The Trip Starts ~ Friday, June 5, 2015

I woke up at 8 and still have to pack.  We’re leaving for the train at 11…

So, naturally, I did some online stuff and at 9:08, I posted “We’re getting on a train at 1:02 (love how precise Amtrak is!) today so I guess I should start packing…”

Tom called for a cab to arrive at 11:15.  The cab arrived about 11 and started honking his horn.  Mimi started barking.  I took the first bag out at 11:15.  Good thing – the driver was getting ready to leave.  I told him that we’d said 11:15 – he’d missed that part

We got the 3 finally packed bags to the cab and settled in, fairly early to get to Union Station.

About 15 minutes out, I asked Tom if he had his passport.  He’d been thinking New York, not the cruise to Bermuda so we went back home and started again.

The rest of the trip was uneventful, if expensive.  The driver was fairly talkative and carried on an interesting conversation with Tom about Sikhs and other religions. Also, immigration to the states as opposed to the UK, education here, life in India…

Finally – Union Station.  Hooray!

Union_Station_Washington_DC

We only had to wait in line for about 10 minutes before our train was called.  Since the train originated in DC, we were able to get seats together.  Hooray!

View of the next train to our left…

And the trip starts...the train next track

The ride to New York was fine.  No derailments, which was really good.  The train that derailed in May was Amtrak Northeast Regional Train 188.  We were on Amtrak Northeast Regional Train 186.  I assume that they retired #188.  It seemed ridership was down a little but we were on an earlier train than usual so maybe not.

We arrived at Penn Station, NY on time and started getting in the cab line.  I hate to say it, but the line was long and we fell for a gypsy cab trip.  The driver didn’t take us out of our way – I was following the trip on my Waze.  The driver got us to our hotel – and wanted an exorbitant amount of money (plus tip), cash only.  Tom convinced him to take a lot less (and NO tip!) and we checked into the hotel.

Four Points by Sheraton SoHo is apparently built on a small lot – it’s very compact, but tall.  Our room is on the small side and I think that there are only a few rooms on each floor.

We’re on the second floor and the view is a next door roof.  I’ll try to get a picture of that tomorrow.

Michael arrived – hooray!  After some discussion – nap or food – we decided to go out to eat.  We walked through Father Fagan Park.  Mimi wouldn’t consider this to be a “real park” but then, she’s not a city dog.

father-faganFather Fagan Park is gem of a vest-pocket park on the western edge of Soho. This park commemorates four local heroes who perished in the face of fire.

http://www.nycgovparks.org/parks/M207

The first restaurant we tried could have taken us without a reservation but we’d have to eat quickly so we could be out when those who had reservations arrived.  We left, allowing plenty of time for those who planned ahead.

Walking along, we read other menus until we arrived at Spice.  Yummy Thai food!  I had Pad Thai with tofu and Tom had the same but with chicken.  Michael had rice with mixed seafood – some of the mix was squid.  EEEWW.

As an afterthought, I asked for Thai tea.  I was surprised, and very happy, when it came as a bubble tea.  As far as I know, there are only 2 places near me with bubble tea so this was a real treat.

bubble-teaAt the bottom are yummy boba tapioca pearls.  Here’s why I don’t make bubble tea at home:

How to Make Boba and Bubble Tea

What You Need

Ingredients

1/4 cup dried boba tapioca pearls per serving (NOT quick-cooking boba)
1-2 tea bags per serving, any kind
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
Milk, almond milk, or sweetened condensed milk
Fruit juice or nectar (optional)

Equipment

Saucepan
Bowl for holding the cooked boba
Measuring cups

Instructions

1. Cook the Boba: Measure 2 cups of water for every 1/4 cup of boba being prepared into a saucepan. Bring the water to a boil over high heat. Add the boba and stir gently until they begin floating to the top of the water.

Turn the heat to medium and cook the boba for 12-15 minutes. Remove the pan from heat, cover, and let the pearls sit for another 12-15 minutes.

2. Prepare Sugar Syrup for the Boba: While the boba are cooking, make a simple sugar syrup to sweeten and preserve them once cooked. Bring 1/2 cup of water to a boil over high heat on the stove or in the microwave. Remove from heat and stir in 1/2 cup sugar until dissolved. Set aside to cool.

