Sunday, September 02, 2007

Part One of Our Two Week California Vacation

Every trip, vacation or family event can be worth writing about. Recently, I vacationed for two weeks in Palm Springs, California. I wrote twelve articles about what we did there and posted them on Then, I turned it into an eBook.

If you would like to have the eBook to use as a gift to those who visit your Web site or blog, let me know and I will send it to you at no cost.

Here is the first article in the series.

We normally take our vacation on the east coast of the Florida peninsula, so we purchased one week of timeshare vacation on Ormond Beach. It was near the end of summer season in 2005, and we had already taken our vacation that year so we decided to space bank our week until later.

Later is 2007, and we combined our 2005 week with our 2007 week so could have a longer vacation in California. Usually it is difficult to get two weeks back-to-back when you swap through RCI, but low and behold they had availability in the Palm Springs area. We would have to swap from one condo resort to another after the first week, but it was only a few miles away so we took it and bought airline tickets online. Then, we settled down for a long winter's nap while waiting for our vacation date to roll around.

Finally, July 6th graced the calendar and we headed for the airport at 4:45 a.m. in a taxi. It had been a while since we had traveled via airplane. In fact, we had not been in an airport since before 9-11. We had heard that things had changed, but we didn't realize how much. Free curb-side baggage check was no longer free. Clerk-assisted baggage check-in is now self-check in using a computer that knows more than most humans. We had five bags we wanted to check, and three carry-ons. The limit was two bags of each kind per person. Looking at the bags, we didn't think any one of them would meet the carry-on size restrictions, but of course those limitations were not posted near the computer that was serving as our welcoming agent.

We paid the computer an extra $80 to check the fifth bag and then proceeded to the next early morning pre-boarding adventure. As we approached the person check, there was the sign we needed about 100 yards ago. We could have taken one of the bags on board. We were ordered to take off our shoes and put our carry on bags on the conveyor belt. All expect for the laptop and my purse; they had to be manhandled separately.

"You can't take a bottle of water on the plane," said the human void of personality.

We must have looked as dumbfounded as we felt. "It's just water. It hasn't been opened," I reported.

"No liquids over 3.5 ounces can be taken onboard. You can either drink it now, or throw it in the trash." She was serious.

I wasn't thirsty yet, so she pried the plastic containers from my hands and tossed both our brand new Aquafinas in the trash can behind her desk. Side note to terrorist: If you plan to bomb a plane, you must do it with less than 3.5 ounces of liquid, preferably not in a plastic water bottle.

Just inside the metal detector gate was a newsstand selling a wide variety of bottled water for two dollars each. Talk about seizing an opportunity.

Stay tuned for part two of a day-by-day diary of our 2-week California vacation.

Yvonne Perry is a freelance writer and editor who assists clients with any type of writing project. Yvonne is available to assist you with telling your story or writing your book. Her podcast Writers in the Sky is filled with information about the craft and business of writing, publishing, marketing and networking. See for more information about her writing services, books, writing classes, newsletter, podcast and blog. New subscribers to her F*REE monthly newsletter receive a complimentary eBook “Tips for Freelance Writing.”

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