Tag Archives: vacation

Buckle Up, You’re a Traveler.

Last week I took a long weekend to travel up to Buffalo, New York to visit my better half’s family.  It was his Dad’s 80th birthday.  There were enough candles on the cake the wait staff actually brought in fire extinguishers…..just in case.

Had Dad had extra long eyebrows or nose hairs, we would have had some serious issues.  The dancing flames of flamenco dancing would have had all new meaning to the clan.

The joys of traveling.  A necessary evil.  Luckily we’ve been able to bypass the stagecoach nowadays.

A first for me was having to find a boarding place for our child.  I wasn’t going to bring her with me and while she’s 11 years old, she’s too young to stay by herself.  After asking around I found a highly recommended boarding facility about 45 minutes from our house. The morning of departure I packed her up and we traveled to the cottage.  The entire time in the car she pitched a fit.  Wouldn’t stop telling me how unhappy she was for all kinds of reasons:

  • She didn’t understand why she couldn’t go with me.
  • She was unhappy that she couldn’t stay by herself at home.
  • She’s never been to the new boarding place.
  • She was worried about making friends.
  • She was pissed she couldn’t see out the window.
  • She wasn’t happy about having to travel in the car while zipped inside a bag.

Needless to say, Liggy, was one pissed kitty upon arrival to the Country Cat Cottage.  After dropping her off at the feline spa, I raced home and threw on my dress and grabbed my suitcase.  I was off and running to the airport.

Yes.  That is correct.  I wore a dress.  On the plane.  With heels.  For one main reason: I wanted to see if I got treated better dressed up.

What do you think?

Remember years of yore when people actually dressed up to travel on the airplane?  Sunday best attire, hats and gloves?  Now everything including pajamas are acceptable.  It’s ridiculous.  I think there should be a little bit of a dress code to fly.  Honestly, there was a hooker on my return flight!  Forgive me, a working girl.  A gentleman’s lady.  An escort.

Seriously, she was a lady of the evening.  I saw who checked her in at the Delta kiosk.  That wasn’t her father.

Another reason for dress codes on the airplanes is because seats are now so close together that you pray the person sitting next to you doesn’t cross their leg….resting their ankle on their knee closest to you.  Chances are they’re wearing inappropriate shoes, right?!

Of course.  Flip flops.  Toes that haven’t been tended to in months.  Nails so long they’re leaving snags in the airplane carpet.  What is that tapping noise?  Oh, that guy’s toenails hitting the tray table.  Lo and behold, if you looked close enough you’d probably spy moving fungi between the toes.  Oh, wait up….that was jam.

What’s even worse (you’ll want to mentally prepare yourself for engaging your anti-gag reflex) the people who play with their toes or pick their nails and then put their fingers in their mouth.

Good grief….disgusting.   Miss Manners would be horrified.  Forget Miss Manners – I AM HORRIFIED.

Being this was my first time to the Fort Lauderdale airport as a departure contestant (think Fear Factor contestant) I drove around the entire complex TWICE before locating the proper exit for parking.  I can’t say it was a scenic drive as I was too busy trying not to be run down by the taxis.  The first parking garage I drove around and around and around was – full – of course.

There was a sign for Valet, which I actually considered as I was beginning to panic about finding parking, but couldn’t actually locate where the hell the Valet people were stationed.  Everything here in Miami has valet.  Seriously:  malls, restaurants, movies, bars, strip clubs, doctor offices…you name it there’s a valet.  You would think the airport would have a blazingly bright neon sign screaming, VALET.  Or at least a random homeless person with a sign around their neck with a big arrow saying, VALET….this way.   Nope, this airport is like Pandora’s Box.  Good luck with that shit.

Finally, I find a spot to park Norman….in a second parking tower.

Since the complex is so enormous, I actually took a picture of the garage parking map where it said, “YOU ARE HERE.”  At least I’ll have a general area of where the hell Norman is when I return.