3. Prepare a Strong Cup of Tea: This can be done either while the boba are cooking or ahead of time. Allow enough time for the tea to cool completely before making the boba. Bring 1 cup of water to a boil. Remove from heat and add the tea bag. Use one tea bag for regular-strength bubble tea or two for a stronger tea flavor. Remove the tea bag after 15 minutes and chill the tea.

4. Finish the Boba: Once the boba have finished cooking, drain them from the water and transfer them to a small bowl or container. Pour the sugar syrup over top until the boba are submerged. Let sit until the boba are room temperature, at least 15 minutes, or refrigerate until ready to use. Boba are best if used within a few hours of cooking, but will keep refrigerated for several days. The boba will gradually harden and become crunchy as they sit.

5. Make the Bubble Tea: Pour the prepared tea into a tall glass and add the boba. Add milk for a creamy bubble tea, juice for a fruity tea, or leave plain and add a little extra water. Sweeten to taste with the simple syrup from soaking the boba.

Additional Notes:

Very Chilled Bubble Tea: For an extra-chilly bubble tea, combine all the tea, milk, and/or juice, but not the boba in a cocktail shaker. Add a few ice cubes and shake for 20 seconds. Pour into a tall glass and add the boba.

Shortcut Boba: If you want immediate gratification, just cook your boba until they are tender, 5 to 10 minutes, and use them as soon as they’re cool. This kind of boba don’t [sic] keep for very long (turning rock hard in a few hours), but are delicious if eaten right away.

Saving Leftover Boba and Making Boba for Later: Boba are best if used within a few hours of cooking, but will keep refrigerated with simple syrup for several days. The boba will gradually harden and become crunchy as they sit.

During dinner, we discussed where to go next but that was fairly indecisive.  We thought about going to Tribeca park where one of the Sing For Hope pianos is located.  That was going to be about a mile walk and it was about 7:00 so we went back to the hotel to use the free WiFi and find another activity.  We ended up doing nothing except coming up with ideas for tomorrow.

So far:  breakfast, Michael has a training session at 12:30, Barge MusicAvery Fisher Hall at the Lincoln Center in New York to hear an all-Mozart program, possibly a talk before that.  Somewhere in there we need to practice some…

We’ll see how that all works out!  Meanwhile, It’s 5:30 and I’m going back to sleep!

MaryOColorfulButterfly

Costa Rica, Day One: August 15, 2014

We got up at 3:30 am for our trip and to walk Mimi. She didn’t seem to mind at all that it was still dark out. My stomach felt queasy so I didn’t have anything to eat – or any coffee. Oh no! Without coffee, there may be a headache later today.

Our taxi arrived on schedule at 4:30 – things are going well…so far.

Our flight was only 37 minutes which was a good thing because our second flight was 3 terminals away, another security check and only 2 hours. The plane was very small so we had to give them our “carryon” luggage to pick up later on the tarmac.

For such a short flight, it was pretty smooth. We landed at JFK, picked up our luggage, literally on the tarmac and weaved our way through makeshift canvas walkways to try to find the Delta terminal. Very crowded. Finally left security there, went outside to try to find the AirTrain. Lots of stairs so the rollabout suitcases had to be carried. The signage wasn’t that great, either so we had to ask for help – several times. We finally made it to the JetBlue terminal with a bit of time to spare.

The next flight was smooth, too. HOORAY! I’m not good with turbulence to say the least. If someone is screaming, it’s always me. The row of young women in front of us and behind us thought that the flight was an airborne bar. They had been drinking before the flight and continued during the flight. The steward even ran them a tab, something I’ve never heard of on a plane before. The ones ahead of us were watching a show calledPaternity Court on TV and it was quite hilarious, apparently.

At some point, as we were landing, they were looking at the map and thought that we were 4147 miles above sea level, rather than feet. Apparently we were coming in from outer space.

On the jetway, heading to the terminal, one revealed that she had been smoking vapor cigarettes in the bathroom.

