Monday, August 14, 2017

Day 9 (and 10): Bonaire to Atlanta to E-ville

Day 9 (and 10) Bonaire to Atlanta to E-ville

QOTD: The past isn't dead. Hell, it isn't even the past.

Didn't we see one of these guys already? 
THB is feeling punk again this morning, LB does the final snorkel on her own. LB had a great time including seeing fish attacking an eel! A great send-off from a great place, Paradise. 

Vincent and Caroline

Checkout has it's own special feel at the Coral Paradise Resort. The two co-owners, Caroline and Vincent, are talkers. The actual settling up took less than a minute and they will handle the hairdresser handoff. Our two CPR sunblocker shirts: $38 each. After that, it is talk about just about every topic out there (old TV shows, traffic, etc.).

We do a mural pics outing before getting snacks at VdT ($14), gas ($35 for a half tank) and returning the truck ($350 for the week, pre-paid, including full coverage).
Lasagna, another CPR reco, very good and terrific for airport food

Lunch at the Flamingo airport is actually very good (CPR tip): THB has veggie lasagna and LB caprese sandwich. With a tart lemonaide, $30.

Plane is on time to Atlanta, security takes at least a half hour, dinner at  Qdoba Mexican Grill of a chicken bowl (THB) and large diet coke (LB), $15. LB is eating the snacks from VdT supermarket.

Use free wifi in airport, Delta is letting THB know that the flight to SFO is running late ("low ceiling"), right now we'll be arriving well after midnight. When THB was a working guy and traveling back east, this type of flight home was interrupting his beauty sleep (often going to work the next day) and making him cranky.  Retirement: THB will still feel like crap as we cross the Rockies.

The airplane is late.

The ParkSFO shuttle is late (and full, after we get on at Terminal 1, the guy skips Terminal 2 and 3 on the way to the garage).

Department of Traffic: THB has been bemoaning the traffic the last few years. How bad is it? At 1:30am on Monday morning (so this is late late Sunday night traffic the Bay Bridge is backed up for near an hour after closing 3 lanes to do underdeck repairs on the top west SF-side span of the bridge (thank goodness they aren't working on the newly completed east-side span).

Department of Insults: THB lays in bed in a daze for 3 hours and get up at 5:30 (kind of 8:30 body clock time). Putters around for an hour and then the phone rings at 6:40am: robo-call about some medication. Maybe these guys know something THB doesn't? Sleep aid? Fortunately DB took the call. 

Book Review: American War, Omar El Akkad (novel): Another dystopian view of the future of the world, focused on the North vs South retelling, set 50-120 years in the future where climate change and biological warfare destroy the USA as we know it now. Particularly distressing in light of "current" events in Charlottesville and DJT's view of climate change. See QOTD. Recommended. Hell, if you wanna be really depressed, Highly Recommended

Pics from around Bonaire:

The rear view of the Marriott Courtyard
Yayoi Kusama is having yet another moment, lots of press on her new shows. Here is one of her pieces in SFO

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Day 8: Bonaire

Day 8: Bonaire

Spotted Cleaner Shrimp

QOTD: The mouse says to Alice, mine is a long and sad tale. Alice replies, I can see it is long, why is your tail so sad?

THB is up for snorkeling today, we do a morning and afternoon snorkel right here in Paradise. In the morning we see a pair of squid, very exciting. In afternoon, only one squid, being photographed by two scuba divers in about 5 feet of water. Strange to be snorkeling and having to avoid divers. Sad, really.

So what happened to THB today, you ask:

1. THB's booties  (on loan from CPR) were missing when we went to snorkel in the afternoon. CPR has extra loaners, no problema

2. THB managed to drop his room key at the edge of the shoreline after the afternoon snorkel. He can hear it clunk against the coral at his feet 1-3 inches of water) and it disappears. The key is attached to a blue lightweight metal clip maybe 2" long. Gone. You have to use the key to get back on the property so THB and LB walk out to the street and push the button to open the gate the cars enter through. CPR replaces the key, no problema.

3. THB manages to take his usual pills this morning. He's not sure he remembered to brush his teeth. No problema, THB does that after the morning snorkel....or was it the afternoon snorkel? Do you have to put toothpaste on the toothbrush?

How sad was it: THB forgot to tell them no catsup or mayonnaise, just mustard and other stuff on his chicken burger.  