I race down 6 floors to the ground level where I see a sign for a shuttle to the terminals.   The airport fairy sends the tram car and I hop on.  The gentleman in the back car smiles and gladly takes my carry on luggage.  Score one point for my test of dressing nicer for service.  I advise him of my airline and off we go.

Now, I am sweating, not because of the heat (well mainly because of heat) but I’m now later than I wanted to be walking into the actual airport.  I have a little over an hour before departure.  My time has been wasted trying to find parking and then taking the tram to the actual building.

This is ridiculous.

In my haste to get to the airport, I completely forgot you have to take your shoes off at security.  There I am BAREFOOT in the airport.  The best I could do was try and keep my little piggies up off the floor.  Most people wear socks right.  Wrong.  I look around and 99% of the people going through the security gates are sockless.   Walk on your heels.  Don’t walk on your heels – they’ll think you’re mental.

Finally, I make it to the gate only to learn the flight is 25 minutes late.  Great.  There goes my connection in Detroit.  The gate agent assures me it won’t be a problem, there’s a tail wind and all connections will be made just fine.  I try to think positively but in my heart I know this is going to be a mess.  You know like when your gut tells you not to open that piece of junk mail but you do it anyway and it turns out to be a virus.  I felt like that.

Once on board the silver bullet we take off and the pilot comes on to announce our arrival time into Detroit.  Oh yeah, by the way, we’re still going to be 30 minutes behind schedule.  Luckily I am in the second row of steerage so I’ve formulate a plan.

As soon as the “double-ding” occurs I am up and out of my seat heading towards the door.    I race up the gangway and leap out into the terminal like a ninja.  Where’s a monitor?  I need to see the monitor!  (No.  Thanks Delta, but you were’t able to provide gate information coming in for the landing, you didn’t care I had a connection and there was nobody at the gate to assist.)  We’ve arrived into terminal A – and my connection is in terminal C.

YOU MUST BE KIDDING.  With 10 minutes before departure, I give it a solid try.  My feet have already been contaminated so what’s it going to hurt?  I yank off my high heels and begin sprinting through the terminal like OJ Simpson.  The exception is I’m shorter, pulling a wheeled bag and I’m barefoot.  AGAIN.

I’m following the big C signs with the arrows  and come up short when I realize, there’s a  shuttle to the C terminal!  I hurl myself into the car as the automated announcement tells us the doors are closing.  No shit, really?  The gentlemen next to me asks about my connection, I tell him it’s to Buffalo.  A Delta employee is sitting there and says, “Oh, they shut that gate 7 minutes early.”

The doors open and I weigh my options.  Continue like a crazed nutter and hope the guy was lying or put my shoes back on and stroll up to the counter?  Yep, you guessed it.  The Nutter won.  I continue sprinting along the long hallway, which obviously must be under an runway as it went on forever.  My little naked feet are pounding against the moving walkway as I keep praying silently to myself, “I will not get foot fungus.  I will not get foot fungus.”  It was like being in a horror film….running down one of those long hallways that you never get to the end of….and Jack Nicholson is chasing you with an ax screaming “Here Comes Johnny!”

As I’m dashing down this hallway, more like a character from a Dr. Seuss story than a long distance runner I notice with horror one thing.  I’m loosing my panties.

My under ware is falling down.

By the time I get on the escalator going up to terminal A, I realize half of both cheeks are exposed.  Well, how the hell am I going to pull these up?  Thank god for the person who invented the pockets.  My dress has pockets.  Insert hands and pull up panties.

Good grief.  I’ve never.  Ever.  EVER.  Had a problem like this before.  What’s next?

Finally I get to the counter and there are THREE Delta agents there.  Nobody making eye contact with me.  Oh so sorry, that flight is already gone.  We’ve already booked you on another flight this evening, here’s your ticket.  No seat assignment?  Oh, we can’t do that, you have to go to that gate.  Alright fine.

