My Life as a Traveler

Thanksgiving Travels

This is the second holiday in as many months where we are getting on a plane. Usually, over the Thanksgiving weekend, we have a big get-together with Julie, Karin, and/or Matt and their families. We’ve also been known to travel down to Morganton to see George’s mom this weekend. But the kids aren’t coming to town and George’s mom passed away this summer. What to do? Well, George has a meeting in San Diego the week after, so we decided to fly out a few days early for a little vaycay (before our cruise vaycay in just a couple of weeks).  It’s actually quite a bit cheaper to fly on Thanksgiving day – the airfare was $230 each, the car rental $70, and the hotel is free using frequent-stay points.

I had been home nine days from Phoenix, managed to get some school work done with Morgan, made some progress on my DEFY the Bad Guy website which will launch soon, and caught up with friends and housework.  And Christmas! When we get back from San Diego, we’ve got 3 days before Morgan and I head out for Los Angeles for a 3 day meeting, fly overnight to get home on Sunday morning and catch the 5am flight to San Juan on Monday. Thank goodness for the internet, Amazon in particular, and the kind hearts who accept gift cards and certificates.  Everything I’ve ordered will get here while I’m gone (those things that are not going direct to their destination) and I’ll mail them out during those three days before the next trip.

Even with that kind of planning, we still were scrambling trying to get things together Thanksgiving morning. Driving to the airport (no traffic!) and catching the 11am flight was a cinch. When we arrived in Charlotte, we wound our way through the crowd to the lounge and found our flight was delayed 2 hours. No worries, in fact it was nice to take a breather. Not a lot of people in the lounge, we didn’t really expect a crowd, since usually it’s populated by business people anyway.

But here’s the weird thing. When we emerged at 4pm and headed into the main terminal to board our flight, it was a ghost town. Any other Thursday, this is one of the busiest places on the planet. The place is crowded with people rushing to make their connections, sitting in the rocking chairs, and visiting the restaurants and shops. But today, we are just about the only people here. In fact, there are only 3 more flights leaving after ours for the rest of the day! Looks like all the airlines give their employees at least Thanksgiving evening off. Who knew?

Oh, and for our meal, there is no turkey, only chicken or pasta.

Landing in San Diego, we experienced the same phenomenon. An empty terminal with closed stores greeted us upon arrival. Thankfully, the car rental office was still open, and we rented our car, plugged in the GPS, and headed for our hotel.

The airport was not the only thing empty for Thanksgiving. Here’s a tip: use a business hotel on a non-business day. The Sheraton Mission Valley must not have had many rooms available tonight because they upgraded us to their 2 room suite with a (sort of) view of the ocean from the wrap-around balcony. Suite!

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