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Old 4 Nov 19, 08:28 PM  
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WileyCoyote
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Bayous to Beaches. 4 States 4 Weeks. Pre Travel Day

Sunday 29 September

Welcome to From the Bayou to the Beach - A 4 state road trip over 4 weeks taking in Florida, Louisiana, Georgia and South Carolina. As the majority of the holiday takes place in or around Florida I am writing it here but will link the non Florida days in the General Trip Section as well

This is us



Two fifty somethings, often found in bars in New Orleans

We have had a tough couple of years with life randomly throwing crappy stuff at us like confetti so this trip was all about living life in the moment and loving every minute of it

The link to the pre-trip is HERE.

Itís shorter than usual as I vowed to myself not to start one until I had finished a blog, or diary, about my surgery and brush with ovarian cancer at Christmas last year. Its not even a diary really, more a random set of mainly drug induced (prescription only!) jottings that I hoped could help someone else on their own journey to recovery. Itís just reached its first thousand views and I have had a couple of messages from people commenting that itís helped - that makes me so happy. If you are interested, or think it might help someone you know Ö..do pm me or have a look at the pre trip.

What with writing that and working, I ran out of time to finalise the holiday plan. Oh the Dibb shame.

We were going with a reasonable list of things to see and do and most importantly there was a list of places to eat. We are notoriously dreadful if we are hungry and wandering around looking for somewhere - it ends in disaster, without fail!

On to pre travel day.

The day before had been a bit stressful.

Well, relative holiday stress that is.

We are going with Norwegian and I just find missing the extra 3 kgs per person that you get with other airlines cause me so much stress.

We had already booked an extra case for coming home which was in one of the other cases and of course that gobbles up some of the weight.

Despite packing light (and we did wear pretty much everything), I was struggling to make it all fit, especially as I wanted to organise the cases to work with the number of stops we were making - 10 hotels in the first 11 days.

I also had all the heavier and larger toiletries for the longer stay in Florida.

Yes, I know, I could buy these out there.

In the end Andy said, just add another case.

Itís so simple isnít it.
So obvious.

I wondered if it would have been cheaper to ditch the toiletries and buy them there but as we used all the cases and allowance on the return, we would have needed to buy an extra suitcase instead so clearly not as cost effective. Ha ha. Holiday maths is amazing.

I hate luggage with a passion.

As a side note, the Norwegian flights in hindsight were really not as cheap as I think we told ourselves.

It ended up as £539 each for the flight, the meals and the extra cases.

That was with the bagging extra legroom seats for free as they do now charge £75 for these.

But I am sure we could have got a similar price with another carrier in the end after adding back in all the extras.

And the food service is not as good.

Hubby still a big Norwegian fan. Me, not so much now.

All this stress and thatís just the cases. Ha Ha

Eventually they were sorted, clothes all into cubes for different days and arranged so we would open up one case at a time.

Packing chaos stage





I thought this cover was a good idea and then decided it wasn't as the elastic strap at the base would catch in everything



The hats were such a pain Ö all very well thinking you will be all stylish travellers like Dirk Bogarde and Bridget Bardot but more like Billy Ray Cyrus and Bridget Jones in reality



The cubes and packing plan mainly worked although my notes tell me I still spent a fair few morning re arranging cases. I am sure this is not linked in any way to the shopping haul.

When Pre-Travel day arrived, there wasnít much left to do and no mad cleaning as DS1 would be at home. There was a big cook up to make sure he would be well fed



Suitable out of office message was put on



And new phone cover on - even tho there is no Disney this trip




I checked us in on line to the Premier Inn - this had been paid for already (£92) to include breakfast but we hoped to be there in time to venture out at dinner time.

Not a bargain price but I wanted the convenience of being near the terminal.
Andy will be in sole change of the cases as I canít really lift them and I didnít want him battling too far with them.

See how thoughtful I am.

I also added early check in to our upcoming flight to New Orleans which was $60 across the two flights. I was hoping this would avoid the overhead storage carnage we have previously encountered on internal flights.

At 1030 on pre travel day, Andy enquired if we washed his jogging trousers now whether they would be dry in time.

Not that we have had the trip planned for 6 months and I have been packing the case for the last few days.

Unbelievable.

They were duly washed and hung out to dry - they canít be tumbled in case they shrink. Well, heís gonna have a soggy bottom if they donít dry in time Ö

Then was the part of pre travel day that drags.

You have finished the final running around and are just waiting to set off.

