Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Planes, Trains, and Automobiles

Last week, I took a Caribbean cruise with family, including our older son and our daughter-in-law, spending some time before and after boarding the ship in Florida--South Beach and the Everglades. It was delightful!

It was also a working trip of sorts. I had three looming deadlines (and still have two that need to be met in the next week) that I was working under so I had to stay busy while traveling. That meant remaining in my stateroom on the ship in front of my laptop computer instead of doing things onboard like playing bingo and watching culinary demonstrations--not a big sacrifice for me. I also didn’t go ashore on the private beach island, but staying out of the surf, sand, and skin-burning sun and breath-stealing humidity wasn’t much of a sacrifice, either. I did sightsee and shop at several of the ports, working after reboarding. I also made good use of the days at sea.

Being with family more would have been fun, but everyone seemed to do different things and we all at least met up for dinner most nights, so it worked out. I managed to finish copyedits on my next Nocturne Bites, HAWK’S CHALLENGE, in one day, and to write an entire Bites, COUGAR’S CONQUEST, except for the last chapter, while also editing my upcoming full-length Harlequin Nocturne that hasn’t an official name yet.

Our cruise ended on Sunday, and we returned home to L.A. very early on Monday morning, at around 3:00 AM. That was about 24 hours of being mostly awake, since we arose at about 6:00 AM on Sunday, Florida time. When that long day was over, I realized that I had taken a huge array of different kinds of rides during that 24-hour period.

I awakened on the cruise ship as it was pulling into port. Later, I took elevators to get to the deck for debarkation. We’d signed up for an Everglades tour, so we got onto a bus for the ride there. At our tour site, we got onto an air boat so noisy that they handed out earplugs.

Let me interrupt my description of rides here to mention how delightful the tour was, seeing alligators, turtles, an amazing array of water-loving plants and more in the hot, humid--and bug-infested--Everglades. I haven’t had so many bug bites since I was a kid, and I’m still scratching. But watching the alligator show and holding the young alligator Snappy helped to make it all worthwhile.

Okay, back to the rides. Our tour bus dropped us off at Miami Airport, but our flight was scheduled from Ft. Lauderdale. We decided to save a significant amount of money by taking public transportation. So, we rode an escalator down to the area where we could wait for the bus to the train that would take us to Ft. Lauderdale. Then we boarded the train. At our stop near the airport, we had to take another bus to get there.

At Ft. Lauderdale Airport, there were more escalators to ride. Then, we boarded our flight to Houston. In Houston, our flight was delayed for hours. More escalators, then another plane.

At LAX, we had to walk through a lot of construction before reaching yet more escalators to take us down to baggage claim. Then our wonderful younger son picked us up in our minivan to drive us home.

I haven’t counted all of the above kinds of rides and probably won’t, but there sure were a lot of them for such a short period of time: cruise ship, air boat, airplanes, elevators, escalators, buses, trains...

How about you--have you ever had a day that included lots of different sorts of rides? And, no, I don’t mean in amusement parks!

12 comments:

Sarita said...

Recently I returned from a Florida trip. Many modes of transport in a single day, all interesting and a welcome change of pace.

So glad to hear you got some work done on the ship. Nice!

Carol S said...

We visited a friend who lives on Whidbey Island off Seattle for a few days. The ferry boats are the only way to get there and back while sightseeing the area. It was expensive if you weren't a resident and had a boat pass. Good thing they don't charge to ride escalators!!

Janie Emaus said...

I can't say that I have. But it sure sounds like you had fun.

Linda O. Johnston said...

Thanks, Sarita. And, yes, the trip and transport were all a welcome change for me, too!

Linda O. Johnston said...

The ferry sounds like fun, at least, Carol. And yes, I'd hate to have to pay an escalator toll!

Linda O. Johnston said...

I definitely had fun, Janie.

Julie said...

Indianapolis, to New York, to London, to Cambridge, to Mildenhall. It was long. It didn't involve boats, but did include trams, planes, cabs, a left-hand-shift rental car and a bus ride that will haunt me for all my days. There are streets in London which were clearly not built for full-size, city-to-city buses. And yet they drive them there. That day lasted about 30 hours, including entirely too much time in the International terminal at Kennedy. I'd go back to England in a heartbeat, but I might skip the bus.

Linda O. Johnston said...

Yikes, Julie, your day sounds even more grueling than mine was--but lots of fun, too!

Betty Hechtman said...

I think it is neat to be able to take your work on the road. When I left for Chicago Saturday night, I had two manuscripts to proof read with deadlines of Aug 1 and 4.

And since I'm returning on the 3rd, I'm doing them on the road.

Linda O. Johnston said...

Today's technology really helps, Betty. Any changes can be received the same day they're sent now, so we actually have until the deadline date to finish! Enjoy your travels.

Kate Anne said...

Wow you have a great cruise with your son! I wonder how you enjoy the cruise, well i think it a super happy trip and experience with your family.

Linda O. Johnston said...

It was definitely a wonderful cruise, Kate Anne--and, yes, a super happy trip. Lots of great memories and pictures!