Buenos Aires Day 5

I woke early to finish packing. The bottles of wine were my main concern as my luggage is soft sided. I debated shipping the bottles, but I think I packed them well. Everything fit in two bags still, but I used the fold-up backpack for some overflow.

Breakfast in the lounge was the same as ever.

I checked out. The concierge staff would pick up my bags from me room, so I headed downstairs. I had about an hour before the walking tour so I decided to take a different route to the meet-up.

For some bizarre reason I still cannot fathom I trusted the tourist map again. I picked the spot out for the meet-up in the lounge, but once I was on the road it wasn’t where the map said it would be. I knew where the tour was going, so I made for the first stop along the way.

I ended up walking the bits of the tour to the places I hadn’t been before. I never found the tour group but that was okay. I hoped a cab to the Cafe Tortoni, the heart of tango in BA. The place is decked out beautifully, and it is a site to see. The food and service were not so good, especially for the price. It is very touristy.

I took another taxi to the Recoleta Cemetery. I walked around the tombs for over an hour and would have stayed longer. It was overcast, windy, and cool. The effect was made more so by the surroundings. Next time I am here I will make every effort to spend more time here. There’s another cemetery that’s not so famous but is bigger that I may have to try, too.

From there it was time to start thinking about heading to the airport. I swung by the hotel for a cup of coffee and my bags. The drive to the airport was uneventful but for one thing.

The taxi drivers, men over a certain age, do the stations of the cross (am I getting that right?) every time a Catholic church was driven past or near by. The driver tot he airport was one such gentleman and he blessed himself probably six times on the way.

The airport was a bit of a mess. I couldn’t find the Delta counter, but that’s because it wasn’t there yet. A few staffers pointed me to a sign that looked somewhat Delta-ish without having the name or the logo. A woman looked me up, handed me a slip of paper (which no one wanted to look at after that), and had me stand in line.

After about 5 minutes, Delta agents showed up rolling carts. Their entire operation was contained within. Working feverishly they set up seven check-in counter stations in about 10 minutes. At first in line they took care of me quickly and I was off, bag checked only through to Atlanta as my Detroit flight was more than 6 hours after arrival in ATL.

Security, passport control, and customs were odd. The security line backed up because there were only two lanes open. Almost everyone who went through set of the metal detectors, necessitating the least impressive pat down ever.

Once through that you hit passport control. Two sets of lines to a bunch of open lanes. Sweet, I thought. But the left lane was serviced by stations 11 to 20 while the right (my line) was serviced by 2 and 6-10. When approaching it looks like the right has more lanes available. More lies!

Once I got all the way through that I had to walk about 15 minutes to terminal C to the Aerolineas Argentinian lounge.

Buenos Aires, Day 4

I slept in this morning to a glorious 08:00. I grabbed a leisurely breakfast and puttered around on the computer.

I mellowed on last nights dinner. I was unhappy with the main concierge. That colored my assessment of the restaurant he strongly recommended. The food was overcooked and the fried provolone wasn’t nearly as good as what I had before, but it wasn’t a bad meal. I don’t thing Ive ever been in a restaurant that takes everything but Visa.

Today was going to be a light day. My legs needed a less punishing plan. I intended to take a walking tour at 5 and dinner at 9. Around 11 I headed to Calle Florida, a pedestrian thoroughfare with tons of shops along the route. I ended up at St. Martin at the end of the line and grabbed a coffee.  From there I wandered around for a bit looking for lunch options.

That was when I started feeling off. I was hungry but waves of light nausea come on. I was also a little dizzy. I walked into one little restaurant that was crowded with locals. As soon as I saw a plate for food I had to get out. It started to rain a little as I made my way back to the hotel. By the time I arrived a headache was hanging out right behind my left eye.

I had a migraine.

I have some pills for this but I can’t take them on en empty stomach. I wasn’t sure what food would do the best for me. I opted for empenadas and the “Hilton Hamburger”. I was nervous at first but they ended up being good choices. The burger, cooked to well done, was surprisingly delicious. The empenadas were small but tasty. My timing coming back was great as the rain really picked up. Soon the staff was done cleaning my room so I went up, stripped down, and popped my pill. I dozed a bit with the shades drawn and podcasts playing.

I’m not feeling 100% yet, so no booze in the lounge tonight. I missed the walking tour, though I covered over 60% of it already in my travels. There’s another different one tomorrow at 11 which will fit in with my last day nicely. I will keep my dinner reservation at Fervor in Recoleta. Cara at Anuva Wines recommended it, and the five Texans from the tasting already ate there. I am getting the seafood as my beef quotient is off the charts.

