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.
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)
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
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!
“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!
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!
…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:
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>
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.
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.
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…