Bon Bini - Bonaire
Hello all! Well after a mostly cramped two-year hiatus, we are once again jetting around the globe. We did sneak off to New England but for a couple of traveling junkies it is time to get the good stuff back in the veins. Unfortunately, the trip also comes with some profound sadness; as this will be the first get-away since Pop passed away.
A lot of the reason behind the blog and the recaps and pictures has always been a way to share with anyone, but more specifically for pop. He always seemed genuinely happy and interested in our travels, and I felt like sharing helped him live a little vicariously. This trip and blogging attempt may lead down a road of sadness, as the times and connections I once had with pop have become very apparent recently. This may equally become a therapeutic experience or a titular 10k word practice to never get posted.
This one is a beach destination and Pop undoubtedly would have been all for it. So with his spirit in mind, and his memory to serve let us begin this journey to Bonaire.
DAY 1: "I'm too old to be here"
Trust American Airlines to fuck shit up. We were poised to land in KralendiJk, Bonaire today but AA decided we needed to stay the night in Miami first. A door to the flight deck on our plane needed a quick paint job. The logistics team decided that this repair would be best done prior to departure and not overnight as the plane sat free. This hour-long delay caused our already tight window to be closed prior to our arrival in Miami. There is only one flight per day to Bonaire from Miami via AA we knew were stuck in Miami for the evening.
Recently I have been really trying to practice my mindfulness work. As a novice practitioner I find this to be successful sometimes and others not so much. When work is crazy busy and a lot of life is coming at once it is hard to focus the mind and be active in it. I seem to be able to work through bigger events no problem. Given the lengthy repair (really there was something wrong with the locking mechanism) we pretty much knew we were missing our connection before we even left DCA. This made things much easier to handle because there was no chance of making our connection. The stress of what if, and if we, or maybe this was gone. We had one shot and it missed.
After landing you do the do. We talked with jet bride/booking folks and now were all set to fly out tomorrow. BUT hold the phone, this now puts us outside the COVID protocol window and must retake and prove our negative Covid test. We had to be swabbed and tested. Thankful they have a testing center on-site at the airport. Test results were available in 15 min.
AA were nice enough to even book us a room at the Motel 8 the nice one though where the doors face the street. We even scored two dinner vouchers, good for a Moon Over Mi-Hami at the Denny's at the end of the runway. Of course, ground transportation was at our expense. We said fuck all that, called in a favor with Hilton was able to get a room during spring break, and an enormous EDM festival.
We swiftly called an Uber and was shuffled to the Hilton. While this is not really a surprise, people CANNOT drive. The Uber drivers on this trip have been exceptionally bad. Hard break/gas switch, or the lead foot breaking, or the EDM music blasting (side note people actually listen to EDM in the car not at the club) inconsistencies gas application you know the on/off/on/off/on/off so you just get jerked back and forth. The AXE fucking body spray! Taxis are worse and more expensive; for those thinking "Don't take an Uber"
We arrived at the Hilton, went to the lobby and to our dismay they had an active fire alarm in the building requiring everyone to leave the building. Thankfully this was erroneous and was quickly reset allowing us to check in. Starving and not feeling much like getting a brain eating bacterial infection from the local ponderosa for which the voucher was offering we found a little rooftop bar/restaurant.
We arrived in south beach spot and found a “seat yourself” sign and 20 min of being ignored before we left and found "The Pink Taco" for dinner. $100 later for some nachos, guac, elote and some cokes it was about to be enough for one day. To the rescue of a poor start; South Beach is a place of exceptional examination of the human species.
The people watching is of rare vintage. Something a solminer would speak of while holding his fingers together and looking off to the sky while talking gibberish about notes of moon hibiscus and finishing flavonoids of beige and grasshopper sweat. This my fiends is crazy town. We saw a woman sipping a handle of Tito's vodka, while walking down the middle of the street, only to stop and twerk on the side of a random car, after being cat called all while wearing just enough material to clothe a Barbie.
Sun was setting and the amount of "Shits about to get real around here" was palpable. It was now enough for one day. Just to recap this delay on our itinerary cost somewhere in the neighborhood of $1000. American Airlines is dreadful.
