Arrival with Squeals of Delight – Day 1

It’s been a long day, beginning with a 3:30 a.m. wake up call for our first flight. We rolled out of the hotel bed and right into the TSA line. Yikes at 4:30 a.m. lines were gathering, we quickly zoomed through pre check and waited at our gate for our on time departure to Miami. No window seat this trip for me, it was the middle seat and how upsetting to miss a spectacular sunrise.

We landed in Miami and did the airport dash because the next gate was 16 minutes away via foot, tram, elevator and escalator. We didn’t have a long wait to board. And let’s just say good thing this was only a 30 minute flight because the lady next to me was not the ideal seatmate. I became very intimate with her elbow in my side for the flight. We landed to showers and gray clouds, but it was warm so we didn’t care.

After doing our clearing we waited to board Southern Air. As usual we were boarded early and this time I choose the back of the plane that has the three seats. We were informed it was full flight of 19 people, so we knew someone would be between us. Guess what? Passenger 19 didn’t show up and we had the roomy seat. Sadly it was very gray and I missed seeing Staniel and waving to our friends. Mike lucked out on his side and caught a rainbow.

We landed in Stella Maris first, where everyone except us and one other passenger deplaned. We moved up to the first window and I was able to snap a few photos.

Once we landed, our bags were brought off the plane, yipeeeeeee. I looked at Mike and said I can finally breathe. After last year’s Christmas trip and missing luggage for a few days, I still feel traumatized we will have a repeat experience.

Our car was waiting for us, we loaded up and headed off to SeaWinds for food items to get us through dinner tonight and breakfast tomorrow. Stopped in next door at Yukon Jack’s for Kaliks and coconut rum. One more stop was at Erica’s Bakery to grab bread. As we pulled up, a woman walked out with a loaf of bread and I quipped to Mike, “there goes the last loaf”. Well that was the last loaf of the day, but do not despair, we picked up cookies and a slice of coffee cake.

Finally we were on the way to the rental house. We arrived and as we opened the door I squealed “We have a Christmas tree” this year. In all our years of traveling at Christmas we’ve never had our own tree in our rental. OH MY, I teared up at the thoughtfulness of this. For Mike, it brought back wonderful memories of his childhood Christmases in Florida.

Yes there are presents under the tree!

We unloaded our groceries, grabbed two cold Kaliks and headed down to the gazebo to watch the surf and just breathe relaxation.

We came in as the rain clouds advanced us. We unpacked and made dinner. Early to bed tonight as it has been an extremely long day.

I feel as if we’ve returned to the place we are meant to be. Having a tree certainly made this long day a delight.

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