I also stopped in the North Raleigh regional branch of the Wake County Public Library, where I traded in the large print edition of A Short History of Nearly Everything for a regular-sized print and paperback version, which will unequivocally travel better.
I stopped at the Honey Baked Ham store on the way home, where I thought I'd nab two of their most delicious ham salad sandwiches that Joe and I could eat on the road to Charlotte later in the day, but they were out of ham salad. "We just haven't had time to make it," the person behind the counter said. This is not the first time this has happened, and I have now mentally labeled the business as "unreliable."
I left my house at just before 3:00, and after a stop to fill up my tank and to get cash out of the credit union's ATM machine, I picked up Joe. We headed to Charlotte via Highway 70 W to 85 S, and had an uneventful trip, stopping to have dinner at a Zaxby's in the Concord area.
The long-term parking situation at the airport sucked, and it made me appreciate RDU's facilities.
Since we had over an hour to wait to board, we parked ourselves in a sports bar in the airport, where we had two Bloody Marys each, for a bar tab, with tip, of $64.00. Outfuckingrageous.
The good news was that we had a direct flight to Key West and the plane wasn't at all crowded. The bad news was that there weren't enough people sitting around us to even bother naming.
Our 8:45 flight departed on time, and we arrived as scheduled, just before 11PM in Key West. Since we hadn't checked any bags, we beelined it around the tiny baggage claim area in the tiny Key West airport and out to the taxi cab line.
The one at the front of the line was a van, with which Joe and I haven't had a lot of luck with in the past. Inevitably, they end up waiting for a couple of other passengers, which usually turn out to be straight people (not that there's anything wrong with straight people), and more often than not, we're the last—or near the last—to be let off after traipsing around the island dropping off people who got in the cab after us.
So, when the cabbie said to us, "Do you guys mind waiting just a moment to see if anyone else comes out?" Joe said with attitude, "How long will that be?"
The cabbie said, "Oh just a minute. I'm just going to see if anyone else comes out that didn't check bags. I'm not going to wait for the people who checked luggage."
When Joe and I didn't say anything else, he added, "No sense in my passing up a potential fare, is there?"
To which I had to bite my acerbic tongue from wagging, "Oh yeah, let's not usurp your chances of getting more money with any of our precious vacation time." Because customer service is all about the service provider and not the customer.
After less than a minute, he said, "I don't see anyone else coming out, and there are more cabs here now anyway."
We checked into Joe's room, in which we were both spending the night, until we move into our separate rooms tomorrow night for the rest of our stay. We've aways shared a room here in the past, so it's the first time we've tried getting separate rooms. They had two that share a bathroom, so it worked out nicely.
We were at the poolside bar by 11:30 having cocktails. Life is good.