On my way
Trip Start Mar 10, 2007
25Trip End Apr 11, 2007
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Eliz and Cole pick me up to take me to DFW airport to fly to Miami. In the car, Eliz realized I had all my liquids in too big a baggie for security, so made a quick stop at Kroger for quart size baggies, and a paper notebook in which to keep a journal. Cole had given me a big hug "hello" at my house, but not so much as a "good by" as I left him at DFW; he was too busy watching "Boz" on the DVD.
No problem going through security, including carrying the epi-pens in case I am stung by bees or bitten by ants.
Pre-flight conversations with Alice and Heidi the week before included: vacillating between excitement and panic. How in the world did Carolyn get her entire family packed to go to Italy last summer? It's taken me 3 months to research and buy stuff for this trip.
Heidi decided not to get global satellite phone: too many of our countries don't have reception. Therefore, she had lots of conversations with Rob to be sure home-front was covered. Also with Jimmy to figure out how best to handle her Dad so that he won't be burdened the entire time with, "Where's Heidi?"
Bumpy flight to Miami. My right leg was immediately "restless." I stood up in the Galley most of flight, talking to a Brazilian steward who was hopping the flight back to home base. Went back to my seat, and then left leg started. Ominous way to begin three weeks of flying.
"Roberto," the AK driver dispatched to pick me up, met me as I exited the security area in Miami. He said American had the slowest luggage service in Miami. We waited one hour for bags. During that time, we spoke with a gorgeous young Australian girl who was a professional cricket player. Also met the first person going on trip: a man from Arizona. He was agitated because his driver had not yet met him. Never saw his wife.
On drive to hotel, we met a 3 lane closure due to a bad accident. Finally arrived at gorgeous hotel: Oriental Mandarin. Front desk upgraded me to 19th concierge floor. Very modern room with marble bathroom that is completely open to bedroom and view of river from balcony. Heidi was to arrive three hours earlier, but she hadn't checked in. After an hour, was worried about her. Didn't have cell with me. Was about to call Eliz to ask her to find her when Heidi called. Heidi's plane was 4 hours late, and, of course, she had left a message on my cell.
Heidi in hotel room; view from my bathroom to balcony; view from balcony
Heidi and I go down to concierge to learn about dinner options. Heidi is supreme; obviously has done this many times. We decide on Italian restaurant, and off we go. Lovely seafood restaurant, and we're ushered to high profile table, overlooking open-air garden. We enjoy a great meal and begin "our trip." Daylight savings begins this night; earlier than ever before. Realize in middle of night my commode isn't flushing. So much for luxury.
Where I stayed