 

Travel List

On this trip people keep asking “What else is on your bucket list?”

First, I hate the term “bucket list”. To me it’s the list you execute when you’ve given up hope.

But what is on my travel list? Here are a few ideas in no particular order. Comments and suggestions are welcome.

  • Denmark (I’m Danish, after all)
  • Machu Pichu
  • Thailand
  • Costa Rica
  • Russia
  • Ukraine
  • Mauritania
  • Mali
  • Scotland
  • Iceland
  • Australia
  • New Zealand
  • India
  • Tuvalu
  • Chile
  • Croatia

This is just a start. I’d like to go everywhere someday.

Buenos Aires, Day 3

In light of the previous day’s events I grabbed an outstanding steak dinner near the hotel. I came back and crashed, though again my sleep had fits and starts. I woke early, indulging in a brief bout of iPad regret before rising.

Breakfast in the lounge was more of the same. I took the time to plot my travels to barrio Palermo.

Plan in hand I set up my Chase Visa for cash withdrawals. It took a while to register here in Argentina as it was over an hour before I could actually withdraw cash. Not as liquid as I would have liked and plastic not a taxi option, I hoofed it to Palermo.

This just in: The tourist map LIES.

I left the hotel at 09:30. I arrived in Palermo around 13:00. I was SORE.

The bright side of the equation is that I saw parts of the city I would have missed. I also fully registered a few things.

  • I like Buenos Aires. I will try to come back.
  • The city is dirty outside of Puerto Madero. “Normal” litter litters the streets, but many places had piles of trash waiting for pickup. Yes, it’s a holiday here – the Argentinian Independence Day – and thus a long weekend. But the piles were sizable.
  • Graffiti comes in waves as you traverse the city. There is none around embassy row.
  • Buenos Aires is a walkable city. I made a huge mistake, but it could have been much worse.
  • If you love wine, come here.

I won’t belabor the pain of the walk. The Japanese gardens were beautiful if over commercialized. The zoo was a zoo. A few of the museums I wanted to see weren’t open. The pub I visited was the only empty bar in BA.

So far the highlight of the day was the wine tasting at Anuva Wines. It was me, a couple from Brazil, and 4 Texans (plus one bored Texan teenager who did not drink). Cara and her assistant were great. The food pairings while sparse complimented the Argentinian wines well. Delicious wines and good company with expert guidance.

I wisely took a taxi back to the hotel. I am taking in drinks in the lounge yet again. I shall sup far afield of my first forays, probably back in Palermo. Round trip by taxi measures less than $20 US and the Anuva team provided a list of recommendations.

Oh, and I think I know the business I want to start when I retire.

The Spilt Leche Incident

I talked at length yesterday about the chocolate milk that was spilled down my back.

It turns out that I was right. The two people were trying to rob me. The difference was that they succeeded.

They stole my iPad.

I did almost everything I was supposed to. My bag was on my front. I was hyper aware of who was touching me. I had too much to defend and they were skilled. The one extra step I could have done was lock the zipper pulls in the carabiner I have on either end of the bag. That was an $800 lesson learned.

I stopped by the concierge desk on my floor. She and the duty manager, Gaston Mourrut de Beauverger, told me they would help me file a report with the police. It could take several hours and the odds of the iPad’s recovery was slim. I opted to enjoy my vacation.

The manager did offer to pay for my dry cleaning. As I returned to the room this evening my jacket, trousers, and shirt hung in my closet clean as a whistle.

The staff in this hotel epitomize good customer service. Everything has been top notch, but this was above and beyond the call.

Buenos Aires Day 2 – San Telmo

Sleep came easy last night but didn’t stay around long. Even with the window open I could not get the room cool enough. The three hour nap I took yesterday probably didn’t help. Regardless I woke a little after 7 mostly refreshed. I grabbed a quick breakfast in the lounge after dressing. The coffee isn’t great. My motivation to hit the road was clear.

I stripped my Red Oxx bag down, then refilled it with the essentials only. Well, the essentials accompanied by the MacBook Air. Once I started walking I thought I made a huge mistake. My left foot was cramping within 100 feet of the hotel. Not a good sign.

I walked through the pain, then put the big bag over the left shoulder. That counterintuitively made my foot feel better. The MBA ended up a good move early on. The SD card in the camera ran out of space after 5 pictures. Apparently I hadn’t emptied that one. I found a cafe, ordered a cafe americano, and started to import the pictures.