I walk away, sit down on the bench and burst into tears.  Now I know how people feel on American Idol.  You give it your best shot, do everything in your power and you still loose.  My cute dress didn’t even help me.  They can’t even give me a seat!

Finally I pull myself together, wipe the sweat and melted eyeliner off my face and walk to the departure gate.  I have about 90 minutes before the next flight.  I ask the agent if they can assign me a seat.  Nope, they are not dealing with my flight yet and suggest I come back in about an hour.

Are you kidding me?  There’s computers and technology sitting all over counter.  You’re telling me you can’t assign me a seat?  For real?  OMG.  Where is the customer service?  Not at Delta Airlines.

Don’t worry, it gets worse.  Trust me.

I get something to eat and head back to the gate.  They assign me a seat and while I still have 30 minutes to kill before boarding I wander the terminal and make some phone calls.  I stand across from the gate, while I’m on the phone, waiting for the flight number to read “now boarding.”  All of the sudden the gate number changes.  WTF?  I rudely tell my friend, “I have to go!  The flight is now departing out of B terminal!”

Once more, I ponder my situation and decide, in order not to miss the possibility of this next flight also leaving early, I better take the heels off again.  I dash through the airport, pulling my purple wheel bag and praying to God my panties don’t end up around my knees.

Again, they get so bad that I seriously consider just stopping and yanking them off.  I don’t care at this point.  But then I think to myself, “what would you do if you fell and didn’t have anything on underneath?  You’d be embarrassed….”  So instead I stopped and pulled them up three times on my run to the next terminal.  What baffles me is they were cute new roos.  How could they not fit?  Good grief.  Leave it to me.

I finally arrive and sling-shot myself into the counter in B terminal.  The agent tells me I have plenty of time, not to worry.  So I decide to use the restroom, wipe the sweat off all exposed areas of skin and secure my panties.  I’m not just misting or glowing, I look like I’ve been enjoying myself on the slip & slide.

Pulled together once more, I walk on to the tiny plane.  It’s one of those with 2 and 2.  My seat, last one, by the bathroom and it’s a window.  Of course.  Nothing like being a nervous flier stuck by a window, in a seat that doesn’t recline and enjoying the aromas of the freshly used toilette.  Love it.  Sign me up to do this multiple times a day!

I get to my seat and the guy on the aisle is very nice.  I figure it must be the dress.  I get my ear plugs out and a piece of gum.  Departure time comes and the Delta crew tells us they’re waiting on a few connecting flights that just landed, giving those folks time to catch this flight.  Fuckers.  You didn’t wait for me, you sent my plane early!

Really though, it was a lie.  Nobody else joined us on the plane.

20 minutes later.

30 minutes later.

45 minutes later.

60 minutes later.

We’re still sitting at the gate.  Trapped in this silver bullet.  Waiting to go to Buffalo.  It was a mechanical.  It was paperwork.  It was the dispatchers. It was the hokey-pokey.  I don’t know exactly which excuse it actually was but just be honest.  While you’re at  it….  offer us something to drink for crying out loud!  This was the first time that I didn’t travel with my Quart Size Bag filled with alcohol bottles.  Yes, I am the only person who actually  uses those bags properly.  Had I stuffed it with my little bar bottles, I could have made a fortune on that plane.  $5 a bottle.

70 minutes into our collective meditation on the lack of service provided by Delta and we’re on our way.

Ahhhhhhhh…….

Had a great time with the family.  Lots of laughter.  Met new faces.  Ate the same thing for lunch two days in a row….the sub shop is AWESOME.  Bought hosiery cause I can’t find any in Miami.  Wandered through the village.  Went to the zoo.  Chased little kids.  Played one hand of some sort of card game (I don’t like cards….too many numbers.) And ate a steak for the first time in months!  Was also the only one who didn’t get sick after eating at the weird taco place….

I would like to say on my return, I did not wear a dress.  It obviously had put the hex on my customer service experience.  Upon arriving at the Buffalo airport I had plenty of time to get to my gate.  Once on board I relaxed and happily anticipated enjoying an adult beverage from the cart.

