We left the hotel at 8:00 this morning to go to our gate. We proceeded over to the American Airlines counters. We used the kiosk for our luggage tags and boarding passes. Then we got in the line to drop off the bags. It was moving slow. There were three counters open, but each seemed to have a problem.
We finally got to the front of the line and again, three problems holding people up at the counter. But, one of the agents waved us forward, and told me to place the bags on the scale at the empty counter next to hers. She then took our passports and boarding passes, and in no time she waved us on to our gate. Yeah for her!
We then went to the TSA Pre-check line, which was fairly quick considering a lot of people now use pre-check. On the hike to our gate, we were looking at the restaurants to see which one would be good for breakfast. (There were no Priority Pass lounges in the D wing of the airport.) We stopped at Ku-Va, a Cuban restaurant, for our breakfast. Jean had Cuban toast and a cranberry juice, and I got a scrambled egg, bacon and french toast combo with a water. I gave my bacon to Jean, and enjoyed my tasty breakfast.
We were done at the restaurant by 9:00. We walked over to gate 8 and found seats to wait for our flight. Jean read, and I worked on the free 45 minute internet for awhile, then I typed today's blog and people watched. I also called my brother Butch to see how he was doing. He may be going to Egypt in the spring. They signed up with one of the lecturers they like to hear. Good for him! The lecturer is from the Egyptian department at the University of Pennsylvania.
We boarded the plane about 10:40 for our 11:08 flight to Barbados on American Airlines. We had an aisle and middle seat. A lady had the window seat. We had a roughly 4 hour flight ahead of us. I had kept the headphones from the Avianca flight, so I started watching the movie Snatched before we took off and the stewardesses handed out the AA earbuds. There was no meal service on the flight, just a drink and a bag of pretzels. For my second movie, I watched one Jean enjoyed yesterday, Table 19. I liked it, if you get a chance... We still had time, so I began watching the second episode of 11/22/1963. If there weren't so many announcements about landing, video how to fill out immigration form, etc., I would've had time to finish the show, but alas!
We landed about 3:00, which I thought would be 4:00 since the island is on Atlantic time. But Jean pointed out we were on EST, which means Barbados time is the same as back home. The pilot found our parking spot and the ground crew had two ladders, one for the back door which was great since we were in row 33. Quick exit, easy peasy, which worked out great because two other flights were disembarking at the same time. We got in passport control, we were in the front third of the line. By the time we moved up a little, the line behind us was out the door (timing is everything). No problem with passport control.
Next was our luggage. Well, the baggage claim assigned to our plane was jammed packed with two other flights ahead of ours. They finally moved our baggage claim to another carousel and our bags were in the second grouping that appeared. Now on through immigration. They were opening and searching bags, which slowed down the line. When we went through, the official asked our purpose (vacation), any goods for anyone (no), how long is our stay (7 days), ok, you can go. Alright, no opening of bags!
We found the Sandals rep who sent us over to the Sandals desk to get our luggage tagged and hop aboard the shuttle. We were on the shuttle with 7 other couples, mostly younger than us old folks. Once we were all aboard, we had a quick 20 minute trip from the airport, and then we were sitting in the Sandals Club Lounge sipping our welcome drink and using the iPad to sign in.
Then we were escorted (with a small detour to the Welcome Back & Loyalty desk - there was a Sandals Select Cocktail & Dinner event at 6:15 they wanted us to know about) to our rooms. On the way, our concierge pointed out restaurants, the spa, etc. She escorted us up to our room on the 5th floor in the Royal House. We had reserved a beachfront penthouse club level suite with balcony tranquility soaking tub. The concierge showed us the controls for the room and gave us our welcome packet with all of the pertinent information.
Nice room, it is in the center of the building, right off the elevator, with a grand view of the beach and pool areas. While I waited for our bags to arrive, Jean went back to the Sandals Club Lounge to talk with the concierges to set up dinner reservations with the two (out of 7) restaurants that require reservations. She also scheduled a mani/pedi for herself before returning to the room. The luggage still had not arrived yet. So, Jean took a shower. And after her shower, the bags finally arrived.
We quickly unpacked those items we would need for the warm weather (80s all week), and left the winter clothes in the bag. I stored my bag in the closet. We also put together a laundry bag for pick-up tomorrow. It has been awhile since our last laundry day. I wanted fresh polo shirts for the evenings.
Jean dressed up for dinner (the invitation read Resort Attire) and I had dress pants and a dress shirt on for the flight today. I just needed to change out of my sandals to closed toe shoes. We went down for cocktails at 6:20. There were hors d'oeuvres, and a special cocktail that were served.
We stood at one of the tall tables with a couple from Nottingham, England. He worked is a car salesman, and she is a teaching assistant with 3 & 4 year-olds. Once we had talked about what we do for a living and here we lived, Jean opened the next conservation what did they think of Brexit, which they both voted for, and in return, they wanted to know about Trump (fair enough). Our conversation was interrupted by the presentations for those receiving silver, gold and diamond sandals (given for milestones in attaining a certain amount of nights spent at Sandals and Beaches resorts), then the introduction of the department managers, and then the resort manager's greeting/commercial.
Then we were escorted over to the Bayside Restaurant which is closed for dinner on Tuesdays, for our special dinner. We sat with the couple from Nottingham, ,and the Tours manager was also at our table. We continued our conservations about Brexit and Trump and education in England over dinner, until the entertainment started during the main course. The entertainment was a duo of brothers who sang popular songs to a track, too loud for any conservations.
The dinner was great. Our appetizer was scallops wrapped in bacon, the soup course was a roasted pumpkin, sweet potato & coconut. The main entree was surf & turf: carved fillet of beef and lobster tail. And dessert was a chocolate mousse. They knew about my allergy to chocolate and served me a large fruit plate.
We danced a little (conga line) and then returned to the room about 9:00. We watched a little TV before rolling over. A good day once we arrived in Barbados.