The funny thing is that these pictures are from almost exactly one year ago on Parris Island, South Carolina during the 4th of July fireworks.

Here in San Telmo they have a huge open air market on Sundays. I thought I might have left for it too early, but as I climbed the slope towards Av. Defensa I saw many stalls already set up and others in various states of construction.

I read that Buenos Aires has a lot of graffiti. It is true. Almost every building I passed once out of Puerto Madero had at least some paint on it. Quite a bit talks about the Great Britain v Argentina over the Faukland Islands (Malvinas to the locals). It is safe to say there are some strong opinions on the topic. I meant to grab a photo of it on my walks but forgot. Oh, well. I figure I’ll have plenty of opportunity.

The coffee in the shop is good so I grabbed another cup before venturing out.

The market fair runs for over a mile on Av. Defensa. Hundreds of little stalls line the street. By peak market time moving was measured in inches as the crowd filled the narrow gap. There was no formal structure to how things were laid out, at least to my untrained eye. Artists seemed to be in the same area, as were musical instrument salesmen, leather workers, and antiques. By no means were they concentrated. I was most impressed by the quality and variety of the leather goods. Belts, bags, shoes, hats, and on seemed to be well made and a bargain. Next time I’ll be prepared.

Music was everywhere. Several bands and solo acts played on the avenue and side streets. Several other booths played music from local bands. One CD I had to pick up has a cover of Joy Division on it. And the cover was really, really good. I wanted to get all of them, but my on-hand cash cache wouldn’t accommodate.

There was one stall that had an absurd fascination with the Batman movies. Several banners of both modern Jokers hung throughout. It was creepy and out of place.

I heard an assortment of languages on the strip – English (American, British, Australian), Spanish, French, Russian (maybe it was Ukrainian), Mandarin Chinese, and Portuguese.

There were several off-shoots of the main drag that offered more of the same. The special parts were the grills cooking sausages and beef and all kinds of interesting fare. I had a beef and chorizo sandwich for lunch, then a pork empenada later for a snack. Roving barristas with metal coffee urns strapped on, tacos and burritos dispensed from makeshift stands of stacked Iglo coolers, and others handing out what little delicacy they had all seemed to make a brisk business.

At one of my beer stops there was a beautiful woman sitting at the table next to me. I smiled at her. She smiled at me. It turned out that she knew a little English and wanted to try it out. We talked for a bit. Her English was only slightly better than my Spanish, but we made a go of it. I asked her to join me at my table. I ordered another round for both of us. She expressed surprised that I was buying her drink. She said that doesn’t normally happen in Buenos Aires. A little later a guy showed up, touched her shoulder, then went inside the bar. She said “boyfriend” and my face must have dropped a bit. She pouted a second, gave me a kiss, said thank you for the beer, and headed inside. It was the best date I’d had in months.

It took several passes up and down the avenue before I picked up everything I wanted for gifts. A few times I took breaks for more coffee or beer. My foot went from almost tear inducing to downright tolerable. Six hours on and I was ready to head back to the hotel for a rest.

As I walked back a man came running up to me. He pointed at my leg. I told him I don’t speak Spanish, so of course he spoke more Spanish to me. I told him thank you and continued on, but he was insistent. Turns out there was thick chocolate milk all over my back and down my trousers. It was on my bags. It was a mess.

I could see the Hilton from where I was. I tried to tell the man I would take care of it at the hotel but he was instant that I follow him down some side street. A woman came up and tried to get me to go with them. While they seemed very nice there was nothing about the situation I liked. I am almost certain that 10 minutes before I had no milk on me. I know that 30 minutes before there was none as I had removed my coat to put my sweater on.

I  suspect the man poured the milk on me on purpose, but never attribute to malice that which can adequately be explained by happenstance or stupidity. I did note how the locals slung their backpacks over their fronts while the tourists (not me) didn’t.

I kept pushing on for the hotel while the couple kept trying to have me go down an alleyway for water.

Interestingly, when I told the woman I am from Detroit she looked concerned. She said something very fast to the man. They both said goodbye and hopped the bus. They definitely knew each other when they left.

When I got back to my room I assessed the damage. I ended up sending the trousers, blazer, and shirt to the laundry. I think it’s a 50/50 shot that they’re ruined. We’ll see tomorrow. The rest of me has a distinctive grilled meat smell about me. I find it intoxicating, though it keeps making me hungry.