We push back from the gate and guess what?  Delayed.  AGAIN.  Trapped like a sardine.  AGAIN.  Are you kidding me Delta?  The people around me immediately start balking.  Their flights before this one were all late and now this one is leaving late.  Connections are going to be missed.  It’s a fiasco.  Previously, I had a 2 hour layover in Atlanta.  Now, I have about 60 minutes, which is fine.  Not a problem.

The real problem however was when we landed in Atlanta and I walked to the next gate for my flight to Fort Lauderdale.  Yep, you guessed it, my last flight of the day….delayed!  Honestly, they should consider renaming Delta to Delay or maybe just Delete.

Things I learned from this experience:

The dress didn’t make a damn bit of different.

You can’t drink alcohol in the Buffalo airport before noon on Sundays.

Never to work for Delta, let alone fly with them again.

Always travel with your own bar.

Oh and yes in case you were curious, I threw out the panties.

 

 

 

 

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They’re Baaack! Here Come the Tourists!

Oh the joys of summer in southeast Alaska.

Rain.  Clouds.  Rain.  Bears.  Clouds.  Cruise ships.  Rain.  Tourists.  Rain.

The first cruise ship of the season arrived into Juneau today.  I have worked in tourism since cell phones were non-existent and am in love with this industry.  Where else can you work and experience the feelings of happiness, envy, exasperation, shock and awe all in one afternoon?  Some days those feelings, and much more, are experienced within just an hour of trying to dispatch tours on the pier.

Tourists.

They’re a breed on to their own.  Not so much Homo sapiens but more like an alien life form.  How many times has someone asked me what port they’re in, what city, what country….too many times to count.  Really, they should have an inkling of where they’re going before they take off from the home port.  It amazes me how often people are stunned to learn Alaska is cold.

Really?

Yes, you see a majority of our guests believe Alaska is right off the coast of California and Mexico.  No, I’m not kidding.  Have you looked at a map of the United States over the last decade?  Here, I’ll share my bottle of Tums with you.

The flip side is they’re surprised to see we don’t live in igloos and actually have electricity.  But then are disappointed to learn there’s no gift shop on the glacier.

Have you ever argued with a tourist? Let me tell you, as a local, I know what I’m talking about.  Let’s see, I’ve lived in this town for the last 17 years and can guarantee you that really IS downtown Juneau across the street.  Nope, we’re not hiding a sprawling metropolis somewhere under the glacier – this is it.

One of the things I tell my guests, when I have to drive a 40′ motor coach, is first of all pick your jaws up off the floor.  I know I’m short but I’m big enough to ride the rides at Disney World, therefore I’m tall enough to drive the bus.  Second, really….you’re giving me a complex with taking my picture as I stand here talking to you.  Lastly, whatever you do, don’t blink as we leave town. If you blink you will miss downtown Juneau – guaranteed.

I was walking down the pier this afternoon and the gentleman in front of me did a double take when the police officer walked past.  He stopped so short I nearly walked right up his back side.  Yep.  We’ve got walking police officers – crazy isn’t it?

Since I’m a people watcher, I love tourists.  The outfits.  The families.  The upset couples.  The crew members coming off the ship.  The outfits.  I love our guests who are trying to blend in with the locals.  Wearing snowsuits and ski suits does not make you a local.  Not kidding – I’ve seen it.  Whole families bundled up like they’re headed out into the Antarctic wilderness.  Or the fur coats and high heels.  No, you can’t wear those heels on the glacier.  While you think they’ll act like an ice axe, I’m here to tell you they’re going to break your ankle.  Both of them.

It’s 65 degrees out.  The ear muffs, scarfs, gloves and downy coat makes me sweat.  The brand new hiking boots kill me – cause apparently we’re all about rugged dirt roads and mud puddles.

