggage claim is downstairs, so I made my way there. And I wait.
The conveyor belt stopped.
Where's my bag?
Well. My bag is lost. I spoke with customer service. They're trying to locate the bag. This is not going well.
As it turns out, my bag is still in Florida. Fortunately, there's another flight here at 6:00pm. It is now 4:00pm. I'll have to wait in the airport for the next flight to arrive. I have to exit the baggage claim area, which means going through customs again. I declare nothing and made my way to Dunkin' Donuts, which was right outside of baggage claims.
I eat a breakfast sandwich. I people watch. I scroll the internet. I am bored. I move around the airport. The decor is interesting.
It's finally 6pm. I make my way outside of the airport, go into Customer Service two doors down and sign in. I have my picture taken and am told to go in the door behind the counter, turn a left and another left. It looks like a jail for misplaced boxes. Lots of boxes and bags behind locked gates. I finally find the door and am magically back in baggage claims. I see my bag! Now it's time to get up with the hostel I have booked.