I can't believe it is mid July already. This summer is just flying right by. I really plan on getting back into blogging this fall. Stay tuned for posts about our new school room and plans for the 2012/23 school year. In the meantime I want to share a little about the once in a lifetime vacation we took in June. A week in The Bahamas with 80 members of our extended family. Talk about awesome! I really have to being with our misadventures even getting there. I may never fly again. I just don't see how people regularly travel this way. It was craziness!
We left Friday afternoon and were supposed to fly direct to Florida, spend the night there, then get on a shuttle flight with all our family to the resort in the Bahamas. We went to the airport, got through security with no issues, and got on the plane. The kids were being great, especially considering it was the first flight B and M could remember, and K and C's first flight ever. We prepared for take-off and went to the runway. All of a sudden the pilot came on and said that we were no longer cleared for take-off and would be sitting on the runway for an indefinite amount of time. It ended up being about 2.5 hours. No a/c and no working bathrooms. At that point we returned to the airport and waited five hours as our flight is delayed. Finally they told us to begin boarding again. And then all of a sudden they announced that the flight is canceled. We waited several more hours trying to get another flight, and think we got one for the next morning at 7am. We get home about 11pm, I sleep until 1am, then get a call saying we didn't get the tickets, and there are no other flights the next day.
Soo..Saturday. I spent most of the morning on the phone, and finally get tickets going to Fort Lauderdale with a connection in Charlotte. We could no longer get six tickets together. I sat Beth and Matt with strangers, and had to beg people to switch seats with us so one of us could sit with Carrie and Katy. Both flights were delayed several hours and our "overnight" in Fort Lauderdale turned into 1am to 4am. The kids were wiped out.
The next morning we were due to fly to Nassau in the Bahamas, where we would then take a flight to our resort. The shuttle only runs once a week from Fort Lauderdale so we had missed that and must find our own flights. The Florida flight is delayed four hours and we missed our connection. We got off in Nassau with no cell service, no knowledge of the island, and no idea what to do. We booked a flight for the next day, then went to a hotel. Which we called the "cat pee hotel." Hardly cared at that point!
That brings us to Monday. Monday morning we reported back to the "airport." And I say airport loosely because it's not a thing like flying in the states. You just wait outside on the runway. Our plane wouldn't start. Seriously... So then we got a flight on the "Pineapple Express" which was about a million years old and sat 19 people. One person on each side of the aisle. Despite my frayed nerves the flight is totally fine and we arrived two days late with no more issues.
Fast forward to the trip home...our shuttle flight is four hours late. Out of our family of 85 almost everyone, including us, missed our connections. We were able to get new tickets for later in the evening. That flight is delayed four hours and we arrive home at 2am. At least we made it!
The worst part? These airlines take no responsibilty for their lack of service. For all of our troubles only one airline and flight helped us rebook and gave us a hotel voucher. Everything else was us paying massive fees....and it was totally their faults! Jet Blue was the best. Spirit Airlines was awful, and United Airways wasn't much better. I just don't get how some people manage to fly all the time. For us it was totally unreliable and very very expensive. I don't plan to fly again unless we are leaving the country like that...even across the country I will dry.
Anyway....all that aside, the trip was FANTASTIC. Totally worth it. My kids were so good and I was so proud of them. The location was beautiful, there were lots of fun things to do, and we got to see relatives we hadn't seen in many years. I'm so thankful we had this chance. We went swimming, boating, snorkling, on a lagoon tour, so many cool things. And all the food (yummy!) and drinks (hello bar!) were included. Here are a few of my million pictures I took. Such memories!