Sunday, May 29, 2016

Rio - Expectations and Realities

I made it to Rio, despite United Airlines doing their best to screw me over yet again.

When I got notified of the flight delay I got on the horn and got rerouted, on an American 2-hop because that was the only way to get to Houston in time to make the Rio flight.
And of course my PreCheck didn't carry over so I got to join the hoi-polloi in the take-your-left-shoe-off, take-your-right-shoe-off, stick-em-in-box Hokey Pokey - at least we didn't do quite as much "guess whats in TBG's backpack" going through the x-ray. Zero status with AA, so I had the Shittiest Seat On The Plane on the way to Charlotte, and Charlotte to Houston wasn't much better. I won't be switching to American any time soon. FTMF

Charlotte Airport sucks, as does American Airlines in general.
Just sayin'.
Spent 90 minutes in Houston swilling three gin & tonics up in the United Lounge, getting my courage up to board the Rio flight...
Bulkhead seat on the aisle- Yay.
In the other two seats were two middle-aged Brazilian women who talked non-stop for 4 hours...
Neither spoke a word of English, which was just peachy for me.
What was really good was the one sitting next to me was about 5'2", so there was no crowding or fighting for the armrest.

I did sleep about 4 of the 10 flight hours, thanks to the generous pour of Hendricks Gin back in Houston.
Made Rio a few minuted ahead of schedule, skated through C&I with no problems, though I did have a bit of a scare with my baggage.
Because I was on American (spit) through Charlotte to Houston, then back on United to Rio there was some discussion whether I would have to claim my bags in Houston, then recheck them on United to get them to Rio safely.
At check-in in JAX the ticket agent said checking them all the way through would be no problem.
He printed the tags, I verified the flight numbers and carriers, (AA- JAX-CLT-IAH UA- IAH-GIG)
and they were off...
Because they started on American, they didn't get United 'Priority' tags, so my duffle bag (clothes) showed up on the 4th or 5th cart, but my equipment case never showed up on the carousel.
Oh shit.
I hate that- the feeling you get when your bag is late, and all the mental gymnastics you go through... Did it miss the flight? Did it get stolen? What will I do if it's stolen? I'll bet the baggage handlers just the other side of the wall have opened it and are divvying up my laptops right now?

Bags stop coming out, carousel quits moving.
I head to the baggage service desk with about 20 other people. Looks like I'm not alone in my dilemma... Then I notice the oversize/weird baggage area- all the baby seats, surfboards, etc... Along with a familiar black Pelican case.
Woo hoo!
Okay- I'll take back some of the horrible shit I was thinking about the Rio baggage crew...

I headed out of Baggage Claim, found the guy with my name on his cardboard sign and we headed to his car.

I expected to be besieged by A. Aegypti as soon as I walked out of the airport.

(What I was expecting)
But oddly enough, I made it to the hotel relatively unscathed.

Rio traffic, on a scale of 1 to China rates about a 6- at least on the main roads from the Airport to the Barra area. Surprisingly sedate. Maybe because it was Sunday?

I got to the Hilton, then to my room, took a good nap to make up for the hours I missed on the plane, then went up for a nice libation at the poolside bar on the roof of the Hilton.

Oh, I love me a good caipirinha... This trip might be fun after all...

The rooftop pool...

More of a lap pool, but still might be a nice spot for a dip.

Nice view
(Click to see large view)
The Olympic site off on the Barra peninsula.

I'll leave you with a Sign of the Apocalypse - Rio Edition #1 -

From the Hilton- "Watch your step, Gringo."

TBG - [Exit- Pursued by Anopheles Darlingi]

1 comment:

Old NFO said...

Woo hoo! You actually made it WITH luggage! :-) Enjoy!