The Departure (or tips on how to spend 4 hrs awaiting takeoff)

The OWTK Trio arrived at Philadelphia International Airport a healthy 2 hrs and 20 minutes early for our flight to Tampa only to discover a delay, the lone one on the Southwest Airlines departure board. The delay pushed the flight back 1 hr and 30 minutes. We now were faced with the challenge of keeping our young daughter (who awoke at 5:30 a.m. with much excitement) entertained and relatively happy for nearly 4 hrs before takeoff. We packed a nice array of toys, books, and activities for the 2+ hr flight, but found ourselves quite unprepared for the wait that lay ahead of us now. We found some useful ways to make the time drip away and not spoil any of the fun we had in store for her onboard the plane (more on that in the future).

We are now proud to provide you with the following ideas on killing time in the airport without anyone being dis-owned:

1) If the clock is in agreement – have a family meal at an airport restaurant or food court.

2) Seek out an open seating area where there is another family with a child roughly the same age as your own. Chances are they are in the same perdictament and would not only enjoy the idea of their kid(s) having a new playmate to pass the time away, but maybe engage in some adult conversation as well.

3) Locate the airport’s kids play area. Many airports have them but the fun zone may not be located in or near your terminal. You can google “Airport play areas” or visit the site of the airport or will be flying from or through. Philly, Dallas, Seattle (pictured above), Colorado Springs, Chicago O’Hare, Boston’s Logan, Vancouver, and Baltimore are among the many airports featuring such an area. Now getting the kids to leave in time to catch your flight…That is a topic for another day!

4) Take a walk. The airport is filled with many interesting vendors, people, and sights. Many have museums or historical placards scattered throughout. As an example, Dayton’s airport has some interesting Wright Brother’s artifacts that may interest your little plane-fanatics long enough to make the downtime more bearable.

5) Find some rocking chairs. Charlotte features a great area between all the terminals with rows of white wooden chairs to people watch. There is occasional live music in this area as well. What child, especially the small variety, doesn’t love a rocking chair?

6) Watch planes land and takeoff. You are at an airport after all! Many airports have designated “prime” viewing areas to witness the spectacle that is modern air travel.

…now back to the trip. We have arrived safe and sound. The weather is incredibly warm, 91 degrees Fahrenheit when we landed, but not humid at all. The Gulf water is perfect, around 85 I would estimate. No Red Tide to report (unlike last Autumn). This sets up for a lovely weekend.

Stay Tuned for reports on hotels, restaurants, beaches, and more throughout the weekend. One minor issue – the official OWTK digital camera (a mere 2 days young) is not operational (worked in airport, not on plane and not since). No pictures will appear until the issue has been resolved (with any luck, Saturday morning).

Until tomorrow!



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