We watched the Grand Prix and generally faffed about waiting for our taxi which pitched up at 3.15.

I did get a bit tearful saying goodbye to DS1, a combination of knowing I would miss him (and the doggos) and the realisation that after all the waiting I was finally going away.

Gatwick is always a bit of a pain of a journey and as Andy and the taxi driver were talking footy, I decided to put my earphones in.



I did pick up some of the conversation when the driver asked where we were going and was a bit alarmed to hear Andy say we were going via Atlanta at some point (hmmm, no, I donít think so).

This is the joy of the non-planning partner.

There was also a lot of confusion about where we were going in the taxi.

The flight tomorrow is from South Terminal but we were staying at the PI North so after several minutes of exchanges where I was trying really hard not to say ďNo, non-planner, I AM right, it is NorthĒ, I just pulled up the postcode and that settled it.

Tsk Tsk.

As is tradition it rained. All the way.

As itís a road trip, I thought I would get you in the mood -here is some road



The journey took just over 2 and half hours.

More road



Not helped by the taxi driver still taking us to the OTHER PI which is just a little way from the terminal.

We finally got there



and there was further faff about where we would be picked up on our return.

Do remember this - I will NEVER book us to stay at a terminal from which we are NOT departing or arriving again.

I couldnít see what was so hard to grasp myself but it clearly was.

At check in, I added on the dinner to the booking as we now didnít fancy going over to the terminal.

Andy went over to get us booked in - it was 6.15 and they gave us a table for 7.45.

Who comes up with the interior furnishing here? Have they tried wheeling cases over this carpet? Itís the most wheel resistant fabric I have encountered ... we struggled to pull or push the cases against the infernal flooring and I only had the small cabin case to wheel.

I reckon it was the weight of Andyís (still wet) joggers that were hanging off the cases that were causing the anti-drag factor, but he was not a happy chappy.

Naturally, we were the furthest possible room from the lift and quite possibly actually in that other PI which is offsite we walked so blinking far.

We were both a bit grumpy by now with the travel, being hangry and grappling with the cases so it was a relief to get into the room and just take a minute to chill out

Itís the normal PI room.




Enhanced though with the two half open bottles of wine that we brought with us as they would surely have gone off while we were away.



These were duly consumed while we looked over the dinner menu and I unpacked our stuff for tomorrow. Room approx. 5 mins after arriving



I put a few things on this shelf under the hangers. And then promptly covered them up with clothes. Do remember this Ö.



Menu was in the room so we decided what we wanted before hand while finishing off the bottles of wine we had brought from home.



There was a queue to be seated , it moved quite quickly. No fast pass lane. Tsk tsk.



Went for the Lamb Koftas and Chicken and Chorizo skewers - split them so we had one of each. Both very nice



Beer and House Rose



Mains - we paid £2 extra for the mixed grill and I had the bacon double cheeseburger. Meals took a little while to come out but were both really very good.






We had been chatting to the table next to us who were celebrating an 80th birthday , they very generously gave us a slice each of their M&S cake so no need for dessert



We thought about a drink in the bar but it was packed out so couldnít be bothered.

Back in the room, with the aircon cranked up to speed the jogger drying process, we checked in that all was ok at home.

We must have watched something on tv for a bit - no doubt it was wildly exciting but not exciting enough for me to have made a note.

I checked umpteen times that I had an alarm set but as that means having the sound up on the phone, it also meant a lot of pinging noises until I had the sense to turn off message notifications.

A deep and refreshing night of sleep then lay ahead

Of course it didnít, its pre travel night for goodness sake.

It is holiday law you must meet travel day completely knackered before you have started!

Travel day is HERE

Edited at 06:05 PM.
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Old 4 Nov 19, 09:52 PM  
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smithlane
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Yay youíve started!
A relatively smooth pre travel day.
I can relate to packing frustration too, I hate knowing Iíve only got a certain weight allowance and what with our holiday shopping addiction to think of it all just gets very stressful! Youíll just have to go PE next time Amanda, tell Andy itís imperative for mental health reasons 😂
I too get a bit tearful when leaving for the airport, I think itís the sudden realisation that the holiday you have planned (or not in your case &#128521 for months is suddenly upon you. When we eventually (hooray) get to leave the kids at home I think Iíll be an emotional basket case saying goodbye!
I canít believe the taxi driver struggled with the dropping and picking up from different terminals, itís really not difficult 😳.
Nice chilled out time in the room with leftover wine, absolutely the right thing to do so not to waste it 😆
Iím now wondering what you managed to leave behind in the room when you put clothes on top? It wasnít your passports was it 😂
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Old 5 Nov 19, 08:48 PM  
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What a busy day! What is it with men and washing of vital clothes! I hope they dried in time!

