There Will Be a Slight Delay

Minimalism Spirit Stlye


I’ll be honest with you.  Once we got over the whole 40#/$120 thing, flying with Spirit wasn’t all that bad.  It wasn’t all that great either.  It certainly wasn’t the worst flight I ever had.  The Lufthansa flight we took to Munich a couple of years ago still holds that honor.  I think there are still parts of my body which are vibrating.

So How Was the Flight?

My original in-flight plan had been to do my Bible Study homework.  In my personal bag was my workbook and a very small pocket Bible.  I knew I would miss my huge Study Bible, but I also knew it was way too big to tote around all day.

As soon as I was in my seat, I gave up that crazy studying idea.  Elbow and knee room were at a premium.  Juggling a study guide and Bible wasn’t going to do it for me.  I wouldn’t have exactly had the right attitude.  So I grabbed one of the novels I’d brought along and settled in for the first leg of the trip.

“There will be a slight delay due to a technical malfunction.”  Those aren’t the kinds of announcements you like to hear from your pilot, but I’m not a scaredy-cat flyer.  I believe I am going to live just exactly as long as God wants me to.  Flying won’t cut that short and not flying won’t make me last any longer.  I didn’t have any place else I needed to be, so I dug into my novel.

The the flight attendants took off with their chatter.  I had my seatbelt on and my personal items stowed.  I knew my seat cushion was a flotation device, my oxygen mask would fall from above and that bag didn’t need to be deflated for the oxygen to flow.  I also knew I should secure my oxygen mask, before helping others.

I didn’t need to be reminded to raise my seatback to the upright position, because this was Spirit Airlines and the seats don’t recline.  I wished the attendant would have kept some of the other chatter to herself.  She had some chirpy reason why we should greet our seat neighbor, but it was 6 o’clock in the morning and I didn’t feel chirpy.

Just so you know, no frills means no frills.  I didn’t expect to be offered coffee, tea or sodas.  I didn’t expect a snack.  Some water, even one of those tiny bottles of water, would have been great, but it was seriously no frills.

A Lean Layover

Remember, that technical malfunction.  Well, it put us into Ft. Lauderdale pretty late and our layover hadn’t been very long to begin with.  I had figured we would hit the bathrooms and have time for a quick bite.  Instead we were landing at just about the time we were supposed to be boarding the next flight.  Except for a small snack before we left home at 4 AM, neither of us had eaten or had a sip of anything.   We knew starvation wasn’t anything to worry about yet, but a soda would be nice.

Thankfully, the flight attendant asked anyone, who did not have a flight immediately boarding to sit still, while those of us with a look of desperation in our eyes disembarked.  By some sort of miracle most of the people stayed in their seat while we rushed out.  Bill and I zipped off the plane and ran to our gate, which to our relief was the very next one over.

As soon as we made it to our gate and realized we would make our plane, we both cast a longing eye at the Burger King across the aisle.  We listened to the announcements being made and figured out that while boarding was imminent, it had not yet begun.  We raced to the BK.  Bill got a breakfast sandwich – because it was still breakfast time.  All I wanted was a Diet Dr Pepper.  It would be the last one I’d see for awhile.

Group one was being called by the time Bill wolfed down his sandwich, but he made a wild dash to the restroom anyway.  He returned quickly, but they’d already called group three by then.  This was a hasty boarding.  We found a seat, strapped ourselves in and were soon on our way to Punta Cana.


Accommodations, DESTINATIONS, International, TRAVEL, Travel Planning

Forty Pounds?

brown leather duffel bag
Photo by nappy on


So, on a Monday morning in May, I woke up with the knowledge that I was going to Club Med Punta Cana at the end of the week – the trip we had won from CTC Travel.  I had no idea whatsoever of what I was taking with me.

The Resort Life

I am the Museum Girl, not the Resort Girl.  I know what to take on cruises.  I’m great at packing for a road trip.  However, I didn’t know what to take to a resort, because that hadn’t been my life up to that point.

So I imagined a really casual five-day cruise without any ports of call and no dressing for dinner.  My wardrobe began to form in my head.  Swimsuits, sundresses and shorts.  I scratched my head a little more and tried to dream up every eventuality.  Maybe I’d need jeans?  What about some slacks?  I stood around in my closet gathering up things I might need.  Something to sleep in, lingerie, sandals, sneakers.  The items began to pile up.  In the end I took a lot more than I needed, because I just didn’t know.

The Baggage Thing

So, if you travel at all, you know what Spirit is famous for – no frills, but a fee for everything.  I looked online for all of Spirit’s baggage fees and thought I was pretty clever.  I was sure we’d be able to get by without the additional cost of carry-ons, because I’d managed to fit us into one suitcase for five days for our cruise.  Of course, since we drove to Galveston, the weight didn’t matter, but I was certain I could fit everything into two suitcases – and I did.