The other thing that gets me are the picture takers.  Have you ever wondered what people are taking a photo of?  I do.  I’ve stood behind people trying to figure out what they’re taking photos of and have given up.  Is it an eagle?  Nope.  The tram-car?  No.  A waterfall?  Notta.  What the heck is it then?  An old semi trailer and trees.  Really?  And what’s with the license plate photos?  I never understood this and yet see it all the time.  Yep.  It says Alaska.  They’re not even fabulous looking.  I guarantee you walk through a parking lot and you’ll see someone bending over to snap a photo of our blue and yellow plates.  Weird, but it takes all kinds.

Cheers to another season of fun and head scratching moments.  I can’t wait!

 

 

 

The Alaskans Hit the Beach

The nude beach that is….

My first experience, three years ago,  with the nudist beach was interesting.  Over the hill and down the trail we went only to be met with the startling conclusion:  Girls and Boys, we’re not in Juneau anymore.

At the bottom of the hill there was a road block.  It was all I could do  not trip over the whale sized person lounging on the sand….like a welcome mat.  Really?  You couldn’t move over a few feet?  Scuze me…pardon me…

Well you don’t see that in Alaska, unless it’s actually a beached whale.

Since that introduction, I’ve visited the beach every time we go to Hawaii.  It’s one of the highlights to my vacation.  Don’t ask me why.  It’s simply a “must do” activity.

Anyhow, onwards and upwards…

Surveying the area, it’s glaringly apparent the majority of visitors grab a location closest to the entrance – it’s MOBBED.  But further down there’s fewer people and lots of open beach space. Hike up the cooler and chairs, we’re hiking into flesh country. The Alaskan has found her beach spot.

The spot I chose is right in the front – you’re probably not surprised.  It’s funny – the very back of the beach has a solid line of people from end to end.  Must be the second choice location if you can’t get near the entrance.  Couldn’t even muscle a beach towel in between those folks – they were stuccoed in like coral decorations on a seawall.

I’d rather have some fresh air and be able to stretch out on my towel than have pry myself in between two glistening oiled up strangers.  Excuse me, could you hand me another beer?  Thank you.

Ladies and gentlemen put your sunglasses on, the Alaskans are hitting the beach – naked – and we’re a wonderful halibut white color.  We lathered up, cracked a beer, settled in and began to soak up the Maui sunshine. Talk about glistening in the sunshine like diamonds.  Even the seagulls were confused about our reflective quality.

Now it’s time to ponder, which way to look.  In front of my spot were two men, the color of cooked bacon, playing Frisbee….you can only imagine what was dangling at my eye level.

Disclaimer:  It’s not my fault God made me this height and certain things just happen to be at eye level when sitting in a beach chair, on the beach, in a nudist environment.  Thank you.

It was all fun and games until Bacon Colored Man #1 lost control of his Frisbee serve and Bacon Colored Man #2 had to come over to me and apologize and pick it up at my feet.  I’m sorry, did you say something?  I was distracted.

I love to people watch.  I’m as happy as a Magpie in a sparkling heap of trash when left alone to people watch.   If this was an Olympic event, I’d enter.  No hand / eye coordination necessary.    Now I have a cooler of adult beverages, a comfortable place to sit, warm sand under my toes and sunshine…..what more could I ask for really?

Where are those Bacon Men?

Sorry, I had a flash back.

Back to the point at hand…people watching.  What struck me as funny were the number of people who came to look at us sitting on the beach…..from their tour boats.  Giant catamarans, holding 150 people would sail by – barely 1/4 mile off the beach.  This beach is apparently listed in some of the tour narratives.  Interesting.  Had I known I was going to be apart of the touring outline, I would have at least worn my tiara.  As it currently stands, I’m wearing my sunglasses and floppy beach hat.  Similar, but nothing close to fabulous.

I can only imagine what the captain was saying:

“Everyone!  Get your binoculars!  There is a spectacular sight off our starboard side.   You won’t want to miss taking a look at this.  One of our popular beaches for homo sapiens!  Quite the species….”

