In my previous blog I talked about how wonderful United Airlines was when it comes to family. Our return trip was a little different. I again used the online check in process. I still like the printed tickets and had checked baggage so we did all that at the airport but our seats were all together. We arrived at the gate with about 20 minutes to spare before boarding. That was giving 2 hours from rental car drop off to check in, walking through security and all that.
In my opinion, whatever your airport recommends as the arrival time try to get close. San Diego now has signs saying if you don’t have your checked bags there 45 minutes before your flight there is a good chance your bags won’t make your plane. Awesome!
We got to the gate and there were a ton of people traveling to Denver with kids. One dad and son somehow got seats apart. As soon as they scanned the second ticket United airlines has a fail safe that flagged them. The gate agent immediately got them seats together. Talk about service!
American would have let them board and tell them it’s not the airlines issue. Pay more money I’ve been told. United airlines however wants families to fly together. Amazing!
We made it to Denver and only had to listen to one baby cry the whole time. I’ll take it. I say only one baby because I felt bad for the parents who were so busy keeping themselves busy they ignored the one year old and all it’s ear problems. Some parents… I checked the screen when we got inside and our gate was 86…. we were at 20 something. Oh awesome! Good thing we had 2.5 hours to wait so dinner it was. The taco place was packed, Wolfgang puck restaurant was super pricey. So we settled on $8 sandwiches the size of my daughters head. Pricey but huge! I’ll take it. I then grabbed a Jamba Juice because well they are delicious and I love them.
Got to the gate and waited. 1.5 hours. Here comes the excitement! With about 45 minutes til boarding a young man runs up to the lady at the counter. He needs on that moline flight that just boarded. Oh this will get good. She reassured him it was not boarded yet and he walked away. I people watch, he caught my attention and I almost sat the plane ride out!

We finally board, how lucky am I that the crazy guy sat in the seat across the aisle from me. Fate? We shall see. He orders a liquor shot with ginger ale and sprite, he weaves his way to the flight attendant up 9 rows to order a second. I can see he is noticeably drunk. They give it to him anyway. He can’t even sit in his seat and tries to drink it only to spill it all over. He finished it then stood up to get his third. At this point we are landing. I mean within 20 minutes from the airport. So I start to pay attention. He’s your typical too much to drink kinda guy. He takes off his seat belt, tries to get his bag. I reach over grab his arm and start talking to him. I’ll get your bag etc etc.

The guy who sat in front of him got up and moved away. Another person talked bad about him. It’s sad that when people have too much others look the other way. I walk behind mister too much to drink. He couldn’t get thru the small bridge. I grabbed his shoulders and pushed him through. Dragged my daughter across because it is kinda scary. Made sure he didn’t get into a car alone. He said mom and dad were picking him up and sure enough they eventually did.

I don’t know who he was, what his name was, but I do know common decency and the values I want to instill in my daughter are to help those in need. No matter what you would do remember who is watching you.

That being said my dad would have beat me if I ever stumbled off the plane. There is always something when we fly. Lucky for me this time I didn’t create the commotion.

On our trip we stayed at the San Diego country estates. Not only is this a timeshare location it is also an inn. I wasn’t impressed with the grounds. They offer pools and activities as well as horse centers etc. what they do not disclose is that there are houses that are apart of the community and you have to drive to get to the pools. The events are things brought on by the community around you. It is quiet because your in the mountains of San Diego, Ramona, to be exact. Don’t think you are close to town though. It is still a 15 minute drive to get to the town of Ramona. They have some grocery stores and a few food places. I wasn’t happy there because it was outside the city but I will tell you all about the things some people may have found great about this place.

The equestrian centers are only for people who already own horses. Something not clearly explained. The pools (3) all require a key to enter and the closest one to us was still a few blocks away down a nice sized hill. The pools from what I saw were always crowded with locals. When they were not crowded they had lessons or fitness activities that were by registration only. I never saw any clear hours for the pools. Sometimes lifeguards were present and others not.

If your looking to stay away from the city, this is the place for you. It is quiet. A 30 minute drive to Julian for the best apple pies ever. You have your own kitchen, living room, bathroom and large bedroom with two closets. The tv’s are equipped with cable. They don’t have delivery service there that I was able to find so unless your doing all your cooking, it’s a drive for food.

The staff doesn’t understand the help. Help: the Mexicans who work for I’m assuming decent wages. Let me explain. When we arrived, I was told our room was ready! Yay! We were a couple hours early (maybe just one but I hadn’t slept in 24 hours so I was tired). I got to the room (a bit of a drive from check in) to find the maid was still straightening the room. It was anything but ready. She was embarrassed and called her boss who then called the front desk who then called her in the room. (Did I mention you get your own private local number?) they mixed up her 6017 or something with 5601. After many apologies by her and me sitting there totally confused as to what to do. The room was straightened and she left.

I love the beach. There is no beach closer than an hour away. I love the city. Again 1 hour away. I have enough quiet at home. It was quiet. Everyday we traveled down the mountain an hour and back up again because the food there was not what I come to San Diego for. If you want quiet, lovely view and friendly staff. I would definitely recommend the country estates in Ramona. If your looking for busy and traffic and fun I would say stay in the city.

Our return flight was where all the excitement happened. Check out my next blog about United the return trip.

I travel by air a lot. Most times I travel American but after the last time I was open to anyone else. United airlines has the best price for what I wanted. So we ordered our tickets and waited to fly. I learned that if you check in early it’s sometimes easier.

I did just that. I checked in early (one day before the flight) and noticed that my 5 year old was sitting behind me on the 3.5 hour flight from Chicago to San Diego. I started to get super nervous. Every time I travel something bad happens and I was afraid this was the bad thing.

It’s not that I don’t trust people it’s that this was an early morning flight and she was going to be tired and being stuck between two strangers sounded too much for this mom to handle. Flights are already expensive and I wasn’t paying $100 each for us both to change seats so I let go and let God. I prayed that things would work out.

We got to the airport and printed our tickets. I knew the gate agent couldn’t help me with the journey so we waited to land in Chicago. I immediately went to the customer service center in the middle of the airport for united and waited in line.

Once I got to the counter the woman said she couldn’t help me but not to worry because the gate agent would most likely help me no problem. She understood my concern and put my worries to ease.

Once the gate agent arrived I walked up to him. He was nice and friendly and so helpful. He went above and beyond and the best thing was that I didn’t have to pay the extra $200 for our seats to be changed.

That is not where the friendliness ended. On the aircraft, heading to San Diego, the flight attendants offered beverages and didn’t try to wake us when we slept. They didn’t talk down to me as if I’ve never flown before. It was night and day from what I get with American Airlines. I didn’t have any issues on the plane heading to San Diego. The flight crew even let me daughter check out the cockpit. The pilot and co pilot were informative and happy to be doing their job. The flights were smooth and I was impressed. (I am not always easily impressed)

I used to fly on a plane for the Air Force so I understand the rules and I obey them as such. I appreciate friendly staff in the sky’s as it helps relieve any stress of traveling. The staff of united airlines is the best and well worth the cost of the tickets.

Read my next travel blog of staying in a time share away from the lights and noise of San Diego. Titled country estates to learn more.