spreadsheets and suitcases

organization + travel = family fun

Leggings, Linking, London, and Lauderdale

on November 30, 2018

Pre-trip prep time!  It’s down to the details now that all the big stuff has been settled.

—First thing I’ve been thinking about lately is WARM clothing.  We’re typically wimpy re: winter weather after living in Hawaii for so long.  I started an inventory of cold-weather gear and quickly realized…


So, we wound up ALL needing winter coats.  The boy had one he used for the Quinceañera trip, but had outgrown it.  My husband had one kicking around in the closet, but after the Quince trip, got tired of it shedding little feathers and gave it away.  DD and I had borrowed coats from my parents’ closet on that short trip, so we didn’t have any at all.  It was time for all of us to level up, coat-wise.  Here’s what we wound up with.


Me: I got this Nautica Packable Puffer jacket in a lovely Charcoal color.  Yes, it packs itself into that little bag!  It’s quite warm but still has a nice silhouette.


sof coat

DD: This Calvin Klein Faux-Fur Quilted Coat was her pick.  She insisted on the faux-fur collar, for the full “winter experience.” 

eric mk coat

DH chose this Michael Kors Puffer.  We received the coat, in new condition, with tags on, no indication it had ever been worn…except for the Sea World San Antonio receipt in one of the pockets!  Weird.

pipe coat

Finally, DS got a cute C9 by Champion puffer in his signature color.  He’ll be accessorized with a scarf, ear muffs, and warm mittens, because the bit of hand warming fabric included in the sleeves there will not be adequate.

We got the first 3 coats at Macy*s, combining coupons and sales, of course.  After a long search, we finally found DS’s coat at the Sears in Pearlridge Mall, of all places.

Over the course of the past few months we’ve gotten leggings for the ladies, and thin “long underwear” for the guys.  Which is also just…leggings.  Hence the title.  Boots were also purchased and are currently being broken in.  I have a feeling some higher-than-we-normally-wear, boot-appropriate socks might be obtained over the 8 Crazy Nights coming up starting on Sunday 🙂  The plan for pants/tops is just thin layers.  We seem to be good there!

—Linking refers to linking airline reservations.  Families are likely familiar with needing to split their bookings, either to make up for only having enough miles for 1 or 2 family members and buying cash tickets for the rest, or to take full advantage of a Companion fare.

For this trip, we had split reservations for the Raleigh (RDU) to London-Heathrow (LHR) leg on American, the Seville (SVQ)to Barcelona (BCN) leg on Iberia, the Barcelona to Newark (EWR) leg on Lufthansa, and the Newark to Honolulu (HNL) leg on Alaska.

  • linking the American reservations was easily done over the phone- though the agent was careful to say the reservations were not “combined,” just “Noted as Traveling Together” on both Record Locators.
  • we sent a message to Iberia via Facebook Messenger about linking those reservations and were summarily told that they don’t do that.
  • it doesn’t seem to be possible on Lufthansa either, based on their website and United’s- we checked with them, too, since we used United miles for partner airline travel.  I may call again another day.
  • finally, linking reservations on Alaska is an absolute breeze and quickly done online.

The advantage of Linking is that, in the case of flight changes or cancellations, the airline will at least try to put the linked group together on the rescheduled flight.  There is no guarantee, but even a little note helps, in my book.  We’re tightly scheduled, so I don’t want to deal with people going in different directions if I can help it!

escher stairs

This is a nightmare for a person who can’t tell where they are, ever…me!

—London, baby!  I learned that most of the bigger attractions are going to be closed on the day we are there- including the British Museum, *sob*  But the Hyde Park Winter Wonderland is not! It looks so fun, and a perfect way to spend some time.  I booked us in for ice skating!  Just look at this (partial) activities map!

hp ww map

I’m sure everything will be overpriced as far as food and the few rides we might be interested in, but I’ll be in Tourist Mode™, and therefore, a happily captive audience.  I also see that they have souvenir magnets 🙂 🙂 🙂

—Finally, JetBlue has announced they will add some competition to the Fort Lauderdale (FLL) to Guayaquil (GYE) route.  The airline will begin flying to my lovely hometown in the 1st quarter of 2019.  According to this article from FlightGlobal.com, they’ll be going up against Ecuador’s own TAME airlines, and US-based ultra-LCC Spirit Airlines with this new route.  I’m sure my parents will be happy- I have a family member that lives in Fort Lauderdale, so they flew down to see her, then tried the FLL to GYE route with Spirit.  The seats were quite cramped, according to my mom.  But they took off and arrived on time, which is more than I can personally say for the Miami (MIA) to Guayaquil flight on American Airlines <side-eye>.

The description of Guayaquil they wrote has already made a nice impression on me, and leads me to believe I might be willing to try this flight in the future.  Still no nonstops from Honolulu to Florida, but I’m picturing using AA miles to Phoenix, then changing to JetBlue for the rest of the way there.  Both the pic and the text below are from the JetBlue blog:jetblue to gye

Ecuador’s largest city and main port, Guayaquil boasts revitalized squares, parks and various urban-renewal projects, and also has a growing theater, film and arts scene. The riverfront promenade and modern shopping arcades all over the city attract tourism from inside and outside the country. Guayaquil, home to some two million people, also serves as a gateway to Pacific beaches and the famous Galapagos Islands.

Nice!  Next up, my Global Entry Extravaganza!


One response to “Leggings, Linking, London, and Lauderdale

  1. Gina I Valle says:

    Cheers to Jet Blue to start flights direct to our Guayaquil!!!! The dates for your trip are sooo close, yeah!!!!


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