Day 2: "They're working on it"
Not a lot happening today. We made it out of Miami without much trouble. The flight was on time and we were on our way to Bonaire...finally. Ultimately the delay was not a bad thing. We can cross crazy town off the list, we can also note that south beach's energy is not something we are into, we have the magnet for the fridge. Done and done.
Three planes landed at the same time. All passengers’ cattle herded to and through a singular point of Covid checks, customs, and baggage claim. There was one bag carousel for 3-400 people it was a disaster. We manage to escape with only a slight scare, someone took our bag off the loop and didn't put it back. Once it stopped and no more bags, we thought oh fuck. But luckily once the people cleared out, we saw it on the ground near the belt. Pheww
I grabbed a bunch of weird looking sodas to try. I made out a few of them, banana, raisin, bubble gum. Let me tell you. They are just as weird tasting as you would think. I think raisin is what we would call grape. But not that ne-hi grape flavor, it was more muted than that. The banana was straight carbonated banana extract. The others I have not tried just yet. I think there is a root beer flavor but it could also be moss flavored? We also do not have a car yet. Tomorrow we will rent a golf cart, shenanigans will ensue, but after a dip in the pool and a setting sun, no cell service for maps, and no idea where we are just yet we found it best to just have some scrambled eggs and toast for dinner. This is where we found that Elizabeth's choice in cheese was the wrong one. After 20 min in the pan the "cheese" was still intact. The eggs were hard and rubbery and the "cheese" was in the same shape as it was when she put it in the pan. I swiftly checked the packaging to find it was NOT even a cheddar "cheese" product. It was just a "cheddar product" whatever the fuck that means. It was refrigerated and resembled cheese so I assume it is meant to be a cheese "like" product but I think it was more plastic than cheese. We later looked at the ingredients but there was no cheese like substances in the list. It was water, oil, and solids. No wonder it did not melt.
Day 3: "No, the boss is the cat"
Ugh the bugs today are at 110%. The little gnat bugs are something else. Today seems to be a wildlife day. While waiting for the Bonaire Cruisers dispatch Elizabeth jumped in the shower while I cleaned the muck and mire from the pool. While skimming I heard some rustling from the bushes behind me. At first, I could not tell what was there but it sounded large enough to make me wonder. Shortly after there was some wild goats just traipsing through, chewing the cud and snacking in the bean trees. They spent just a few minutes before being spooked.
The house sits on the back of a large undeveloped portion of land and the wild birds, and lizardly crawlies have been checking in on how things are going during our stay. A pretty large iguana crawled under Elizabeth's chair. He hung out for some time sipping pool water, taking a dive or three to cool off.
Mid-morning we were shuffled down to the golf cart rental place. We got us a cart for the week. It will allow us to cruise all over the island. It is kind of neat. Cars are hard to rent, and very expensive for just a few days. There are also mopeds available but my balance and Es lack of 2 wheeled vehicle experience is concerning.
We went with the golf cart; this thing is great except a few things.
1. The suspension is rough on the vertebrae. A lot of the roads here are in sub optimal condition.
2. It. Has. No. Power. It is a street legal cart meaning we can drive it on the roads with semi-trucks.
3. It. Has. No. Top end. I guess rightfully so since it is made of plastic and more plastic with some knobby wheels, doing 40 in this thing with these roads is asking for trouble. But it really kicks off my anxiety around being a nuisance to other people. We tried as often as we could to pull off and let people around.
4. It is gas powered and we have no idea how good/bad it is on gas, or how much gas is here on an isolated island with WW3 brewing ad gas prices higher than ever.
5. It is a pick-up version because that's all she had left at that point. It is noisy AF. We can switch it out later today with the coupé when the other ones are returned.
That being said though we were able to drive down to donkey beach overlooking some astonishingly clear blue water. We stopped and had brunch at the Boudoir. It seemed like the owner converted her homes two car garage into a makeshift kitchen. She was also the host, waitress, cook, DJ, Animal wrangler, bus-girl, CPA, and IT. I understand where she is coming from.
The day finished out lounging by the pool, watching some YouTube and taking it easy.
