This week I’ve been working once again in coastal North Carolina, where I was last week. I’m staying at the oceanfront Doubletree Hotel in Atlantic Beach, and am really enjoying my stay here.
I flew up here on Monday morning, after having breakfast with DOS at the Hyatt Regency Orlando Airport, where we stayed Sunday night.
My first flight to Charlotte was on an Airbus 321 and I had a nice hour nap in my First Class seat 4F, window. I was supposed to have only an hour layover in Charlotte before flying on to New Bern, NC, but my connecting flight on a Dash-8 prop/jet was running late due to maintenance issues.
Coincidentally, Delta Airlines had a major disruption in their operations on Monday morning, as the airline had basically shut down or delayed virtually all of their flights worldwide due to a ‘power glitch’ at their Atlanta Headquarters hub – not a good day to be flying Delta.
In addition to my flight running late (for who knows how long), the agent also said they needed a couple volunteers as the flight was oversold. While I haven’t volunteered to give my seat up for years (as the flights now are always full), the agent guaranteed me on a flight less than 2 hours later, which I agreed to do for a $300 travel voucher. Especially with the other flight delayed, it really made sense, and not only that the agent gave me a $12 meal voucher as well! As I had a bit of time now before my flight, I walked around the Charlotte Airport, and over to the ‘D’ international terminal, which was quiet this time of day as the jumbos don’t leave until the evening for Europe. I remember years ago; i.e. the late 1980’s when it was routine to get free tickets for volunteering your seat, especially around the holidays, but you could almost always get the next flight out. Now, the next available flight could easily be the next day, or even a couple days later if it falls around the holidays; hence I quit volunteering years ago. This was the exception however, and worked out well for both the airline and me – plus I had time for lunch!
On my connecting flight to New Bern, I was seated in the front row aisle seat 2C (no row 1), but the flight attendant asked someone to move to the back due to weight and balance, which I volunteered to do. (No free voucher though – LOL!) The ‘back of the bus’ was actually better though, as I had the whole exit row to myself, and it made for a more comfortable hour long flight with a window view -and could watch the landing gear being lowered!
My work week is going well, and with the long (and hot!) summer nights, it’s very nice and relaxing coming back to my oceanfront hotel in the evenings. I enjoy taking a long walk along the uncrowded beach, with it’s hand-sculpted sand castles and hearts of love; all with the sunset gradually setting, creating beautiful colors.
The Doubletree is the tallest hotel in the area at nine floors, and the surrounding areas next to the hotel are low rise 2 to 3 story condos, or small motels, so it’s very quiet and uncrowded; virtually all families on vacation. The hotel is very quiet at night, and the guests are all in a good mood as they are on vacation!
Although I packed shorts, T-shirts, and a swimsuit, I didn’t bring any flip flops, so I bought a pair on the way home from work, paying top dollar for them. Yes, my green flip-flops cost me a whole dollar at Dollar Tree! I just wanted them to go from the hotel to the beach instead of wearing my sneakers, and after two nights they have held up – quite a bargain!
I have dinner each night in the hotel’s restaurant, Prime 1079, and as I don’t eat until around 8pm, I usually have the place more or less to myself, as people here tend to eat early. The food is quite good and offers highly specials; tonight I had the bacon-wrapped scallops, while last night I had the MahiMahi served upon a huge pasta dish.
It’s Wednesday night now, and I’m already looking ahead to the weekend at home. DOS and I are meeting Ben and Tom at the Hyatt Regency Orlando Convention Center for a Saturday night stay, as we are going to The Capital Grille, for their ‘Generous Pour’ promotion.