Meanwhile I took a quick nap, and now I am back in the lounge enjoying a beverage before dinner. I was planning on doing dinner back in San Telmo, but the day was cooler than yesterday and there is a brisk wind. I’ll stay close as I am without a coat. There’s a steak place over by the harbor recommended to me twice. I’m actually not that hungry at the moment, but I’m sure once the calorie burn fully registers I’ll be famished.

Over on the lounge couches a few fellow Americans are debating TGI Friday’s or Burger King for dinner. Sad.

For me, tomorrow brings new barrios and a wine tasting!

Buenos Aires Days 0 & 1

Buenos Aires is the southernmost place I have yet been.

The journey down was great. I was late leaving the house as a conference call expected to take 15 minutes took almost 90. I dropped the kids off at their Mom’s house and headed for the airport.

Going through TSA was graced by fortuitous timing. As I was about to ask for a pat down they announced that the full body scanner needed calibration. We passed through the metal detectors, no pat down required!

I love the remodel at the #dtw @delta #skyclub. The new counters overlooking the main entry from TSA makes for good people watching.
on July 06, 2012 at 04:47PM: http://twitter.com/prjorgensen/status/221344648113823745

The Delta SkyClub lounge at DTW is good. I was at the big one at the middle of the terminal. The wifi was serviceable to good with the ebb and flow of travelers. I finished my workday from there. New counters installed along the glass overlooking the walkway from TSA to the terminal meant I could stand while I worked. Outlets run the length of the counters so power was no issue.

Dear @foursquare @4sqSupport I can’t log in, then can’t check in, etc. from multiple devices. “Foursquare could not connect.” Any issues?
on July 06, 2012 at 01:30PM: http://twitter.com/prjorgensen/status/221295022140686337

My Foursquare check-ins were spotty. They must still have had service issues.

I am at @dtw on my way to #eze. I hope the air traffic controllers there are back on the job! #vacation #theresnothinginmyhouseworthstealing
on July 06, 2012 at 01:41PM: http://twitter.com/prjorgensen/status/221297789685088256

I learned of the municipal works strike earlier in the day. All reports from Delta said things would proceed normally. And they did.

Wouldn’t it be better for everyone in the @delta #skyclub if all the mobile devices were muted? #commoncourtesy #insidevoices
on July 06, 2012 at 01:41PM: http://twitter.com/prjorgensen/status/221297925676994561

Not only were peoples’ phones ringing, they were ringing LOUDLY. And everyone took their time answering or ignoring the call. One woman near me wanted to share her half of the conversation with the entire SkyClub.

Drinking a Singapore IPA by @saugatuckbrew — http://t.co/iIiW5vyA #photo
on July 06, 2012 at 01:47PM: http://twitter.com/prjorgensen/status/221299344815562752

They had a good beer on tap. Snack wise they don’t offer much. Crunchy things are off my menu, so I ate cheese and sucked hummus out of little cardboard tubes. Oh, and seasoned olives.

You are both on the same flight. Please stop making out like you’ll never see each other again! #dtw
on July 06, 2012 at 02:59PM: http://twitter.com/prjorgensen/status/221317340170690560

Public displays of affection seem to be a common theme so far on this trip. This couple were the first. Little did I know folks would be making out all over the place.

When you have an evil looking mustache maybe spending 10 minutes taking pictures in a US airport isn’t a good move. http://t.co/5HPsKDveon July 06, 2012 at 03:08PM: http://twitter.com/prjorgensen/status/221319848469336064

Now the red shirts are taking a picture of the mustache guy. #DTW http://t.co/zbGOYtgdon July 06, 2012 at 03:14PM: http://twitter.com/prjorgensen/status/221321152319066114

This fellow stood around taking pictures of the TSA area. At first I thought his mustache was Hitler-esque, but it was just run-of-the-mill evil looking. Apparently no one on staff cared. They even took pictures for him and with him! Very strange dealing, indeed.

Could be a communist cabal. #DTW http://t.co/smb0nLWKon July 06, 2012 at 03:50PM: http://twitter.com/prjorgensen/status/221330303338283008

I am officially off the clock! I’m on vacation time now. #dtw #skyclub @delta
on July 06, 2012 at 04:46PM: http://twitter.com/prjorgensen/status/221344404387016704

A sample of the people watching. http://t.co/IEqXlvL4on July 06, 2012 at 04:49PM: http://twitter.com/prjorgensen/status/221345199497031681

I’m not a fan I the kid leash. http://t.co/oLUIOV0Fon July 06, 2012 at 04:51PM: http://twitter.com/prjorgensen/status/221345688225710080

I left the lounge a few minutes early to pick up some chocolate for my flights’ crews. Over at TBTL they talked about taking chocolates to the flight crew in hopes of free alcohol. I flew first class so that wasn’t an issue. I wanted to do it anyway. I wanted to start my vacation off and share a bit of it with those who were taking me there.