Day 4: "It's like me boxing Mike Tyson with sock'em boppers and he has real gloves"
Woke up today with eight mosquito bites on one foot. Eight. Like 8. On one foot. That doesn't include the others around my body that was just my left foot...
Today we spent a significant amount of time on a golf cart. More time than the human body is meant to endure in one go. 18 and 19 holes sure, that is one thing. Usually, a golf cart has to at worst carry some sweaty pig across a municipal track on a paved cart path. Here on the other hand, we drove it like we stole it for 24.7 miles across dirt, sand, semi-paved roads, and funk.
We realized mid-way through the tour that a rental car might have been a better choice. The open compartment allows for direct sunlight and no great way to secure your belongings. Given the list of less-than-ideal conditions mentioned yesterday. This choice of vehicular transportation was; to quote a Indiana Jones movie..."he chose pooooorly". But we are making the best of it. We found it does NOT stop on a dime when the pedestrian crossed the street right in front of us, not in a cross walk. We had to lock ‘em up and the squealing from the tires was something to witness. The cart went skidding sideways a bit, if it was not for the dangerous situation, it was quite comical. Subsequently we heard the squealing wheels a couple of more times, and joked. Oh, he walked into the street again.
There are two large loops around the island one that runs north of Kralendijk and one south. Today we took the southern route. This way takes you down around the tip of the island where the currents, winds, and waves are very strong. This area is also where the salts ponds are worked. The Ariel view of this part of the island is pretty cool as you can see the different ponds at different stages of the process. This way also has flamingo pods, great views, crystal clear waters, goats, donkeys, wind surfers, kite surfers, light houses, slave huts, boobies(you read that right) and the smelliest thing we have smelled in a long time.
We set off a little later than we originally planned. Which also put us out during the height of the heat and sun. Oh, I also forgot to mention we changed carts from the pick'em up truck version to the coupé, the noise is 100% better but the exhaust leak is 100% worse. We now smell like diesel mechanics everywhere we go.
To start the trip, we zipped straight through and around town headed towards to Salt ponds. Along the way we stopped at a few cool places, the slave huts were a sight as they were big enough for a grown person to lay flat in, but not much else. The salt ponds were salty, obviously. We did manage to find a cool beach with some water that we might circle back around and try to snorkel some. The house here has some snorkel gear we are allowed to use. It was here that a pelican treated us to a cool lunchtime show. We managed to round the tip of the island and where the winds are stronger found kite surfers buzzing around doing tricks. I got a few pictures and vids but Elizabeth said I was being creepy.
We rounded the tip of the island and things got serious. The golf cart owner advised that you don't snorkel around here. After seeing the situation, it is not safe to do much around here. The washed-up coral is dangerous, I lost a flip flop while traversing and caught myself bare footed on another. Luckily, I escaped serious injury but if you have dainty recently pedi'd metatarsals this could have been career ending. But the winds and the waves are scary enough, you would have to be really intelligent to venture into these waters. The waves and blue colors were gorgeous, certainly no one would swim in this nonsense.
We made a stop or two checking things out, we did see the flamingo pods where the guide marked them on the map but they were so far away from the road you could only see a shifting line of pink in the distance. Later in the tour after the really smelly bit we did see a brilliantly colored flamingo much closer to the road. Tomorrow's route also has us going by another flamingo pod, hopefully it will be better.
We went up and over passed the light house, the "Red(yellow?) slave huts", more waves and winds before we stopped at one of the islands resorts. Sorobon Resort is the only real destination over this way. Elizabeth's sugar was getting low and the sun was starting to burn so it was a good time for lunch. We had a great view of the ocean from our table. Elizabeth had what appeared to be a Michelin star poke bowl. She said it was really good too. We enjoyed the people watching, the wind surfers, The only bump here was the lady, the feral cat, and a full-sized NYC style pizza rat.
Elizabeth was walking to use the potty, and she saw a lady with a bucket and a stick walking towards the bathrooms. Along the way, with E shortly behind a rat jumped out of the bucket from which the lady was carrying and scurried to the bathrooms. Passing right by a cat, Elizabeth noticed, a sunbathing cat could not have given less of a shit. And that was the end of Elizabeth using the potty. But a lady took her top off right in front of us so we got to see some boobies. I was justifiably more interested than an owner of a pair in this break from tradition.
