Click to go to Friday, 12/15

Click to go to Sunday, 12/17

Saturday, December 16, 2000

Saturday was for traveling.

I woke at 2 am so we could leave the house at 3 and be at the airport by 4. "Be at the airport two hours ahead of time, be at the airport two hours ahead of time," they are always saying. Well, you want to know what's at the San Francisco airport at 4 am? Just look.

No one even shows up until 4:30, and then we had to wait until they put all the "cattle pens" out onto the floor again so everyone can go back and forth through them before you get up front to see a ticketing agent.

Of course, we had already formed a line, with people that got there before 4 at the head, and people that showed up at around 5 at the tail. Naturally, once they opened the pens for us, they did it so the people who came in last got to get served first.

But, we had no particular reason to hurry. We would have been happy to show up at, say, 5:30 for our 6:00 flight. But, no, you have to be at the check-in "two hours ahead of time.

So, you've shown up at 4, had to wait until nearly 5 before you could actually do something, and then you were off to go through the security check-in gate, right? No, that would make too much sense. The security gates don't open until 5, so we had to wait in a line there. And of course, one person decided that all of those people waiting in line must be stupid. He would just go to the head and start his own line, all by himself.

Everyone just zipped through security. Except me, of course. I was carrying this laptop computer in my backpack. "Random baggage check sir, may we take your bag?" "Sure," I said, as long as I get it back afterwards. And the took me aside to this little machine. They placed the pack on top and we just waited a few seconds. "Ok, sir, you can go now." "What was that all about, I asked, "What did you do?" "This is a machine to sniff for explosives." Hmm, that was cute. I didn't even realize they were actually doing anything.

The three and a half hour flight to Dallas was rather nice. We got to ride in Business Class on American Airlines, which as been refitting it planes for more leg room. More leg room? I couldn't even kick the person ahead of me if I tried. They really opened up the seats in Business Class.

Mind you, after the flight to Dallas and the one hour layover, we began the four and a half hour flight to San Juan, Puerto Rico -- NOT in business class, in the next to last row. Things were much cozier there. I could have easily reached around the seat ahead of me, put my hands over that passenger's eyes and went "peek-a-boo". I couldn't even cross my legs.

One thing strange I noticed was the differences in Christmas trees between the different parts of the world.

In Dallas, for instance, it's hot and humid most of the time, and their Christmas trees (left) are covered with this weird, multicolored mold. Apparently people are so disgusted by it, that they just come by and throw old hats and dolls onto the heap to try and cover it up.

In Puerto Rico, which is surrounded by the ocean, their tree (right) has this sort of sea weed viney thing growing through it. Of course, I think the terminal we were in was below sea level, so that might have contributed.

We arrived in St. Kitts at about 11:30 at night. We were about a half hour late leaving San Juan due to weather. Another half an hour to get to Ottley's Plantation Inn, a quick talk with Karen, the hostess, and we just went to sleep.

Click to go to Friday, 12/15

Click to go to Sunday, 12/17