Sunday, December 11, 2016

The Last Mileage Run of 2016 Parts 4 and 5: Over and Out

Sunday, 9am, Miami International Airport:
No, this isn't the MIA airport, but it's the flight to there.  Take what you can get.
The story so far:
Another day, another airport lounge.  I’ve decided Centurion lounges need to multiply.  Yes, they’re head and shoulders above the average Admiral’s Club, they have the food and the cocktails, and the spas, but they also have a chronic lack of seating.  They’re one part four star restaurant, one equal part overcrowded high school cafeteria. 
Anyhow, to catch you up.  I woke up this morning at 6:30 am after a few hours sleep at the Element By Westin (registered trademark) and headed down to catch the shuttle…only to learn they run every half hour, on the half hour….and I’d just missed it.  Story of my life this weekend.

It’s been an interesting impromptu overnight in Miami, complete with a nice dinner out at Bulla in Coral Gables.  It was one of those times when I get reminded that, despite enjoying a good trek around the world in a weekend, I am at a basic level, extremely boring.  To encapsulate, last night the words “will they still be serving at 10pm” came out of my mouth.  And I meant it.
It was good!  Next time you're in MIA, I recommend it.
Spoiler alert- yes, bars and restaurants in Miami on at Saturday do, in fact, remain open past 10pm.  They also have a 45 minute wait for a table. At 10pm.  It made for a late night, but you don’t mileage run to catch up on sleep.  No pain, no gain. 

10 minutes to boarding, the rain is tapering off and there's a rainbow in the sky.  Time to pack up…


Sunday, 11am, seat 3F:

I’M OKAY NOW!  We’re at Flight Level 31, careening over the Caribbean.  All is well that ends in a surprise upgraded cabin interior.  Yes, that is a sentence that I both wrote AND understood!  I'd heard rumor that AA had been overhauling a select few of their old international 757s and putting in lie-flat seating like they have on their new 321Ts.  As it just so happens, we stumbled upon one of them, and thank God for that.

After the misconnect, I'm getting rewarded with one of, if not the most, beautiful flights of my year.  Once we climbed out of the overcast skids around MIA airspace, things have opened up and the views are stunning!  The flight path out of MIA takes you first across the water, including Cuba, and other islands, then goes over Panama, then climbing into the Andes, before dipping down through the valleys of Colombia and Ecuador, into Quito. 
I'm just going to let the pictures do the talking on this one...

I think I'll end with strength here.  Seriously, it was a beautiful day to fly. 

Now, to see what Quito is all about...


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