Lunch was pretty good, the service was very European but the food was tasty. We swiftly dispatched because now E really had to pee, unable to take care of business because the surfer rat. We continued up and around the loop making our way back home. Along the way, we saw donkeys and goats at the side of the road. We saw that glorious flamingo. But a few spots just beyond the lunch bucket we went through what smelled like a mix of over boiled eggs, a sulfur mine, and death all rolled into a thick cloud of funk so musty it was effervescent. It was palatable, not favorable or pleasant. Literally palatable it was something you could taste. This is where the AC circulation, windows up, cranked to 10 would have really been beneficial as we could only endure. Thankfully this only lasted five minutes or so.
We made it back around town with enough time to rinse the sand in the outdoor shower at the house, before diving into the pool to help rid the exhaust and sweat from our poor tired bodies. Backs aching from a stiff seat and little suspension the bones needed to release the tension. We unwound by the pool for a bit, showered and made dinner. Lunch was stupid expensive for a poke bowl a veggie wrap and a bottle of water. Grilled cheese Sammy's and side salad for dinner tonight...or so it was supposed to be.
The side salad was bitter. This has been observed in several salads here, Elizabeth surmised maybe they pick it early for the import making it bitter, not fully ripened. As soon as we sat the gnats came on like a grand opening of a sizzler in Pensacola FL. They were coming from all directions with their grand opening 50% off coupons in hand. It was a full fucking disaster. I managed to burn the roof of my mouth in an attempt to choke down a sandwich with one hand, cheese oozing and dripping all down my hand whilst simultaneously swatting gnats and mosquitoes away from my drink and salad with the other. I am sad to report the battle was lost, half way through the second molten lava of partially solidified bovine curdled product I lost my temper and was done eating. Retreated to fight another day. And by day I mean the entire night long, even as I am writing this we have killed 20 mosquitos trying to drain our life force from our veins. The current welt count is 15 active itching blisters of agony.
The wild goats made and appearance again. This time Elizabeth was able to get to see them chomping on the bean trees out back. One poor little guy had some cactus branches stuck in his side. There is no way to help him either as the fence here is literally made out cacti and they would not let you get close enough to help anyway. Hopefully he finds a branch or something to scrape them off.
Tomorrow is a new day of adventures.
Day 5: "Jeff Davis? that's racist"
Another exhaust, back aching slog through "Arizona with an ocean". That sounds bad because it was not luxurious, but it was fun. We took the northern loop today in our under powered ozone killer. We be-bopped up and down around the coast stopping for a few coral filled beaches and photos. We landed at “1000 Steps” where we found there are only 79. The lore is after snorkeling/scuba the 79 steps feel like 1000. Hence the name. But we are not doing that the snorkeling so a normal 79 is all it is. Although it was popular with S/S'ers, because we saw more colorful fishes and a sea turtle swimming in the area. If you were to look up the steps it says there are 67 steps. I do not know if there was a slide at the end at one point because there are clearly 12 more steps. Maybe it was rocks or something precarious and they have upgraded it for safety but three counts later there are 79 steps.
The golf cart owner (Debbie) explained that just after 1000 steps the road runs one way through a section and the only way back is all the way around the island. This was not that big of a deal since this was the plan anyway. Until the road turns inland away from the shore breeze and you are sucking exhaust from the cars pissed off at you and the carts exhaust itself. The lack of wind, and direct sun was tuff today.
The route today was supposed to take us up through Goto Meer(sounds very L.O.T.R.) where there was a northern flamingo sanctuary. Let me just say while very pretty, and there were flamingos arooooound they were in NO way close enough to admire. They probably were a mile away. You could see pink dots alone the shoreline way out in the distance but they were not as advertised. That is wildlife I suppose they do not work based on our plan, unless jailed and force fed from an enclosure way too small for them.
We scooted on down passed the lake and stressed the carts capacity to carry us up hills over and through Rincon and then the road sharply cuts through the desert. Literally. The breeze stopped unless you count the exhaust and winds from the annoyed motorists zooming by us. Along the route though there was an Eastern beach that was neat. The winds here must travel E-W as the waves were big here again and the current looked dangerous. This was also where the "Boka Onima" is located. These are 500 year old Indian paintings under the rocks. We stopped by took a peek. We also were greeted by a donkey. There were two but one was friendlier than the other. He came by Elizabeth gave him a little scratch on the noggin before he shuffled off.