I hope they have a wonderful 10 days here – if they remember any of it!

The airport went smoothly, very similar to Barbados with Customs and Immigration. Lots of people offering to help (for tips, of course) but we knew where we were going and were able to weave our way thgouth the crowd.

We found the van for Avis. As soon as I got in, the headache struck, big-time. A combo of no coffee all day and the air freshener in the van. It was so strong, even I could smell it.

Our trip to Avis went well. I got several Extra-Strength Tylenol in me. Our car is a black Nissan sedan. We’d requested manual but they didn’t have any. That turned out to be a good thing later.

The rental agent, Douglas, set up our GPS unit to take us to our condo and we were off. We found Coco Bay Estates and got through the security gate which consisted of a guard, an orange cone and a stop sign (arrete in Spanish)

2014-08-14 09.00.26

Check-in went well, the people friendly and helpful. We followed their van up to our place for the next 2 weeks. I say “up” because our place is carved out of the side of a small mountain. The road has several hairpin turns. The final one to our place involves a hill and at the top, you can’t see the road or anything coming below. AARRGGHH

Here’s a PDF of our site_map.  Our parking spot is on the 4th level of “Segovia”. We had to take an elevator down to our place on one – 102. There was a sign in the elevator that said if the power goes out, it will reset itself. Uh-oh.

The van driver showed us into our place and around, although some of the stuff turned out later to be untrue. One the surface, it’s very nice here with 2 big bedrooms, each with it’s owh bathroom. There were only 3 hangers for the 2 bedrooms so we could have 4 people here, sharing the 3. There are no drawers for storing clothes so I stacked up my clothes on open shelves in a walk-in closet.

A nice living-room area with comfy sofa, washer-dryer, nice patio with glass doors in every room. The A/C works well. Hooray!

I fell asleep for a nap almost immediately.

We decided it was time to go get something to eat. Turns out, the restaurant here closed at 3pm. <sigh> We would have had to drive there, anyway. The roads look unsafe to walk on, even without the hill. So, we decided to go into town to a grocery store. It was about 5pm local time (7 at home) and dusk. We retraced our steps from earlier and saw a grocery store. This was a very local store, everything written in Spanish, which was to be expected, but we had trouble finding things – we never found peanut butter. We did get hangers, though so we now have 13.

When we got out, it was completely dark. People walking in the narrow streets, and riding bikes…and we got lost. We must have missed a street or 2 and our GPS wasn’t recoginzing any of the items I tried typing into it, in English OR Spanish. Our place wasn’t listed under lodgings. At one point, had we continued on the street we were on, we would have driven into the Pacific Ocean.

We were both getting very testy. I had a little headache still, was hungry from not eating all day (that earlier stomach queasyness) and exhausted. It was 10 pm (midnight our time) when we stopped at a small pizza place. Our waitress spoke Italian so she couldn’t help us with directions at all but pointing at the menu got us a pizza. From my long-ago Italian college class, I was able to dredge up enough to get Tom an orange juice. I just went with agua. She was able to find another patron who knew enough English to give us directions.

We changed our order and got the pizza to go. Back to our place, gathered up some of the groceries – the ice cream was melted of course. Into the elevator (no AC) and it wouldn’t move. It took a few minutes but we finally got that going. Into our place and Tom went back for the rest…and called me from the elevator. It was stuck so I went out in my barefeet to push the elevator button from the outside to make it move.

When he went back for the rest, he walked up and down the 4 flights of stairs to avoid the elevator.

Finally, about 11:00 (1 am, our time), after putting the groceries away, we had cold pizza for dinner.

I entered the info for WiFi do finish up my “church work”. The computer showed a strong WiFi signal. Excellent. Except it didn’t actually connect to the Internet.

Luckily, I have a data plan on my iPad and I’d added some Global Minutes. I used that as a hotspot to connect my computer to the internet and finish that work.

Off to bed and dreams of my mother scolding me for sleeping too late.

On Our Way

We got up fairly early this morning so we could take our dog, Mimi, to her sister’s for their visit.  It’s so nice that neither of them has ever seen a kennel!  When we got to Penny’s, we found out that she had taken in another foster dog, a German Shepherd/Australian Shepherd mix who was very shy and quiet.  He won’t be much longer after the 2 rambunctious sisters spend some time with him!

