Florida Spring Break 2008 - Day 1




I know that by now you are a faithful reader and loyal visitor to this site. Trust me, I check the Google Analytics on a daily basis. So it goes without saying that I spend every Spring Break with my Dad in whatever random destination that he happens to be living in. In Spring 2008, he was still living in Florida, but he was living in a different part of Florida. When Jenny and I went to see him in 2007, he was living in Orlando. He just recently moved to Melbourne, which is about 7 miles West of of the Atlantic Ocean. I would be going solo this year, but I wouldn't let that stop me from having fun. Since I was currently working for a travel company, I decided to take advantage of my paid vacation time and travel benefits, so I borrowed my Grandpa's car and drove down to Chicago's Midway Airport so that I could fly standby on Southwest Airlines for a mere $60.00 and some change. I decided to take the first flight out, so I left Milwaukee at like 3:00 AM so that I could be in Chicago at like 5:00 AM for my 6:30 AM flight. I made really good time, and I was there way too early.



I severely underestimated the lack of traffic in Chicago at 4:00 am on a Wednesday morning, so I was the only one on the shuttle bus to the terminal. I was so worried about not getting there on time that I ended up being over 2 hours early. Well, it's better than being late.

Surprisingly, there were other people in line waiting to check in for their flights. I wonder how many of these people were customers of mine who were unable to check in online due to their purchasing of their tickets through Southwest Vacations. Since we issue paper airline tickets, people are unable to check in online. So what, you say, who gives a rats ass? On any other airline, it wouldn't be a big deal. On Southwest, people do not have assigned seats, they just have a boarding group. People that are in A group get to board the plane first, followed by B then C. People who have vacation packages through the company I work for most likely end up in C group, so they are unable to sit together and most likely end up riding bitch (the middle seat) for their flights. Since I was flying standby, I was an automatic C group, but since I was flying roundtrip for only $60 some dollars, I really didn't care where I sat. They could've put me down with the luggage and I would've been ok with it. But that morning I was tired, saw this heart, and all I could think about was "gay." Not only are the customers whiny little bitches, but the whole boarding system is ridiculous. I hate to use the word gay in a negative connotation, but gay is the only thing that comes to mind. I'll probably get some wicked stares and glares from the ILGA (International Lesbian and Gay Association) and UWM's LGBT Center (Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender) for using the word in reference to things that are dumb, but I'm just not creative enough to do it any other way.










I stood in line and got my boarding passes, and the nice lady at the counter assured me that I would get on the first flight to Orlando. I was a bit worried, since I never flew standby before, but so far it has worked out. I got some greasy food (McDonald's Sausage McMuffin and hashbrowns) and some coffee, which really hit the spot.















So everyone lines up in the A, B + C groups, but then they also have to line up by number. Some people try to skip ahead in line, and it is like 3rd grade all over again. There's pushing, name calling, and people telling on each other. It was one of the most ridiculous things that I have ever seen. Why don't they just assign seats?


I had something like C35 on my boarding pass, which meant that I was the last one to board the plane. I really couldn't care less, since I personally like sitting all by myself in the ass end of the plane. I took the window seat, but there was no one else in my row. The middle and aisle seat were open, so I could've spread out, but I'd rather stare out the window and check things out. I'd like to take this time to mention why I'm wearing khakis and a polo shirt. Since I was a representative of The Mark Travel Corporation (my employer), I was supposed to dress in business casual attire when flying using employee benefits. I really don't understand why, since no one really cared, but the rule book said that I had to. Normally, I'm doin' it our way, but since I was kind of flying on the company's dime, I figured I'd grow up and follow the rules for a change. Plus I had planned to visit the Orlando Mark Travel office, so I needed to look somewhat like a professional.




























Aside from being my cat and BFF (best friend forever), Coach Gordon Bombay is my good luck charm and I hold him right before I head out on vacation. It's always hard to say goodbye, but I deal with it because I know that I will see him soon enough when I get home.