We zipped out of there shortly after; The sun was at full steam blazing our skin. Not much else to note along the route back we saw a few cute goats along the road and a couple of tiny baaaby ones. Pretty uneventful the rest of the way home. The rest of the evening was spent lounging by the pool, before heading out for dinner at a noteworthy 4pm. The iguana came back around again, he hung for a bit, got some water before meandering off about his business.
At home Elizabeth new work schedule is early for us(Our circadian rhythm is set for a post meridian shift) but this also allow her to be home at 415pm most every night. She has also shifted her eating habits where she somewhat fasts through the day and when she gets home, we both scarf down whatever slop I have concocted shortly thereafter. While this works for us, in a European setting where dinner is often 8-10pm, at 430p we were clearly an anomaly.
We had picked Bon Tapas for dinner, we showered up jumped in the cruiser, choked on the combusted dinosaur bones and peeled wheels the 5 min down the road. We slide the beast sideways into a parking spot, which looks hilarious btw, headed toward flavortown.
We arrived at our destination around 4:54p the sign on the wall said they open at 1700. OK we walked up not seeing the sign just yet, but in fairness the website said they opened at 1600. It is an open-air restaurant so no doors or anything to walk through. We asked if it was OK to sit anywhere as the place was 100% full of no one. The lady behind the bar swiftly stated they were not open yet, as if we were there at 2pm on a 6pm opening. We apologized and about-faced trying to now find a way to not turn right back around 6 min later and try again.
We found ourselves walking around some shops but things are expensive, we strolled around until 545pm. OK we did our best, quite hungry we meandered back to still a house packed full of no souls. Wait staff and us excluded, there was exactly NO ONE at this restaurant of 30+/- tables. We were not immediately turned out by our ear so this was progress. The hostess greeted us warmly enough, we asked for a table for two. To which she specifically asked if we had a reservation.
All this time E was having a Chernobyl experience with her anxiety about being the first and only people in the restaurant, no Wi-Fi to look for another place to eat, nowhere to go, sun burning us, feet hurting and hungry. Then the hostess stressed that should could only seat us at this one particular table until 730pm and it was in the street where the cars were flying by, gas fumes choking you out, it was almost too much. We sat for two seconds before I realized Elizabeth was not having a good time. So we left.
Now, our plan at this point was to go to a grocery, get some stuff to make a cheap quick dinner at the house, but we also notice a pizza place and make a snap decision to get it to go, whilst also getting donuts while it was being prepared. We scooped everything up after the pizza was remade (they put anchovies on it instead of artichokes) rumbled home and smashed the pizza and later the donuts too.
To round out the night we loaded up YouTube on the TV and due to the Dutch IP address Gogglebox worked flawlessly. We spent the rest of the night smashing mosquitoes and laughing to the funny Brits and their quips, mugs, and adorable accents. Tomorrow, we plan to snorkel at the behest of everyone on the island. Fear be damned I suppose we will give it a try. Off to bed.
Day 6: "We can't all be winners. Yes you can, if you cheat"
Today the plan is to cart our asses down the salt flats again and test fate. The owners of this AirBNB graciously allow you to use their snorkel gear. We grabbed some advanced equipment from the bucket. They had a full-faced mask versions that had a check valve on the periscope to stop water from coming in on the in breath. They wrapped around your whole face so you could just breath normally (or borderline hyperventilating as I would do later). We tried them out in the pool yesterday to get a feel for how it worked.
We started the day off with Elizabeth trying to make breakfast. The bread was moldy, a slight downside with fresh baked bread is it does not last as long as the shit stuffed full of preservatives. We also needed TP and a few other things so we decided it was beat to just go to the supermarché again. By again I mean for the 12th time since being here. I think we have been to every grocery store on this island. This has been a major source of entertainment. I forgot to mention the other day at another stop at a grocery store I found some banana candies, a weird apple pie that is a cake, and what appeared to be biscoff cookies with cream. The banana candies were like circus peanuts if they were also covered in sugar. The cookies were good. I could eat those by the sleeve. The apple pie/cake was interesting, it was not great but not bad either. It was more like a pound cake with apple bits in it, in a pie shell.
