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Monday, April 3, 2017

Update 04/3/2017

A few days before we were scheduled to fly out of Omaha for our cruise, the airline sent me an email saying the departure time of our return flight out of San Juan had changed. So, I called the airline and sure enough the change gave us approximately fifteen minutes to change planes in Atlanta. Since I don’t walk very fast anymore, so we changed to a later flight at 8pm. This would give us a three-hour layover, which was fine with us.

So, Sunday the 26 of March, Daniel came over and picked us up at 4am and took us to the airport. We had a bit of a wait but I don’t like to have to rush in the airport. It was a good thing too, I had to be stripped searched because I set off the scanner. I couldn’t go through the big x-ray because I can’t raise my right arm over my head. My belt and suspenders caused the scanner to beep. The TSA guy asked me if I could take off my belt and suspenders. I said I could but then my pants would fall down. He didn’t think that was good so he took me off to the side. He asked if I wanted to go to a room or have him do his thing out in front of God and everyone. I told him, I don’t have much modesty left after what I have been through so do it here. After he was done he said I could go. It didn’t take very long so Sarah and I headed to the gate area.

Now, I am not a very good flier anymore because I have to go to the bathroom a lot so I tend to visit the restroom by the waiting area a lot before we board the plane. The first leg of the trip was to Minneapolis so it wasn’t too bad, no trips to the restroom. In Minneapolis, we hooked up with brother Larry and his wife Kathy. We would be meeting sister Tara and husband Paul, sister Colleen and husband Darrius in San Juan, Puerto. Anyway, we got on the plane and got settled in our seats.

 After a discussion with our son Daniel, he had recently flown to Thailand on business, he told me to fly first class because it would give me more room. I am still wearing the brace and so I sprung for the extra expense, I am very happy I did that. Now either I have gotten bigger since I last flew or the seats have gone through a shrink machine, it is most likely the former. The seat was comfortable the tray you use for lunch comes out of the armrest between seats and it does not give at all, it was very close quarters. I would have had enough problems without the brace but with the brace it was trying to put a blow-up bed back in the box it came it. It can be done but it takes some work at it. All in all, we had a good flight and was just happy we got to San Juan safely.

We also received an email a week before the cruise was to leave that because the ship had a propulsion problem our cruise would be cut short by a day. We were all bummed out but when life gives you apples you make apple pie. I know that isn’t the saying but I like apple pie more than lemonade.

We spent Monday seeing things in San Juan. Larry, Tara and I rented a cab to take us and spouses on a two-hour tour of San Juan. Our cabbie Chris was great, we started with Old San Juan and then the newer places and the beaches and ended with some places he said not to go to at night.

We stayed at the Sheraton Old San Juan, a very nice hotel and within walking distance of some very nice restaurants.We had some great food, we ate at the same restaurant La Cueva del it was great. Marissa was our server and she was a lot of fun.

There is a lot more history in San Juan than I ever knew, so it was time well spent. One of the two forts we saw was, https://www.nps.gov/saju/index.htm, Castillo San Cristóbal Castillo and Castillo de San Cristobal, what I found interesting was the two forts were connected by underground tunnels, these forts were a couple miles apart.

We boarded the ship at eleven, that was the earliest we could get on and since we had a day and a half cut from the cruise I wanted to get as much use as I could out of the ship. Now those of you who have been on cruises know that it is a feeding frenzy, food everywhere and I got as much of it as I could. We were in Aqua Spa class, we had a suite with a deck so we could sit on the deck and watch the world go by. My brother was next to us so we could talk without much problem, but there was a cabin between Tara and Colleen and I so we just yelled at each other.

Our breakfast and dinners were taken in the Blu room, very nice setting. Our server was Wilmer and he made each meal a delight. He was from Columbia and had been working cruises for five years. All the people on the boat were great, even the captain. I had my picture taken with her but I can’t find it so you will just have to take my word for it.

We returned to San Juan Saturday morning and was off the boat and to the airport by 10:30. Again I went through the strip search procedure and they found nothing that concerned them. We got on the plane and arrived in Atlanta about 4:30. Now as I said earlier I had changed our flight because we wouldn’t have enough time to get to our connection, as it turned out we could have made it, but to change flights it cost a couple hundred dollars, I wasn’t going to do that. So, we waited for our 8:00 flight, with an arrival time in Omaha at 9:35pm. Well let me tell you, due to a maintenance paperwork screw up at La Guardia airport we didn’t get home until midnight. We boarded the plane on time, deboarded an hour later and reboarded an hour after that. They finally got it all straighten out and we arrived back in Omaha at midnight.

It was a long day but we had a great time on the cruise. The best part of it was being with family, the food etc. was also very good.

I hope we can get together sometime this winter for a few days.

That’s all for now.