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Report 2001: My Non Vacation in Antigua

By MsATravlin from Texas, Spring 2012

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Page 8 of 9: Sunday, May 13, 2012 Cant Imagine Making this Trip Feeling any Less than 100%

photo by arSmith

Our transportation back to the States at VC Bird Int'l Airport

Today is send-off back to the States. Said a prayer for my renewed health and strength to make this long travel day. We ate a good, filling breakfast (I had the crispy bacon, ham & veggie omelet and freshly made apple pastry) at the resort and had time to relax by my favorite spot for the last time, the Adult Pool. I was trying to soak in every bit of the spot and trying to keep from breaking out in a crying fit as this was such a disappointing vacation. Im tearing up now just writing about it. All the time spent researching and planning and all the money spent down the drain. Not to mention returning feeling as stressed and unfulfilled as before I came. I cant explain my emotions. One week set out for vacation yet feeling that no vacation was had at all. But such is life. I just have to move on and look forward to returning at another time. We checked out at 10:30. Our flight was not until 3:00 p.m. but Id read all the horror stories about the long lines and the disorganization of clearing Customs so we headed out extra early.

Of course our taxi driver was good ole Luke! Since we were so early he took us around to see some sights around the airport and pointed out the shuttle that takes the rich and famous to their own private and secluded island called Jumby island. We made it to VC Bird about 11:30; however, the American Airlines desk did not open until 12:30. We didnt mind as we were the first in line. We got checked in, paid our departure taxes, went through Customs and security in 15 minutes.

Downstairs was a can of sardines, simply crawling with people. This is where all the gift shops and main eateries are in such a small space. We remembered someone mentioning that there was a place to eat upstairs so up we went. There was a little Big Banana kiosk serving below-average personal pizzas, drinks and ice cream at inflated prices which we settled for the price of peace and quiet. We looked forward to a nice long dinner during our Miami layover, which was three hours. (Yeah Right!) There were only a handful of people up here. This is also where the cozy lounge is with the private convenience of TV, WiFi, alcoholic beverages and snacks. If you were not a member of this particular brand you could get a pass for $40 per person. We just sat at the windows and watched the planes come and go while waiting for our flight.

Miami touchdown and the international race was on. I dont know how but in a couple of years Id forgotten what a pain returning to the States from international travel is. Man ... makes you want to stay your butt at home. You walk forever to get to the Customs area only to encounter lines but they moved at a good clip. Another long trek to baggage claim to get luggage and take them through Customs. Now its time to go through security ... extra long lines. This is truly the stress-maker. All of the stress one would release on a normal vacation would be replaced in spades going through this process. Heaven forbid those who had a connecting that they had to rush to make. Id been there before so I felt their pain. Matter of fact in 2007 at the Newark airport we were running like the old OJ Simpson commercial after our Italy trip. Luckily this time we had a three-hour leeway which, after all the rigmarole, only left us an hour to eat dinner, so we had a nice meal and A drink at TGI Fridays. Believe me you need a number of stiff drinks going through Customs.

We made it to Houston on time, as with all our flights, at 11pm. Thank goodness Id have a rest and readjust day Monday before returning to the 9 to 5 grind on Tuesday.

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