Day Zero: We made it to Miami

I didn’t expect to at a few points.

It wasn’t that there were any specific things that warned me, but there were a few moments. You never want to see the pilot of the plane you’re about to board heading back up the gangway with his luggage. That’s never a good sign.

The Flights

To his credit, when he got on the loud speaker he didn’t mince words. “I’m always the last one to know,” he said. Then he went off. Eventually they canceled the flight.

As I was walking over to the phones where you rebook, I passed by him coming back from somewhere else and he saw me and said, “Oh good! Did they announce a new gate?”

“No. It’s canceled,” I said.

“Canceled?” he said. And made the “What the…?” Face. “I told you I’m always the last one to know!”

With that, what should have been a relatively easy direct flight from Chicago to Miami became a dizzying miasma of hopeful connections and safe wishes for checked baggage.

The short version: Plane was canceled due to mechanical questions; perhaps it was the check engine light. We were shoveled off to Tampa instead. From Tampa we connected to Miami. The luggage caught a direct flight later. Lucky luggage.

And only about four hours late, we arrived at our hotel. Everything pretty much worked out the way it was expected, mostly through being nice, patient, and as proactive as possible.

I am amazed that the number of people who think they can bully or whine their way with airline workers. I have found that if you look them in the eyes and appeal to their human nature, most of them are pretty amenable. It’s the look them in the eyes part. It reminds them that they are human.

Hotel de Riverland of Fourth Street or whatever.

Anyway. We made it to Miami. We made it to our hotel filled with mostly europeans. And very strange artwork. Like sculpture of a naked fat lady laying on her belly smoking a cigar. I hope I am brave enough to take a picture of it tomorrow.

Bahama Cruise 2012

I am crazy, so when we went out for dinner, I put a Starbucks swizzler in the door to make sure that nobody was in our room while we were gowne. I was pleasantly surprised that it was still there when we retuned.

Dinner

I have never eaten Columbian food, specifically, before. Unless you count Taco Bell. Which you shouldn’t. But since everywhere else was closed (it was Easter, after all) we went to the Columbian place called “El Cartel” that specialized in Columbian.

Bahama Cruise 2012

The waitress spoke very functional English, so we quickly worked it out that it didn’t matter what we ordered, she would bring us what she wanted. She did it in a very charming way. We didn’t even realized that’s what had happened until after we were back at the hotel.

Corn Fries and CheeseFried Meats.

As near as I can tell, we ate a plate of deep fried pig skin, sausages, blood and head sausages, plantains and very small potatoes. It was delicious of course, but I’m not sure it was supposed to be quite so dry. Gaia had some kind of corn/cheese/delicious plate of goodness and potato chip sticks. And empanadas. The empanadas were great. They brought more because they thought we wouldn’t like the first ones– but we did. We ate and ate and ate and it was like, $35.

This is a good sign.

Tomorrow, Day One. All aboard.