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Journey to #ZINCON 2018

Posted on August 5, 2018 by under Travel, Zumba.    

Brian got to relish an “I told you so” moment on our way to Orlando. We decided to fly out of Kansas City this year to save money. It’s been a while since we’d done that (the last time was 2011 when we traveled to the East Coast with the Dills). We have a very nice airport in Wichita now and there are usually good flight options (granted, not as many as the Kansas City airport, but it’s better than it has been); however, the flights were super expensive for some reason. I wanted to pay around $330, which is what we have paid to travel to Orlando in the past, but this time the prices were hovering around $400 per person. So Brian and I decided to pull the trigger and fly out of Kansas City instead. Our airfare ended up being about $200 per person but it was a direct flight from Kansas City to Orlando (so we wouldn’t have to mess with connecting) and it’s through Southwest so there aren’t any check-in luggage fees. Plus, since there’s no connection, we would arrive in Orlando around 9:00 am which is plenty of time for my 11:45 am Zumba Wear Insider shopping appointment.

I couldn’t believe that in 2018 we managed to find ourselves driving three hours out for a flight but, once I accepted it, I actually began to look forward to spending the night in Kansas City. I had all of these ideas. We would go out to dinner at one of my favorite places and hang out and have some pre-ZINCON fun before hopping on the plane to Orlando the next day.

Well, the best laid plans are often foiled. Or so is the case in my world. Instead of leaving work at 4:00 pm on Tuesday like I wanted, I ended up leaving closer to 5:00 pm. That meant we didn’t make it to Kansas City until after 8:00 pm. I really should have taken Tuesday off too but I ended up with a few meetings and the day proved to be super busy so by the time I thought to add Tuesday (I had put my ZINCON vacation on the calendar months ago but not Tuesday) it was too late. There were already meetings on the calendar. I probably could have gotten out of them but I hate missing things. I’m the kind of person who answers my desk phone as I’m leaving the office because I can’t leave knowing that I have voicemail that hasn’t been listened to yet. I also always respond to emails — though, sometimes too hastily. Bottom line, it would have been better had I taken Tuesday off (because Brian was smart enough to take that day off) and we could have gone up to Kansas City early in the day and actually done stuff. But I didn’t. I worked the full day instead and so that’s what happened.

We arrived at the hotel too late and didn’t really feel like doing anything. We did get there with enough light to check out how to get to the airport from the hotel. Yes, I know. The Kansas City Airport Marriott is like two minutes from the terminal but we are nerdy and didn’t want to get confused, specially since we will be navigating it in the dark the next day. It was actually really confusing (because there’s all sorts of different parking options and the one that Brian insisted on was the garage parking — the most expensive option obviously, that’s Brian for you) so I’m glad we did a trial run of sorts. It made finding the parking garage easier the next day.

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In the meantime, we hadn’t had dinner yet so we decided to just eat that the restaurant inside the hotel, KC Tap & Table. It wasn’t fabulous but it wasn’t terrible either. The crab cakes didn’t look like much but they were actually pretty good.

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The flat bread pizza was just okay.

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Take the food review with a grain of salt, though. I may be a bit salty over the fact that we could have eaten for free had we arrived just a few minutes earlier. There was free food in the club lounge for elite rewards members until a certain time. When we got there, they had packed everything up except for the dessert.

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All that was left were some fresh fruit and crème brûlée. But it was free so I had some. LOL. However, the sugar got me amped so, instead of going to bed early like we were supposed to, we ended up staying up and catching up on some Netflix.

The next morning, we both got up pretty early but we weren’t in any particular hurry because we were pretty much at the airport already. We were parked and in the door by 4:00 am for our 5:20 am flight. You would think that would be enough time but NOOOO! If you were not checking any bags in, I guess that was fine. The line for the Southwest check in counter was insanely long!

It was almost 5:00 am by the time we got to the counter. And, of course, since it’s less than 45 minutes before our flight, they couldn’t guarantee that our bags would make it. Brian was a little bit freaked out about that, which in turn made me worry as well. And then she tells us to run to our gate.

In our panic, we went the wrong way — in the opposite direction of the TSA Precheck security line. So then we had to start running back the other way because there was no way we were going to quickly make it through the regular security line. I get through security but Brian gets hung up because he’s randomly selected for an additional screening. I’m on one side through security and he’s on the other side. He’s like, “Just run to the gate so you can make out flight. If I don’t make it, I’ll catch the next flight!” This shit just got serious.

Anyway, I make it aboard the plane and I tell the flight attendant that my husband got stuck at security and he’s coming and she’s like, “If he makes it, he makes it. Nothing we can do about it.”

I call Brian in a panic to find out where he is and he tells me that he’s in the jet bridge getting ready to board. Jane is with him too. Whew!

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Oh, yeah. This is Jane, a Zumba instructor (ZIN) based out of Overland Park. That was the silver lining in all of this. We met Jane while waiting in the long check in line and we got to visit with her a bit. She was also going to ZINCON. So at least I made a new friend.

All three of us made it, as did our bags. Here’s a video of us arriving at the airport in Orlando with our fancy, schmancy customized ZINCON suitcases.

BTW, Brian, who likes to be at the airport three hours early, never let me forget that the whole debacle of almost missing our flight was my fault because I hate getting to the airport too early. But we made it so I can’t say I learned my lesson. However, I will be less likely to complain about going to the airport too early next time.

That’s all for now. Check back in a couple of days for a recap of the rest of our ZINCON adventure. GNG!

Related Posts

  • #ZINCON – The Final, Final Installment on August 31, 2018
  • Kicking Off ZINCON 2016 on August 4, 2016
  • Day 4 of ZINCON 2016 on August 11, 2016
  • ZINCON 2014: First Impressions on August 20, 2014
  • ZINCON 2014: Highlights on August 24, 2014

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