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Old 05-10-2020, 12:16 PM   #1
nrspepe
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Default SOOOOOO, We Ended Up Going

Thanks for all the comments regarding our uncertainty over visiting our 2nd home in St Augustine Beach this past week. In the end, we did it. Sharing some of the experiences.

Flights - Southwest:

Our outbound non-stop flight was cancelled at the last minute (more worry). We ended up with a stop in Houston...now headed for Jacksonville. Since it was not a direct fight, and WDW was closed, it made no sense to drive the 2 hours from Orlando.

We arrived to an empty Las Vegas airport early morning on the 2nd. Only one gift shop was open. There was no lining up by number. There was no scanning of boarding passes. They called 10 names up to the gate at a time and you stood at a distance giving your name. Upon boarding, you were asked to sit in every other row with no one in the middle seat...rows 4 through 22. The flight attendants moved up the rows as the seats filled. Everyone obliged. Most wore masks (we did). There were a total of 29 passengers.

In Houston, things were much busier. Shops and restaurants were open. We lined up as normal. Scanned boarding passes. There was a pre-boarding announcement suggesting that we social distance when selecting our seats. But, no one observed the suggestion. DH and I ended up moving to the back of the plane for more privacy. Few wore masks. 21 passengers.

The return flight was a non-stop from Orlando. It was about the same as the outbound Houston leg. We again moved to the back after someone sat in front of us, another sat behind us and finally someone sat directly across from DH. 32 passengers in all.

On each leg, we cleaned around us with disinfectant wipes before getting settled. We avoided using the rest rooms (almost burst on the return).

St Augustine - Another Planet:

From the minute we touched down in Jacksonville we felt as if we had been transported to another world. Traffic was busy. Everything appeared normal. St Augustine was very busy. The beach was packed. Restaurants opened the 2nd day we were there and they were immediately filled. We began to feel a little unsafe given all the freedom. So, we slowed it down a bit...politely cancelling plans with friends.

All in all we are glad we made the trip. We completed a few things needing attention to our 2nd home and really enjoyed our time on the beach. The unexpected benefit of eating at a few of our favorite places was a bonus. Now back in Nevada we are doing a modified self quarantine. Only DH will venture to the grocer or pharmacy if absolutely necessary. We told family and friends that we hope to see them in a couple of weeks.

I resume WFH tomorrow afternoon...much rested.

Last edited by nrspepe; 05-10-2020 at 12:27 PM.
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Old 05-10-2020, 01:33 PM   #2
Eeyorelover22
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Im glad it went well. Glad you are well rested. Im also glad you helped out SWA
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Old 05-10-2020, 01:47 PM   #3
PurrfectPrincess
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Thanks for the eyewitness report. I'm really glad you went. This gives me great encouragement for my scheduled trip to Florida in August. I am so ready to go right now!
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Old 05-10-2020, 01:58 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nrspepe View Post
Thanks for all the comments regarding our uncertainty over visiting our 2nd home in St Augustine Beach this past week. In the end, we did it. Sharing some of the experiences.

Flights - Southwest:

Our outbound non-stop flight was cancelled at the last minute (more worry). We ended up with a stop in Houston...now headed for Jacksonville. Since it was not a direct fight, and WDW was closed, it made no sense to drive the 2 hours from Orlando.

We arrived to an empty Las Vegas airport early morning on the 2nd. Only one gift shop was open. There was no lining up by number. There was no scanning of boarding passes. They called 10 names up to the gate at a time and you stood at a distance giving your name. Upon boarding, you were asked to sit in every other row with no one in the middle seat...rows 4 through 22. The flight attendants moved up the rows as the seats filled. Everyone obliged. Most wore masks (we did). There were a total of 29 passengers.

In Houston, things were much busier. Shops and restaurants were open. We lined up as normal. Scanned boarding passes. There was a pre-boarding announcement suggesting that we social distance when selecting our seats. But, no one observed the suggestion. DH and I ended up moving to the back of the plane for more privacy. Few wore masks. 21 passengers.

The return flight was a non-stop from Orlando. It was about the same as the outbound Houston leg. We again moved to the back after someone sat in front of us, another sat behind us and finally someone sat directly across from DH. 32 passengers in all.

On each leg, we cleaned around us with disinfectant wipes before getting settled. We avoided using the rest rooms (almost burst on the return).

St Augustine - Another Planet:

From the minute we touched down in Jacksonville we felt as if we had been transported to another world. Traffic was busy. Everything appeared normal. St Augustine was very busy. The beach was packed. Restaurants opened the 2nd day we were there and they were immediately filled. We began to feel a little unsafe given all the freedom. So, we slowed it down a bit...politely cancelling plans with friends.

All in all we are glad we made the trip. We completed a few things needing attention to our 2nd home and really enjoyed our time on the beach. The unexpected benefit of eating at a few of our favorite places was a bonus. Now back in Nevada we are doing a modified self quarantine. Only DH will venture to the grocer or pharmacy if absolutely necessary. We told family and friends that we hope to see them in a couple of weeks.

I resume WFH tomorrow afternoon...much rested.
I gather you rented a car? How was that experience?
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Old 05-10-2020, 02:06 PM   #5
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Quote:
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I gather you rented a car? How was that experience?
No different than normal. Folks were social distancing while waiting in line. We wiped down all the doors and most of the interior before getting in.
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Old 05-10-2020, 02:30 PM   #6
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No different than normal. Folks were social distancing while waiting in line. We wiped down all the doors and most of the interior before getting in.
Thanks for sharing your experiences. It's encouraging to hear about life on the outside again! It still seems so surreal to us, being in quarantine since mid March. I'm glad everything worked out! I just booked the 2nd half of our January DVC stay -- the resale points loaded a little while ago. I hope things are more back to normal by then.
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Old 05-10-2020, 04:09 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PurrfectPrincess View Post
Thanks for the eyewitness report. I'm really glad you went. This gives me great encouragement for my scheduled trip to Florida in August. I am so ready to go right now!
We have a trip to Florida to visit family in mid-August, and then WDW September and October. We are certainly hoping that those work.

Trips so far for March (1), April (3), May (2), Jun1 (1) are toast. In most cases we could have taken flights, but our accommodations went away. In one case, flights and hotel are there, but the race is cancelled. Best not to force it and get refunds on these.

Still hoping for a family visit to San Diego for a graduation party (for a graduation that likely will not formally happen ) in mid June. We shall see.


Cheers.
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Old 05-10-2020, 06:09 PM   #8
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Thanks for sharing. Glad you enjoyed! Texas and Florida sound like another world compared to here. A world Id so much rather be in.
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Old 05-10-2020, 06:13 PM   #9
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This trip had called for a quick visit to WDW. We were flying into Orlando with a day and a half at VGF before heading up St Augustine. First evening was in Epcot with late night drinks at BLT. Then next morning brunch at California Grill (took us months to get a reservation)...afternoon at MK and finally dinner at Narcoosees.

Oh well! We have October, 4 nights at the Riviera. We usually stop in WDW on the way in or out. Fingers crossed!!

Last edited by nrspepe; 05-10-2020 at 06:20 PM.
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Old 05-10-2020, 07:00 PM   #10
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So interesting the difference in the flights since it was the same airline! I definitely don't think I would feel comfortable with people sitting directly in front of or behind me. We likely won't be going to Disney (even if they're open) for our trip in July, but I desperately want to go to the beach. Again, not sure I'd feel comfortable on a packed beach, though...
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