Our taxi came and I noticed that it was a hybrid.  I innocently asked the driver how he liked it – and he spend most of the time telling us how much was wrong with it.  Then he branched off into how bad American drivers are (he’s from Russia), how he’s teaching his daughter to drive using mirrors only – all while we nearly sideswiped a car carrier truck.  He also thought it was fine to drive in the fast lane until a few seconds before taking a right exit.  Fortunately, we made it to the airport in plenty of time.

Our first flight to Chicago/Midway went smoothly enough except I couldn’t sleep due to a screaming child behind me.

I took these photos of all the other Southwest tails from the plane window.

Southwest Airplane Tails 2013-06-15 13.16.21

 

 

One of the pins had fallen out of Tom’s watch while we were still at Dulles and I was *sure* that there would be a watch kiosk in Midway where he could get another pin.  WRONG!  We walked all over and went into every store.  I also looked, unsuccessfully, for noise-canceling headphones.  I have some at home which I didn’t think to bring.  Fortunately, I didn’t need them on the next flight.

We finally gave up on our shopping and went to Manny’s Express – I had a craving for potato pancakes (latkes)

mannys-express

I hadn’t had those for at least 3 years and they were so good.  I also got a salad which I saved for the plane.

Manny’s Potato Pancake Recipe

2 c. finely grated raw baking potatoes
¼ c. grated onion
2 eggs, beaten
1 t. salt
1/8 t. ground black pepper
1 T. Flour
1 T. Butter
2 T. vegetable oil

Combine potatoes and onions.
Squeeze out excess liquid.
Add all other ingredients except butter and vegetable oil.
Let rest for 5 minutes

Heat butter and vegetable oil on a griddle over medium heat
Drop batter onto griddle by tablespoonful, flatten with back of spoon.

Fry on both sides until a dark golden brown
Serve immediately.

Serves 4

Our next plane was about 20 minutes late – no problem – there was no deadline for us!

I took these pictures of the Rocky Mountains out of the plane window – not the best!

Rocky Mountains 2013-06-15 20.01.03

 

Wikipedia says:

“The Rocky Mountains, commonly known as the Rockies, are a major mountain range in western North America. The Rocky Mountains stretch more than 3,000 miles (4,830 km) from the northernmost part of British Columbia, in western Canada, to New Mexico, in the southwestern United States. Within the North American Cordillera, the Rockies are somewhat distinct from the Pacific Coast Ranges and the Cascade Range and Sierra Nevada which all lie farther to the west.
The Rocky Mountains were formed from 80 million to 55 million years ago…”

 

Our pilot told us later that the area below us that we couldn’t see, and didn’t exist, was Area 51.

More from Wikipedia:

According to the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), the correct names for the Area 51 facility are the Nevada Test and Training Range and Groom Lake, though the name Area 51 has been used in official CIA documentation. Other names used for the facility include Dreamland, Paradise Ranch, Home Base, Watertown Strip, and most recently Homey Airport. The area around the field is referred to as (R-4808N),

It is located in the southern portion of Nevada in the western United States, 83 miles (133 km) north-northwest of Las Vegas. Situated at its center, on the southern shore of Groom Lake, is a large military airfield. The base’s current primary purpose is officially undetermined; however, based on historical evidence, it most likely supports development and testing of experimental aircraft and weapons systems.  The intense secrecy surrounding the base has made it the frequent subject of conspiracy theories and a central component to unidentified flying object (UFO) folklore. Everything that happens at Area 51 is classified Top Secret/Sensitive Compartmented Information (TS/SCI).

After that, the pilot said we flew over the Sierra Nevada mountains.  I couldn’t get a very good picture, though :(

We landed and got a shuttle to our hotel, the Inn at the Opera.  We got checked in – very nice – and went out to find something to eat.  I was surprised how cold it was.  When I’d looked at the weather reports before coming, it always said 61-65.  I guess I should have known that those were the highs.  I’ll be shopping for a hoodie or jacket or something while we’re here!

