A bumpy start to a vacation

And I’m not talking about the light chop that our plane has been experiencing for the first two hours of the flight down to Trinidad.  Don’t get me wrong – things could have been worse and at the end of the day I’ll be in the Caribbean.  But this trip feels a bit like rolling over a rumble strip in a car with no shocks at this point.


I left packing until the last minute this morning and that wasn’t particularly fun.  I am good at packing and have a system pretty well established, but getting ready to go in 20 minutes isn’t my forté and I paid the price.  I made it all the way to the bagel shop before realizing that I forgot my passport at home.  I had just enough time to run back and grab it without missing my train, but it was close.

Then, once I was on the train, I realized that I forgot to pack my books.  I actually went out to a great book store in NYC – Idlewild, you should go there – to get a book for the trip.  They are a travel book store on 19th Street between 5th and 6th Avenues with an interesting twist.  They arrange their books by region but have fiction, non-fiction and guides all mixed together.  So in the Trinidad & Tobago section they had some novel written by a native Trinidadian (and a Nobel winner for Literature) amongst everything else.  I found one of his books that looked pretty good and picked it up for the trip.  And it is sitting on the chair in the living room at home now because I forgot it.

Looking down on Newark airport and the fleet of ERJs, plus the El Al jumbo

Ahhh….New Jersey

The train trip to the airport was actually pretty good.  The train was on time and the conductor didn’t bother to collect my ticket so I got a freebie out of the deal.  And I picked up another book at the airport book store at the recommendation of a friend (thanks, Mike) that has been pretty good through the first 100 pages so it isn’t a complete loss. 

IMGP2737I’ve also managed to empty the catering cart in first class of their rum supply (apparently they only stock 3) though the flight attendant had no troubles dipping in to the coach supply.  For those who know me as a vodka drinker I still am, but when going to the Caribbean I feel compelled to play along and go with the local stuff, and that means rum.  The “steak” that I ordered for dinner turned out to be a pork loin of some sort, which was an interesting surprise, but it wasn’t too bad and the shellfish appetizer was delicious, so no complaints from me on that front.

And the flight really has been pretty bumpy.  We’ve had about 10 minutes of smooth air in the first two hours.  Things seem to have finally smoothed out now and I’m hoping that they remain this way for the rest of the flight.  After all, I wouldn’t want to spill the little bit of rum they still have available on the plane.

We’re due in to Port of Spain in about two hours and then I have my quick hop up to Tobago to see what the smaller island has to offer.  My seatmate has had great things to say so far (though she, too, disbelieves that I’m doing all this for 36 hours on the islands) and a couple decent recommendations.  She was also rather impressed that I managed to fly to the islands for $265 round trip in first class both ways.  Life is good as a frequent flier.

Sunset, somewhere over the Atlantic

I’m through immigration and customs now in under 10 minutes, despite the fear that the flight attendants instilled in me.  I’m checked in for my onward flight to Tobago and will now enjoy the free wireless in the airport for the next hour until my flight departs.  I’m truly looking forward to the next couple days.

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Seth Miller

I'm Seth, also known as the Wandering Aramean. I was bit by the travel bug 30 years ago and there's no sign of a cure. I fly ~200,000 miles annually; these are my stories. You can connect with me on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.