Wednesday, May 25, 2011

A Patton Vacation Would Not Be Complete Without...Pt. 1

We had an amazing time in Cuba.  It is something we are definitely going to do again and again;-)

I have so much to write about and share, that I just can't wrap my mind around it all, so I am going to start with our trip home.  That was an experience in itself.

On Sunday evening, we had packed up all our bags and were ready to just walk out the door in the morning.  The bell hops were waiting in the halls to carry our luggage back up the 2 flights of stairs we had to do and we gladly let him do that!! 

We all boarded the bus and headed into the city, to the airport.

When we got up to the front desk, we put our luggage on the scale and it said that we were 5kg over in weight...which I have a hard time understanding how that is even possible.  We went down with 4 checked cases.  2 of which we emptied and gave away all the stuff to the people we met there.  On the way back, we had 3 pieces of luggage to check and only 3 bottles of rum and the other souvenirs were not heavy in the least. 

We asked the guy how much we would pay for that and he said it would be $100!!!   WHAT??? So we had room for one more carry on and decided to do that instead.  We were taking it off the scale and thankfully a friend came over and reminded us that if we had rum in there, we would lose it. So, with people still in line behind us, we went through the new carry on and removed the 3 items that would have been confiscated and moved them into the suitcase...all was fine after that.

Then we headed over to pay the $25 departure tax, each so we could leave, then over to return the visitors card.  We walked through the gate and went through the metal detector and the carry ons were scanned.  The detector beeped for me, and the female guard came over and used the handheld detector to check was my jeans button that was setting it off.  All was well.

We found a seat and waited for the plane.  Exchanged our money over (which we lost money doing) and waited more.  Finally, it was time to board the plane, we were a half hour early, which was nice and we were getting ready for takeoff.

So, at full speed, with the nose in the air, all of a sudden the brakes slammed on and we were still going down the runway, trying to stop.  What sucks is, we had no idea what had happened at the moment and you can't see how much runway is left and you start wondering how close the sea is to where we were...

Finally the plane stopped and the pilot informed us that a bird had hit the plane and we had to see how the plane was.  We sat on the plane for about an hour (I think? If it wasn't that long, it sure felt like that long;-) while the service guys and the pilots looked over the plane, to make the decision if we could fly or not.

I tried to get a pic of the flat tire...I don't think I got a good enough shot though.

The decision was made and we were escorted off the plane and onto a bus that would take us back to the terminal.  The plane had hit 2 turkey vultures and the pilots had to make a split second decision.  After the plane came to the stop, when they looked over the damage, the windshield had bowed in slightly and one of the tires was flat...typical Patton vacation style;-)
We felt relieved and very blessed that the pilots made that decision.  We were safe and on the ground and would just wait for a new plane the next day.  Canjet was amazing, they put everyone up in a 5 star Cuban hotel, made arrangements for us to have dinner and breakfast, one drink and a 3 minute phone call. 

In the front foyer of the 5 star
We enjoyed one more night with some great new friends and got to experience another part of Santiago de Cuba.  I still have to blog about our trip, I am just having a hard time getting back into the swing of things...keep your eyes open for more soon:-)

The view from our room on the 12th floor:-)


  1. wow- that was an adventure! Nice to get an extra night on vacation though :)