Welcome to Miami

Remember when flying used to be a fun adventure, not a fraught stressfest? You would dress up for a trip, hope to get bumped to first class, maybe join the 1000-mile club. Now you just try to pack as many things into as few bags as possible to avoid luggage fees, wear clothes that are easy to unbelt and unshoe at security, and make sure none of your fellow passengers are packing bombs in their underwear.

We had an easy flight from Los Angeles to Miami, driven by pilots name Axel and Buzz — is this a plane or a rock band? Behind us sat two little girls with the cutest baby labradoodle puppy. After the dog had given Cole a good tongue bath, the littlest girl — her hair in perfect twists — pronounced, “He likes to eat poop!” That tyke was all self-assured mouth.

“She is …” I didn’t finish.

“She is!” her grandmother agreed. “A shake comes with those fries.” And the rear of the train laughed.

It was a sweet start to a vacation, until we landed at MIA and waited 50 minutes for our baggage to be unloaded. As one irate passenger noted, we paid to have our bags be late. Remember when checked luggage was free, and came off the plane before you did?

The new American wing at MIA is shiny and beautiful. I felt like I was walking though a luxury emporium. Cuban restaurants beckoned with their pork and rice. It’s good to be home, Cole says. Miami may just be one of the places I’ve lived, but it is his home.

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