We flew down early to avoid airline issues. January, anything can happen.
We had no issues getting here, but I arrive to a useless but frustrating notice from my company’s travel partner about the conference I’m attending which comes down to “Smelta Airlines” (not their real name) has once again screwed me over. (Sigh)
So when I wake up early (asleep not long after 9pm) this morning I’m scrambling to rearrange what I can until Monday when the flight itself can be adjusted, doing my Spanish lesson for the day, and then dozing on and off…
The flight is at 7:35. International: advice is to get there three hours ahead. 4:35pm. But my car has picked its moment to beg me to get rid of it and so between the unfamiliar rental car and the unfamiliar route to Dulles, I give myself plenty of time. I’d so rather be checked in, reading at my gate, than stressing about it. Continue reading “Day 1: Departure Iceland”→
It isn’t a new destination for any of us, not by a longshot. I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve been, but it’s enough times that there was a pattern emerging of major career upheavals after every fourth visit.
(My company got bought while I was touring the Grand Canyon two years ago. I’m going to say that Myrtle Beach passed the torch.) 😉
The weather was fine and sunny for the first few days, then overcast, then stormy, and then sunny and warm again.
And it all worked out pretty much perfectly.
There were fun and silly car games and beach days and arcade days and dinners at the places we traditionally try to fit in. (Chances are good that one of those is coming off the short list in future, the prices having stayed ridiculously low but the food quality seeming to have been reduced to match.) Continue reading “A week in Myrtle Beach”→
The plan for my only full day here includes a walking tour of Old San Juan. I’m up early, knowing I will fight rush hour into the city on my way and not sure where I’ll find parking. As it turns out, there’s a paid lot just 2 blocks from the meeting point. I have time for a macchiato and a small pastry.
Puerto Rican coffee is so strong that it needs the doctoring. But it’s good.
Flavors of San Juan puts on a good tour, including an exploration of rum (and piña colada to start the day right). We sample a variety of local cuisines as we walk through the city. It rains in and off (and a magic jacket with bug spray makes me some new friends) as we cross cross the city. Afterward, I trek back to the far side to El Morro….
While the sky just absolutely opens over me.
Soaked to the skin and resembling a drowned rat, I nevertheless get a photo before trekking back again.
There’s a Christmas tree in the lobby of the hotel, decked out in white, and White Christmas playing softly in the background. Of course Christmas is Christmas, even in climates that stay consistently 80ish. To me it feels like I’ve stepped into summer, so the tree and music feel incongruous.
But whatever the weather, soon we celebrate the newborn King. Hallelujah.
It rains the kind of passing warm deluge that the tropics are known for in the brief window between my check in and my plan-making for tomorrow. I head out to get dinner and GPS says walking is more efficient.
It is, if you discount walking past a club that advertises cock fights. Ugh. Cruel much?
Still, a delicious mofongo de pollo later, I am thoroughly enjoying Puerto Rico.
It’s raining along the eastern seaboard, at least between NYC down to Baltimore. NYC Edison Wilmington and home. All the places I monitor regularly on my weather app, all the places I find myself with frequency.
And of course, at BWI airport, where cold meds and cough drops are masking the plague I’ve been fighting for over a week. The airport is coming to life on a Monday morning. The meds are working, because I can tell that the air is thick with cinnamon and sugar.
Cinnabon is next to my gate.
One hour to boarding. 5 hours to arrival.
This is the only day this week it’s expected to stay above freezing but that only makes it sweeter that I found the fare sale when I did.
Also, I’ve never been to Puerto Rico before.
Halfway down the frigid air starts to turn warm and pleasant. Breaks in clouds reveal small islands surrounded by jewel tone seas.
And then I am in Puerto Rico, making my way to my hotel, getting checked in and squared away before I start my first explorations.
I spent the weekend at a reunion – if you can call a first-time meeting a reunion. But in this world of online connections, these people who came together to bring and receive Christmas cheer have become something more. A mini-tribe, as it were. It’s hard to believe that 8 months ago, we were all strangers. Continue reading “Invisible strings”→