We walked the couple blocks to Caffe Delle Stelle.  Very nice Italian food!

Cafe_Delle_Stelle

 

 

Back to the Inn where we put down a deposit on two days of hop on/hop off bus then up for bed.  It was about 1:00am home time or 11 here.  I fell asleep almost immediately.

In a dream, I heard a loud noise, then Tom waking me up telling me that we had to get outside.  It was the fire alarm and I would have slept right through it.

Quickly dressed, down 5 flights of stairs, false alarm – thank goodness!

Back to sleep – finally!

It Seems Like So Long Ago…

…that we left Barbados, but not really.

Yesterday morning I got up really early and took a few last minute sunrise pictures:

This one is my new favorite, though:

Sunrise at The Crane, Barbados

Sunrise at The Crane, Barbados

Then we got packed up and ready to leave by 10, then started reading, texting, just hanging around.  Brenda stopped by and we talked quite a bit while Tom was finalizing his packing shutting down the computer and all.  Brenda’s youngest daughter teaches English in Spain so they only see each other about every 3 years – except on Skype.

I reminded Tom that we didn’t have all the time in the world, that our plane was at 2:30 so we needed to be at the airport by 12:30 so we needed to leave…NOW.

We stopped to check out and ran into Bernice.  She’s the first person I ever really met in Barbados and it’s always special to see her again.  She’s often on holiday at least part of the time we’re there, though.  She’s thinking about her next summer plans – either a 3-week conference or a cruise.  What to do!

Then, Paul stopped by.  He said that Culpepper Island will be partly finished by March and ready for tours when we get back next summer.  I can’t wait to see that.  It seems that we can trade our place for that as an even trade whenever we want.

We got a taxi for the quick trip to Grantley Adams Airport and were there by 11:30.  We found out that our 2:30 plane had been changed to 3:15.  <sigh>

Tom texting at the airport

Tom texting at the airport

I think I have picture or Tom texting, calling, using his phone everywhere!

We were to leave from Gate 12.  Then they said Gate 13 so we went there and went to board.  Unfortunately, the shuttle was outside Gate 12 so we walked outside to the shuttle, got on and rode back past Gate 13.

Luckily there weren’t too many people on the flight to Miami so we were able to stretch out a bit.

We got to Miami about 15 minutes early so had to wait for a gate.  Finally off the plane and going for the l-o-n-g walk to Immigrations and Customs.

The line for Immigrations was really long and moved slowly.  We got near the front and were informed that we were not US residents, we were US citizens and needed to be in a different line, further away.  The woman who told us that said we could get near the beginning of the other line.  Of course, the official at that line said we couldn’t and Tom had some words with her.  Luckily, we weren’t denied admission!

Finally through that and on to get luggage and on to Customs.  That went pretty quickly and dropped off luggage so they could put that back on the plane.

We next had to wait in line for security – again – then a Sky Train to our real gate.  This process took about 2 and a half hours.  Last year doing the same process, we had time to get dinner at TGI Friday’s.  We were the last ones on the plane, just made it before they closed the doors.

Whew!

We got to Dulles just before midnight.  I called my mom and she said that the power was out in most of our neighborhood due to a tornado that had touched down in the afternoon.

Our luggage was the last off the plane.  It even had a tag on it that said “Last Bag”.  Who knew?

Another taxi and finally, home!  We were lucky and had power.

My plan for Sunday was that Tom would go to a meeting and pick Mimi up on the way back.  I would call Mom and we would go to Kick Off Sunday at church.

What really happened was Tom woke up for his meeting and accidentally got shaving cream in his eye.  He told me he was going to the emergency room.  I asked if he wanted me to take him but he thought it would be better if I picked up Mimi. OK

Off he went…then came back and said he had a flat tire.  By now, I was definitely awake.

I emailed Thia to let her know I could pick up Mimi any time and said I’d call after 9.  She emailed back to ask if I was home.  I was going to respond since obviously she was awake but Tom called first.  He was at the ER and they were going to hold him for a few hours to get the acid (who knew shaving cream had acid in it?) all out.

