Traveling light. 04/26- 04/27 Pre cruise/ day 1
Two bike bags about the size of a 6 year old.
Two large suitcases holding half of our items... later to be christened, Monster and the Beast
One large duffel, holding the other items that made the suitcases over the allotted 50Lbs
One shoulder duffel.
One pacsafe backpack
One travelon purse.
Two neck pillows.
One foldable luggage cart.
You know... just a little bit of stuff for this adventure. We packed light.
We had rented a mid size SUV to carry it all to the airport. Stopping at my best friends apartment one last time before we parted. The tears came again. In my heart I knew I couldn't have done this without her. One last drop off and goodbye. She asked me why I was crying. This was a happy moment. Here we were going after our dreams. At that moment it did not feel like my dream. It felt like I had just jumped into an abyss and I was moments from face planting hard.
We drove away to airport. Our first little hurdle on moving the amount of stuff we had brought. Car to airport shuttle. Airport shuttle to ticket counter. Leg 1. That was easy. It was the first taste of what moving all of this would feel like. "Doable totally doable" I thought. I'm strong enough.
After everything we had made it to the gate. Having checked in all the big bags it almost felt like a normal trip. One shoulder bag, a backpack and a purse. Still everything within limits. Oblivious of the monsters we had commissioned as our baggage. One last meal. We played a game. "What can we buy with $12 USD" for dinner. Challenge accepted. Befittingly I could purchase two classic chicken sandwiches from Burger King for $11 dollars. "How suiting," I thought, "our last meal in US for a while and we leave on a fast food note."
Having called my parents one last time, having heard their incredible words of encouragement, having cried one last time, it was finally time to board the overnight flight to Fort Lauderdale. It was time. After all the prepping, dreaming and hail marrying it was time.
You know that moment when you know something important is happening but, you really don't FEEL it? It was that for me. Here I was finally boarding the flight and again nothing. Not a real thud or slap in the face to acknowledge the momentous occasion. Jonathan said he felt surges of energy as we walked down the gangway. I looked back at the door towards the gate and the gangway was empty, a moment of silence as to pause for us to realize what we were doing, maybe one last chance to push the abort button and go back. Yeah still nothing.... maybe I had cried so much prior I was running low on emotions.
We stepped into the purple glow of the Virgin America flight. Going through the familiar motions of boarding was easy. The little screen in front of me was showing something I wasn't really paying attention to. I was still ruffling trying to get comfortable. I put on my headphones. The plane was finally moving and Jonathan was looking out the window and I was looking at him. He always looks out the plane window. As we took flight and I can see the 6 year old in him, looking out still being amazed at a sight he as seen dozens of times. I thought "here I am leaving everything I know with my love and.... I'm listening to a McDonalds chicken sandwich commercial? Wait what?" I finally payed attention to the audio coming in. I just laughed. Such a momentous occasion framed by such a common thing.
Shortly after take off we both passed out. Before we knew it we had landed. A little groggy and stiff from airplane sleep, we had about 6 hours to kill before we could make our way to the terminal. Task number one: find coffee and food. We mounted our little bit of luggage into a cart. It wasn't until I saw people see us pushing the cart around that I snapped back into reality and actually SAW us push this cart around. It was completely ridiculous. People don't travel with this much stuff anymore.... it was a sight for sure.
Having found coffee, checked emails and had one last bleeding out of money to pay credit card bills, we decided to nap. The shuttle service available inside the airport said they could take us for $11 dollars a pop, luggage and all. Done. The original plan to take the bus and save was dead, crushed by the amount of luggage we had. The shuttle driver took a look at us and said, "You expect me to take you with all this and share a van? How is anyone else going to fit" Well.... I hope they don't have luggage I thought. Shortly after we were on our way. Leaving our luggage and bikes at the mercy if the luggage handlers we went towards the counter to check in. Seamless. Leg 2 complete. We saw the crowd we would be sharing the Celebrity Equinox with, 60 and up. This was no Royal Caribbean crowd.
We ate lunch and called home one last time. Still stiff from a night of no sleep but happy. Day one.
The ship sailed at 5 pm. We went to the bow to see land drift away from us. Jonathan yelled "WOO HOO!!!" and I laughed. The sun was warm and spirits high. He were here. We had made it, only an ocean away to go.
Traveling light. 04/26- 04/27 Pre cruise/ day 1