Each time I pondered an appropriate reaction:

Flip them off.

Jump up and moon them.

Shake my ta-tas.

Wave like the Queen.

Result:  I stared back at them and toasted them with my bottle of beer.

My next observation were the groups of 4 (two couples) that would wander all the way down, not much further past us and wouldn’t take so much as their top off.  Okay, so what’s the deal?  I get it….they were giggly couples who wanted to say they went to the nude beach – without having to admit they actually took anything off.

Being nude myself, I found it a little odd to see them fully clothed in the surf.  THEY were the odd ones that stuck out.  Kind of like a fart in an elevator.  Everyone else on the beach was either completely naked, top off or bottoms off.

I also tremendously enjoyed the older couple that walked back and forth.  Back and forth.  Back and forth.  Back and forth.  He was obviously comfortable with himself as there wasn’t a tan line to be found on his cinnamon raisin toast skin.  She, on the other hand, I think might have been related to the Easter bunny.

Imagine.

Pink pleated tennis skirt.  Pink sun visor with blonde puffy short hair coming out of the top like Old Faithful.  Proud as a peacock prancing next to her man.  Back and forth.  It was like watching a tennis match they went past so often.  She was engrossed in observing the crowd of sunbathers and he was praying they could go back and sit down so he can enjoy the gorgeous ocean view.

What a funny bunch of people.  Of course, I didn’t know a soul except for my better half.  And he was encouraging “get your raft and get out there.” We’re here to celebrate my 40th birthday so I better get out there and enjoy the day.

Okay, off I go with my most favorite hobby inducing item in Hawaii.  A cheap pink raft.  Down to the ocean I go.  I could float away in the peacefulness it was so calm and enjoyable.  Cool and clear water.  Definitely not in Alaska any more.

Of course, when it was time to come back in so we could head back and get ready for dinner, I realized he was taking photos of me.  Okay, maybe he should invest in a camera instead of using his phone for the pictures.  Mental note honey, put a lock on that thing!

The Alaskan Goes To Hawaii

We’re on vacation.

In Hawaii.

On Maui.

It’s the exact opposite of home:  hot and sunny.

Since we’ve left home, they’ve received two feet of fluffy snow – perfect for snowboarding.  Of course!  The reports from the ski slope are fantastic and I’ve stopped reading them.  Who wants snow when you have hot and sunny?  Just keep the breeze going and we’ll be ok.

We’re staying with our friend George, while here on Maui.  The house is fantastic – comes complete with hot tub, pool and waterfall.  Sitting on the upstairs l’nai (don’t know what the proper spelling would be for the upstairs porch, but you get the idea.  This is also reason number 2 we’d never move here….we can’t even begin to pronounce any of the names.) you can see the ocean, which is a short 5 minute walk…..down the hill.

If anyone is interested, George is putting the house on the market for $1.5 million….

Why?  They got a divorce last month.  They were driving each other crazy.  She now lives up on the mountainside – where yesterday it was “pouring rain” which was odd, cause there were no clouds.  I’m thinking their idea of “pouring” is a little different than ours.  Of course, we live in a temperate rainforest back home.

When we arrived to the house, the day before Thanksgiving, you can imagine our surprise to realize George has both kids.

12 and 9.

Boys.

One on meds.

One just between meds – thus the explaniation of the wild animal which is supposed to the be 9 year old – tearing around the house.  In George’s words, “we have to live with the mayhem until we can start the new stuff.” I’m thinking a stun gun might work just as well.

Eric tells me to “ignore it.”  Sorry, but how exactly can you ignore a tasmanian devil that is trying to literally climb up your body?  Screaming?  While you’re standing outside sweating to death?  It can’t be done.

The two brothers are at each other’s throats 90% of the time.  Within two minutes of Eric getting up and leaving the house the other morning for his walk the boys were up and I heard, “STOP! GIVE IT BAAACK!”  That continued to repeat like a bad record for the next 10 minutes.

