The worst part about our job is the schedule. We are asked for our vacation requests over one year in advance. Literally! Last week I was asked for my vacation request for our 2015 fiscal year (Oct 2015 to Oct 2016). Ridiculous!
One year ago when we were planning for the fiscal year 2015 requests, Keith and I asked for a week off in the middle of March hoping to go on a ski trip with my family during my little sister’s Spring Break. This marvelous plan did not play out for one reason or another leaving Keith and I with a week of annual leave to go anywhere we pleased.
Choosing where to vacation might be harder then requesting vacation one year in advance. Keith and I love to travel and have trouble narrowing the options down. When planning this trip Keith knew he wanted to visit somewhere warm. We also knew we would need relaxation after the wedding and move. We decided to try out an all-inclusive option hoping to strike a balance of relaxing poolside time with drinks (for Keith), fun water activities (for Me), and food (for both of us). Price was the final factor in the decision. Sandals was offering a deal making them hands down the best bang for our buck. The Sandals sales agent helped us decide between the islands by describing the atmospheres of each resort. Barbados was described as “young and wild” and Grenada as “older crowd”. Option 2 was a no brainier for me. Aruba was also an option but Grenada’s won out with their claim as the spice island.
Keith booked the resort so I tried to step up to the plate and book the flights. I must have booked at exactly the right moment because everyone I talked to marveled at the low price of our flights. Cheap is always good but everyone’s reaction of shock made me uneasy about the legitimacy of these flights. My concern increased as we got e-mail after e-mail from the airline first notifying us our returning flight was changed a couple hours, after that our departing flight changed an hour, next our departing flight changed back and then our departing flight changed an hour again. The final flight change was via phone call the Monday before vacation. I could not understand the thick Caribbean accent of the agent for the life of me so had to forward the call to Keith to handle. The airline wanted us to either 1. leave in the middle of the work day Friday and stay overnight in Trinidad Tobago to arrive in Greanda at 11:00 am Saturday (same as the original arrival time) or 2. leave Saturday and not arrive to Grenada until 11:00 pm Saturday. With no other options we chose to leave work early Friday to maximize our time in Grenada.
The day of departure did not go exactly as planned. First I ran into parking issues. We then found ourselves standing on a local train (versus an express train that doesn’t make as many stops and is preferable when traveling far out to Brooklyn where JFK is located) looking at our watches every minute. At this point I declared our flight as missed and in typical Keith fashion he remained optimistic. We hopped out of the subway in Brooklyn hoping Uber would be faster. Nope! Slower! As we sat in traffic I could tell Keith had succumbed. We sat on opposite sides of the car in silence. Would there be anymore flights today or even tomorrow? How much would it cost?
We arrived at JFK airport at 5:39 for our flight departing at 5:40. We walked up the ticket counter ashamed and hoping for a miracle. We were informed of a 2:30 am flight. This flight would get us to Grenada at 11:00 am (same time as the missed flight) but the only remaining seats were first class and would cost an additional $330 per person. Our only other option was leaving the next day. We decided to bite the bullet and pay up. As the ticket agent handed us our new itinerary she informed us she didn’t charge us. Rather then questioning her rationale we both basically ran before she could change her mind. We can only assume it was our friendliness.
Ultimately, we made it to Grenada at the originally scheduled time at no extra cost, did not have the hassle of staying the night in Trinidad Tobago, and got the perks of the first class. That first class lounge is no joke! We definitely benefited from a situation that had potential to ruin our vacation.
My intent was to detail our vacation in one post. But at this point I feel longwinded and think I should give you a break by saving the remainder of the vacation details for a second post. For those of you are on the edge of your seat ready to hear all about it here a tease pictures. Trust me there will be more photos in the post to come.