One Dinoia flew the coop
for vacation a couple of weeks early and suddenly the house seems so quiet. Peter woke up well before the crack of dawn this morning to get cash for our intrepid traveler, the traveler herself was up a few minutes later, and I dragged myself out of bed with just enough time to get dressed and make myself a cup of coffee before our ride showed up to haul us to the airport.
Despite having only decided to pack around 10 p.m. last night, Cait managed to mostly fill two duffles and a carry-on for her flight today. She tried to take more, but I reminded her gently that she is going TO America and therefore she should wait to savor the lower prices and overwhemingly display of choice that is anywhere in the U.S. She agreed and thankfully came nowhere near the weight limits.
It's not her first trip traveling overseas by herself, but her first time connecting by herself and she opted to actually use the unaccompanied minor service (available with American until age 17). I had a terrible experience with the same sort of service once when I traveled at a young age, and thus always preferred to be on my own. However, she was a wee bit concerned about passport control, luggage pick-up, and navigating the airport in general and I never dealt with any of that until I was an adult. After much discussion, we opted for the service and I have to say, I was pleasantly surprised.
The cost was $150, but that guaranteed assistance to the gate in Managua from the airline instead of us (and that included sailing past 150 or so in line at security), help with passport control, luggage pick-up, drop off, and connecting in Miami, and then assistance at BWI. Not my cup of tea, but she was far more comfortable and in all likelihood will have no issue connecting by herself in the future. Oh, and having her phone reactivated early ensured the moment she landed in Miami, she had a way to reach us if necessary.
And now we have merely 10 more days until we have our pickup and then we are off to the U.S. for a 3.5 week holiday....well, journey that will hopefully have more pleasure than business. Not exactly a vacation like we originally planned, but we will have a little over a week or so of fun with friends, Cait and I will escape to Chicago for three days (an early birthday treat for her), and our favorite beach is calling us for a 4 day trip. I can almost hear the waves and taste the beach bbq....