About an hour later, someone is knocking on the bedroom door.  I ignore it, as I know without a doubt which one it is.  There’s a reason I locked the door.

It stops.

Feet run away.

Feet run back.

Knocking.  Knocking. Jiggle the handle.  Knocking.

Feet run away.

Feet run back.

Unintelligible words coming from under the door.  Knocking. Jiggling of the door handle.

(Note, if I didn’t know better, I could have been in a horror movie)

Suddenly the door flies open and here it comes, landing on my bed….having used a wooden skewer to pop open the lock.

Good morning world, it’s Donna and I’m in the third layer of hell.

Our first beach day!  We all pile into the car.  I always have to fight to get the front seat, I explain it’s because I’m the only girl.  In reality, I don’t want to get attacked in the back seat.  Actually, I’d made the situation worse I’m sure….

The whole way to the store to pick up sandwhiches the car is filled with yelling conversation, screaming, punches and whining.  Not five minutes down the road and I want to yell, “STOP TOUCHING ME!”  Little hands coming through the headrest section of the seat.

My head is ringing and I’m cursing the fact I didn’t bring any little bottles from the airplane with me in my purse.  I silently realize to survive the rest of this trip, I’m going to have to start drinking first thing in the morning.  We stop at a light and for a brief moment I actually consider getting out of the car and walking away.  There is a reason I came into this world as an only child –  YOU ARE DRIVING ME CRAZY!

Luckily the kids go to their mother’s house starting Friday afternoon through Monday morning.  The last few days have been filled with tranquil moments of sweaty sunshine, warm sand and swimming with sea turtles.

Here we are at Monday morning, the tasmaniann devil, having to be home schooled, because of his issues with the divorce – has returned home.  All is quiet in the house…because he managed to jump into the coffee table last night, causing his mother to take him to the ER and thus has a horrible swollen knee still today.  The other blessing for today is I believe the nanny returns – thank you Jesus.

Regardless, I instructed Eric to lock the bedroom door on his way out for his walk.  I am happy to have some peace and quiet, both windows open, birds squaking happily….while I sit here under flannel sheet to write this.

Yes, flannel sheets – this is winter.

 

Please note – as I’ve mentioned before if you end up in my writing, it’s not because I don’t like you – in fact, I love you.  You’ve just provided me with some funny moments I need to share.  Thank you for the material.

Sorry, I Have No Clue What You Just Said.

We are in the Mayan Riviera, my cousin and I. We get through Customs and into our waiting resort van and it hits me. I have no clue what these people are saying.

Great, here we go again.

Not that I expected to somehow understand Spanish overnight, however I was hopeful that if they spoke English I might be able to catch every other word. Honestly, I´m lucky if I catch every 14th word, which can lead to slightly awkward situations.

At lunch today my cousin had to use the bathroom. She never has to use the bathroom. I swear her bladder is the size of one of those giant water towers you see in rural towns. She just rarely pees. I don´t know how she does it. The weatherman just mentions rain and I have to pee. Strange.

So she left me at lunch to pee and a flare gun must have gone off over my head as waiters were coming at me left and right. Yes, I am fully aware now that if the waiter says, “a humma na na humm na ha ha.” He could be asking if I want toothpaste on my pasta but all I heard was “a humma na na humm na ha ha” so I nod and smile. then, as my short history has it here today, the waiter trys again and says, “Where are you from?” Ohhhh, got it….Alaska. Thanks. And insert the nod and smile…..

I swear, this trip is supposed to be relaxing and I am already breaking a sweat on my upper lip. To add to my pressure of the wait staff, everyone here greets everyone as you walk past. My cousin yells out “hola….hola…..hola…..hola….!” Really? I am barely managing to hang on and yell out a “hola” instead of a “hoola!” This time tomorrow I may throw out the “hello, how are you in Spanish” then keep my fingers crossed that conversation stops there. I would type out how you say it but, I can´t spell it.