Just as I hung up from him, Thia and Mimi appeared at the door.  Thia was on her way to church and they were going to her Mother-in Law’s afterwards and figured we’d want Mimi back before that.

Mimi comes home

Mimi comes home

I’m not sure Mimi was happy to be here with just me.  At Thia’s there are a couple kids to play with as well as a cat and Mimi’s sister, Penny.  I’m pretty boring, especially because I was more interested in napping than playing. I gave her a Frosty Paws and that helped for about 2 minutes.

Eventually Tom got home with antibiotics, eye washes and other stuff.  Mimi was delighted to see him!

I’m glad I cancelled students tomorrow.  The Piano Room needs a LOT of work before I can teach again.  And laundry needs to be done…

 

It Seems Like So Long Ago…

…that we left Barbados, but not really.

Yesterday morning I got up really early and took a few last minute sunrise pictures:

This one is my new favorite, though:

Sunrise at The Crane, Barbados
Sunrise at The Crane, Barbados

Then we got packed up and ready to leave by 10, then started reading, texting, just hanging around.  Brenda stopped by and we talked quite a bit while Tom was finalizing his packing shutting down the computer and all.  Brenda’s youngest daughter teaches English in Spain so they only see each other about every 3 years – except on Skype.

I reminded Tom that we didn’t have all the time in the world, that our plane was at 2:30 so we needed to be at the airport by 12:30 so we needed to leave…NOW.

We stopped to check out and ran into Bernice.  She’s the first person I ever really met in Barbados and it’s always special to see her again.  She’s often on holiday at least part of the time we’re there, though.  She’s thinking about her next summer plans – either a 3-week conference or a cruise.  What to do!

Then, Paul stopped by.  He said that Culpepper Island will be partly finished by March and ready for tours when we get back next summer.  I can’t wait to see that.  It seems that we can trade our place for that as an even trade whenever we want.

We got a taxi for the quick trip to Grantley Adams Airport and were there by 11:30.  We found out that our 2:30 plane had been changed to 3:15.  <sigh>

Tom texting at the airport
Tom texting at the airport

I think I have picture or Tom texting, calling, using his phone everywhere!

We were to leave from Gate 12.  Then they said Gate 13 so we went there and went to board.  Unfortunately, the shuttle was outside Gate 12 so we walked outside to the shuttle, got on and rode back past Gate 13.

Luckily there weren’t too many people on the flight to Miami so we were able to stretch out a bit.

We got to Miami about 15 minutes early so had to wait for a gate.  Finally off the plane and going for the l-o-n-g walk to Immigrations and Customs.

The line for Immigrations was really long and moved slowly.  We got near the front and were informed that we were not US residents, we were US citizens and needed to be in a different line, further away.  The woman who told us that said we could get near the beginning of the other line.  Of course, the official at that line said we couldn’t and Tom had some words with her.  Luckily, we weren’t denied admission!

Finally through that and on to get luggage and on to Customs.  That went pretty quickly and dropped off luggage so they could put that back on the plane.

We next had to wait in line for security – again – then a Sky Train to our real gate.  This process took about 2 and a half hours.  Last year doing the same process, we had time to get dinner at TGI Friday’s.  We were the last ones on the plane, just made it before they closed the doors.

Whew!

We got to Dulles just before midnight.  I called my mom and she said that the power was out in most of our neighborhood due to a tornado that had touched down in the afternoon.

Our luggage was the last off the plane.  It even had a tag on it that said “Last Bag”.  Who knew?

Another taxi and finally, home!  We were lucky and had power.

My plan for Sunday was that Tom would go to a meeting and pick Mimi up on the way back.  I would call Mom and we would go to Kick Off Sunday at church.

What really happened was Tom woke up for his meeting and accidentally got shaving cream in his eye.  He told me he was going to the emergency room.  I asked if he wanted me to take him but he thought it would be better if I picked up Mimi. OK

Off he went…then came back and said he had a flat tire.  By now, I was definitely awake.