I also finished trying all of the weird sodas, I have also seen several licorice flavored candies. Nope. Draw the line as licorice. After we tried a salted licorice version at a family function I know to stay well away from that nonsense. The root beer looking one was actually root beer and was very good. Today while at the grocery store again...I saw the first Pastechis. They are like empanadas. I binged® a list of Bonaire foods to try while here, and this was number one. Little handheld pockets of meat and cheese that are in a dough and deep fried. Just like an empanada. But they didn't mention that they have cheese ones so when I saw one, I had to try it. It was an empanada sadly. No new ground breaking here. And if you are wondering the rest of the list is things like goat stew, fish soup, cactus soup, iguana soup, a coconut dessert, and a local tequila.
After breakfast and cleaning up we stuffed ourselves into our bathing suits, slathered on the SPF, packed the bag, cranked up the ricksha and sped off down the road. We saw a neat beach on the southern tip that had some white sands and water access that seemed ripe for snorkel. We blazed a 17mph trail down passed the airport to the irritation of the locals before reaching the beach. Slathered in SPF and cooked from the snail’s pace down, we immediately set off for the water and a snorkel.
The water is so amazingly clear. The temperature is 75-80F depending on the day so it is wonderful if you are into this kind of thing. I usually can focus on the thing that is in front of me and get through it pretty well. I absolutely despise the dentist but I can get through if I can shift my mind to the task. This is my plan. Just get in the water and focus. It will be fine.
I really want to stress the water is fucking unbelievably beautiful. It is just NOT my thing. We got in the water and swam a bit, we saw lion fish 5 feet in front of us, schools of minnows, stripy fish (their imaginary friends probably made them a sweater strippy) clear fish with big eyes, colorful fish with small eyes, and that fucking darkness that just screams get the fuck out of here off in the distance. I noticed at one point you can hear yourself breathing in the mask. I had to be close to hyperventilating. But I was able to focus on my breathing and slow it down. Purposely take long slower breaths to calm myself. From here I was able to swim up and down the shore staying as close to the water’s edge as possible. I can focus, I'm not stupid though I know my limits. That darkness I cannot fuck with that.
It was not long after this though Elizabeth said her ankles were burning. It just so happened mine were too, but I attributed it to the 21 mosquito bites (not an exaggeration) and the salt water was burning them. But she does not have the immune response to the mosquitoes so she does not itch or have welts to itch/burn. This was an interesting occurrence. Not thinking much of it for now we just kept swimming. Then things got worse. I clearly got stung by something on my arm, and shortly after so did Elizabeth. Time to go. A quick Bing® and it looks like sand flea bites. Ugh. Itchy bite counts now sits at 30+
We slammed the cruiser in gear and irritated the locals again back to the house. Where we lounged by the pool and had some snacks for a few hours. Much better speed for us. Dinner at 630p with a reservation, let's see how that goes.
We lounged by the pool again for some time, the iguanas and goats seem to make daily appearances. Today we were laughing that even goat kids are little pain in the asses. The herd munched the bean tree again right behind the house. They all shortly drifted off and out of sight except one little bastard. A few minutes later the mom was calling for him to get his ass over there. He ignored her repeated calls until he had a few more mouthfuls. But by this point mom stopped calling. He called out and ran in their direction yelling "moooooom!" They must have gotten pretty far away because he yelled for a while with no respons. But they must have met back up because later they were all back again munching beans and he was with the group. Then the other white one did the same thing as the black one did an hour before. Kids man, they are the worst.
We rinsed up before heading out for dinner. Karel's was fine. They had an impossible burger on the menu and had a reservation at 630p not 830p like the other places. It was a falafel burger, not impossible meat but it was fine. Elizabeth had the red snapper, it looked disgusting but she said it was tasty. We sat and watched the sun set, and enjoyed the view and dinner. We returned home and watched more gogglebox. Perfect cap for the evening.
Today we have mostly errands and chores to complete. Not much on the agenda either. Last full day in 85F and sunny/breezy weather going to try and make the most of it.
