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Friday, June 18, 2010

30,000 FEET ABOVE SEA-LEVEL.......................


A funny thing happened at the airport .................... We boarded, then went to the end of the runway at LAS VEGAS, then turned around and went back to the terminal and sat in the aircraft for a couple of hours...........Then the pilot advised us that they couldn't close the door, but (don't worry) engineers are on their way.................Much later AA decided they would off-load us (but not the baggage) and pressurize the aircraft first........ This is best done at ground-level and not at 30,000 feet, I guess.............Or is this another type of VEGAS gambling?........... NOW THIS IS THE POINT AT WHICH ONE GENERALLY CHANGES PLANES........We changed ours for a whole bunch of vouchers and another day in VEGAS with the family..........Now that's thinking outside the box (plane, whatever)................24 hours later, and on another aircraft whose doors close beautifully, we fly over HOOVER DAM and the GRAND CANYON this time at 30,000 feet................WOW........




You can double click on these 'Grand' photos..............With clear skies, the view is awesome............ The forces of nature at work......... And as we fly over this 'awesomeness', we contemplate what lies ahead for us............... The report of a first tropical depression is in, as it hovers in the southern Caribbean............... Time to come up with a good hurricane plan..............



Radical, but sensible when the winds gets to 125 mph plus.



Putting a yacht into the mangroves is "A good hurricane plan"....... Although you are expected to take it out again, and not leave it there for another year, like this powerboat.............After landing at SAN JUAN in Puerto Rico, we rent a car and drive to SALINAS and PONCE on the southern side of PR, we talk to people and inspect the mangrove sites, something we have already done by using 'Google Earth'................. The 'Enterprise' car-rental people give us a brand-new 2010 Ford Explorer with only 255 km on the clock, and charge us $45.00 for the day....................This is totally in line with our budget, for contrary to some of the adventures, which give the impression that we are "loaded"................. Truth is, whenever we walked through the casinos, our eyes were downcast ...................... Perhaps someone had dropped a thousand dollar chip on the carpet...................Best we did was a quarter, and that one was pocketed, not force-fed .............. Then again, blessings come in so many other forms, so we really are 'loaded'...........

But first, we have to sail out of the Dominican Republic and onto Puerto Rico, then further east to the Virgin Islands for two weeks, and then back to PUERTO RICO for the three or four months of hurricane season.....................................So much to do, so little time.......

..............WE REALLY NEED A HOLIDAY.........

Oh, before we forget...........Last night when we flew back into the Dominican Republic we had to line up in a queue at Immigration, 250 of us, to pay $US 10.00 for a shiny credit card-size 'tourist card'........... Then line up again, all 250 of us, in another queue, at the end of which was an official who took your shiny card and put it in a shredder and wished you a "WELCOME TO THE DR"............... This morning we are still trying to make sense of that......................At least in LAS VEGAS you stood a chance....................