Leaving the island life

Trip Start Sep 09, 2005
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of United States  , Florida
Saturday, December 3, 2005

Well, the time to leave has finally come. As much fun as it is to be here if you like life in the slow lane, I am ready to be on my way home.

I finally get an opportunity to work with the client and provide instruction. Noon arrives and I head to the airport. My flight isn't until 3:00, but by judging the laid back style I have experienced so far, I decided it might be a good thing to get to the airport in plenty of time to allow for slow moving lines.

It turns out my instinct was good, for the lines did move rather slowly. There were about 4 times we had to go through security or passport control. They don't have xray machines or scanners for the luggage, so they go through everything by hand. It isn't fun watching someone paw through your stuff, but there is nothing you can do so you might as well just accept it.

It only takes about an hour to get to the gate, so I guess it wasn't really too bad. Then I had just an hour to wait. An announcement came on to say our flight was late arriving. So what else is new around here. We finally board at 3:30 and head out to the runway. The pilot announces we are 5th in line and should be taking off in about 45 minutes. I can't figure this out, since any airport in the US would have all planes off the ground in about 45 seconds. Oh well, I am one step closer to being home.

Well, we wait,and wait, and then the pilot says we can go. We round the corner,the pilot guns the engines and we barrel down the runway. Well, just at the point when you can tell the wheels are going to leave the ground the pilot slams on the breaks, uses the reverse thrusters and slams us to a stop. Everything in the cabin flies to the front of the plane. People are scared and screeching to match the screeching of the brakes of the plane. We come to a stop and the pilot announces we just had to abort our takeoff. NO KIDDING! Fortunately, he said nothing was wrong with our plane.

It happened that the delay in our take off was due to an emergency landing that had just taken place. What caused us to abort our take off was the fact that the emergency vehicles were still on the runway. Now, when we turned to go back to the start of the runway, I noticed all the firetrucks and ambulances with the flashing lights right away. I wonder why no one else did! Anyway, we make it back to the beginning of the runway for a "do over". We head down at full speed and take off without any problems.

I had a window seat and began to recognize the landmarks around the Orlando airport. The lake to the south, the power plant, the expressway. Then I noticed the lake to the south, the power plant and the expressway again. The third time I saw them I asked what was going on. I was told there had been a problem with the customs computers and all the passengers were being checked into the system manually. Ok..... Then after I saw the lake to the south, the power plant and the expressway the fourth time the pilot came on and said because of the computer issue, we were going to have to land away from the terminal. Customs and security was going to meet us on the runway. Our luggage was gonig to be unloaded there and it would be taken to the terminal. Me thinks something is fishy here...

Well, we land and have to sit on the plane until security arrives. We are about 500 feet from the termina. We are finally allowed to get off and are told to stand in a group with security while we waited for the luggage to be unloaded. The people with carry ons were not allowed to get their belongings. It was all going to be processed. Once all tasks were completed we were escorted to the terminal and went to special passport control stations. There was a lot of detailed checking going on. It was interesting to watch. I got my passport stamped and went to the carousel to wait for my suitcase. After about 1/2 hour the luggage started to arrive. We were allowed to collect our things then go to customs. I could tell my suitcase had been opened. Especially when I got home and opened it and saw that nice little note stating it had been examined.

I went through customs without a problem and then they tried to take my suitcase, and other's again. It was mass confusion. I finally collected it in the main terminal and headed home. The flight from Nassau took 4 hours!

I am thinking there was some funny stuff on the plane, or someone who wasn't welcome as a passenger. What do you all think?
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