I emailed Thia to let her know I could pick up Mimi any time and said I’d call after 9.  She emailed back to ask if I was home.  I was going to respond since obviously she was awake but Tom called first.  He was at the ER and they were going to hold him for a few hours to get the acid (who knew shaving cream had acid in it?) all out.

Just as I hung up from him, Thia and Mimi appeared at the door.  Thia was on her way to church and they were going to her Mother-in Law’s afterwards and figured we’d want Mimi back before that.

Mimi comes home
Mimi comes home

I’m not sure Mimi was happy to be here with just me.  At Thia’s there are a couple kids to play with as well as a cat and Mimi’s sister, Penny.  I’m pretty boring, especially because I was more interested in napping than playing. I gave her a Frosty Paws and that helped for about 2 minutes.

Eventually Tom got home with antibiotics, eye washes and other stuff.  Mimi was delighted to see him!

I’m glad I cancelled students tomorrow.  The Piano Room needs a LOT of work before I can teach again.  And laundry needs to be done…

Back to Barbados

What a trip!

I thought by packing earlier on Friday night I could sleep better.  Not so – I was still awake most of the night thinking, worrying…

At 8:30am I left with Mimi for her sister’s house.  Mimi is so lucky – she doesn’t even know what a kennel is.

I got back home and waited for Tom to get there.  He rolled in at 10am, just after the taxi got there.

The trip to Regan airport was uneventfull.  We actually got there about 10:30, possibly the earliest we have arrived for any flight.

Checkin, security, no problems.  We decided to have something to eat at this little place by the gate.  No coffee!  AARRGGHH  Tom convinced the manager that they should still have coffee at 10:45am.

Boarded plane.  We had seats D and F.  Tom convinced the woman in E that she’d like to move back a couple rows closer to her husband…and we had no one in E so could stretch out a bit more.

From the beginning this was a bumpy ride, thanks to Hurricane Isaac which was headed to Miami, same as us.  You can see him just over Cuba at 60 miles per hour at the time we were nearing Miami.

Img_0857

We finally landed and found our next gate, only 4 gates away.  Gate 1 was already fairly crowded with people headed to Barbados.

I found a little newsstand with the nut/fruit bars I like. I got 2 at $3.99 each.

Settled in for the 2 hour wait and an announcement came up that we were leaving 30 minutes early.  Ok, great for us, not those running for a connection.

Waited a bit more.  Announcement that our plane had major issues and they would find us a new one

Waited.  New gate.  Now gate 50 which is 2 terminals away by sky train and we had 30 minutes to get there.

We navigated all that and got there to learn they’d found a plane but it needed to be made ready.

Tom went to the newsstand for snacks.  The only thing I’d had so far was that fruit/nut bar at gate 1

He came back with a variety of stuff, including some more fruit/nut bars. But at this gate they were only $2.89. Go figure!

Finally, we got onboard.  We were the last flight out of Miami for a few days.  Another bumpy trip but we made it to Barbados at 11:30.  Naturally, out suitcase was nearly last on the carrousel but it arrived!  Through Immigration and Customs and off to Stoute for our rental car.  Tom’s debit card was rejected…we’d forgotten to let them know we were traveling.

We got to The Crane just before midnight and found out that the people who had been in our apartment last week hadn’t been able to leave so they were giving us the penthouse for the night, the week or the whole trip.

Img_0856

This place is huge, too big for us.  If Michael can come this weekend, that would be good but otherwise…

We opened up all the doors for a cross breeze, looked around a bit and fell asleep.

Early on Sunday, Tom went to his usual meeting and I poked around. This place didn’t seem to have a laundry, a feature we rely on heavily but I found one across the hall.

I do hate the “tower pools” but I haven’t actually been in one yet.  Maybe it won’t be so bad.

I texted Michael and Alice to let them know we’d gotten here and called my mom.

Did some work and started this blog post.  The wifi up here is very slow and the first picture hasn’t even uploaded yet. Maybe I’ll add the other to another post…later. 

Tom came back with salt bread so all is well in my world!

Bajan Salt Bread

This traditional bread made in Barbados, is one of the only breads that isn’t very sweet. However don’t let the name fool you. This bread is definitely not salty. This bread can be used to accommodate almost any filling. This local delicacy is the housing for the popular bread & two which consists of salt bread filled with two fish cakes.