We weighed the suitcases with our handy dandy suitcase scale and put the them next to the door.  The alarm would be going off at 3:30 AM the next morning, because our flight was at the ungodly hour of 6 AM.

The Other Baggage Thing

We parked our car at Park & Fly, like we always do, and were delivered to our terminal.  As we stood near the Spirit Airlines acclimating ourselves to their procedures, a very nice lady came up to us and offered to help.  She was happy to see the confirmations proving we had checked in online.  Then she grabbed a bag and set it on their scale.  I didn’t have a worry in the world.  Both bags were under 50 pounds – the magic airline weight limit.  Or at least that had been the magic airline weight limit the last time I had flown on a real airline.

I should have worried.  The weight of our bags brought a frown to our friendly helper’s face, but it was nothing compared to the one on my husband’s face.  We were going to have to pay an additional $30 per bag each way.  $120!!  The weight limit for Spirit Airlines is 40 pounds!

My stomach dropped to somewhere near my shoes.  We’ve had vacations ruined for less than $120 in unexpected fees.  Bill is no fan of traveling and he hates fees – they’re like paying interest, only much more careless. I waited for my dressing down, but it never came.  We’d both been looking at the Spirit website for days.  I’d emailed him a reminder of the permitted size of his personal item.  We’d both weighed the suitcases.  He wasn’t happy, but I wasn’t in trouble.

We finished getting our boarding passes and got in line to begrudgingly pay our first round of $60 baggage fees.  (BTW, CTC was in no way responsible for our frustration at the gate.  They didn’t book our air and I didn’t ask them about luggage fees!)  There was a wait by the gate and then we climbed on board Spirit Airlines.  Come fly with us next week.

Accommodations, DESTINATIONS, International, Museums, TRAVEL, Travel Planning

The Big Travel Questions


My poor husband!  The minute we get home from a trip, I’m already thinking ahead to the next one.  I’m trying to figure out just how quickly I can get him out of town again, how long he will let us stay and how much money I can get away with spending.  So, learning that I’d just won a five day trip to a Club Med resort from CTC, my favorite travel agency, I really only had one question.  When can we go?

Which Club Med?

Sandra Rubio, my travel agent, had another question for me.  Which Club Med do you want to go to?  While there are Club Meds all over the world, our prize was limited to Club Meds in the North American hemisphere, so that made it a little easier.  Sandra talked through the choices with me and I narrowed it down to two – Sandpiper Bay in Florida and Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic.

Well, really I wanted Punta Cana, because I’d never been to the DR, but my husband was hoping our nieces and nephews might want to come along and for them Florida was more realistic.  That would have been really fun, but when, after a flurry of phone calls and emails we realized it would be just my hubby and me, that not only decided the where, but the when.  If it was going to be a romantic getaway, then it made sense to go for our anniversary.  We had to wait several days for our preferred dates to be approved, but once they were, we were set to go in May.

Let the Research Begin

Once I’ve pegged down a date, a destination and have an idea of the budget, travel planning really begins for me in earnest, but this trip was very, very different.  I am the Museum Girl.  Punta Cana is not exactly a hot bed of museums.  Punta Cana doesn’t even have one museum.  I couldn’t figure out what I was going to do with myself.

I went to the Club Med website.  It had lists and lists of activities, but they were very active activities, like water sports, golfing, archery and tennis.  That’s not exactly my cup of tea – and yes, I know I’m weird.  There were also amazing pictures of beaches and swimming pools.  That’s not exactly my cup of tea, either.  Yes, I know that makes me even weirder, but it began to dawn on me that I’d just signed up for five days of relaxation and I really don’t know how to do that.

And Then There was Airfare

While everything about our five days in Punta Cana were covered, the airfare was up to us.  We really didn’t think that was such a big deal until we tried to book our flight.  The first big surprise was the number of dollar signs.  I mean the Dominican Republic is just right there on the other side of Cuba.  Why did it cost such a fortune to get there?

The next big surprise was the big, huge price gap between Spirit Air and every other airlines in the world.  It was such a substantial amount that we never actually considered one of the other airlines, but we were a little stuck, because we didn’t think we were Spirit Airlines’ target customers.

It took us a little while to wrap our minds around it, but we booked our airfare to Punta Cana on Spirit.  And then the great wait began without a single museum to research.  Friends who were aware of our upcoming trip would ask if we were ready to travel .  I would smile, shrug and say something pleasant like, “Of course,” “Can’t wait,” or “Sure,” but I wasn’t so sure I was ready for five days of uninterrupted relaxation.