The day didn't start as much it developed from the remnants of last night. i worked hard at not sleeping and fortunately, between my nerves, the coughing and other aches and pains (plus a documentary on female roles in Shakespearean comedies) I was able to limit my dozing to 2 hours or so. So up well before the crack of anything and we got the band together in the rental car. Off to the airport before it was light (no traffic despite the predictions of the front desk crew) so we followed the poor signage and found the car return people. A few minutes later we began the 10 mile trek from the car rental people to the ticket desk. Seriously -- this is a long walk that requires an elevator, a tram, 5 moving sidewalks and a bunch of just plain walking. I signed up with a particular company because I thought that they had some sort of tactical advantage and were "right there." Nope. All the companies are in a separate building a couple of miles away. No shortcuts.
We cleared security, put our clothes back on (I got scanned and patted down, so I had to slip the guy a $20) and made our way to the gate. We got there at 7:15 for 7:30AM boarding. Not bad. Our plane was, again, a 737 with its bathroom to passenger ratio at about 1 bathroom per, um, plane. I doped myself up on meclazine and hoped for the best. The nausea actually set in while we were still in the terminal. And there was precious little bumpiness while sitting in the concourse. But somehow, my system detected planes and started misfiring. We finally settled in to row 29 (out of 30) and I started sweating. The plane taxied backwards about half the way to New Jersey and then we turned around and drove a quarter of the way back to Florida. Then we took off. The problem is, even in the best case, I was tired, coughing, scared and sick to my stomach, and just plain bored (yes, yes..."plane board" I see it...big deal). The ride was smoother than last time but I'd like to remind the captains of an important face -- it isn't called "chop" or "choppiness," it is "turbulence." Sugar coating it doesn't make it any less harrowing. We touched down at about 11AM local time (incidentally, the same time as it was in Florida; why did they need to tell us the "local time" if we hadn't changed zones and this wasn't a connecting flight?) and braved the 20 degree F weather to get ourselves in a cab and home. Our heat, which had been set at 58 for our trip is now chugging away, trying to rise back to room temperature and I am trying to regain feeling in my toes without getting too much feeling back in my stomach.
To sum up -- Miami Beach was lovely. The weather was incredible and the beach and restaurants (when one can get a seat at either one) are fabulous. I started missing the warmth as soon as I deplaned and was hit by a frozen blast of smog. But I still would rather spend my vacation holed up in my own house with the world leaving me alone. I don't like cruises and planes don't do it for me. Maybe I just am not cut out to travel. I can live with that. Well, back to real work. Thanks for tuning in, all. I have a few pictures but nothing revolutionary. let me know if you want to see what the beach looks like.