Doug D picked us up at 4:00 a.m. and the fun began. What a friend. Nothing exciting with check-in or flight to Salt Lake. Just napped, read and snacked. I always breathe a sigh of relief when we leave Salt Lake, as that is where things always go wrong for me. We had about an hour layover, then on to Atlanta. If any of you were watching weather news, you know what is coming—Atlanta airport was closed, at least for new arrivals! We relaxed and waited to hear from Atlanta. Our 3 hour lay over in Atlanta was eaten up in Salt Lake. We were finally given the go ahead. Flying over Atlanta was surreal. The freeways and streets were empty except for vehicles abandoned helter skelter along or in the roadways. The neighborhoods showed no signs of life. Were we the lone survivors in a disaster movie? Upon landing, we discovered why everything looked so dead and abandoned. Was everyone at the airport? I have never seen so many planes in one place. Every gate was occupied and planes lined up to take off or pull up to a gate. Flights in and out had been cancelled and more were being cancelled by the minute. The temperature was 25 degrees and there was more ice and snow than we left behind us that morning in Kalispell. We had to wait on the taxiway until a gate opened up. Once we deplaned, we found our flight, but of course it was delayed. No first officer. He had gone home the day before for a visit and could not get back. We listened as flight after flight was cancelled and held our breath. One flight, two gates from us, was cancelled due to its first officer also not being able to get to the airport. We lucked out. A first officer, who was dead heading to Gainesville to fly out from there the next day, volunteered to fill in. Uniform of the day? Blue jeans. Our hero! We landed in Gainesville pretty much on time! Then, one more stumbling block. Car rental reservation can’t be found. Hero # 2! An employee with more tenure knew how to find the hidden reservation and give us a fancy upgrade at no charge. We drove to our motel, ate a salad for dinner and pretty much crashed. Woke early, depending on what time zone we were in, and, after the last cups of coffee in the motel office, headed to breakfast where we were served by “Kat”, an efficient mid 50’s substantial lady, one tooth, heavy backwoods drawl and all (or is that y’all?).
We were happy to see Submit sitting on her stands and waiting for us. However, it was friggin’ cold and we knew it wasn’t going to be any better on board, so Reggie visited with the folks in the office, said hi to Susan and Gordon, drove around looking for Steve and generally wasted as much time as guilt would allow. The ladies in the office squealed to see him and Brenda gave him hugs which he received with much delight. Who’da thunk? He thanked them for ordering the cold weather in an effort to make us feel at home and then told them it really wasn’t necessary. Of course, he was the only one in miles wearing shorts! I stayed in the car where it was warm. Once Reggie opened up Submit and connected us to shore power and plugged in the heater, I left the warmth of the car.
Submit looked good! After the disaster we found last year, we are pleased. It is always a little daunting, however. When we put her to bed, everything is stacked and stored inside. Where to start? However, we just start and it magically falls into place. We went out for lunch and picked up COFFEE and enough food for breakfast. Susan stopped by with a pasta dish as a house warming gift, so we didn’t need to buy anything for dinner! When we returned from lunch, we took a very well deserved nap.
It is supposed to be a little warmer tomorrow. We are wanting to change insurance and it seems all the insurance companies want an official independent survey of the condition and value of the boat, probably because she is an antique at 45 years old (Hmmm…what does that make us?). We are looking forward to the survey in part to have a qualified expert look her over and let us know if we have anything we should fix. The surveyor comes at noon. As he goes through everything, we will inventory and stow. There are not TOO many projects, so we expect to be comfortably settled in and on our way soon. That being said, there are always surprises, such as, for some reason the start battery is not charging and we seem to have a leak, maybe around the steering pedestal?
I find that I am no longer really excited as we head south. It is more like I’m now in my other home. They are all good.