leaving on a weekend is tough ....crowded and slow.
but, the good thing is that the us customs is in aruba, saving you from more lines and waiting at your home airport.
thank you so much for all of your photos and stories
loved them all
There is always a bittersweet feeling when finally home. It was a long arduous day.
DH & I enjoyed a last morning stroll on the beach. Then operation pack began. It's tricky re packing the guys and stuffing in all the souvenirs. We stopped at Paddock for brunch on our way out of town. The guys each got something with fried eggs. I ordered a grouper sandwich. I have a huge fried egg issue. They can make me sick looking at them. So 9 fried eggs looking at me and a grouper filet that was on the greasy side didn't make our last meal pleasant. The boys really enjoyed it.
We stopped to top off the gas tank. In one week and all the driving we did we only used 3/4 of a tank. It took us awhile to fill up. The station was packed with people leaving. Full serve wasn't opened and it took DH & DS1 several minutes to figure out how to remove the gas cap.
Our flight was scheduled to leave at 4:40 and our ticket said board at 3:55. I checked in online the night before. With nothing more to kill time doing we called Ricardo at Yes Rental and told him we were on our way. We met him at the U.S. Departures line and he again treated us with smiles. He helped us unload, wished us safe travels and hoped to see us again soon. That was 12:30.
Inside the terminal wasn't bad. We didn't have checked baggage and were able to use a kiosk to get our tickets. An employee was there to make sure all went smoothly. We were then directed to the left outside to a line. I saw the bathroom and remembered someone saying now was the time to stop because it was a long way to the next one.
We got in the next line, split in 2 sections, left & right where people were having their papers checked by someone at a podium and directing them inside. The lines were moving slowly and some official looking man went to the couple in front of us and motioned for the rest of us to follow him. He walked us in and around, no one knowing where we were going. We reached another guy at a podium who looked at our papers and pointed us to another line. We wandered around another line (as DH says like hurdled cattle) to yet another podium where a guy looked at our papers again. We then hit the first security point. They were moving fast at this point where I felt like I was going to be run over. We stood off to the side to gather everything back up and sheoes on and were pointed to yet another set of lines, right and left. We were directed right. This is where we passed all the duty free shops. The line barely moved. There was a steal band playing. Not many people were in the shops. This part of the airport is new since our last visit. The boys started complaining and I couldn't tell them how long it would be just that we weren't even half way done. Standing there airport personnel were coming through calling people's names and flights and would pull them if they were there and rushed them to the front. Then there would be families with one in a wheelchair and they were escorted to the front. Finally our line would move like 20 ft then stop and it went like this until we reached the luggage room. I don't know why we had to wait in that line. We didn't check baggage and I asked an employee and she said we had to stay in that line while those in front of us got their bags.
So through that we entered the customs cattle line. Our papers were checked again as we entered the room. We were then directed to a kiosk, each had our passports scanned, a photo taken and given a slip of paper. We got in another line. There were 6 customs officers hurding us through. I was given a family customs declaration form on the plane on the flight in and told not to loose it. The officer told me I didn't need it :-? Then we got in the U.S. Security line. There again disabled and families with strollers were led in front of us. That line moved much slower than the 1st security check point. Clearing that we were on our way to our gate (8). We were exhausted and famished. It was now 3:00.
I was happy to see food options. The restrooms all seemed to be open. We got food, drinks and after the plane before us took off we were able to get seats. Next thing I knew DH was waking to tell me they were boarding our flight. Wow, unlike me to crash for a catnap. Our flight came in late. We boarded at 4:30. Flight was full. I slept more.
We got to see one last beautiful sunset. They are amazing at 35000 ft in the clouds! We landed at 9:30 about 40 min late. With a little bit of confusion we finally remembered where our truck was parked and headed home.
I've enjoyed sharing our adventure with you and am going to print it for our photo album.
I'll take some time in a day or two to post specific details on a few other things. Again thank you to everyone who helped prepare us for our trip to Paradise!