Mount Rushmore Road Trip Part 16

10 Feb

A Slice of Life

Bill Lites

Day 16 Thursday 


This morning after breakfast I took one last shot at a visit to the Wings Over the Rockies Air & Space Museum, which was located only 6 miles from my motel there in Aurora.  Since it had been over two weeks since I started this road trip here, and some things had been opening up (COVID-19), I was in hopes they had opened the museum and their aircraft displays.  No such luck.  The base was still closed to non-military personnel. 

By now it was time to turn in my rental car, at Denver’s International Airport, and make my way to the Southwest Airlines counter to check in.  I took the time to eat my last banana and drink my last bottle of water before I headed for Security.  I got a good seat on my flight to Orlando and was ready to go.  When the flight attentant got us all in and seated, she thanked us for flying with them on their non-stop flight to Philadelphia and on to Orlando.  I said, “WHAT! I though this was a NON-STOP flight!.”  Then some wise guy behind me said, “This is non-stop; to Philadelphia.”  HA, HA.  

The flight attentant explained that the stop in Philadelphia would be just long enough to off-load and on-load passengers, and I didn’t even have to get off the plane if I didn’t want to.  I couldn’t believe what was happening.  I had booked this non-stop Denver to Orlando flight in July, but when COVID-19 restrictions were still keeping a lot of places closed, I had changed my reservation to September.  I had booked, what I thought was the same non-stop flight, and since nothing on my bording pass looked different, and no one at the check-in desk said anything about it, I just assumed it was the same non-stop flight I had originally booked. 

The flight from Denver to Philadelphia was smooth and uneventful. We were served fresh mini-pretsels and small cookies with ice water.  In Philadelphia I stayed on the plane so I wouldn’t loose my favorite seat.  I got to see how Southwest was going the extra mile to clean the plane between each flight.  They disenfected and wiped down each seat, arm rest, and tray table in the entire plane.  I was impressed.  The new passengers were boarded, and the flight to Orlando was a little bumpy as we were flying over the remains of Hurricane Sally part of the way.  I was hungry and asked for two bags of cookies and mini-pretsels this time.  I had to have two glasses of water to wash them down.

DiVoran picked me up at the Orlando International Airport and we headed north on SR-436 to the Panara Bread restaurant for dinner.  I had a “pic-two” of Frontega Chicken Panini & Broccli Cheese soup and DiVoran had the Fugi Apple Chicken Salad.  The food was exellant and we both left with full tummies.  The 45-minute drive from Panara’s to  our home in Titusville was relaxing, and I was really glad to be able to sleep in my own bed, after a different motel bed most every night for over two weeks.  

My next two planned road trips include time spent in parts of Canada, and right now I’m not sure American tourist are welcome there.  We’ll have to just wait and see if the restrictions of this COVID-19 pandemic are lifted in time for a summer trip that far north next year.  In the mean time, we pray that God will keep each of you safe and healthy.  Join me next  time for another exciting “Road Trip” to somewhere you haven’t been before.  It will be fun and something new and exciting every day.

—–The End–

Bill is a retired Mechanical engineer living with his wonderful artist/writer wife, DiVoran, of 63 years in Titusville, Florida. He was born and raised in the Southwest, did a tour of duty with the U.S. Navy, attended Northrop University in Southern California and ended up working on America’s Manned Space Program for 35 years. He currently is retired and spends most of his time building and flying R/C model airplanes, traveling, writing blogs about his travels for Word Press and supporting his wife’s hobbies with framing, editing and marketing.  He also volunteers with a local church Car Care Ministry and as a tour guide at the Valiant Air Command Warbird Museum there in Titusville.  Bill has two wonderful children, two outstanding grandchildren, and a loving sister and her husband, all of whom also live in Central Florida, so he and DiVoran are rewarded by having family close to spend lots of quality time with.

One of Bill’s favorite Scriptures is:  John 10:10

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