4. We drive into town for lunch (how sad can that be?). THB is parallel parking the truck, the space is a little tight and he brushes the bumper of the beat-up car behind him. The car has significant front-end damage from some prior incident, THB doesn't think he needs to leave a note (let alone have paper and pen with him). A woman comes out of the coffee place next to the parking spaces and suggests that THB leave a note. She does not have pencil and paper. THB and LB ask the two women working at Whataburger if they have writing implements; no problema,

THB writes out a note, and somehow we find out the car owner works at the hair salon just two doors up from Whataburger. Out  she comes, explaining that her car had been hit and damaged and nobody left a note then. We have full coverage from AB Rental Car, and LB uses the paperwork with us and the hair salon phone to contact them, they'll send somebody out.

Hairdresser returns to the salon, we order a veggie and chicken burger and drinks at Whataburger, $14, and in about 10 minutes (before THB can finish his chicken burger), AB guy shows up and he and THB review damages to cars. The rental truck is unscathed. The hairdresser comes out and she and the AB guy discuss her car in half creole, half Espanol. LB listens in and basically the hairdresser told the AB guy the same story she told us. He also tells me his sad tale: he had ordered 4 Whataburger burgers to go last night and got home and there were only 3 in the bag.

Meanwhile, the hairdresser's customer is getting frustrated and the hairdresser returns to the salon. THB and LB go into the salon and let the hairdresser know we'll do something for her even if AB doesn't (and shouldn't, her car was not damaged beyond what had occurred before THB gave her bump while parking). We get her name and phone number, explaining we are staying at CPR and leaving tomorrow. We'll have CPR contact her.

In meantime, LB has also made friends with the Dutch ex-pat working at Whataburger. The worker comps us for a Diet Coke.

{the story isn't that sad, it is getting to be very long}

THB and LB make it back to CPR. THB goes into office and is explaining the short version to Caroline, the co-owner, when Caroline looks at the card that the hairdresser's name and number are written down on: it's the place Caroline gets her hair done. Caroline turns the card over, it's the woman who cuts her hair!!!!

Now we get a bit more of the back story: the hairdresser is a young widow with 3 children. Clearly she couldn't afford to get her car fixed when the real damage was done. Caroline will be happy to pass on our token gesture for the inconvenience caused.

There's a cute "Stop Go Pizza" light outside Pasa Bon Pizza

5. It's our last night, and neither of us feeling like going out to eat. No problema: LB orders pizza and salad from the same pizza and salad place we dined at earlier in the week. THB picks it up (they are right down the road) and we dine inside where we don't get bitten at all, unlike when we ate at the pizza place. $31

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Day 7: Bonaire

Day 7: Bonaire

Sharpnose Pufferfish

Department of Lost and Found: Where are we? That's s great question for THB, a guy who can't find his bootie. Bonaire is part of the ABC islands, about 50 miles north of Venezuela. Four hours by air from Atlanta (around 1800 miles?). It is a small island, you can circumnavigate in under a half day, with a speed limit of  60KPH, 19K inhabitants (lots of them Dutch as the island moved from being part of Netherland Antilles to a special municipality of Holland). 

Department of Health: THB was feeling punk today. Didn't even put half an apple on his Grape Nuts or make a cup of coffee to go with his raisin roll. Too much sun? Too much time snorkeling? Some reaction to one of the new cholesterol drugs? Not enough baseball on TV or radio? Reading another apocalyptic dystopian novel? 

The good news: Woodwind did not have enough signups to go out today. That would've been a tour too far for THB.

Instead, THB and LB decide to take the water taxi, Kantika di Amor, to Klein Bonaire, $15pp, leaving at 10 from downtown and getting picked up at 12:30. Everything worked out perfectly except THB put his gear on (using a dish soap and water mix to keep his mask from fogging up), snorkeled on a spectacular beach for about 5 minutes and decided he would be a lot better off walking the beach in the water while LB snorkeled. Actually, the place is so pretty and the water felt so good, THB felt fine. LB got in a full snorkel in her new CPR sunblock t-shirt (awwwwwwwwwwwwww sooooooooooo cute: Dad and Daughter wearing matching shirts!), seeing a giant parrotfish and some of the usual suspects.  

Just enough time after the beach outing to eat the snacks we brought in one of  CPR's loaner mini-soft coolers and there was the Kantika to escort us back to Kralendijk. Back at CPR we finish off the leftover pizza and rest up. 

The back side

The front, facing west and the water

Tuna three ways: ceviche, tartare and sashimi


Dinner at Cuba Compagnie: Not much Cuban about this place, more of a continental menu. Polar and G&T, tuna nicely done three ways and ceviche appetizers for THB, rice and beans and cheese for LB, $50. 

Gio gelato for dessert, $5. Flavors are mild, typical of the island food. 

Pics from here and there downtown: