It's been several years since I've visited California or even been on an airplane at this point. I won't be traveling this holiday season, so I jumped at the chance to spend a week with my parents in the mountains prior to flying Kidzilla home from his summer. Then I went through the process of buying tickets.
The way I've always acquired tickets is something like this- log on to the company website (or call if it was prior to internet availability), pick my flights and list for them. All in all, it took about 10 minutes. I could list whomever was flying for each flight. Easy-peasy.
Since we don't have our benefits back yet, we had to go the route of the masses and book a ticket through an online site. Super PITA! Initially we were given such great options like a "Delta" flight to CA that consisted of 4 separate legs, each on a different Delta Connection carrier. And of course, A has his airline preferences and vetoed flights by certain carriers as well (let's hear it for the brotherhood of ALPA pilots!). Wading through all of the flight parings offered, on all of the different airlines was time consuming to say the least. And surprisingly, it was cheaper to fly on different airlines for trips there and back. It took about 45 minutes to book a single round trip ticket for me. We figured it would be easy to book the same flights home for Kidzilla as a one way trip. Except for the part where you can't book a ticket online for a minor traveling without an adult and there was no way for us to link my flight with his. We ended up having to call Customer Service who couldn't do an override. They had to cancel my trip all together and then we had to rebook the entire trip as two one way trips, which of course cost even more money. Overall it was a nearly 2 hour process just to get a round trip for me and a one way for Kidzilla. I sure hope it's worth it.
It's also that time that comes every other year for us, the biennial CFI renewal. Anyone who went through the process of actually becoming a Certified Flight Instructor will remember the challenge and not want to let their license lapse if they ever have the slightest chance of flight instructing again. Since A intends to teach both Kidzilla and Babyzilla to fly one day, he (I) suffer through renewals. Which means I get randomly subjected to such interesting tidbits as "did you know that the human eye can only focus to 5 degrees of center for each eye?" Uh huh, yep, great, thanks for sharing. I also get to (suffer through) enjoy hearing a run down of all the recently occurring preventable accidents as well as a litany of new security measures. Nothing beats being trapped in a car with A for three hours during renewal time. Thankfully it's done now and I am off the hook for another two years.
We are staying in Jax for a long week so I can enjoy the central air and community pool. It's heaven. We have no couch here, just a few armchairs, so I dragged a twin air mattress downstairs, loaded it with pillows and dubbed it "the divan". It's wonderful. We have no TV or internet service at our place, which is not so wonderful, but I guess we all have to make trade-offs in life.