Monday, January 14, 2013

Getting there

     Part of cruising is getting to the boat and back again.  We began arranging for this trip months ago.  Round trip airline tickets were purchased on US Airways from Spokane, WA to Gainsville, FL.  Why those cities, you ask?  A, because US Airways does not fly into and out of Kalispell, MT;  B, there were no available seats going into Jacksonville, FL; and C, we were spending frequent flyer miles on US Airways.
     Next was to determine how to get to Spokane to take the flight.  We would normally take our car, but where do you park a car for 3 months?  You hate to burden relatives, friends or acquaintences.  And what would the charge be to leave it at the airport?
     How about the train?  Get to Spokane at bar closing time.  Not enought hours to be worth geting a room.  Taxi to airport and doze on hard seats.  Not very appealing.
     Bus?  Would you believe the bus from Kalispell goes to the airport in Spokane?  It arrives at 9:30 AM.  The flight leaves at 8:30.  Not so good.
     Rent a car?  This way we don't have to burden anyone with car storage or spend a lot of money on storage.  Bingo!  We'll take a liesurely drive to Spokane on January 20th, spend the evening and night in a motel, drop the car off at the airport and be away.
     Then, we need a motel in Gainsville because we don't arrive until midnight.  No sweat.  There are good deals online.  Reservation made!
     Now we have to get from Gainsville to Green Cove Springs, Fl.  How tough can it be?  It is only about 55 miles!  Well, you cannot rent a car between Gainsville and Green Cove Springs.  The car has to be dropped off at the Jacksonville, Fl airport, a 100 mile round trip from Green Cove Springs.  So, if you drive to the airport to drop off the car, how do you get back?  Taxi?  Plus around $200 for the rental car!  Not very appealing again!
     But, U-Haul saves the day!  You can rent their smallest truck in Gainsville and drop it off in Green Cove Springs!  For much less than the cost of a sub-compact rental car!  (Contact us if you ever need a U-Haul reservation anywhere)
   So, at last, all is set up and reserved.
     US airways emails us today to tell us they have changed our flights, adding a layover Monday night in Charlotte, NC!  We probably should have accepted that but decided against it.  Instead, we will leave here Saturday, 1/19 and arrive in Gainsville at midnight on the 20th.
     So, airline reservations have changed, as have rental car, Spokane hotel and Gainsville hotel.  We're still waiting to hear about the U-Haul reservation.
     Look out, Green Cove Springs Marina, here we come again!

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