Elizabeth is out of "Slagroom", apparently not pronounced like it reads, we also need to drive the beast down to the airport to get covid tests for the returning flight home. Since we have to drive out, we might as well stop at another grocery store and get more slagroom. Covid tests were easy, negatives across the board. We stopped at the grocery we went to at the beginning of the trip, I got a few more weird sodas to try. Black current, cherry blossom, apple and something I am not sure of. I also grabbed a bag of "cool American" Doritios, which is meant to be a cool ranch Doritos but it is not. It is more like a seasoned sour cream with a very muted flavor. Elizabeth found actual ½/½ this time. We have to turn the cart in this afternoon so we made a plan to Eat left over pizza and grabbed a frozen one to try and cook in the smeg. Options are limited, fresh veg costs a billion dollars and everything not a weird Dutch snack is frozen. Options were limited but it will be fine. Town it a little too far for a comfortable walk.
We filled the beast up with gas, and after carrying the one and dividing the exponent by the parallelogram's numerator we calculated gas is about $5.41/gal. Not bad considering the state of the world right now.
We lazily hung by the pool, helped our neighbor catch a criminal who was rummaging through their back yard on our new camera. (At the Alexandria house) We jammed to some tunes before bustling down one last time to return the beast. Tomorrow, we have a later flight out so we will hang by the pool before we get going.
Day 8 "I'm not trying to die behind the wheel of a car"
Ooof, the end is mimicking the beginning. Delta this time is screwing us. We got a message about an hour before checkout that the flight here to pick us up was delayed. Now we do not have enough time to land in Atlanta, customs, covid etc and get across the airport to that flight. We are trying to see if we can still make it home tonight but it might take some extraordinary work. We tossed out the idea of renting a car and driving home the 9 hrs. But after a long day here, a late arrival there, customs, covid etc Bag claim, rental car process and the drive we would be dead. Possibly literally.
Looks like the preliminary searches indicate we are staying the night in Atlanta. We want to get into any airport that is within a reasonable distance but it is not looking hot. Mindfulness, Mindfulness, Mindfulness...trying to focus...
Once again Shirley scooped us up to take us to the airport. Unfortunately for us she allowed us to stay until 130p on a 11a checkout, but could not allow a 230p which we understand. Off to the airport 4 hours before our flight. The airport mind you is 10 mins away. After some small Chit-chat we were checked in, through security, duty free shopping, pee breaks, and sat waiting for our flight...3 hours before take-off. Blissfully this airport is air-conditioned, we jokingly were reflecting on the Kona airport in Hawaii. It is on the tarmac, open air'd, and if you hang around long enough you fuel up and help push back the plane before they let you board. So, it could be worse.
Looking at our flights last night while attempting to check in, we were curious why the 3hr flight here was suddenly 5hrs. We knew Atlanta was a little further away but 2 whole hours? That is just short of the time from DCA to MIA. When we checked in here, they advised us of a quick pit-stop in Tampa before Atlanta because the flight crew will go over in hours and have to get off the plane. This requires a whole new team for the rest of the journey. Which is also why we have a missed connection in ATL. Oy vey, transportation this trip, Shirley aside, has been mostly deplorable.
After landing in ATL though we were surprised to learn the now third leg of the journey had also been delayed. Of course it has been. BUT this is a saving grace for us, this gives us a glimmer of hope to meet our connection. We now have 40 mins to land, de-plane, customs, baggage claim and recheck the same bag (I know, what?) Go through security again, catch the train from Terminal F to T, run up the escalator and finally from Gate T17 all the way down to the end at T4. WE FUCKING DID IT! We were sweaty but made the original flight we were supposed to be on home. We made it home and crashed shortly after, we made the trip home but our bag did not. Luckily Delta knows where it is, it did not clear customs in time to make it to the plane. But they are to deliver it to the house directly.
All in all, this trip has been exactly what we wanted. It had some bumps and bruises but was a lovely time away. We had a chance to unwind, somewhat disconnect, get out of the cold. It has been great getting back into the traveling spirit again. Think I will post this one after all. Pop would have said "Sounds like you had a good time son, I'm happy for you"