I'm back! Thank you for all your well-wishes. The vacation was wonderful, thanks for asking. There were the usual glitches. Every year before we go on vacation, some minor disaster strikes. Two years ago, the dog's eye popped out the morning of the day we were leaving, and I spent most of the day at the emergency vet with her, waiting our turn while another dog who had eaten a pound of rat poison slowly died in the treatment room, despite the best efforts of the staff to save it. Last year, the washer died the day before we were to leave--full of wet, dirty clothes, with twelve loads waiting to go in so that I could pack for everyone. And this year, my husband's car finally gave up the ghost the day we left--while he was out running errands so that we could go. It's kind of a tradition, so I don't really mind. I figure, if we suffer some minor crisis before we leave, it sort of relieves the pressure so that we don't have to suffer some major crisis while on vacation. Like the valve on a pressure cooker.
On our flight out, we flew through four hours of storms (read: turbulence), followed by a three-hour layover at dawn in Charlotte, and another three hour flight, then an hour bus ride on a one-lane dirt road with two-way traffic. It was...exciting. Oh, and the water bottle in my carry-on leaked...all over my knitting. And my two knitting magazines. And my book. I'll tell you what, though: Cotton Fleece is really good for soaking up water. The book didn't fare so well. And the magazines are a total loss.
On our flight home, we went through security twice in Jamaica. Funny, I still didn't feel all that secure. Then we arrived in Charlotte, where we waited on the tarmac for 20 minutes because--get this--the waiting area for immigration was completely full, so they couldn't let us off. This was not a good sign. We had a connecting flight. After waiting in line for an hour and a half, we finally cleared immigration, only to discover that we had to claim our luggage, pack the four bottles of rum we were carrying in our checked luggage, clear customs, re-check our bags, and go through security again. Did I mention the connecting flight? Did I mention the lines? Did I mention that rum does not travel well?
When we reached San Diego, we waited for our luggage. And waited. And waited. There were five flights arriving at the same time, and for some reason, even though there are eight baggage carousels, all of the flights ended up at the same carousel. We finally got our bags, called for a shuttle, arrived at the lot where our car was parked--and discovered we had someone else's bag. Back to the airport. Pull up at the "no waiting" sign. Pretend not to hear the honking horns. Run in with the wrong bag. Run out with the right bag--trailing a gallon of rum from the broken bottles in the bag.
By this time, we'd been traveling for 15 hours. And we still had to drive to Nana's house, pack the kids, and drive home. I finally collapsed into bed at about 11 pm and curled into a fetal position.
But the vacation was great. I'd show you pictures, only my camera died.