Dinner looks lovely! And free cake has to be a plus!
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Old 5 Nov 19, 08:55 PM  
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WileyCoyote
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Originally Posted by smithlane View Post
Yay youíve started!
A relatively smooth pre travel day.
I can relate to packing frustration too, I hate knowing Iíve only got a certain weight allowance and what with our holiday shopping addiction to think of it all just gets very stressful! Youíll just have to go PE next time Amanda, tell Andy itís imperative for mental health reasons 😂
I too get a bit tearful when leaving for the airport, I think itís the sudden realisation that the holiday you have planned (or not in your case &#128521 for months is suddenly upon you. When we eventually (hooray) get to leave the kids at home I think Iíll be an emotional basket case saying goodbye!
I canít believe the taxi driver struggled with the dropping and picking up from different terminals, itís really not difficult 😳.
Nice chilled out time in the room with leftover wine, absolutely the right thing to do so not to waste it 😆
Iím now wondering what you managed to leave behind in the room when you put clothes on top? It wasnít your passports was it 😂
I laughed about PE and immediately read it out to Andy thereís always this denial that we wonít do as much shopping as the last trip (and we shopped a lot this time round)

Yes I think itís relief/tiredness/excitement and travel nerves that make me blub when I leave the house . The boys think itís funny

The poor driver. He was clear what he was doing, as was Andy. Just they were both clear on completely different places in their heads Heís a really lovely chap , I think we totally confused him

How did you guess what was missing

Thanks for reading.
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Old 5 Nov 19, 08:56 PM  
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WileyCoyote
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Originally Posted by Melbatb View Post
What a busy day! What is it with men and washing of vital clothes! I hope they dried in time!

Dinner looks lovely! And free cake has to be a plus!
I know, itís hilarious isnít it Yes there were dry thanks to hairdryer and air con assistance
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Old 5 Nov 19, 09:48 PM  
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I'm so glad its not just me who has a husband who suddenly announces they need a particular item of clothing. I was kind of hoping that he had to wear them a bit soggy , I know it's mean but it would have served him right.

The packing conundrum was solved fairly easily in the end adding the extra case on upfront at least meant you didn't have to rearrange everything a hundred times, just 99 times

Ah and then you had the nice refreshing sleep you need just before travel day I hope you managed to nap on the plane.

I'm looking forward to the full report, ok it's going to have ups and downs, but still I can't wait to find out what places I'm going to be adding to my list to visit one day.

Xx
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Old 7 Nov 19, 08:17 AM  
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Great you've started, been looking forward to this. Love your suitcase cover. Laughing at your non-planner frustrations, same in this house lol Looking forward to the next day
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Old 9 Nov 19, 01:08 PM  
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WileyCoyote
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Originally Posted by Goldia View Post
I'm so glad its not just me who has a husband who suddenly announces they need a particular item of clothing. I was kind of hoping that he had to wear them a bit soggy , I know it's mean but it would have served him right.

The packing conundrum was solved fairly easily in the end adding the extra case on upfront at least meant you didn't have to rearrange everything a hundred times, just 99 times

Ah and then you had the nice refreshing sleep you need just before travel day I hope you managed to nap on the plane.

I'm looking forward to the full report, ok it's going to have ups and downs, but still I can't wait to find out what places I'm going to be adding to my list to visit one day.

Xx
I know I couldn't believe it ..
By the end of the holiday I had managed to completely pack a couple of the cases so they could stay in the car or room and not be opened .. just took me a while to get it right
We did have such a great time - its always an adventure though

Originally Posted by yellowrose78 View Post
Great you've started, been looking forward to this. Love your suitcase cover. Laughing at your non-planner frustrations, same in this house lol Looking forward to the next day
Thank you x Its quite sweet really that he completely lets me do the planning and can rock up with almost no clue of the plans
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Old 10 Nov 19, 11:13 AM  
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Yay, youíve started! Looking forward to reading along.

No offence intended but ppffftttt men!
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Old 10 Nov 19, 08:22 PM  
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WileyCoyote
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Originally Posted by margyloveswdw View Post
Yay, youíve started! Looking forward to reading along.

No offence intended but ppffftttt men!
Thank you x
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