Traveling After the Jabs

Our second round of trips began on April 26. At this point of time we had completed 21 successful plane flights, mostly on Delta Airlines. However, on April 26, we flew on JetBlue to Fort Lauderdale on a totally booked plane. This was something we had not experienced in over a year and was a little frightening. We both had middle seats. This trip consisted of three beach days.

The next trip was round trip to Salt Lake City. We rented a car and drove to Park City. Park City is a famous ski town. Since we were there in early May, it was very off season.

That time of year is considered the mud season. The slopes were closed as well as the lifts. People could hike everywhere on the trails. There are many quaint shops, art galleries and restaurants but some of them remained closed for the season. We enjoyed another stay at a Marriott Mountainside. During the ski season it is possible to ski right into the hotel and the lift is right next to it. We enjoyed the outdoor pool, which was well heated. The outdoor temperature during the day was high in the 60’s but the sun was very strong due to the 7000-foot elevation. At night the temperature dropped to 40 degrees and it was still possible to swim. There was snow on the mountain tops and visible from the pool.

A noteworthy quick one-hour flight to Bangor, Maine was next. Here we rented a car and drove to Bar Harbor and the Acadia National Park. From the airport, this drive was an hour and a half. Since we only had one day to see some of the beautiful sights, we need to return there. Acadia National Park is known as the Crown Jewel of the North Atlantic Coast. We stayed at the Four Points Sheraton which is attached to the airport.

For the second time since we began traveling again, this Bonvoy hotel offered a full breakfast with waitress service.

Before the Memorial Day weekend, we flew to Rochester, NY for another one day stay. The purpose of this trip was to visit Letchworth State Park, which is an hour drive from the Rochester airport. This park is known as the “Grand Canyon of the east”. It is easy to drive through the 26 miles along the scenic Genesee River. 

Within the park the Genesee River roars over three major water falls. There are many hiking trails, cabin areas and campsites. A noteworthy place to stay in the park is called the Glen Iris Inn. It is located right next to an area called the middle falls. Jon and I ate lunch there outside with a great view of the falls. That evening, we ate dinner at the Pelican Nest restaurant. This place is located at the mouth of Lake Ontario and the Genesee river. It is a great location to view all types of boats including tour boats.

Our next adventure was to Las Vegas for 2 days. We stayed at the legendary and massive Caesar’s Palace Hotel. It was here that we experienced a sense of pandemic relief. Most locations did not require masks for fully vaccinated people. There were many more mask-less people than masked people. Jon and I still wore a mask inside all public areas. We found masses of prior confined people converging on newly found feelings of uncared freedom. 

The prices in a lot of restaurants were exorbitant such as $35 pool cocktails and $25 omelets. There are five pools at the Caesar’s Palace. Three of the pools were for reservations only at a price of $300 to $500 for a cabana a day.  We have visited Las Vegas many times in the past and never saw this before.

We are still anxiously awaiting to travel to an international destination, preferably in Europe. However, we will probably go to St. Martin first to experience a little French Culture in the Caribbean.

Maureen Katz has worked in the airline industry for 37 years and is currently retired. She has worked for eight different airlines, three of which were startup companies, and participated in the FAA Proving Runs, leading to FAA Certification. Her positions included Flight Attendant, Customer Service Agent, Flights Operations and the last 27 years as an Airline Dispatcher. JetBlue was the final carrier in her career and she was one of its “founders”. Maureen and another crew member assisted in training and formulating dispatch policies and procedures, allowing JetBlue to begin its operations. In addition to Maureen having a FAA dispatch license, she also possesses a commercial pilot license with instrument and multi-engine ratings.

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