Bit of a boarding snafu. I had to get my passport reviewed a third time. @delta might want to review. (@ Gate A20) http://t.co/ppY71I9Mon July 06, 2012 at 05:27PM: http://twitter.com/prjorgensen/status/221354661750378496

Apparently they had been paging me. One thing about the paging system at DTW – if you’re not at the gate listening it is impossible to hear. No one called to the SkyClub, either.

My complaint was that I couldn’t print the boarding pass at home. Yes, I can do the Delta app, but I like the paper as a backup. So I went to the kiosk. It verified my passport. Then at the SkyClub they verified my passport. So why was I asked for it a third time? Irritating, made more so by the general lack of organization at the gate.

If that’s the worst that happens on this trip I’ll be a happy man, indeed!

The trip is feeling real. Me = 😀
on July 06, 2012 at 05:39PM: http://twitter.com/prjorgensen/status/221357721071521794

The #dl2287 flight crew from #dtw to #atl is great. @delta
on July 06, 2012 at 06:35PM: http://twitter.com/prjorgensen/status/221371804130881538

The flight to Atlanta was nice and uneventful. Since I am on vacation I enjoyed several adult beverages on the flight. The crew appreciated the chocolate.

It seems my Russian language skills aren’t wasted in AR. They make use of a similar ‘juh’ in pronouncing things that start w/’ll’
on July 06, 2012 at 06:46PM: http://twitter.com/prjorgensen/status/221374587588448259

I studied up on my Spanish on the plane. The odd thing is that when I try to pull the words from my head I get the German equivalents.

On my way to #atl en route to #eze. This tweet is from 30K feet.
on July 06, 2012 at 06:48PM: http://twitter.com/prjorgensen/status/221375102388940802

There’s a mf-ing fly on this mf-ing plane. #themoreyouknow
on July 06, 2012 at 06:57PM: http://twitter.com/prjorgensen/status/221377285721292800

I’m at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL) (Atlanta, GA) w/ 162 others http://t.co/Ac0mzlNSon July 06, 2012 at 07:35PM: http://twitter.com/prjorgensen/status/221386891407278081

Unable to pull into the gate. #dl2287 #atl #DTW @Delta
on July 06, 2012 at 07:40PM: http://twitter.com/prjorgensen/status/221388174545522688

On my way! To Buenos Aires! Woohoo!
on July 06, 2012 at 08:36PM: http://twitter.com/prjorgensen/status/221402379470385153

The flight from Atlanta to Buenos Aires was great. The food was great. The flight crew was top notch. The business class seats were the older ones but did lay flat. I slept after maybe enjoying one too many beverages.

When we finally reached Buenos Aires I got a little nervous as we circled three times. Ultimately it was fine and we landed.

It costs $160 US for a 10 year visa. As I sidled up to the window to pay I remembered I forgot to call the credit card company to tell them I’d be traveling. It was no issue. I converted some money at a bad rate and rented a taxi to the hotel.

I’m at Hilton Buenos Aires (Ciudad de Buenos Aires) http://t.co/9AnOOKUVon July 07, 2012 at 10:36AM: http://twitter.com/prjorgensen/status/221613755593785344

The room was not only ready but I was upgraded into the executive floor. The room is nice. The room is HUGE.

I unpacked, which takes me 10 minutes if I’m lazy. Breakfast was still serving in the lounge, so I walked over. Unfortunately my phone was still on EDT. I planned on taking a walking tour, but by the time I learned the real time there was no time to get there on time.

So I wandered, lonely as a cloud.

I’m at Yacht Club Puerto Madero (Ciudad de Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires) [pic]: http://t.co/CVKstTYPon July 07, 2012 at 10:38AM: http://twitter.com/prjorgensen/status/221614053959806979

I walked from the hotel to each end of Puerto Madero. My legs were killing me after my first journey. My bag is too heavy even when mostly empty. I love my Red Oxx, but I need to find something lighter.

The weather was sunny with temperatures in the 40s and 50s. So many folks were bundled up like it was below freezing with a massive windchill.

Midday I came back to the hotel to unload my bad and pop some aspirin. I decided to take a quick nap. By “Quick” I must have meant 3 hours. I headed out again to wander the parts of the port I hadn’t seen yet. After the public kissing, the next most common thing I saw were roller blades and skateboarders. There were a few samples of soccer, but not as many as I thought there would be.