You can find salt breads at bakeries and bread shops throughout the island of Barbados. A pack usually contains six (6) salt breads sold in clear plastic bags.  Bajan Salt Breads are baked daily and would usually be accompanied by a piece of khus grass on the bread, but do not be afraid! This is to preserve the freshness of the bread. Enjoy!

 

 

 

Back To Barbados

What a trip!

I thought by packing earlier on Friday night I could sleep better.  Not so – I was still awake most of the night thinking, worrying…

At 8:30am I left with Mimi for her sister’s house.  Mimi is so lucky – she doesn’t even know what a kennel is.

I got back home and waited for Tom to get there.  He rolled in at 10am, just after the taxi got there.

The trip to Regan airport was uneventfull.  We actually got there about 10:30, possibly the earliest we have arrived for any flight.

Checkin, security, no problems.  We decided to have something to eat at this little place by the gate.  No coffee!  AARRGGHH  Tom convinced the manager that they should still have coffee at 10:45am.

Boarded plane.  We had seats D and F.  Tom convinced the woman in E that she’d like to move back a couple rows closer to her husband…and we had no one in E so could stretch out a bit more.

From the beginning this was a bumpy ride, thanks to Hurricane Isaac which was headed to Miami, same as us.  You can see him just over Cuba at 60 miles per hour at the time we were nearing Miami.

Hurricane Isaac
The path of Hurricane Isaac

We finally landed and found our next gate, only 4 gates away.  Gate 1 was already fairly crowded with people headed to Barbados.

I found a little newsstand with the nut/fruit bars I like. I got 2 at $3.99 each.

Settled in for the 2 hour wait and an announcement came up that we were leaving 30 minutes early.  Ok, great for us, not those running for a connection.

Waited a bit more.  Announcement that our plane had major issues and they would find us a new one

Waited.  New gate.  Now gate 50 which is 2 terminals away by sky train and we had 30 minutes to get there.

We navigated all that and got there to learn they’d found a plane but it needed to be made ready.

Tom went to the newsstand for snacks.  The only thing I’d had so far was that fruit/nut bar at gate 1

He came back with a variety of stuff, including some more fruit/nut bars. But at this gate they were only $2.89. Go figure!

Finally, we got onboard.  We were the last flight out of Miami for a few days.  Another bumpy trip but we made it to Barbados at 11:30.  Naturally, out suitcase was nearly last on the carrousel but it arrived!  Through Immigration and Customs and off to Stoute for our rental car.  Tom’s debit card was rejected…we’d forgotten to let them know we were traveling.

We got to The Crane just before midnight and found out that the people who had been in our apartment last week hadn’t been able to leave so they were giving us the penthouse for the night, the week or the whole trip.

Penthouse
The Crane Penthouse

This place is huge, too big for us.  If Michael can come this weekend, that would be good but otherwise…

We opened up all the doors for a cross breeze, looked around a bit and fell asleep.

Early on Sunday, Tom went to his usual meeting and I poked around. This place didn’t seem to have a laundry, a feature we rely on heavily but I found one across the hall.

I do hate the “tower pools” but I haven’t actually been in one yet.  Maybe it won’t be so bad.

I texted Michael and Alice to let them know we’d gotten here and called my mom.

Did some work and started this blog post.  The wifi up here is very slow and the first picture hasn’t even uploaded yet. Maybe I’ll add the other to another post…later.

Tom came back with salt bread so all is well in my world!

Bajan Salt Bread

This traditional bread made in Barbados, is one of the only breads that isn’t very sweet. However don’t let the name fool you. This bread is definitely not salty. This bread can be used to accommodate almost any filling. This local delicacy is the housing for the popular bread & two which consists of salt bread filled with two fish cakes.

You can find salt breads at bakeries and bread shops throughout the island of Barbados. A pack usually contains six (6) salt breads sold in clear plastic bags.  Bajan Salt Breads are baked daily and would usually be accompanied by a piece of khus grass on the bread, but do not be afraid! This is to preserve the freshness of the bread. Enjoy!