Snack and drinks before dinner. (@ Hilton Buenos Aires Executive Lounge) [pic]: http://t.co/76JaNU6won July 07, 2012 at 05:17PM: http://twitter.com/prjorgensen/status/221714610615627778

I’m writing this from the lounge with a glass of malbec. I’m debating over a couple of restaurants for dinner that I passed earlier in the day. I’ll ask the staff for their recommendations.

So far I couldn’t ask for a better start to the trip.

Family Time

My maternal cousins and I gathered in southern Oklahoma this weekend to spend time with our Grandfather and each other. Well, most of the cousins anyway.

We scheduled this several weeks back. Two weekends we’re on the table but only one fit. It was a tight fit, at least for me.

I spent Last week in Toronto for work. It was good, but as the week went on the Canada Day long weekend attrition really set it. By Friday I’d estimate a full 60% to 70% of the office was out. I had a few errands to run that afternoon back home, so I booked out a bit early. I came up on Sunday afternoon as I had several meetings early Monday morning downtown.

I reached out to @mummybites and we met up for a fine lunch. I’ll write about that later perhaps. I dropped her back at her place then booked it for the US. Unfortunately the NEXUS lines at Port Huron had a two hour wait, shorter than the un-retinal-scanned but longer than estimated.

By the time I made it over the boarder it was too late to get my car to the shop, so another reschedule is required. I did pick up the new Logitech iPad slim keyboard, which I’m using to type this. I hope to review it soon.

I returned home around 7:30. I ate. I ran laundry. I packed. I crashed for six hours.

I woke early to get a start on my family trip. After grabbing a coffee at 7-11 I headed south on I-75 en route to DTW.

If you’re not familiar with Detroit’s & environs’ roads, they are in desperate disrepair. I fully embrace the city, county, and state fixing the roads. What I don’t like, what really boils my blood?

The detours do, or more correctly, the lack of detours.

I bounced around for 40 minutes trying to get to the airport. I-94, the main route there from where I live, was shut down from at least I-75 all the way to Michigan Avenue. I finally had to squeeze my car in between some barricades and avoid some cones.

The flights were uneventful. Southwest did their usual fine job, though I am not impressed by their useless iOS app boarding pass. You can’t use it to clear TSA nor board the plane.

The other complaint I have is the Waze app on iOS. Where’s the “Avoid Toll Roads” option? You can’t navigate in Dallas (or Chicago for that matter) without it.

Anyway, the drive up was interesting, rekindling memories, but nothing of note.

One of my cousins gave me directions, but I couldn’t find the cabin. I asked the gentleman burning a stump out in his front yard, but he told me the house numbers got changed last 9/11. Ignoring his interesting choice of marking time, I made for the local Methodist church parking lot where I could park the car under a tree yet still have good cell service. I call the cousins and my sister, then broke out the Kindle to have a read.

Ultimately I was directed to the marina where another cousin picked me up in the rented ski boat. Somewhere in the Facebook thread I missed the whole boat & water aspect. I packed nothing appropriate. Since I was there for such a short time, wasting some of it to pick up a swimming suit seemed a silly exercise. I rolled up my trouser legs and shirt sleeves and made do.

Waiting out in this little cove were more cousins and their kids and my sister and one of her kids. Her husband and the baby I saw when I was picked up. They were dropping off. Those of us on the beach chatted, applied sunscreen liberally, and had a grand time. I booked back to the mainland at the next opportunity.

Back at the cabin my aunt and I headed out on a supply run. En route we swung by my grandfather’s place. He and his wife were there but did not expect us to come through the door, I expect. We stayed for 5 or 10 minutes to say hi and set the plans to get together the next morning after breakfast.

Back at the cabin the rest of the clan ate, talked, drank, laughed, and had a grand old time. The mystery of the night was what rented cabin the overflow folks were staying the night. We had four to choose from, but we figured it out. After the kids all nodded off and a few more drinks by the adults we packed it in.

This morning I woke early but the rest of the cabin was out cold. Without coffee and 3G access I made due until the great awakening. We all met down at the marina for a great breakfast. The coffee, while not plentiful was what I needed.

Recharged, we made our way back to the main cabin to meet back up with the grandparents before I had to book it for my return trip. Pictures were taken. Laughs were loud. Music was played and enjoyed. A round of hugs ensued and I headed to DAL to hop my my homebound ride.

Dallas, Texas, United States of America